My Dog Won’t Move With Cone On [What To Do?]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

It’s no fun having a cone on your dog’s head.

It’s uncomfortable and inconvenient, and it can make them feel like their world has shrunk down to a tiny area just outside of their reach.

It’s a tough spot to be in, and you want to help your furry friend, but it’s hard to know where to begin.

If only there were some ways to get your dog moving with its cone on.

Good news: you don’t have to live with that feeling for long!

I’m going to show you how to get your dog moving again in no time flat.

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Why Does My Dog Not Want to Move With a Cone on?

Why Does My Dog Not Want to Move With a Cone on?

There are many reasons your dog may not want to move with a cone on.

I’ll go over some of the most common ones below, and move on to how you can help your pup feel better about his or her cone.

The first thing to consider is that the cone will cause your dog to have a very limited field of vision, so they may not be able to see things around them properly.

Secondly, they don’t like being inside the cone. It may be that the cone is confining them too much or making them feel claustrophobic.

Thirdly, they don’t like how it feels on their skin. Some dogs have sensitive skin, so rubbing against the material could irritate them; others might find the material itself uncomfortable (too tight or too rough).

These things will make your dog adverse to moving too much, but there are ways to help it along.

Doggy recommends you to read Cocker Spaniel Not Sleeping at Night?

How to Help Your Dog Get Comfortable With a Cone?

Don’t give in to whining

It’s hard to resist when your pup whines, moans, and paws at you. But it’s important to remember that dogs will feel quite unused to being in their cone, which is why they are desperate for attention.

Dogs are adventurous and like to navigate the world around them, so when they can’t see where they’re going, they tend to get frustrated and distressed.

Don’t give in to their whining as they’re just trying to get you to help them out of their predicament, but that’s not the right thing for them!

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Not Sleeping at Night?

Make eating and drinking easy

Your dog should be able to eat comfortably but may give up too quickly if he doesn’t feel it’s worth his while.

When my dog was wearing her cone, I tend to provide her with separate water and food bowls rather than combining them in a way that would make it difficult for her to reach both.

This may be easier for her to eat or drink because she can maneuver the cone around her bowl more easily.

Elevating the bowls can also help, keeping her from having to lean down so far to eat or drink.

Supervise them at all times

We all know that dogs with their cone on are adorable. They look like little cones themselves, and we can’t help but want to cuddle them.

But what you may not know is that dogs need your help.

They don’t understand why they have a cone on, and they don’t understand that it’s for their own good!

They may have a hard time walking around the house, that’s why it’s important to supervise them at all times, even when they’re sleeping or just chilling in the sun.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Why is My Puppy Walking Funny? [Solve the Mystery]

Become its guide

They need you to be their dedicated guide, and if you are, they’ll be safe from any hazards, like other dogs, oblivious people, or objects, and they’ll be able to be confident in their cone with you for as long as necessary.

Use a treat to train them to walk

If you want your dog to move around more while wearing their cone, give them some treats.

That’ll make them want to go places so that they can eat them!

You can train them using positive reinforcement by rewarding them every time they take a step in the right direction. 

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Tire them out

The cone can be very restricting, so it’s important to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise.

If they’re not tired out when they go to sleep at night, chances are they’ll be up and moving around a lot throughout the night.

This is not to say you need to bring it hiking or running, but regular exercises like walking can give it the right amount of activity to want to sleep at night.

Do not visit the dog park (or anywhere with crowds or other dogs)

Be sure not to take them outside or anywhere else that might expose them to other dogs who could knock over their cone or hurt them, especially the dog park.

Other dogs will be very curious about the cone and can potentially hurt your pooch by grabbing at it or grabbing its collar.

Whichever the case, avoid the dog park at all costs.

Upgrade your dog’s playpen or crate

One way to ensure your dog feels safe and comfortable is to provide them with a larger playpen or crate.

If you have a small pen or crate for your dog, try making it bigger by adding an extra panel or two. 

This will give them more room to run around in, which helps them feel less cramped and stressed out by being confined indoors all day long (which means they’ll be more likely to get excited about playing outside).

Doggy says, consider reading this article too: Puppy Sleeps in Crate at Night but Not During Day? [RESOLVED]

Carry your dog when necessary

When it’s time to put your dog’s cone on, you might be tempted to just let them sit there and deal with it.

But if you’re like me, that feels… wrong. Like I’m leaving my dog behind in a sea of uncertainty and pain.

At times when it is necessary, like going up the stairs or potentially navigating around the neighborhood, carry your dog and take the stress away from it.

Use a leash

Suffice it to say, a leash is a must when you are taking your dog out.

This way, you can keep control of them and make sure they don’t wander into unsafe areas or get too close to other dogs who might not be friendly.

