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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HELP!!! I adopted my adorable little boy about 5 months ago when he was 8 months old. He is very lovable and affectionate when he wants to be. I have taken him through beginner obedience training and we are in intermediate training now. He has anxiety during the training when the other dogs or his trainer leaves his sight. He refuses to do any form of recall. He is avoids the leash and his harnesses. He does not come to the door when it is time to take him for a walk, I have to catch him and put the harness and leash on him. He loves it when we are out on our walks so I am confused. He also recently started being aggressive and biting at us when he is trying to get out attention (biting not nipping - he has not broken skin but gotten pretty close). I can not leave him home, he whines and paces and stares at the door if left home with someone else. if I leave him in his crate he barks and whimpers ( I have tried leaving him for shorter period of times to build up his time alone but it is not working)

I got him to provide me emotional support but lately his anxiety is causing me more stress.

I love him but not sure how much more I can take, I am considering rehoming him with someone with another dog to keep him company. I hate to have to give him up.
 

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Have you conditioned your dog to like the harness/leash? Many dog owners are just so used to collars/leashes/harnesses being a fact of dog life that they just buy one and put it on their dog. This often leads to the dog disliking, or even fearing the accessories. If you didn't slowly work up to wearing it over 1/2 week to 1 week, you'll need to go back to that.

Have you tried crate games? And never go open the door for your dog when he whines.

How do you motivate him in training classes? Is their pain, yelling or intimidation? Are you using high-value rewards such as play and good treats (meat or soft training treats) or are you using something like dry biscuits/kibble? Especially for recall. If he's refusing to recall, he either doesn't get recall yet, (in this case, encourage him to come by acting excited and happy, when he starts coming then say "come" and reward him) or he is too distracted, (in this case, work on it at home first, then the yard, then training class) or he is not motivated enough (in this case, act very excited when he comes, and increase the value of your rewards).

In regards to the biting, it seems your dog may have tried more subtle ways to get your attention (we humans often miss these) but did not get a response, so he feels he needs to be more persistent- dogs often communicate through bites. Focus on providing play, attention, and mental stimulation throughout the day. If he bites, don't react (if possible, if it's too hard of a bite for you to just ignore, calmly pry his mouth off then turn your back). Ignore him until he lets go, then throw a little play party. Since every dog is different, an alternate strategy is the following: When he bites, (but preferably just before he bites, if you can catch it in time) instantly redirect to a toy. Or, you can teach another, more acceptable behavior to give him a better choice. When he bites, (or is about to) ask for a "sit" He will naturally have to let go to comply and receive a reward. The first try or two, you may need to show him the reward first to get his attention away from biting, but be sure to fade that out quickly, you want a reward, not a bribe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Kensi, I tried conditioning him to the harness and leash but will retry. He runs away and also rungs when we reach toward him. I have to slow down and work with him and be more patient. I did try standing still or ignoring him when he bites and noticed that it is working, when I dont engage him he gets distracted by something else and looses interest in biting me. I also will continue to work on using high value rewards to work with him for recall after I get him conditioned to the harness and leash. Any other suggestions are welcomed.
 
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