One of my personal goals this winter, when getting out to exercise becomes a challenge, is to work on teaching the pups new tricks.
I picked "back up" as the first new trick of the year.
Hailey picked this up quickly as you will see (she does it right when I give the right cue).
Zaphod on the other hand is terrified of this trick. I read online to teach it by getting your dog to sit and then giving the command. If the pup doesn't follow it to step toward them and they should move back, when they move back reinforce that. Well when you step toward Phod, he stands there. When you step right in front of him he becomes nervous and then turns around and goes and lays down. When I tried to push this a bit, he became confused and upset and actually gave me a short bark (which is so not Zaphod). My guess is that somehow this "towering over him" or stepping toward him causes anxiety likely related to the abuse he suffered prior to being rescued. While I am still putting in one or two "back ups" in his training blocks, I am not pushing it. I am trying to pair this command with good things and hope that we can help him overcome the fear associated with it. Will let you know how it goes.