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Crate Training: Should a Dog Wear a Collar in a Crate?

By Aviram K.
Published in Training & Behavior
March 17, 2022
3 min read
Crate Training: Should a Dog Wear a Collar in a Crate?
✏️ This article has been reviewed in accordance with our editorial policy.
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

It’s such a deeply rooted concept that dogs wear collars that it might be hard to imagine a pup without one!

As much as collars help tell others that the dog belongs to you (and can save them when they get lost), there are also some hidden dangers.

Dogs should not have a collar on in a crate. A dog wearing a collar in a crate may lead to a severe injury (or even death) by the collar getting caught on the crate bars, a paw getting stuck in the collar, or chewing on the collar and swallowing dangerous parts. Collars worn for a prolonged period can also cause skin irritation.

In this article, I’m will elaborate on the dangers of leaving a collar on your dog inside of their crate so you can make an informed decision.

Ready? Let’s dive in.

The Dangers of Leaving a Collar on Your Dog in a Crate


We don’t frequently think of how dangerous a dog collar can be, especially in a confined space like a dog crate. Tragically, collar strangulation kills or injures over 26,000 dogs a year. It’s not a risk worth taking if the dog can be without a collar indoors.

All of the instances are, honestly, freak accidents - but these freak accidents have been happening more and more frequently.

If you think about it, a collar is an attached device that sits at one of the most sensitive parts of the dog’s body: the neck. Forbid it gets too tight, and your pup is unable to breathe.

Dogs that dislike collars will also injure themselves in an attempt to get them off, especially if you’re not there to supervise.

Collars are best worn outdoors during walks or playtime so that if your pup accidentally slips away from you, they can be easily found.

If you’re indoors and the dog is safely confined, a collar is largely unnecessary (unless you’re using it for other training purposes).

While crate training, our beloved dogs are fully dependent on us for their safety, and as our dog’s caretakers, we are fully responsible for them.

Getting Stuck on the Crate

The biggest problem is the risk of getting the collar stuck on some part of the crate. Even if the crate doesn’t seem like one that could snag a collar, you still never know.

A collar snag can be a quick and unexpected situation, and once the dog feels restrained, they will start to panic. This panic causes the collar to cinch tighter and tighter around the neck, eventually cutting off oxygen.

So many heartbreaking stories come out yearly about dogs who have never once had an incident with a crate. Then the owners come home to find that their dog has suffocated to death. Accidents happen, but this particular one can be preventable.

It’s good practice to ensure there is nothing on your dog or the crate itself that your dog can get stuck on. Especially if you aren’t there to supervise.

Getting a Paw Stuck in the Collar

Not all dogs are stoked to have a collar around their neck, especially small puppies that aren’t used to it. However, dogs are also pretty smart and crafty; if you scold them for messing with the collar in front of you, they’ll certainly try to do it when you’re not looking.

There have been cases in which puppies will try to take a collar off in their crate when the owner is not there.

The best way dogs try to remove things is with their paws, like our hands. Unfortunately, paws can get stuck on the inside of the collar and then be unable to be taken out. In a puppy’s panic, they will begin yanking the payback and forth and could very easily break their bones.

Not only is this extremely painful for the poor puppy, but it will cause permanent damage to your dog’s walk.

Choking on the Collar Itself

If your puppy does craftily figure out how to get the collar off (or you invest in a breakaway collar like what they do for cats), you have another issue at hand: swallowing parts of the collar.

More often than not, a puppy will chew on whatever they can get their paws on. Therefore, if the collar is taken off and accessible in front of them, destruction will likely occur. In addition, you run the risk of your puppy swallowing pieces of the collar which can cause an obstruction.

Obstructions mean that whatever your pup swallowed cannot fully make it down the intestinal tract. This is life-threatening and requires emergency medical care.

Skin Irritation

Assuming that the above doesn’t happen, there is another complication with wearing a collar for too long.

The collar can rub and grind against your dog’s skin, which can easily welt it up into a rash, irritation, or painful redness. This is especially true for a dog laying in a crate, as they put pressure on the collar by laying down on it.

Skin irritations due to collars can be a pain to resolve. Not only is your dog in significant discomfort, but you have to consistently care for the damaged skin to ensure it can heal well.

Your dog may even permanently lose hair in that area due to the hair follicles being damaged from the construct friction of rubbing.

Crate TrainingDog Training
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