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HELP! 11 week old Jack Russell puppy hates collar

1128 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DaySleepers
Please help if you have any advice. We adopted our Jack Russell at 8 weeks, she is now 11 weeks. She has been a happy bouncy pup until 3 days ago when we put the collar on her. Since then she wont play and she spends the whole day sleeping or scratching at the collar and will only go outside to toilet if we take her out and then runs straight back inside and into her crate with her head down. We are trying to be strong and not take the collar off because she needs to wear one for her safety and puppy class but it is hard when it makes her this unhappy. What should we do? Has anyone been through this before? The collar isn't too tight and is nice and soft so I don't think that would be the problem. I don't know what to do because I feel like it could be creating an issue with her development and her bond with us, but she needs to wear a collar!

Thanks in advance
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What size is your dogs collar? You might want to try a cat collar (not the kind with the release buckle , like this : https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07875571...&pd_rd_r=5ff41d2a-4d27-4649-b8e2-8f9ce23060de


if your collar is already a cat sized collar, try a ribbon or a whelping collar (you can hot glue/tape two together to make one sizeable for your dog) and work up heavier and heavier ribbons and felt until you get to the size and weight of the collar you want to use
I did look at the cat collars in the store today and her one is the same size but for dogs with the snap buckle, so I don't think the size is the issue. I also made sure there were no scratchy bits that might be irritating her. Thanks for the suggestion, once she seems back to her normal self I will switch to something even more subtle like a ribbon that maybe she wont notice as readily. It's hard because she has to wear a collar to attend her puppy playschool but I think we might need to just skip it for a week or two because I don't want force it on her? When she was there last week she spent the whole time focussing on trying to get the collar off anyway and not really interacting with the other dogs.
This is about introducing a dog to a harness, but you can absolutely use the same steps with a collar. Keeping things very slow and positive is key - try not to push your puppy past a step until she's ready and super confident and relaxed.

I'd definitely take a break with puppy playdates until you work this out. If she's spending the whole time stressed about wearing a collar, she's not learning anything good about being around other dogs and puppies. At best, she might just not be paying enough attention to really get much out of it. At worse, she could be learning that she has to wear uncomfortable things around other dogs, and so other dogs mean uncomfortable things happen to her. That's not the greatest lesson for her, as you might imagine.
Thanks so much for this reply it’s really helpful and good advice. There are a lot of forums out there that say to be persistent leaving the collar on and the puppy will get over it but instinct tells me thats not the case and we weren’t doing her any good by forcing it, just as you have said. She is back to being the happy pup she was today without the collar and I’ll give her a break before trying to reintroduce anything and may switch to a harness anyway as I’m worried she’s now quite scared of the collar. I’m not sure if there’s a deeper issue as even treats like chicken aren’t enough to tempt her if she knows the collar is around but we will keep trying to gently develop the positive associations.
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