Dog is afraid of training? He just runs away from it...

My dog is nearly 2 years old now. We got him from a rescue center when he was about 6 months, and they got him from a pound. We took him to puppy kindergarten where he did really well learning basic commands, but we ended up dropping out when they started learning agility stuff because it made him so nervous he would hide.

We continued working on skills to try and build confidence, but he hates it! He's never been very motivated by food so luring him with really good treats doesn't work. Now every time we pull out the treat bag, he just runs into another room. He's also overly submissive and licks us compulsively, so I'm pretty sure it's a confidence issue, I just have no clue what to do. Any suggestions??

Asked by Member 1201085 on Nov 23rd 2013 Tagged training, confidence, nervousness, fear in Behavior & Training
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!


Beauty and Nala

Sounds like he may have been abused and the training is triggering a flight response. I would stop. There are many other stress free games you can play with him, but sounds like you need to work on his confidence level first. Don't bring the treats out in the bag, put a couple in your hands and start that way. Be sure to praise him a lot even when he does little stuff. Be patient with him... he needs love the most. THANK YOU FOR RESCUEING!!!

Beauty and Nala answered on 11/26/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Poor boy. Sounds like maybe the training at the Kindergarten when they started training the Agility has maybe had a negative impact on him. I had to drop out of a training club for similar reasons as my dog was shutting down and scared of the environment too.

Have you looked into BAT before ( Behaviour Adjustment Training ). It can be really helpful in teaching fearful dogs to feel more confident. Look up Grisha Stewart for more information.

Tyler answered on 11/27/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I've not had to deal too much with super submissive/fearful dogs (I have a super fearful dog who gets triggered to be aggressive tho...), it is great that you are seeing the problem is with confidence! Above suggestions are great ones.

I knew a shy/submissive golden once. They took her to a group class that involved on-spot correction and minimal praise (no treats, just "good dog" and petting). Surprisingly, by the 10th week, her confidence was WAY higher than it was before.

Be sure to never coddle your dog (don't baby him) if he acts scared. Just play it cool, and keep confident yourself; it will help him realize you're the pack leader and he needs to take signals from YOU not his situation,

Keep reading up on behavioral adjustments, and don't worry too much about what might have been in his past. Dogs genuinely don't care much about that.

If you're still having problems, I'd recommend getting a private trainer to assess him.

Thanks SO much for rescuing! <3

Best Wishes

Shasta answered on 11/28/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer