My Dog Hates Collars

Not every dog is happy wearing a collar. They feel restricted when wearing collars and some dogs find them uncomfortable and irritating. Frustrated pet owners wonder how they’ll ever keep the collar on their dog.

He’s constantly chewing or pawing at the collar, hopeful he’ll somehow get it off of his neck. No matter how badly the dog wants the collar off of his neck, he needs it at all times.

A dog collar helps keep your pet safe, providing a place for an ID tag and a leash. Most dog owners feel more comfortable when their pet wears a leash.

So what can you do when wearing a collar isn’t exactly your dog’s ‘cup of tea’? Try out some of the ideas below for a dog who hates wearing his collar. One or more techniques listed here may lessen the burden for frustrated dog owners everywhere.

Choose the right collar

Perhaps your dog’s collar frustration exists because the collar is cheaply made or does not appropriately fit him. When a collar is made from cheap materials, it can certainly irritate a dog’s sensitive skin.

A collar that’s too small or too large can hurt the dog or otherwise annoy him as he runs, plays, eats, etc.

Choose a quality collar to reduce this risk. A good collar won’t cost a ton of money, but it will reduce your dog’s attempts to remove the collar.

Is the collar on correctly?

Putting a collar on a dog is not difficult, but there are a right way and a wrong way to do it. Put the collar on the dog incorrectly and he’s bound to complain.

Dogs will usually wear their collars without trouble when it is correctly placed around their neck.

Don’t force it

So many pet owners force their dog to wear a collar. Rather than transition him into the new addition, they chase the dog around and force it around his neck.

This is the worst possible way to convince a dog to wear his collar. In fact, it may do more damage than good as your pet will now correlate a collar with displeasure.

Remove all combat from the process of putting on a dog collar so it’s a less excruciating experience.


Dogs can sense when their owners are angry, frustrated, sad, or otherwise emotional. Relax, stay calm, and be causal when placing the collar on your dog.

Otherwise, the dog will sense the anxiety and worry and will accordingly respond.

Prepare the dog

Dog training is vital for pet owners who want a well-behaved animal. A part of dog training involves easing them into new things.

Wearing a collar is a new experience for your dog. It takes time and adjustments for him to be okay with the collar. Do not rush him into wearing the collar. He’ll do much better when he is prepared!

Positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is an excellent way to help your dog learn how to wear a collar. Simply buy a box of treats and reward your dog when he wears the collar.

It is a great incentive for a dog and certainly speeds up the time that it takes to transition him. To use this type of training, sit on the floor with the collar beside you. Reward your dog with one of the treats when he touches the collar. After several times, loop the collar over the dog’s head.

Do not put the collar on all the way over the dog’s head. Once he leaves the collar in place, reward him yet again with another treat.

The right size

When choosing a dog collar, it is important that you choose the right size collar. We’ve mentioned already how important the right collar is. The importance of the right collar can make or break the entire experience.

Take the time to learn more about dog collars, the best types, the best brands, etc. And, of course, be sure to take time to learn more about the collar size best suited for your dog. They come in assorted sizes, styles, lengths, and designs. Finding a collar that works wonders for your pet should be fairly simple.


The material the collar is made of can help your dog feel more comfortable so choose carefully. Some dog collars are made of strong nylon. Others are made of leather or plastic. Some have buckles and other accessories.

Keep in mind these items may hit the dog which causes him pain. They can also add discomfort to the collar. You may want to avoid choosing such a collar until your dog is comfortable wearing it.

This is yet another reason why choosing a quality collar for your dog is so important. The collar is less likely to be uncomfortable with your dog so he’ll wear it much easier.

Trial and error

Sometimes it takes a pet owner several tries to find a good collar. Be prepared for this to happen to your family as well. If the dog does not like the first collar, just try again.

You can always give the collars that your dog will not use to another pet owner or to a local charity that cares for dogs. Persistence pays off when you are dealing with an animal, even when it’s simple as wearing a collar.

Don’t give up

Dogs may not like wearing collars but they keep them safe and that is what is important. It can be frustrating when your pet will not wear his collar. He doesn’t realize just how important the collar is. To your dog, a collar is merely a nuisance.

It is worth the time, patience, and persistence, however, since you’ll sleep better at night knowing that your pet has this added protection that he needs. Keep on, keeping on with the full assurance that your dog will finally enjoy wearing his collar, one day.

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