Puppy’s first collar
Your puppy’s first collar should be a type that is fastened with a buckle or clip and long enough to allow for adjustments to give your puppy’s neck room to grow. Designer breeds are dogs bred to be easy going companions and as such will not require strict or harsh correction while on the leash so avoid using correction or “choke” collars, especially on young puppies.
When to put a collar on a puppy
You can place a collar on your puppy within the first week of being home and doing so when it is a good time of the day for your puppy such as during a play session or meal time will help your puppy associate their collar with positive experiences.
Adjusting your puppy to wearing their new collar
Depending on the breed and temperament of your puppy, they may put up quite a fuss when the collar is first put on. Generally breeds such as Groodles, Labradoodles and Cavoodles tend to take better to having a collar on for the first time better than most breeds but that is probably due to their very easy going and trusting nature. Pups cannot express their displeasure with having a collar on for the first time by telling you and since they do not have hands to remove it themselves, many puppies will scratch at it in an attempt to remove it. This is why it is important to make sure that it is on tight enough to stop them from getting one of their feet inside it or even being able to slip it over their heads but also you need to ensure that the collar is not on too tight to cause it to strangle your puppy. The best way to get the right level of tightness is to put the collar on so that you can just get two fingers in between the collar and your puppy’s neck.
Often it is easy for a new owner to think that since their puppy is scratching their collar or neck then they must be itchy but usually it’s just a sign that the puppy feels the collar is strange and a little uncomfortable. When your puppy has grown into an adult and is comfortable wearing a collar then you can make it just loose enough to pull over their head with a little difficulty while still being able to easily stick two fingers underneath the collar. Make sure you check your puppy’s collar weekly and increase the diameter of the collar as your puppy grows.
When not to put a collar on a puppy
If you are crate training your puppy in a wire or metal crate, it is important to remove the collar from your puppy while they are in the crate to prevent them from getting the collar caught on the wire of the crate and strangling themselves. If you are planning to use a harness when walking your puppy it is still important to get your puppy used to wearing a collar as most places require dogs to have an identification tag on a dogs collar at all times even if the dog is microchipped.