He’s been nothing but cute and adorable since you got him. You’re not sure about his past but you’ve got enough love for your rescue dog to make up for anything. While he is getting more relaxed and comfortable around you, he’s still got quite a way to go. You take out toys to try and encourage him to play around with you, but he remains timid and shy. He’s not interested in tug of war, or fetch. It’s the same when you’re on walks. You try and throw balls and frisbees but he just looks up at you, puzzled.
You’re not quite sure what to do, but you know training him to play at the very least will be good exercise. Not only is it a fantastic way to blow off steam, but it will also be a great bonding experience.
The good news is, bringing the playful side out of your dog out will just take time and perseverance. You need to gradually let his walls come down by motivating him with tasty treats and irresistible toys. If you can make him feel safe and play games where he feels in control, you’ll soon have him tumbling around with you. If he’s a puppy it will be easiest. He’ll be full of energy, more trusting and keen to learn. You could see results in just several days. If he’s older and more nervous then you may need to invest two or three weeks into training.
Succeed with this training and you’ll have a great way to keep him happy and jolly. You’ll also be able to give him a decent amount of exercise, that sees him dozing at your feet in the evenings.
Before you get to work you’ll need to gather a few bits. You’ll need a decent array of toys. You’ll need tennis balls, a football, frisbees, and some food puzzles. The brighter colored and more enticing they look the better. You’ll also need a generous supply of tasty treats.
Try and find 10 minutes each day to commit to training. Some training can be done on your daily walk, and some can be done in a quiet space at home, away from valuable TVs that might get broken.
Once you’ve got all that, you’re ready to get to work!
I just brought my new dog home. Her previous person rehomed her but I don’t know why. I have no idea what her previous life was like other than I almost think she was carried everywhere and probably kept her in her lap most of the time. She has been here for 2 days and has no idea how to walk on a leash, I have one step outside and she absolutely will not go up it. She had no idea what her name was. And if she isn’t sitting in a chair with someone she just goes in circles all over the house. Around the table, the couch just circles. When I take her outside she just makes circles. I don’t think she even knows how to jump....i have had many dogs and I have never seen anything like it. Also, other than when she is sleeping she just pants like she can’t relax. Is this just because she needs to adjust to her new home?
Hello Aimee, Adjusting could be part of it but there is probably something bigger going on, like possibly her up bringing or obsessive compulsive behavior. I suggest teaching her a Place command and working up to her being able to stay on Place for up to an hour gradually. Place should help with the anxiety, self-control, and building more healthy independence - she will probably pant or whine a lot at first while practicing place, that's normal while she is learning to be more independent at first since being self-controlled and still without you will be challenging at first. Practice other structured activities to build her confidence and teach calmness also. With this type of behavior you want to stimulate her mind, work on self-control and independence, and not feel sorry for her and overly sooth. Instead, act confident and happy, and expect that she can learn some new things with your help. For the leash walking, check out the article linked below to get her used to the pressure of a leash first - work on this before you attempt a formal heel or other leash work. Heel will come next, after she is comfortable with the leash. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Other good, confidence building, calming things to work with her on: Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Confidence building agility fun - you can make your own obstacles out of household things or PVC pipe, or purchase. Practicing any type of safe jumps, tunnels, odd surfaces, duration work, or overcoming new obstacles in general can help a nervous dog. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elvtxiDW6g0 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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