I have a 2 year old German Shepherd/Lab mix that I rescued when he was about 8 months old. He was always a difficult one to train but I got the hang of it after being super patient with him. For the past year or so he has been wandering off acting scared and pees on himself whenever I tell him to go to his kennel or whenever I tell him to do something that he doesn't want to do.
I know he is not scared of his kennel because I even feed him in there and give him treats to go in there. Sometimes he goes in there just fine by himself, but he never does when I tell him to. He knows I am very strict and usually he listens well but with his kennel he doesn't listen. I feel like he is playing me by acting scared, but I don't know. His usual reaction is that he puts his tail between is legs and wanders off somewhere while leaving a trail of pee. He used to be super good with his kennel and I have never given him a negative impression of his kennel. His kennel is where he sleeps and I want him to be comfortable in there so I would never use that as a form of punishment. If anyone has a similar situation please let me know if you have any suggestions. Thanks!
He is not "playing you" by acting scared. If his tail is tucked and he is peeing, he is really scared.
I agree your dog is apparently not afraid of the kennel. He is afraid of you. It's one thing to be strict, but if your dog is running from you with his tail tucked, peeing, there is something wrong.
The dog is running when you talk to it in a certain tone of voice and with a certain body posture. When a dog flees in fear at the sound of a command "whenever I tell him to do something that he doesn't want to do," ask yourself how angry or frustrated you are getting. Are you taking this personally? Are you angry he won't obey you? Your dog can sense this.
You need to turn the light on your training techniques, your voice tone, and your posture. Somehow you are coming across less like a strict dog parent and more like a threat to your dog.
I realized I could be more specific regarding posture and voice tone.
When dealing with timid dogs: Don't raise your voice to give a command. They can hear way better than you or I can. Practice putting a no-nonsense tone in your voice without raising it above normal speaking level.
Posture: Do not "stand over" a timid dog. That is, don't bend over them or put a finger in their face. Timid dogs see it as a threat.
Instead, kneel or sit down. Put your shoulders back and don't lean forward while giving a command.
Don't claim space, either. For instance, if you fill a water bowl and stand over it telling your dog to drink it, he will not. Back up a bit and don't make eye contact if you want the dog to go in the kennel. Otherwise he may think you are "owning" the kennel and he can't go in.
You could try not giving any commands at all for a while. For instance, sit back on your heels, ignore your dog and throw a treat in the kennel. Don't make eye contact and remember not to lean forward. Leave enough room so you don't appear to be owning the kennel. See if your dog follows the treats inside.
Some dogs are so nervous that even speaking to them at all causes them to panic. This is generally because of abuse in their former life, before adoption.
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