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What To Do If Your Dog Hates Collars

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Putting on Collars

If you have a dog that hates wearing a collar, then you will need to be particularly patient, consistent, and maintain your training. The 1st step is identifying why your dog might be feeling uncomfortable. Most of the dogs regrettably feel very limited or frightened when something is hung to his neck rest if they arent into this from a charity for canines.

Choosing the Right Collar

Choose a Collar That is Comfortable and Fits Right The collar should be soft and not too tight (you should be able to put two fingers through the collar). Padded nylon or soft leather are good options to avoid any kind of irritation. If you measure the size of your dog’s neck before you buy the collar, it will not only be comfortable for him to wear, but it will also lessen even more that he would come to dislike the collar.

Slowly introduce the Collar to Your Dog

Allow your dog to smell and investigate the new collar. Put it next to their bed or along with their loved toys. Make the collar fun for your puppy – By playtime routine, introduce pulling a collar to have positive experiences. Give your dog treats and praise for showing interest the collar and work up to them being fine with it around their neck.

Ohio Veteran Uses Positive Reinforcement To Train Service Dogs

Reward the dog with treats or verbal praise whenever he wears the collar. Start by having your dog wear the collar for enjoyable events, like walks or meal times, that are very short and slowly extend the length of time. Simply back up a step and dial that time down if your dog becomes stressed then slowly lengthen it again. The trick is to use the collar in a way that it was a good experience for the dog, compliments rather than punishments.

Monitoring and Adjusting

Look out for any signs of pain or irritation from the collar. Check for any rubbing or hair loss under the collar by laying it flat against your dog’s neck and adjust either the fit or material as indicated. It is important that the collar is not causing harm to him because this will only make her negative feelings about the collar stronger.

Finding the Right One

When choosing the best collar for your dog, there are many other things to consider besides picking a color or style. The best collars are those that match your dog in terms of size, behavior, and skin sensitivity.

Consider Materials

You may react differently to different materials. A dog with sensitive skin may be able to use a nylon collar, as the lining is soft and helps avoid irritation, while an active dog may need a more durable collar, leather. Using reflective materials is the best way to keep nighttime walks safe. If your dog has ever shown signs of skin allergies, make sure to use hypoallergenic materials.

Focus on Functionality

The function of the collar is also important. A dog with a fuller body and thicker neck may be better suited to a martingale collar, as it fits snugly on the dog when on the leash, giving it better control, but without the choking effect of a traditional choke collar. If your dog likes to pull, a harness may be a better choice than a collar, as it also reduces pressure around the neck.

Pay attention to adjustability and fit

The right fit is crucial. If the collar is too tight, it can cause injury, and if it’s too loose, you may end up losing the collar. Make sure the collar has an adjustable buckle or strap. Two fingers should be able to fit between the collar and the dog’s neck. These checks are necessary as your dog grows or his weight fluctuates.

Test Different Styles

Some dogs simply prefer a less “Chainsaw” style that they barely notice wearing, and other dogs will accept (and sometimes even prefer) a weighted collar if used correctly. Try different collars in a controlled area and observe how your dog reacts to each style. Do they try to claw it off? Do they seem to not be too bothered by it? These observations are key.


How to teach to put on a collar In order for your dog to calmly allow you to put a collar on him, follow certain recommendations and be as patient, persistent and consistent as possible. These techniques are designed to change your dogs perception of collars so that they stop associating the with negative experiences.


For dogs who seem to react negatively to the sensation of anything around their neck, desensitization is crucial. Put the collar next to your dog (feed or play) but not on it. It allows your dog to identify the collar with good things. During these activities over time, move the collar closer and closer until it is touching the dog, making sure they are able to stay calm, then reward them for this.


If your dog has exhibit the following signs when you put on the collar: Reverse their head or veer away, counterconditioning can be an effective solution. Combine the collar with their most interest in this method, it is treats or play. Each time you pull out the collar, follow this with something your dog enjoys to help teach him or her to associate it positively over time.

Brief Incremental Introductions

When your dog is just chilling, slowly bring the collar closer to them until the dog gets used to it. Start with even only a few seconds and gradually build up to the total time as long your dog is not anxious. Decrease your time again if you see signs of discomfort in your dog and work more slowly. This method allows your dog to become accustomed to the sensation of a collar without disturbing them.

Persistently Provide Positive Feedback

Praise and treat your dog along the way Reward the bejesus out of them. For the early stages of training your dog to wear a collar (since the next thing is to lead/pulling with and all), each positive interaction with the collar should be followed by a reward. Swapping from collar to collar or a harness in different training situations can confuse your dog and make the “collar time” harder for him to trust and even begin to enjoy.


Ensuring that the dog is walked comfortably in a collar is important and should be done for the sake of both the dog, and so that things remain simple for their owner. If your dog flat out refuses to put their collar on, one approach you can use is introducing collar usage during walks.

Foster a Positive Association with the Leash and Collar

Even before you start going out for a walk, change the act of putting on the collar and leash into something positive. In order to slip on the collar, entice with treats and positive, happy tones. It will make your dog associate preparing for the walk with good feelings and treats.

Start with Short Walks

When the walks get long, this can be exhausting in any case for a hound unaccustomed to a neckline. Do short walks in the beginning, around your yard or up and down a couple houses, increase the distance as your dog adjusts to wearing a leash. This is done to prevent your dog from becoming overwhelmed not only with the physical adjustment but also the mental aspect of wearing a collar.

Observe how Your Puppy Acts

Pay close attention to how your dog reacts during the walk. Scratching at collar, trying to get leaf of it, refusal to move forward etc. are some signs of uneasiness. Fit the collar and simply switch it to a different should be sure that your pet is often cozy.

Get Some Distractions in Your Favour

Should your dog begin associating the collar with bad memories (away from walks), redirect their focus to more enjoyable or more engaging things. Toys To Distract Them Or Try Having Him Practice Commands He Knows Well To Get His Mind Off Of The Unpleasant feeling. This acclimatizes them to wearing a collar, it also extends loose lead walking.

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