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How to get Kevin to wear a cone?

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Hi all! Earlier this year, when Kevin was about 4 months old, he had to wear a cone for about a week for a toenail issue. He didn't love it (*especially* at first) but he got used to it and eventually acted more or less like it wasn't there. We would give him occasional breaks and getting it back on him was always a hassle - the artful dodger - but it worked.

Fast forward a few months, Kevin is just about 1, and he Will. Not. Let. Me. Put. It. On. He opens his jaws really wide so that it just goes into his mouth, and then he air snaps at me/us as we continue to try, and runs away, repeat. It's not going well, but he's licking at a rash on his stomach at night and it's keeping all of us awake.

I know I've already earned some negative points by going at him with the cone when he thinks it's scary, and I've started some cone desensitization training (look at the cone/click/treat, nudge the cone click/treat, put a treat just inside the cone, yay good boy)....but I'm feeling a bit impatient and I think this method will literally take months to get him to the point of actually letting me slip the cone on his head without him trying to chomp me. Does anyone have any advice for speeding up this process, or is there not much we can do? I'm using the highest level treats we have (STEAK. Yum, says Kevin.).

Thanks in advance!

Update: for what it's worth, he IS willing to poke his head through the cone (with what feels to me like an "oh-my-gosh-am-i-gonna-do-this-yes-i'm-doing-it-i'm-doing-it!" energy) for steak - the cone doesn't end up all the way on, but he'll put his snout through for the treats. So that's promising I suppose.

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I'm really not even sure why people use those awful rigid cones anymore for most* situations where a dog would need to wear one.They're so cumbersome it's no mystery why dogs don't like to wear them.

Though they're not perfect for all uses -- *they do allow access for dogs to reach some areas that cones will prevent -- for the times they work as needed inflatable "donut" type collars are so much more comfortable and so much less restrictive than hard plastic cones. The dog's vision isn't restricted in the same way and they don't bump into things so much, so in my (limited) experience they don't object to them or get that hangdog attitude the do with cones There are now a lot of companies making them so something to consider is that it should be deep and wide enough to restrict as much access as possible.


It's also possible that Kevin might not object to a soft cone quite so much. I'm not sure how different ones are constructed, but this one seems to have some very useful adaptations.


A completely different alternative might be a body suit. There are some made with legs too.




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