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HELP! 11 week old Jack Russell puppy hates collar

1126 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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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.
My youngest boy has a harness aversion, and I believe I waited too long for him to 'get over it' instead of going back and doing some proper desensitization work when I first saw the issue. We don't really know why - he had an incident at the breeder's that might've been traumatic (no one's fault, just one of those accidents that can happen with a curious puppy doing dumb things), and we later found he had some shoulder pain that wasn't immediately obvious, but will never be sure if those were the main causes or if it's just part of who he is. He'll wear a light harness now that we took a step back and re-introduced things slowly. Just making the sight of the harness/collar be a positive thing instead of negative is a big step forward. Good luck!
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