You’re in a rush but you need to walk the dog before work. It’s cold and dark outside so you just want to get it done. However, your dog has other ideas. He simply refuses to let you put a collar and leash on him. He’s just a puppy so he’s still confused and unsure about the collar. He doesn’t realize it’s not going to strangle him or do him any harm. It’s making the walking procedure and even taking him out of the house a nightmare. You try to get him to sit still but he’s just not having any of it.
Training him to accept a collar will make your life a whole lot easier. He can’t roam around without a collar. He may end up leaping into the road and seriously injuring himself in a traffic accident, or worse.
Thankfully, training your dog to accept a collar is nice and easy. At the moment, he’s simply not used to it. But as with anything, once he’s had it for a few weeks he won’t even know it’s there. Getting him to accept it though is a hurdle. You can overcome that hurdle by incentivizing him with some mouth-watering treats. You may also need to take a number of steps to distract him from the device being fit around his neck. If you can make wearing a collar fun and a game, then your task will be far easier.
If he’s a puppy you can expect results in as little as a day. If he’s older and won’t accept a collar then it may indicative of something more sinister and you may need several days.
Before you start, you’ll need a few things. If he’s not accepting his current collar then you may want to invest in a new, comfier collar. You’ll also need a decent supply of delicious treats. Alternatively, you can break his favorite food up into bite-sized pieces. This will be used as an incentive.
You’ll need to dedicate just a few minutes to helping him accept his new collar. It shouldn’t take long, he just needs some reassurance.
Once you have all of those things you can grab your collar and head for your dog!
Takes a long time to get collar on to begin with. Yesterday he was screaming like it was hurting him. Then he went to his cage and wouldn’t come out. He kept holding his head down like he was in pain. So I decided to take it off of him and then the challenge began. It took two of us and a bag of treats to get the collar off. He was screaming and flopping all over. Suggestions would be wonderful. I am at my wits end.
Hello Sarah, To begin with, introduce him to the collar with treats. Show him the collar and give him a treat, let him touch the collar and give him a treat, hold the collar against his neck and give him a treat, put the collar on him and take it off again and give him a treat, put the collar on him and give him a treat every few seconds while it is on and then take it off again, and finally, put the collar on him and leave it on. Make the entire experience extremely rewarding. Use an upbeat, confident tone of voice when you praise him and ignore any dramatics. Try not to sound anxious, angry, or sorry for him. Your confidence and happy attitude will help him feel more secure. If you are using a properly fitted buckle collar that is not too tight, then the collar is not hurting him and he is simply protesting having something around his neck. Make the experience of putting on the collar and taking it off extremely rewarding by practicing each of those steps with treats until he becomes comfortable enough to move onto wearing it, but once he is wearing the collar leave it on him for at least fourteen days straight. Ignore the screaming and the sulking. The more you give into that the more he will do it simply because it gets him what he wants, the collar off and your attention. He needs to wear the collar for enough time without taking it back off for him to become used to the sensation of the collar. It is normal when you introduce collars and leashes to dogs older than twelve weeks for them to strongly protest them when you first introduce them. It typically takes at least two weeks for them to become comfortable with the feeling of the collar and learn to ignore it. After you put the collar on him you can distract him with his favorite game, a walk, or dinner. Do whichever one he likes best and will take his mind off of the collar the most. As long as he is still drinking water and is not loosing weight because of the collar, then he should adjust. When you take the collar off again use the treats also, so that he will learn to trust you touching his neck. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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