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Do Dogs Like Collars? What Do They Prefer?

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

brown dog wearing a collar

Do Dogs Like Collars? What Do They Prefer?


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Dogs and collars go hand in hand, but it’s not as clear to know if dogs enjoy wearing their collars. Most dogs don’t seem to mind having their collar on at all times, but others may prefer only to wear them when necessary.

A dog’s affinity and acceptance of a collar will depend on the dog’s personal preferences and any past experiences with collars. Continue reading to learn more.

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Reasons Why Dogs Might Like Collars

While most dogs won’t mind wearing a collar, some dogs may actually enjoy wearing one. Here are some possible reasons why dogs may like their collar.

brown dog wearing collar
Image Credit: Blue Bird, Pexels

Dogs Like Having Established Routines

While dogs can be quite curious creatures, many thrive on having structure and repetition in their lives. Routines can help reduce anxiety because they enable dogs to anticipate upcoming events.

If your dog is used to wearing a collar, it may have developed an attachment to the collar. So, suddenly removing it may cause unease because it removes a constant factor from the dog’s life.

Dogs Develop Positive Associations With Their Collar

Dogs may have a positive connection with their collar, especially if they’ve been properly trained to wear one. Positive reinforcement and rewards can make dogs fond of their collar, while any previous negative experiences can increase their aversion to a collar. Fortunately, consistent positive reinforcement can help dogs learn to wear a collar safely.

Dogs can also connect wearing a collar to activities that they enjoy. For example, they can see wearing a collar as an action that enables them to go on walks or get driven to the dog park.

brindle and white Pit Bull Terrier mixed breed dog wearing a red collar and looking up at the camera
Image Credit: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

Dogs Feel a Sense of Ownership Over Their Collar

If a dog wears a collar for a long time, it will eventually carry its scent. Dogs like to rub their scent on things they feel belong to them, which is one of the reasons why you can find some of them rolling around your carpet at home.

So, a collar is naturally an item that a dog believes is its possession, and taking it away could feel like having its favorite toy taken away.

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Do Dogs Need To Wear Collars All the Time?

While there are significant benefits to dogs wearing collars at all times, it’s not necessary, especially if you have a dog that’s pretty adamant about not wearing a collar when it’s at home.

In fact, some collars can be a safety risk for dogs. Their paws can get caught, or the collar can get stuck in an uncomfortable position around their neck or mouth if they try to take it off.

So, it’s important to train your dog to wear a collar or harness so that it can safely go outside the house. However, it’s best not to let your dog wear a collar for extended periods until after it develops a positive association with it.

border collie dog with toy ball on the couch
Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Dogs can like wearing their collars for several reasons, and they can eventually develop a positive attachment to them. However, if you have a dog that simply doesn’t enjoy always wearing its collar, you don’t have to stress.

While it’s ideal to have a collar on your dog at all times, it’s not completely necessary. As long as it can safely wear a collar when it’s outside, there’s no significant issue with keeping your dog collar-free while it’s at home.

Featured Image Credit: Michael Morse, Pexels

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