My dog hates being grabbed by the collar. What can I do?
It’s important to treat the problem. Twenty percent of dog bites occur when a family member grabs the dog by the scruff or collar. The dog’s learned that when he’s grabbed by the collar, bad things happen, and he reacts defensively.
The last thing you want to do is reach straight for his collar to try to get him used to it. Instead, practice reaching for and handling areas he doesn’t mind–or even enjoys–having touched, then gradually work toward the collar.
Start by offering a piece of kibble to let him know the game’s afoot. “Not a bad start,” thinks the dog. Then touch the tip of his tail and immediately offer another piece of kibble. Then touch just one inch down from the tip of the tail. Give the dog another piece of kibble and touch two inches down, then three inches down, and so on.
With each repetition, get a little closer to his collar. The first few times you touch his collar, offer an extra-special treat (I recommend freeze-dried liver). You’ll soon be handling your dog’s collar without upsetting him.
The key is to go slowly. If you even suspect your dog’s uneasy, go back to square one–the tip of the tail–and start the game again, progressing more slowly this time.