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I've had Wiz for two weeks now, he is eight weeks old, and have tried putting the harness on him daily, I've used two different types of harnesses and always make sure they fit properly but he HATES them. He scratches at them as if he has fleas and has even weaseled his way out when they weren't tight enough. He also cries and whimpers whenever one of my family members come in while he has it on, making me look like an abusive person. I genuienly feel bad for him and I know he has to wear one, according to local ordinances he has to be on a leash when outside and it's for his own safety as well.

So with all that said, has anyone had a similar problem? How harmful are regular collars? Do you think he will object to that also? Any help is greatly appreciated!
 

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You're in good shape at 8 weeks....mine is 6 months and still won't wear his!! He whines, scratches and bites it like crazy, no matter how many times I put it on. I think I'm destined to carry him everywhere I go :shock: Most people will tell you to hang in there and they'll get used to it. Make it fun and distract him when he has it on. I doubt a collar is quite as annoying to them, but because of the predisposition to a collapsing trachea it's best to use a harness when you're walking them. I'm sure Wiz will eventually get used to it, just be patient...unlike me! :lol:
 

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My personal preference is a collar for my dog. I put it on him from day one and he has never fought it. Other than it being less "intrusive", I find harnesses to be less attractive on dogs (sorry everyone!) and there isn't anywhere to put their tags if the city requires them to wear tags. Collars are also easier to use when leash training (if you are serious about how your dog walks on a leash) because you control their head ... with the harness, you cannot.

The downside to collars is that because chihuahua and small breeds have such small and sensitive necks, they can cause damage if, for instance, you take a pup on a walk and he pulls on the leash, causing the collar to pull as well. There are also the dangers of the dog getting their collar caught and subsquently hanging themselves. I have read a lot of chi sites and books that say to ONLY use a harness, but that's B.S. in my opinion. Perhaps with the smaller, more delicate chis, it's a better alternative but those dogs aren't on the ground much anyway and, most times, they're not expected to walk at a perfect heel when they are.

Cooper uses a regular break-away collar in the house but when we go out, I use a no-slip collar that gives the same control as a regular collar, is similar to a choke chain (without the "abusive" qualities) in function and will not choke the dog if it pulls on the leash. It's what works best for me and Cooper and they're what most obedience schools recommend for training. If you haven't seen one, you can get them at Petco and they're in the training leads section.

All that being said, your pup will probably fight anything you put on him. You may want to try a collar just for inside the house and see if he gets used to it. Ferret collars make great collars for tiny pups, in case you can't find a cheap one small enough, since you'll eventually have to buy a larger one.

I definitely recommend a break-away collar if you are going to try one inside the house and once you try leash training, push the collar up behind his ears like a show dog's lead to put less pressure on the neck and keeping his head up will make leash training easier and quicker on both of you.
 

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Most vets will recommend using a harness because chis are prone to tracia problems and the less stress on those little throats the better.

Of coarse you are welcome to use whatever works best for you.

Try putting the collar or harness on your pup and immediatly try getting it interested in something else or play with it to take it's mind off the collar/harness.

My 2 don't wear either in the house, I just put them on when we go outside. They are so busy sniffing every blade of grass, stick ect. they never noticed the harnesses were on.
 

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collar vs harness

Yoshi fought with a harness as well until about 12 wks and after putting it on him for several wks without the leash and then giving him a treat to distract him, next I tried the leash with the harness once he got used to the harness. I havent had any trouble training him to walk beside or behind me I have established alpha with him and he knows his place and never pulls, so you can properly train a chi on a harness just make sure you are consistent and he knows who is boss.

I also prefer a harness when we are in the car because when I have had the windows down before my Yorkie leaped out the window when he was young and thank goodness he was on a harness and I just grabbed him and pulled him back in. The window was not rolled all the way down it was half and half so he could enjoy the wind and smells and he liked to sit on my shoulder and the next thing I knew he was out the window.

oops I forgot to ad that I still put the rabies tag and identity tag on the loop where you hook the leash. It sags a bit to one side but it works.

It is your preference but if you do decide on the collar please get him the proper training so he does not pull, the dogs in the pet stores sound like they are going to choke themselves to death pulling their owners around
 

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as silly as this sounds my dogs have both... the collar that stays on 24/7 for their tags, and harnesses that i only put on if i am taking them outside. they both hate the collars and harness, but they have less problems keeping the collar on full time. they both are ones to pull on a leash, so i'm afraid to attach it to their collars. harnesses make them itchy tho if you leave it on all the time, and my boy has a tendancy to get stuck up in it while trying to wiggle out. i would suggest not forcing the dog to wear the harness all the time if possible, and rewarding with treats and imediately taking them out when they let you put it on, so that they understand that this has to happen if they want to go out. it took both of mine a long time to decide that this was ok, but sometimes when it comes to their safety, you just have to put your foot down. now if wiz is good and doesn't pull on the leash, you might just scrap the harness idea all together, and just use a collar.
 

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Angel has both. Her collar is for nothing more than displaying her tags. For walks, we use her harness. She is pretty good about wearing it. Sometimes I have to chase her down to get it on her but she doesn't mind it once it's on.
 

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Corky hated his harness. We finally got him one that is like a jacket with the harness clip on the back. It velcros under hist tummy and across his chest under his neck It is more comfortable for him and he stays warm! It is black with flames so he feels pretty cool, LOL!
 

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Thanks!

I went to Petsmart and bought him a collar a Lil' Paws brand collar similar to this:

http://tinyurl.com/8jeyw

and I am absolutely ashamed to say that when the trainer, who had done Wiz's potty training session with me, tried to put his collar on him he tried to bite her :oops: She said, "Wiz...I'm shocked!" as I sighed in exasperation fully expecting the Animal Control van to be outside waiting near my car :roll: .

He's been scratching at it, but not with the same vigor as he did his harness so hopefully this will work. I will definetly look into investing in one of the collar's Cooper posted if this goes well.
 

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I use a harness on both of my dogs just because I think it is safer. But trust me Ella HATED it when I first started putting it on her. She would growl and even try to bite, but now she has figured out putting on her harness means she is going bye bye so she has been ok. I think it just takes awhile for them to get used to. And seeing your chi is only 8 weeks I really wouldn't worry.
 

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i use a collar 24/7 for vixie with her tag and a bell on it.
she wears a harness when we got out. a harness is safer for clipping into the car, and MUCH safer on their throats, chihuahuas have extreemly sensetive trecheas and even a well leashtraind chi can danage its throat with one good tug.
vixie was a nut when i tried to harness her the fist time, heres what i did.
vixie LOVES being outside. the harness is for trips, so i would put the harness on her by the front door and imediatly take her outside...she was so busy sniffing the grass and chasing bugs she didnt notice the harness till we got back inside when i imediatly took it off...
she soon learnt that harness means going outside and will now actually bring me her harness when she wants go go out to play/visit people ect.
she now understnads that she only needs her harness if were going beyond the garden gate, and doesnt need it to play in our fenced garden, but shell still fetch me her harness when shes in the mood to go to the park ofr to petco...
by associating the harness with somehting they enjoy doing the harness then becomes the key to reward and reward is the key to a happy chi.

hope this helps

the collar was a matter of put it on leave it on and lots of distraction/rewards. every so often she still scratches it and she destroyed alot of nylon collars...however i spent some extra ash and got her a leather puppy collar...lots of wiggling and leather oil later it was nice and soft...this seems to cause less itching and fits her better than any of the nylon collars...and leather lasts forever and just gets softer with age so...it might be something to keep in mind.
 
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