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Thread: fearful/avoiding collars/harnesses

  1. #1
    Pooper scooper
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    Default fearful/avoiding collars/harnesses

    Hi, everyone-
    I'm wondering if anyone has any tips for me to use with Cricket. She's recently become more skittish about having a collar, harness, or anything (this includes clothes) put on her. She's never liked clothes- she just becomes dead weight when I put things on her, and then rolls around for a while, trying to get them off. She started doing the same thing with harnesses not long ago. She was never fond of collars being put on. This morning when I went to get her leash and collar for her morning walk, she went and hid under a table. She wouldn't even take a treat until we'd gotten outside and reached the end of the driveway. She was fine for the rest of the walk.. it's the initial putting-the-collar on part that she doesn't like.

    It seems her dislike for collars/harnesses/clothes has escalated and she seems to be fearful of them, even though she's never been hit or anything with these things. The only thing I can think of is, she's very sensitive to sharp noises- the snapping of a plastic bag as you shake it out, and sudden noises like that. Could the sound of the collar/leash be triggering this? I don't know..

    I've had her for 10 months. I rescued her from the pound at 4 months, so I don't think she has any memory of anything before then.. or does she??

    How can I help her understand that collars aren't going to hurt her, and she needn't hide? (her nervousness is worse with a harness, so I really would rather wait on a harness until I can get her to be more comfortable with a collar).

  2. #2
    Pet Sitter Miss Lola's Avatar
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    Default Re: fearful/avoiding collars/harnesses

    One of my pups as soon as he sees the harness he instantly flops down and flips over into a submissive position. We have no idea why he does this. As soon as we put it on him he runs straight into his crate and lays down.He is almost 6 months old and we have had him since he was 7 weeks old. Nothing traumatizing has ever happened so we are clueless. My only guess is he doesn't want to go for a walk or he doesn't like car rides, the only two things that happen when the harness comes out.

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    brutus77's Avatar
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    Default Re: fearful/avoiding collars/harnesses

    If I am going to do something that I think the boys are going to object to, I always have a treat in hand. If I am putting a collar or harness on I make them sit, give a treat, show them the collar, give treat, and put the collar on, give treat. It only takes a few times for the boys to know to sit because they are going to be rewarded for good behavior. Bribery really works wonders, oh wait, I mean training
    My smooshy face boy!

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    The Ultimate Sourmug nycbullymama's Avatar
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    Default Re: fearful/avoiding collars/harnesses

    Blue is now two years old and has always hated his collar and harness. No amount of treats, toys, kind words, playing, taking our time, or doing it fast works. We've tried various types of harnesses too but always get the same reaction.
    He's scared to death of it and runs when when he sees us reaching for it. He also goes lethargic when it's on.

    If you can figure out a way to get her to tolerate it, please send me a pm or do a thread about it here. It's priceless info. to me.


  5. #5
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    xxaprilrose's Avatar
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    Default Re: fearful/avoiding collars/harnesses

    I have noticed that bulldogs are scared of the weirdest, craziest things. Actually, when Jovi was about 5 months old we had bought her a new harness and I went to go put it on her and she kept backing up and went into "attack defense" mode. And would growl and bark like we were going to hit her. It was weird. I then texted the breeder and told him and he said that was weird because when she was a puppy she had a harness on... So I have no idea. She since has been used to it. We just knew she wouldn't actually bite us and put it on her and once we associated it with walking she knew it was a good thing. I say always reward with a treat when you put anything on so they can know it's good, and normal and they get something out of it. Jovi is afraid of a LOT of stuff, and has a HUGE OCD problem to where if anything is out of place in my house she actually freaks out. So I know how you feel, just put the harness or collar on frequently.


  6. #6
    I'm not OCD....now who moved my bulldog? I am an EBN Reporter
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    2BullyMama's Avatar
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    Default Re: fearful/avoiding collars/harnesses

    Quote Originally Posted by brutus77 View Post
    If I am going to do something that I think the boys are going to object to, I always have a treat in hand. If I am putting a collar or harness on I make them sit, give a treat, show them the collar, give treat, and put the collar on, give treat. It only takes a few times for the boys to know to sit because they are going to be rewarded for good behavior. Bribery really works wonders, oh wait, I mean training

    this was going to be my suggestion too.....
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
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    Thank you for all the love, fun and teachings




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    Dog Groomer Become a 4 Paw Member
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    Default Re: fearful/avoiding collars/harnesses

    Emmitt gets so excited when the harness comes out. He cannot put it on fast enough. Rogan tries to hide under the couch. He can't even get his paw under the couch. He hates it. But I start talking to him and I believe he would rather wear the harness than hear me talk. I learned early on from my buddy Lynn Manydogs everything is repetitive. They have to get use to them. She leaves her pups harnessed most of the time. The pup might not be happy but like everything the more you put them on the easier it becomes. Ralphie

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