|Barked: Sat Aug 4, '07 3:21am PST |
|How long have you had him? From his page, it looks like you may have gotten him recently, as an adult? If that's correct, he's probably never had toys or anyone who wanted to play with him. Addy was like that--although, at just a year old, she had a lot more puppy in her still, and she hadn't been physically neglected to the extent that you describe, she clearly hadn't received love, affection, playtime, and toys.
I started by finding the right chewtoys for her, which turned out to be a beef bone and a Kong stuffed with liver paste or cream cheese. I also found her a stuffy that she seemed to find comforting to have in her crate.
When she was playing with those, I got a ball--and played with it myself, in front of her. Gradually she got interested. Then I started rolling the ball. At first she was interested only when it was moving, and lost interest when it stopped, but after a while she started picking it up--still had no idea what to do from there.
BUT, I'd also been teaching her "come" along with other basic obedience.
I started throwing the ball and saying "Fetch!" and when she picked it up, I'd say "Come!" And it didn't take too long before she got the idea, and now she has several different toys, including a squeaky, that I can throw for her and she'll bring back, eager to have it thrown again, without my having to call her back.
It took some patience--and part of it was that she had to learn to trust me enough to relax and have fun, rather than just figuring out my commands. If I've interpreted your dog's history correctly, it may take him longer, because he's had so long to learn that humans aren't fun and aren't trustworthy. But hang in there! You, and he, can do it!
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