Be conscious of noise and movements

If you’ve just put your dog in a cone, you might notice that he’s more likely to be startled by loud noises and movements.

Guess what? The cone acts like an amplifier that channels sound more clearly to your dog’s sensitive ears.

It’s important to keep this in mind as you move around the house and interact with him.

Make sure to keep things as quiet as possible, and avoid making any loud noises when you are going about your business around the house.

Focus on positive words

Dogs are smart and can pick up on body language and tone of voice, so you want to be careful about how you talk to your pup.

Try to use soothing or positive language when talking to your dog—they might feel like they’re in trouble if you say things like “bad dog” or “stop it!” when trying to correct them.

Instead, use phrases like “you’re okay” or “you’re a good girl” instead.

Doggy says, you might be interested in this too: Dog Won’t Let Me Cut Paw Hair – What To Do Now?


Consider alternatives for your dog’s cone

A dog will find wearing a cone to be quite restrictive, that’s why it’s so important to find a comfortable alternative for them.

Here are some of my favorites:

1. Pillow collars: these collars are made from soft fabric and come with an adjustable Velcro closure so that they’re easy to get on and off. They also come in a wide variety of colors so that you can match them up with your pup’s favorite outfit!

2. Padded rings, neck bands, and inflatable donuts: these alternatives to the traditional cone will take up less room around your dog’s neck and head, which means less irritation for them. We recommend using these if you have a smaller dog or one who likes to chew!

3. Cloth cones: if you’re looking for a collapsible cone that won’t cost too much money, this is it! Cloth cones are made out of cotton fabric (sometimes even recycled materials!) and come in all kinds of colors so that they match up with whatever outfit you want them to wear!

How Do Cones Help Dogs After Surgery?

Dogs often have to wear cones after surgery or when they’re recovering from an injury.

Cone-shaped collars are designed to prevent them from licking at their wounds or chewing on stitches.

They can also serve as a visual reminder that your pup has been hurt so that other people will avoid them during recovery time!

Hey! Do you know why some dogs don’t walk in certain directions?

How Long Do Dogs Need to Wear an E-collar?

The e-collar can be used for several weeks at a time, depending on the circumstances.

A veterinarian will determine how long your dog needs to wear the e-collar—anywhere from one day to six weeks.

Sometimes, the e-collar will only be necessary for a single day before your dog is ready to go without it again.

Other times, such as after neutering, they will be required to wear the cone for two weeks.

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How Does Wearing a Cone Affect Your Dog?

If you’ve ever had to put your dog in a cone, you know how sad and uncomfortable it can be for your furry friend.

But did you know that the cone can actually make your dog more uncomfortable than necessary?

What we found out was pretty surprising: many owners found that the e-collar irritated their pets or impacted their ability to drink or play.

Also, many owners were reluctant to keep the collar on due to changes in the animal’s behavior or mental health.

Reports include difficulty drinking water, inability to play, collar-related injuries, and other problems involving hygiene and smashing into pet doorways.

How to Introduce a Cone to Your Dog?

The first time you put a cone on your dog, it will be a little weird for them.

Here are some tips for introducing the cone without making your pup feel like he’s being punished:

1. Start with positive reinforcement. Your dog may not know what’s going on at first, but he’ll quickly realize that when he puts his head through the hole in the cone, treats come out! So make sure to praise him every time he puts his head in the cone so that he knows what you want him to do.

2. Be patient! It may take some time for your dog to get used to wearing a cone—especially if he’s never worn anything like this before! So be sure to give him plenty of time and space so he can get used to wearing his new accessory comfortably.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does it take a dog to adjust to wearing a cone?

You should get a dog cone at your vet’s office before surgery. It will take about two to three days for the dog to become accustomed to wearing one.

Is it OK for a dog to sleep with a cone on?

Yes, it is possible for dogs to sleep, eat and drink with a cone on, and leaving the cone attached at all times helps ensure they heal quickly.

Can I take the cone off my dog after three days?

It is a good idea to keep the cone on until you have an appointment with your vet, at which time they will let you know whether it can be removed.

Can I wrap a shirt around my dog’s neck instead of putting them in a cone?

A shirt can be used as an alternative to a cone if your dog dislikes the latter. Any shirt that covers the wound and prevents licking will suffice.

In Conclusion: My Dog Won’t Move With Cone On

If you find yourself in this predicament, getting your dog comfortable with the cone will greatly encourage it to move more often and not sit around like a statue.

A few treats here and there plus lots of TLC will definitely help it be more confident and get used to the new accessory.

Good thing that they usually don’t have to wear them for long!

Consider checking out other dog behavior articles on our site such as why do dogs walk in circles before they die, why is your dog obsessed with a water hose, why does a puppy poop 2 hours after eating, and many more.

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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