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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ozzy seems to be deathly afraid of having his collar grabbed. My guess is that somebody must have grabbed him by the collar and hit him at some point. When I grab his collar-- for instance, if it looks like he's going for another dog's food, he's making for the open front door, or he wont go in his crate-- he yelps and cries like I'm murdering him and occasionally will show his teeth. Obviously this needs to be fixed before he can go to his forever home.

I've tried reaching down and grabbing his collar at various times during the day and giving him a treat each time, but it doesn't seem to effect him at all if i grab his collar during a non-stressful situation. It's only if he thinks he might be in trouble like the situations I mentioned above.

Should I just keep grabbing the collar during non-stressful times? Should I engineer more stressful situations to try to desensitize him, or will that just stress him out more? Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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I had a foster this way, too. He wouldn't come into the house either! We had to leave the door open, toss kibble on the floor and hide to get him to come in til he trusted us, it took a couple of weeks. I think he was a chained out dog, that was dragged around when the owners ever gave him attention, it was all negative, when he finally got away he ran, picked up as a stray by AC. After he trusted me, he was a different dog, but hated my husband and son. I would have adopted him, if he was ok with them. He and I had a really strong bond, and he formed a strong bond with his first foster as well.
Maybe give Ozzie a nice massage, high value treats after you get ahold of him. Instead of grabbing him, just let him come to you first. Or keep a short unlooped leash attached to him, so you can grab that instead of the collar. A harness instead of a neck collar may help, too? And don't let him get in situations where he can grab the others food, run for the door- keep him contained more. Set him up to succeed so his corrections are minimal while you are building up his confidence.
 
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I think you have it right about why he's like that. I know a dog who bit me and my 7yo niece for grabbing him by his collar, and that would be because his owner grabs his collar before he starts hitting him for any reason. The one day the dog bit back he got a broomstick and bent it over the dog. Unfortunately with the dog's breed the moment he's rescued from this situation he'll be PTS.

So your foster was most likely treated badly... I agree with the above post, those are the only things I think you can do, and he will need a very special home, no dog likes being dragged by his collar, or held back by it, but even if he gets over it and goes to a new family, past taunts may come back and make him snap on the family child, so they will need to understand that, as I'm positive you know!

So sad how people mess these dog's up so bad, I'm so very happy he won't ever suffer from abusive hands again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey I just found a tick the size of my thumbnail under his collar. . . . that couldn't possibly have been helping lol. He needs to be bathed in the worst way but just got neutered.
 

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Ugh! No, I'm sure it wasn't.


Grace was the same way when we first got her - if you grabbed her collar she'd flinch and snap at you. I'm virtually certain someone made a habit of grabbing her collar and hitting her in the face/head. What worked for us was reconditioning her to associate grabbing her collar with us throwing a tennis ball. She likes treats but they weren't enough for her to overcome the other sensation but she's a ball fiend. That worked especially well because not only were we changing the context of grabbing the collar we were changing the context of raised arms and arm waving near her face from hitting to throwing the ball. It took a while but ultimately was very successful.

You might also try having him wear a harness or drag a short leash in the interim in case you need to drag him. He may not have the same negative associations with those items.
 

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Hannah was the same way when she came to me. She was a stray for a really long time and very nervous about being trapped and having her collar touched. Even petting her head wasn't appreciated. I clicked and treated her until I felt comfortable touching her collar. I put a very short leash on her and would grab that to bring her in and out of the house. Eventually, she was so used to it that grabbing her collar was no big deal. It took her probably a good year to get over it completely, where I couldn't sense a little bit of tension and I have stopped telling people to not grab her collar. She still wouldn't like it, but not anymore than she would like a stranger grabbing any other part of her!!! But it only took about two months until I was pretty comfortable grabbing her collar in everyday situations.
 

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I thinks it’s a German Shepherd thing. I have had mine since he was 8 weeks old and he has always yelped when someone grabs his collar, or tugs on a leash. My neighbor also has a German Shepherd that does the same. They are very yelpy whiny dogs. Never knew till I got one lol.
 

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