How can I retrain my little Pomeranian to accept his collar and leash?

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  1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
    Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years ago
    I take good care of my little Pom, Marvin. However, I had kept his collar on him at all times. He was homeless for several weeks. When SPCA rescued him from the pound he was very sick and timid. The vet had to shave him because his hair was so matted.  I adopted Marvin and we bonded quickly. He is never more than a few feet from me.  Because he was lost before, I wanted to make sure he would not get lost again and if he did I wanted his tags on him so he could be returned to me. The problem is, the collar severely matted the fur around his neck. His fur had grown out beautifully and I took him in for his  first professional groom was last week. His skin was sore and tender around his neck for a few days. Now I cannot get him to accept his leash. He runs when he sees the collar. Any suggestions would be very helpful and much appreciated.

    1. The Examiner-1 profile image59
      The Examiner-1posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You mentioned that he is always a few feet from because both of you have bonded. You could try placing him in a stroller when you take him for a walk. Before him, place his collar in the stroller. After he starts playing with it then try putting it on. Leave it on unless he starts clawing it. If you do not own, or want to buy, a stroller, use this same method leaving the collar around his food dish, bed or such.
      Try attaching the leash. If he makes a fuss over that, try the same method with the leash and attach it to the collar. I believe that it is the collar which hurts so the leash should not take as long.

      1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
        Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you so much, Kevin, for these suggestions.  I will try them.  He loves to go for rides in his "buggy", which is my cart I use to go down to the mail kiosk or the store. I also have a walker because of my lower back which needs surgery -- Marvin thinks my walker is his new buggy and loves to sit in the basket his on  blanket cushion.

    2. MelRootsNWrites profile image91
      MelRootsNWritesposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I also think a harness would be a good solution.  Maybe you can work him up to a collar when the soreness is gone.  I'm not sure how you would work out the tags.  I know they make personalized collars with the name and phone number on them so folks can see them at a glance.  If they do that for harnesses, it might be an option until you can work on the collar/tag situation.

      A looser, thinner collar might also help.  I'm not sure what type you use.  But, you might look at cat collars which are thinner.  My Jack Russell wears a cat collar.  She is only 10 lbs. and the dog collars are much too thick for her neck.

      As for the leash, I was told with puppies that the best thing to do is hook it on them and let them drag it around the house under supervision.  They will get used to it over time.

      I hope you get things worked out.  My Jack Russell went through a bad period after my Dad died and she and I moved.  It's hard when they are afraid or stressed to get them to understand that you mean them no harm.  Good luck!

      1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
        Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you so much, Mel.  I will get him a cat collar. The one I have is too wide for him now that you mention it.  The harness is also a good idea. Right now, I have the collar and leash on the floor so he can inspect it often.

    3. bac2basics profile image86
      bac2basicsposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      All the suggestions seem really good to me, but have you thought about the kind of leash Cesar Milan uses ? he simply takes an ordinary very lightweight leash and makes a noose at the end to form a collar. He always positions this way up the dogs neck, just behind the ears really, so maybe this idea wouldn´t chafe your little dog's sore neck so much . Cesar also advocates living in the moment with dogs and feeling sorry about their past will transfer as negative energy to your dog and this could make him fearful. It´s hard not to feel sorry for any animal that has been ill treated in the past, but it was exactly that, the past.  Time to look at what your dog has now and the pleasure that awaits him in the future. I hope you manage to get him used to walking on his lead again before it becomes an obsettion for you both. Good Luck Phyllis to you and your dog smile

      1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
        Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Hi bac2basics and thank you for such good advice. Cesar Milan is so good with dogs, I really admire him. My Pom is doing much better now and has his collar back on. I made it quite loose and take it off at night. Marvin has adjusted quite well to his forever home with me. He is still timid of meeting new people and stays close to me in new situations. His neck is a lot less tender now, but I do need to get him a better collar or that type of leash that Milan uses. Thanks again.

