When a dog owner calls and tells me that their dog cowers when they go to put on the leash or dog training collar– I immediately know that there is a an imbalance in the dog-owner relationship.
Perhaps the dog already had a negative association with the training collar or leash when the new owner adopted him. Regardless, we usually find that the new owner is not helping the matter by engaging in behaviors that don’t make it better!
For example: Coddling the dog by saying, “Poor baby,” and then touching the dog (praise) is reinforcing the unwanted behavior (cowring).
Instead, the new owner should adopt either a neutral stance when the dog exhibits the behavior, or even better– associate the training collar with something fun. I.E. Put the dog training collar on right before you feed dinner. Or before you take them out to play.
Pretty soon your dog will be running to the collar and leash just like our dogs, do.