Well That Was Discouraging..


Active Member
I'm not a professional trainer; but I do have a genetically fearful dog...so these are just some tips I learned the long hard way that apply to my dog.

If she isn't into it; training or whatever the activity...quit and come back another day to try it.

If she freezes, don't force her; try to change the setting and offer an activity she'll enjoy; or just let her go and chill if that's what she needs to do.

Lower your expectations that way you can keep it fun; I have been very guilty of high expectations because I know the intelligence and ability is there, and then getting frustrated because the fear interferes...and Veronica would pick up on my frustration even if I tried to hide it...and it just made things worse.

Accept that you have a dog with fear issues (assuming you do, and it kinda sounds like you do) and that in some respects you have a 'special needs" dog and that your dog may never be able to do certain things...but hey, not everyone can do everything...so don't sweat it...give up preconceived notions.

Banish any perfectionist tendencies (of which I have many) and celebrate (genuinely) the little things; celebrate effort and enthusiasm most of all...quite frankly even if performance kinda stinks.

Reframe your thought process to include accepting that you have a dog with fear issues and stop wishing that you had a "normal" dog and love the dog you have (as I said just sharing personal emotions that I have experienced and sorted through; not saying any of this applies to you).
I agree with everything above - Great response!


Active Member
First don't give up:) How old is Kricket? Has ANYTHING scared her during training? Even the smallest thing can set off some dogs, things we wouldn't even notice.

Are you a bit 'over eager', sorry no offence meant here, but we can all be a bit too keen and eager at times and try to 'push' too far - not literally of course - with training.

When she barks, I am assuming she's inside her own property, do you check why/what she is barking at? I always check if my boys bark and usually of course it's nothing WE would be alarmed over but THEY wonder what it is. For example, workers on a cherry picker doing something with the over head wires caused Ra Kismet to bark. Once I've checked what is making them bark and ascertained it's nothing to worry about I thank them for letting me know something is unusual and then say "Friend" (cue for anything/anyone who's o.k.). One time it wasn't o.k. , the house at the front was on fire, Ra Kismet alerted me to that and he was only still six months old. It pays to check what's up when they bark! My boys are normally inside but of course have their time outside too:)

Storm water drains can be very scary to dogs. We don't take any notice of them but to some dogs they are scary 'monsters'. I would just allow her to sniff and nothing more, just walk up to the storm water drain, as close as she will go without freezing stop before she's even close to freeze mode, then allow HER to sniff, look or even walk away. Just click/treat as she's approaching the storm water drain and if she sniffs it again click/treat her. You could scatter treats NEAR it, not too close, but just enough to get her that bit closer. If she takes the treats, then rinse and repeat and DO NOT move closer until Kricket looks and acts confidently when taking the treats:) S L O W L Y is the operative word!

I don't think I would be attempting leg weaves with Kricket at this stage. Work on something she LOVES, even if it's just something like 'sit', make her feel SO GOOD about sitting or whatever she loves to do, click/treat and praise her like crazy:)

I wouldn't try to use her collar to get her to do leg weaves or anything for that matter, that's not cruel but it is rather trying to MAKE the dog do what it obviously doesn't want to do. Am CERTAIN you wouldn't do anything cruel so please don't think I'm saying you're cruel:) But one thing I learned is that dogs have to WANT to do something, you cannot make them do it if, like yourself, you're a kind, caring owner and not the Millan type!

At present, I would go back to basics, nothing fancy. As I feel that something has scared her, especially if she was been doing well and this is something new.

Maybe just play with Kricket, I did that with one dog I had who was terrified of absolutely everything. Forget 'formal' training for a while, as you need to regain Kricket's confidence.

I am sure there are others on this forum who are much more experienced and will give you top advice.

But one thing to remember is ALWAYS no matter WHAT has happened LEAVE THE TRAINING IN A HAPPY POSITIVE MINDSET. Never allow your Kricket to ever feel she's been 'naughty' and hasn't performed properly - no matter HOW frustrating it's been. We've all had times when our dogs refuse to do something which we KNOW they can do, or learn to do, so I fully understand how you feel:)
Excellent advice and so gently spoken.


Honored Member
We all make mistakes KatieMarie but the wonderful thing is our dogs forgive us and understand:love: Their love is pure and unconditional:love: The best part is you now know how and what to do and results will quickly follow(y) So don't be too hard on yourself:)


Well-Known Member
KatieMarie and just remember we all have days that we just don't feel like doing things.
and if the only wayKriket could get the message out to you was to refuse to do anything,
then freezing up is what she did.
Huntyr does that to me...
our training sessions have to be really short...
we can do as many behaviours I want, as long as we only do each a few times.
Other wise, he just sits there looking at me, like..."again? didn't we just do that?"
So as disappointed as I am because I want him to play more...
I have to move on or call the session for another time.


Honored Member
I agree totally Huntyr, Ra Kismet who LOVES to train has his 'off days' too. Like the other day when he got a new soccer ball after his Big Bro demolished his other one, train? do tricks? not likely all he wanted to do was play with his brand new soccer ball. So that's what we did, played 'soccer' together and trained again the next day:D

Dogs are like us, they do have days when they're just not in the mood and freezing is one way of showing us that it's 'not to day Mom'.