View Full Version : My dog has gone bezerk, your opinions appreciated
07-17-2001, 09:06 AM
I have the cutest little miniature long hair dachshund. He is 10 months old and weighs in at about 6 lbs. He runs races around the house and is a constant source of amusement here in the Lyllyan household. This past Saturday, I decided it was time to put a collar on him, past time really, but he is my baby and is spoiled rotten.
We bought 2 collars, 1 nylon and 1 leather. We tried a nylon collar about 6 months ago, but soon took it off because he would not quit scratching. Anyway, I put the collar on him on Saturday, he runs across the room and lays down, then won't move, just looks at you with his big brown eyes. This went on until last night, when I finally gave in and took the damn thing off. He wasn't eating, he would not come out of his house, he acted like he was being plauged by the devil dogs from Hell.
5 minutes after the collar came off, he was back to his normal happy self, but still a little wary of me. So, does this dog have my number? Should I try the leather collar and tell him that it's just too bad if he doesn't like it? What to do?
07-17-2001, 09:33 AM
Yes, you really do need a collar. Make sure it has some ID on it so that if your dog ever gets loose, he/she can be returned to you. Vaccination tags should also go on the collar.
One possibility for this behavior was that the collar was too tight. You should be able to slip two fingers between collar and flesh while the collar is resting on the widest point of your dog's neck. If he slips it from there, tighten it a notch.
The other possibility is the dog just doesn' like change or having something around it's neck and is being bitchy. Realize that by giving in and removing the collar you are reinforcing this behavior and actually lengthening the process of acceptance, and hence, your dog's unhappiness.
For a small dog, I think a thin leather collar is best. Make sure there is not too much excess collar length sticking through the buckle. Trim it if you have to.
Put the collar on and leave it there. Trust me. I promise. I swear to God he'll get used to it in a day or two.
If you keep taking it off and on, you create the possibility that he/she will never accept it.
07-17-2001, 09:38 AM
I don't consider myself a dog expert cause my dogs--2 Brittany Spanials-- are hopelessly spoiled but your pup has to learn to wear a collar for his own safety. He needs to wear his tags--shots, license, ID and to walk on leash. Just because he's a little guy doesn't mean he doesn't have to follow the rules. There are times when he'll need to be tied out or took to the vet, etc and he'll need to behave.
Here's what I'd do.
First make sure the collar isn't too heavy and fits properly-too snug is uncomfortable and too loose is a choking hazard. Make him sit to put it on--there's nothing worse than trying to put a leash on a dog that is struggling or trying to walk away etc. My dogs have been taught to sit to get put on their leash or they don't go out. Period.
Put the collar on while praising him and maybe giving a food reward. Make sure he associates the collar with something good. ie going out or getting praise or a treat. Repeat the process several times over the day leaving it on for longer periods. Praise him for good behavior but do not make too much a fuss over him.
Leave the collar on at all times. If he gets away from you or becomes lost it is your only way of ever hoping to get him back. FYI I write my home phone number on the collar in permant marker cause sometimes the tags may fall off. I have also used puffy fabric paint on nylon collars, writing their names in little dots of paint. This looks great and custom made.
Finally just love the little guy. He sounds adorable.
07-17-2001, 09:47 AM
Thanks for the replies. Neither collar is tight, I can easy get two fingers under it. And I also picked out the lightest weight, since he is a little guy. I'll try it again. It just concerned me because he would not eat or play. I guess I will have to sit him down for a real heart to heart talk. Maybe we should watch "Lady and the Tramp" together. :)
07-17-2001, 09:51 AM
Putting the collar on and off is most definitely a very bad idea.
The dog may learn that the collar is a negotiable item, and never accept it. Secondly most dogs clearly prefer to be uncollared but get used to a collar quickly. If you put it on and take it off that serves to reinforce the difference, and the dog's preference.
The only sensible way to do it is to put it on and leave it on.
07-17-2001, 10:33 AM
Scylla You are most definitely right on this one. I was thinking more of getting the pup used to the act of the collar being put on and associating it with something good, rather than the wearing of the collar which is not negotiable. I have seen many pups put up such a fuss just getting the damn thing on but settle down immediately once they are wearing it. Removing it is a bad idea. I reconsidered that line as soon as I saw it in print. Clearly what I should have said was
"put the collar on, praise him for sitting still but do not take it off as soon as he settles down. That would make pup think that the reward is the removal of the collar, instead of the good things that happen when he's got it on. Pup should know that he will wear the collar. Period"
Perhaps I was trying to relate the collar to my success with teaching my pup to walk on leash. At first he strongly resisted it, but I would put him on leash and go for short walks in the yard, around the house etc. several times a day. After only a few days, he didn't mind it at all and he associated the leash with good activities. In a very short time he learned the "leash" command meant to come, sit and wait for me to put it on him. No fuss, no misunderstanding about what was expected.
FTR. I put a collar on my dogs as soon as I get them and it stays on no matter what, only removed for baths and such. I am very firm on this matter.
Like I said, I'm no expert. I just love dogs.
07-17-2001, 10:47 AM
We have 2 husky mixes that we got from the pound when they were about 7 mos. We put collars on them right away and at first they didn't like it much but they got used to it pretty quickly. We recently noticed now that Valkyrie, at least, absolutely hates have her collar removed. She barks and jumps at us and tries to grab her collar back until we put it back on her. She also keeps trying to tear Diefenbaker's off so maybe she equates collars with love or rank or something. Dief is the alpha female.
Anyway, V. loves to run loose if she can and if we hadn't had her collar on, I'm sure no one would have returned her. Twice we have been called and the people who called said they were hoping we wouldn't respond so they could keep her.
She's very friendly and playful and most people seem to adore her on sight.
Get a collar on your dog and leave it on him. Like others have said, you must not let him negotiate with you on this point. There may come a time when your dog gets loose and you will be surprised how far they will roam.
07-17-2001, 10:57 AM
My brother-in-law has a dog that has worn a collar since he was very small. The only time the collar was EVER removed was to give him a medicated bath which he HATED very much. He associates the collar being off with the bath. If you even TRY to touch his collar like you are trying to remove it he growls and will start to nip at you (the only person who can actually remove the collar is my brother-in-law). My brother-in-law capitalized on this and tucked a house key inside the collar. Now, if he ever gets locked out he can get an extra house key out of the dog collar.
NP: The Gathering - Always
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