We have a very sweet 6 month old shepherd rescue. He was part of an urban feral pack until he was captured, and he spent ~2 mos in the shelter office, getting adjusted to people before we got him one month ago.
He's come a long, long way in the month we've had him. He eats out of our hands and plays "touch" and fetch and doesn't get into things that aren't his to get into (except when he really, really wants attention -- then he'll come steal a piece of paper from me or grab a sock off the drying rack). He is super playful in the morning. We're working on bite inhibition, but he definitely wants to play with us.
However, he really does not want a leash or collar on. Or a harness. He wants nothing buckled around him. We've done enough positive reenforcement games that he comes running over (for a treat) when we get the collars out (we have a bunch, for no good reason) or buckle/unbuckle them. He takes all his meals from a hand stuck through a collar, but I cannot, cannot, cannot snap anything around his neck. If I get close he lashes out and if I persist he gets more hostile.
I've played some games -- if I can touch him with the balled up collar, he gets a treat. If he sticks his head partway through, treat. We do a lot of petting and scratching around the collar area, which he doesn't love, but doesn't fight.
I got a collar on him once, by making him stick his head farther and farther through it for yummy chicken, but I haven't been able to repeat that. He has a little plastic tag-collar thing that we've snapped a leash onto, but the times we've done that (twice) it was hours before we could get close enough to get it back off.
We have a harness, but that has two buckles and isn't any easier to get on him. He's really, really, really wary of any restraint.
Any ideas for more structured ways to acclimate him to having a collar, and eventually a leash put on? He loves other dogs but we can't take him to see other dogs if we can't leave the house!
Update: I'm keeping my selected answer, but we finally got a sliplead which works well. He snarls when we put it on, so it take some confidence -- I wear a makeshift bite glove to help me feel like I can do it. Getting the lead off is tricky, but doable. He's actually just fine once the lead is on. He walks at my side and says hello to other dogs and doesn't give me any trouble. It is just the on and off that are high drama. Still: now that I have a technique, he goes out 2-3 times a day and he's starting to be more relaxed about the process.
** Another Update:** It's been six weeks since we started taking him out on walks regularly and the snarling is over. I did a lot of feeling around on his neck everytime I put it on or took it off, and he's adjusted to the idea that the leash is his key to adventure. He still bows his head and tries to evade the leash but he'll let me put it on and take it off without fussing.