My Puppy Hates His Collar!? What Do I Do?

Does your puppy hate collars? If you just brought your puppy home or only had him for a few days I’m guessing your answer is a resounding YES!!! In fact, people tell me all the time in a frantic mood…”My puppy hates his collar!? What do I do?” The answer is not that difficult: “just leave the collar on your puppy until he gets used to it.”

But he’s scratching at it, trying to bite it, chew it…he hates his collar! In a calm voice…”leave the collar on your puppy until he gets used to it.” Of course make sure you have it sized properly, but besides that you need to just sit back and let your puppy get used to his new collar.

It’s that easy, but you didn’t think that’s all I had to say about this matter did you…you’re correct!

My Puppy Hates His Collar!

Puppy Collars
Dublin doesn't hate his puppy collar when he's sleeping :)

I’ve been raising puppies for over 7 years now and every puppy I’ve ever brought home absolutely hated his collar and none more than my second guide dog puppy in training, Derby. He didn’t just hate his collar, but he had a vengeance against his pet tags. Here are a few things I learned about puppy collars and pet tags after raising Derby.

Puppy Collars

  • I actually learned this one before Derby. Just leave the collar on your puppy and he’ll get used to it within a few days/weeks.
  • Get a puppy collar with a buckle system. The buckle makes it easy to remove the collar when needed.
  • Make sure the collar fits properly. I usually make sure I can fit a couple fingers under the collar while it’s on my pups neck. You want it tight enough so it does not slip over your pups head, but as mentioned you want it loose enough to fit a couple fingers underneath while it’s on your pups neck.
  • Certain materials may stretch or loosen while your puppy is wearing the collar (plus your puppy will grow) so make sure you check to make sure the collar has not become to loose or tight over time.
  • Have fun with your collars! We have some seasonal collars, different designs, and materials. Have fun! Just make sure whatever you get is safe for you puppy.

Pet Tags

  • Guide Dogs of America issues us school tags, but I also recommend getting a personal tag so if your puppy gets lost people can contact you. Make sure you register your puppy. You’ll receive another tag for registration.
  • Are you tired of the jingling of your puppies tag? Try the Pet Tag Silencer. I got a couple from our guide dog group and love them.
  • Is your puppy chewing on his tags? Derby taught me this one. While the pet tag silencer did stop the jingling of pet tags I did not deter Derby from chewing on his tags. What did I do? Simple really, I taped his pet tags to his collar with a little bit of cloth tape. No more jingling and no more chewed up tags. A very inexpensive solution to what was at the time a big problem.
  • Have fun with your pet tags! There are different designs and materials. I also like to get tags for certain accomplishments. For instance, I bought the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) pet tag for Stetson when he past his CGC test.

In no time your puppy will be used to wearing his brand new puppy collar and his shiny new pet tags just leave them on and they’ll get used to it.

By the way, this probably doesn’t apply to most people, but most of my puppies hate wearing their “Puppy In Training” bib/jacket a couple of my pups even chewed up the sides of the material. I try to get my pups used to the GDA bib by making them wear it quite often at home even before going out in public and nowadays I keep a close eye on my pup to make sure he doesn’t chew on the material when wearing his bib.

Do you have any hints for puppy’s who hate their collars and pet tags? Tell us about your experiences with puppy collars and pet tags.


  1. says

    Hello, I loved your article and your methods have worked for me with all of my dogs. EXCEPT for Ozzy. Ozzy is a border terrier mix. He is 7 years old and we have not found a collar that he “likes”. The minute we put it on Ozzy drops his head, cowers and begins whinning. He becomes inactive immediately. He lays down and wont move. When its meal time he starts whinning and we have to coax him to get up. When he does he runs as fast as he can with his head down to the food bowl. The only time he doesn’t whine is while he is laying down staying still. We can get him to go for walks on a leash and play outside as long as we stay engaged with him. Otherwise, if he has a collar on he will not move! We have tried every collar known to man! We have taken the tags off, taped the tags, lamenated the tags, etc. We have left collars on for up to two weeks. He does not like them!! We live in the country and his yard is completely fenced and secure so we resorted to no collar. We only use one for walks, vet appointments or when we take him camping. He has escaped from our yard a few times and we have always found him but we worry so much that one time we may not. Can you help us?

    • says

      If you haven’t already you might want to microchip Ozzy just in case he gets loose without his collar. We’ve actually had a similar experience with one of our other service dogs puppies not wanting to wear her jacket. We’ve been working with treats and trying to associate as many positive things as possible with the jacket you might try doing the same with the collar. However, it sounds like you’ve put a lot of time and effort into trying to get the collar work with Ozzy and it might be time to consult with a professional trainer.

      One other alternative you might try is getting your dog a jacket or harness with ID tags. There’s always the possibility that he’ll be happier wearing something like that vs his collar. Good luck with Ozzy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *