Hi guys, new to the forum, and have been looking on here for advice, and it's been really helpful so far, but I have a question I couldn't really find an answer to.
We adopted our corgi, Bowser, 2 weeks ago, he is now 10 weeks old. We bought him a collar the day after we got him. Every time we attempt to either put it on, or take it off, he FREAKS OUT. Growling, squirming around, nipping.. He is NOT happy about it for some reason, and I don't understand why. We try to reward him with treats whenever we do get it on, and praise him with a lot of "GOOD BOY!'s" and pets, and have been trying to put it on, take it off, as much as possible, to try and familiarize him with his collar. We tried leaving it on for a couple of days to try to get him used to it, and once it's on, he's completely fine.. But when we crate him. I always take it off, as I understand leaving the collar on while he's crated is not a good idea, but he makes me nervous about putting it on, as he gets so fired up about it. Any suggestions for this? I'm sort of at a loss as to what we should do.
Thanks in advance!
Mak, Jacqui & Bowser.
Where did you get him from? It may be related to something that happened to him before you got him, or he may just be fighting being restrained while you put on the collar. I would not fight him, it will make things worse. Get him used to gentle handling and see if he will tolerate a harness, preferably a soft one, so you can take him out to potty with that, then practice putting the collar on an off at times when you're just hangin' out, relaxed and he does not need to go anywhere, using nice tid bits for a reward. You need to build trust so he knows nothing bad can happen to him when he is with you.
We got him from a breeder at 8 weeks old. As far as I know, he had never had a collar on prior to us getting him. I try to let him sniff the collar and check it out for a few minutes each time before I put it on him, so that it isn't so much of a startling thing for him. Once it's on, he's totally fine with it. I give him treats each time we get it on, and each time I take it off [as he panics when I take it off as well].. I'm going to try buying a harness this week and I'll see how that goes.
Becca is 8 months and doesn't like her collar coming on and off. She is scared of it. We have been working on it slowly. With her it is the sound of the buckle snapping into place. If I slip it over things go better. I've been making a game of it with especially tasty treats. She is better about it than original, but still not comfortable. She's still afraid of my cell phone and camera. I think sometimes they get the same irrational fears as people.
I don't use collars with plastic snap buckles because I worry that, if the buckle gives for any reason, I could loose the dog. I only use the old fashioned kind collars with metal on one side and holes on the other end, or martingale collars which I generally prefer. My miniature dachshund (adopted at 6 months) was very scared of the harness and I finally concluded she was scared of the snap buckle. She is a very self confident dog, my guess is that the previous owner pinched her sensitive skin in closing the buckle, a dog with longer fur could get fur caught in it instead. She is now 4 yrs. old and, although I always put a finger under the harness buckle when snapping it shut, she still flinches at the noise.
Does he like his meals? If so I would try putting the collar on prior to each meal and taking it off after. All of mine are great at the sit command because they have to in order to get fed. If he is a little reluctant at meal time I would continue putting it on and off with treats just like you are doing. As young as he is I would guess that he is just responding negatively to something new.
Very good suggestions. You could also try raising the value of the treat he gets when the collar comes out. First, get a collar big enough to just slip over his head. (No, you're not going to walk him on it, just get him used to it.) Get some sandwich meat (turkey is good) and feed him pieces of it while you slip the collar on. My mini aussie was that way. The day I got her (she was close to a year and had been a long-term stray) I bought the cutest collar and leash. She SCREAMED like a banshee! I was so embarrassed. I started her with a slip lead I could just slide over her head while she ate turkey. After a couple of weeks, she settled in to the idea that a collar and leash wasn't so bad after all. Just takes a little time. Don't force him. The more frustrated he gets, the more he will make the negative association and fight you. Slow and sure and you will get beyond this.
It sounds like you are doing a good job conditioning him to accept the collar. Everyone has a different opinion about collars. My parents had dogs before they had me, over 50 years ago; I've had 2 or 3 dogs at at time all my life. They have all worn buckle collars 24/7 and never got them caught on anything. (not that it couldn't happen) I feel better knowing they have their tags if they should get out while I'm not home. What if there is a fire- my personal terror and we had to get the dogs out in a hurry? What if in the ensuing chaos they ran off? I have them chipped, too. Guess I'm a little paranoid.
Hello ! I had the same problem when we first got Sheldon. He would go crazy when we tried to put is collar on. We had to handle him at first , make him smell and understand what was the collar for. He eventually understood that the collar ment fun time outside. He now wear it all the time :)
Don't be discourage !
Oh yeah...I had the same problem with Chuckie when I got him at 10 weeks. The breeders didn't put anything around the puppies' necks so, when I got Chuckie I had to collar train him.
It was quite easy with Chuckie actually. I let him sniff it and see it then I put it around his neck. At first he squirmed and whined and scratched at it but, as soon as he stopped, I took it off and showed it to him and let him sniff again. I let him play around with it for a bit then I would put it back around his neck. I only ever take off the collar whenever he stops making a fuss about the collar. It only took me that night that I got him to train him on the collar. I was fortunate that he was quite easy to train on that.
I would let him play with his collar to get more comfortable with it....my dog who is now 14 weeks didn't like it either initially. He would always scratch at it or try to bite (which was funny to watch)....just stick with it...they'll get over it eventually.
Thank you for all the suggestions! This morning I finally had success! I've been letting him sniff his collar for a few minutes prior to putting it on, and rewarding him with treats each time he allows me. Every time I put it on, I pick him up and pet him and show him the collar and try to reassure him with "look, buddy! it's okay! it's okay!" and he allows me to put it on without any sort of growls now. This morning, to my surprise, his collar was on the floor, (i take it off at night before we go in the crate), and he carried it over to me in his mouth to the living room and let me put it on! I think he actually likes it now! I'm so proud of him, he's really coming a long way. Now, we just have to master the art of potty training, lol. And, herding the cats, lol.
Aw, that's awesome. :-) That's amazing that he brought it over to you! What a smart little guy.
Best of luck with the other issues. I suggest you take a look at the FAQ linked at the top of this site to check what you may be doing incorrectly with regards to potty training. :-)