      2. WillStarr profile image82
        WillStarrposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        Couldn't agree more. Dogs love to go for a walk, so use the simple slip knot leash and take him for  a walk, Phyllis. He'll quickly learn that a leash means fun, and that you are the leader of the pack, as long as you make him walk beside you or slightly behind you.

        1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
          Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Thanks, Will. I so appreciate all the help and support I am getting here. I do believe the slip-knot leash is a very good idea.

          1. WillStarr profile image82
            WillStarrposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            I'm suggesting that until his neck is completely healed, so he only wears it for a walk.

            I'm glad to hear that he walks on the left and slightly behind. That means he has accepted you as the pack leader, which is the way it must be if dog and mom are to be happy with one another.

  2. LindaSmith1 profile image61
    LindaSmith1posted 9 years ago

    Try a dog harness that does not go near the neck.

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
      Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      My daughter also suggested a harness. If nothing else works, I will try that. Thanks, Linda.

  3. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 9 years ago

    You could try a different design of collar or a harness.  It will feel different an not activate the fear of pain.  You can get quite light but still strong collar made out of braided nylon.

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
      Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      The nylon braided color sounds like a good option. I think it would not be so irritating. Thanks for that thought.

  4. rebekahELLE profile image87
    rebekahELLEposted 9 years ago

    He is so cute!  I wonder if he now associates the collar/leash with a trip to the groomer.  The suggestions given so far sound helpful.  I thought of a hubber, alexadry, who has extensive knowledge about dogs.  She has over 1000 hubs!  Maybe one of them addresses this issue? 
    Good luck.  I'm sure with time little Marvin will be fine with wearing a light collar.

  5. LindaSmith1 profile image61
    LindaSmith1posted 9 years ago

    Leaving the collar and leash on the floor so he can smell it is a good idea.  He may learn that it is not going to hurt him.

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
      Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You are right, Linda. Every time he passed by it he stopped and sniffed it. I loosened his collar quite a bit and finally managed to get it on him without the leash.  A few minutes later I tried the leash and he patiently sat down and let me hook the leash on.  I will still get him a thinner cat collar though.

  6. Jayne Lancer profile image94
    Jayne Lancerposted 9 years ago

    Doesn't this thread belong in the pet forums? There's even one specifically for leash training.

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
      Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      OMGosh ! I did not see a pet forum.  I will remember that for next time. Thanks.

  7. WillStarr profile image82
    WillStarrposted 9 years ago

    The collar may have been used to hurt him by a former owner. Some people jerk animals around with a leash, and it's bound to hurt. He needs to learn that you mean him no harm and that he can trust you.

    BTW, have a chip installed, because all pounds and rescue places now check for a chip, and unlike a collar, it can't be lost or removed.

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
      Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Will. Marvin did have a chip placed in him when SPCA rescued him, so the tags do not need to be on him at all times - thanks for that reminder.  I have often felt that he was mistreated by a former owner because he is very skittish at times and very timid with new people, especially men. When we go to bed at night, he sleeps on the floor by my bed, back in a corner where he feels safe , but in the mornings he loves to be helped up on the bed so I can pet and cuddle him for several minutes and let him know how much he is loved.  He was obviously well-trained though on a leash, for he does walk only on my left side and slightly behind me. The slip knot leash seems like a good choice. Thanks again, Will.

      1. daxamite profile image92
        daxamiteposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I was just about to suggest a microchip. Glad that the task was already on your to-do list! I know I have been delaying on that and if my pup ever was lost I would be heartbroken. Perhaps it's time to look into this. hmm

        1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
          Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Hi daxamite. The chip is a great idea. I am really glad Will reminded me about it, I tend to forget that Marvin has a chip.  Our pets are family. As you said, I would be heartbroken, too, if my little guy was lost. He had been lost in the hood for quite awhile before I adopted him.

  8. LCDWriter profile image91
    LCDWriterposted 9 years ago

    I use a harness with my dog.  It might be a good alternative.

    1. Phyllis Doyle profile image93
      Phyllis Doyleposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, LCD. I appreciate your participation and suggestion.


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