Quick Tip: Hold Your Dog’s Collar

Sometimes, when you reach to grab a dog’s collar, he backs away.  He probably does this because such an action is often correlated with something unpleasant: a bath, being pulled away from an object, or being restrained.  This reaction, however, is inconvenient and perhaps dangerous.  Do you need to hold your dog back from licking a frightened toddler?  To keep him from running out of the door?  Avoid the car coming up your street?  If your dog won’t accept you handling his collar, he will scare the child, escape out of the door, or possibly be run over.  You need to teach your dog that you holding his collar is nothing to fuss about and can even be a rewarding experience.

If your dog is very wary of having his collar touched, you will have to work slowly.  While your dog is doing something he enjoys, such as eating a treat or playing with a toy, gently touch his collar.  Give your dog a verbal reward after you have done so.  After that your dog is comfortable with you simply touching his collar, work in the same way as described before but wrap a finger or two around his collar.  Eventually, you can up the time you keep your fingers around it until you can do it for some time.  Finally, start randomly slipping your hand through your dog’s collar, petting your dog while you do so, and give him a treat each time.  Slowly wean your dog off of treats as the days (or possibly weeks) go by until you can grab his collar, hold it for a few seconds, and then give your dog praise.

Even if your dog is only a little uncomfortable with having his collar touched, do the steps above, perhaps skipping the first, to make such an action as everyday as you pouring food into his bowl.

If your dog isn’t worried with you holding his collar, that’s great.  However, it might be a good idea to hold it for no apparent reason every so often.  This way, your dog won’t develop the idea that something unpleasant is about to occur.  Instead, he will think that it is an everyday event and nothing to worry about.

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About Sissy

Hi! I'm Sissy, a Toy Poodle. On Doggy Times I share articles about dog training, socialization, care, and health. Check out the Trick and Dog Breed Pages to learn more about your furry friend and how to train him/her.

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