Ask A Trainer: Collar Chewing

Ranger looks so cosy in his crate, it almost makes me want one!

Ranger looks so cosy in his crate, it almost makes me want one!

Did you know that January is national Train Your Dog month?!  In honor of the occasion, I'll be answering questions submitted from Austin's dog families each Sunday this month.

"I have a 1.5+/- year old bull dog mix, and a 3+/- year old chi-weenie mix. Both males. Both shelter dogs/rescues. We have had the bully mix for a year and the chi-weenie mix for about 2 months. We are crate training them both (bully mix loves his crate and has been using it since we got him. Same with chi-weenie mix except he doesn't love it). We co-crate them in a large crate. They are best buds, and get a long great. BUT... the bully chews on the chi-weenies collar and we can not keep a collar on him. Is the only solution to separate them at bed time? Thanks!"  
--Jess K. 

What an unique challenge!  I'd recommend a couple of things from a safety point of view that would also fix the problem!

  1. Kennel the dogs "naked".  Collars can easily get caught on crate's interior, and it doesn't take much panicking from the dog before he's being strangled by his own collar.
  2. Kennel the dogs separately.  Even if the pups are great friends, they are still animals and anything can happen. If they do get a little irritated with each other (like we all do from time to time), there's nowhere to go to diffuse the tension.  Additionally, because dogs use body language to communicate, it's important for dogs to be able to move freely so they can communicate.  Kennels really inhibit this ability.
    It'd kind of be like putting you in bed with a sibling and then duct taping your mouth shut.  You might dearly love them, but after a long night on a shared bed with no verbal means to communicate, you might get a little grumpy. 

BONUS: check out these tips for helping your chi-weenie love the crate as much as the bully!