How to Get Your Pet Comfortable With the “Cone of Shame”

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The Elizabethan collar might be a necessity if your dog has just had a surgery or is experiencing any skin issues. It will keep him from licking and biting the wound. Nevertheless, even simple things like drinking water or eating food can become very complicated for him with that “Cone of Shame” around his neck. Not only does it make it very difficult for him to move, it will also change the way he sees and hears things.

While some get easily used to wearing the e-collar, there are dogs that will never get comfortable with it. If your dog is one of those, click here to find alternatives to the cone of shame. If not, here are a few steps you can follow, to make sure your dog gets comfortable with his head in the cone.

Helping him get rid of his fear or stress

  • Place the cone on the ground in front of you while holding it steadily. Don’t try to put it on your dog.
  • Every time your dog comes up to sniff the cone or even look at it, make sure you treat him with praise or a treat.
  • Keep the sessions brief and repeat them until your dog gets used to the presence of the cone

Getting your pet to place his head in the wide opening of the cone

  • Hold the cone a little higher and make sure the wide opening of the cone is facing your dog.
  • Reward your dog with praise or a treat every time he makes any kind of head movement into the cone area.
  • You can lure your dog by reaching out through the neck opening of the cone and placing a treat in your hand.
  • Repeat this session until your dog gets comfortable with placing his head into the wide opening of the cone.

Putting on the cone

  • Present the cone to your dog with the small opening facing him
  • Praise him or give him a treat every time he makes any move to put his nose through the opening.
  • In case he doesn’t do that, place a treat in your hand and reach out through the small opening of the cone. Have him follow your hand while you pull it back towards you.
  • Repeat until he gets comfortable placing his head through the small opening of the cone.

Adding duration

  • Play the game a little longer to make sure your dog keeps his head in the cone for a longer duration
  • Clip the collar, give him a treat, and then unclip the collar immediately
  • Try rotating the cone while he is wearing it and reward him heavily
  • Tap on the cone from outside as well as inside to make sure your dog gets used to hearing different kinds of sounds while wearing the cone
  • Take a walk around the house with your dog beside you, while he is wearing the cone. This will help him familiarize with the environment and learn to maneuver with the cone on. Make sure he keeps his head up while walking.
  • Repeat this exercise until he can move around freely around the corners and through doorways.

You need a lot of patience to make these tricks work. But once they do you can rest assured that your dog will be safe and comfortable while wearing the cone.

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