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Discussion Starter #1
I have had a rescued male for a few days.

He does not like to go into the crate, but is getting better at it. Sometimes he stops at the door and begins to back up. I almost reflexively reach for his collar at that point. He is willing to be guided in then. When I get the collar and admittedly sometimes a few hairs, he cries out. I am not grabbing at it nor am I forcefully moving him in a rough way. I have bad tendonitis in the arm and really couldn't force him if I tried. It is a mild interaction.. but still the yelp.

I wonder what that could be? Do you think he is that soft in temperament? He has in no way exhibited hard dog characteristics, and I do think he is pretty soft.

When a hand goes up he sometimes lays down in other situations. He might have had previous experiences that color his behavior.
 

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Maybe he is very collar sensitive. I had a foster that had been an outside chained up dog. He probably was only handled roughly by the collar in his past life and whenever any of us ever reached for him, he would shy away...because he probably associated the collar grab with negativity. He would try to back out of it as well, had to use a martingale on him or he'd slip it.


Your boy may be acting submissive because he has no relationship with you. Better to be submissive than stubborn and aggressive. Do you think he was a chained out dog, is his neck area worn?
 

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You tossing treats in, letting him get them and NOT closing the door?

Then coming back and hour so later and doing the same and NOT closing the door. (and so on...)

So the times when you do close the door (still with the treats) are just part of the day and no big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
This is a great idea! I am of kind of embarrassed to say that I have had not had time to teach him this. He will not go in for common food so I will try some higher value treats and see if he will work with that.

I was also interested in how he did with handling. Not sure if this makes sense, but in the beginning I was interested in how he reacted to being touched, guided etc. My son was really interested as he was the lucky one who got to physically put him in the car crate within minutes of getting him. Without a catch pole, always interesting to consider if you will return with your visage intact.

More than the crate training, I was interested in his reaction to the handling. His reaction to go into a down when we went to listen with a stethoscope made me think he had some physical lording over happen to him. I wondered if he had rough handling. Maybe that is the collar reaction.
 

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I could just be that "soft" is coming out because he's going through so much change. Elsa was a bit of a wimp about things the first week or so (i.e. yelping and crying uncontrollably when she "stubbed" her toe) and now she does things that make me cring all the time and gets up ready to roll.
 

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I am always hesitant to pin behavior on past experiences, because so many dogs are not too stable to begin with but when I see things like that, I start counter conditioning immediately. If it works, I know that there were experiences in the past where they learned if I yelp before they start cranking on me, it may get better/they may stop sooner.

So I would start touching the neck, click, treat, touching the collar, click treat, doing that for a while, then when playing and happy, poke, treat, prod, treat, tug, treat, stopping at any of these if I see a negative signal from him. Same with the stethoscope and other things like it. My hands = good things.

Good luck! I love a dog like that - they really show how thinking training is good training.
 
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