My puppy hates his collar…what do I do?
Let me guess…you’ve just brought your puppy home and you’re trying to put on his collar and he just hates it. The first thing to do is not panic. It’s more common than you might think with many new pawrents frantically worried thinking “my puppy hates his collar, what do I do?”
The simple answer is to keep calm – leave the collar on your puppy until he gets used to it., even if he’s trying his hardest to get that collar off, as long as it’s fitted correctly and not causing any harm, leave the collar on your puppy until he gets used to it.
Now I know it’s easy to say that, but there is a good way and a bad way to introduce a collar to a puppy, so we put together a little guide to making the process as smooth as possible and to take the pain out of introducing a collar to your puppy.
Choosing the right collar
The number one secret to choosing the right collar for your puppy is to pick one that is adjustable and will grow with your pup - as they will - very quickly.
Choose one that is small, and lightweight and avoid picking one that “they will grow into” as this may prove to be a little intimidating at first.
Another thing to consider is the buckle – I would recommend looking for a collar with a side release buckle rather than a traditional belt buckle, it’s just going to make yours and your puppy’s life a lot easier whilst your introducing him to the collar for the first time.
Our Back to Basics XS Collar is a perfect start for a puppy and comes in 7 amazing colours to choose from. It has a lightweight clear plastic side release buckle, is fully adjustable and will grow with your puppy perfectly.
Introducing the puppy to the collar
When you first put the collar onto your pup, the biggest tip is to immediately give them a treat so that they associate the collar with a reward. Make it a good thing to have the collar on.
Don’t make the mistake of putting the collar on, then treating your puppy when you take it off as that just rewards them for having the collar taken off, which isn’t what we want.
Make sure you’re calm and quiet when their collar goes on and have those treats ready – as soon as the buckle clips, reward.
It’s now time to wait and let your puppy get used to his collar. It may take several hours but he will eventually stop fighting it trying to get it off.
During this time, when your puppy is wearing the collar, make sure you supervise them to ensure they don’t get it caught on anything such as furniture, as this may cause injury.
TIP – Make sure you give him the “cold shoulder” when he is protesting about the collar - don’t laugh, talk to or try to comfort him when he’s crying, rolling around and trying to get the collar off, we don’t want to reward that type of behaviour.
Over time, you can build up the amount of time that your puppy keeps the collar on during the day until they are wearing it for longer and longer periods of time.
All puppies are different, and some will progress faster than others, but that’s fine. You know your puppy the best so will be able to go at their pace. Be consistent, encourage him and reward him when the collar goes on and in no time your puppy will be used to wearing his new collar.
Have fun with your collar!
Puppies are like little tiny little sponges and so if it’s your intention to have your dog wearing “embellishments” such as bow ties or bandanas, now is a great time to introduce them.
One of the main reasons I founded Penny Lou was that I wanted something to reflect my Cockapoo Penny’s mischievous and bright personality. A plain old collar just wouldn’t cut it! Why not show off your puppy’s personality and let them stand out from the crowd?
They may scratch and try to find out what this “thing” is around their neck, but continue with the reward training and build up the length of time they have the bow tie on their collar until they hardly notice it’s there.
Our bow ties are fab as they have two elastic loops so they fit super snugly onto the collar. No flapping around and annoying your pup.
If you’re not a bow tie or bandana fan, there are so many fun collar designs to choose from, there’s really no need to be boring these days. All of our designs are available without the bow tie meaning your pup doesn’t have to miss out.
Whatever collar you choose for your puppy, just remember to be patient. It’s a big scary world out there for these little ones and if you want to take them out on new adventures, they need to wear a collar with an ID tag by law*. So we have to get this bit right.
The next step is attaching the lead…which is a whole other story!
Do you have any tips for puppy’s who hate their collars?
Tell us about your experiences with puppy collars.
*Please remember that it is a legal requirement under The Control of Dogs Order 1992 for a dog to wear a collar and tag in a public place.
For your pet's safety, examine the collar regularly for wear and tear and replace when appropriate, remembering also that pets can chew items unexpectedly, and if any material is ingested to seek immediate veterinary advice.