If getting your dog dressed is a combination of professional wrestling and calf-roping, this skill is for you.
COLLAR UP can be used to have your dog put their head through their collar, clothes, the cone of shame, life jackets, and more. What’s even better, they will be happy about it (okay, maybe not with the cone of shame, but at least they’ll cooperate.)
Ready? Here we go:
- Grab some treats and the collar. Call Rover to you.
- Hold the collar at the level of Rover’s nose. Hold the treat inside the circle of the collar.
- If Rover is hesitant, put your wrist through the collar so that Rover doesn’t have to come all the way to the collar to get the treat.
- When Rover takes the treat, say YES.
- Repeat until Rover overcomes their suspicion, and they are happy to take the treat.
- Move the treat closer and closer to you, until Rover has to put their nose through the collar to take the treat. Any time Rover becomes suspicious, slow down and repeat steps 4 and 5.
- When Rover is eager to take the treat and will tolerate their eyebrows against the collar, you’re ready for the last move!
- The next time Rover comes in for the treat, hang on to the treat for just an extra second. That gives you enough time to slip the collar over Rover’s head with one hand, while the other hand dispenses the treat.
- Praise and repeat!
Most dogs can pick this up in 5-10 minutes. Dogs who have significant trust issues around collars or who are head shy may need more time or professional help.
Thanks for checking in, and hope you found that helpful! Please let me know if there is a micro-skill you’d like to see addressed in a challenge.
Snuggles and teeth,
Mokey, Rayvin, and Bree