rescue puppy is eating out of our hands, playing fetch and generally charming our socks off. But we cannot cannot cannot get a collar on him. Or a leash.
Yup, this dog: http://ask.metafilter.com/258955/Feral-dog-step-2
We can pet him just fine, loads of eye contact. He's so happy out of his crate that it's getting hard to get him into the crate when we do need to leave him (would love tips on that, too. He just won't go in any more.)
We started marker training a few days ago (just "yes," no clickers) and he knows "touch" well (and he knows what "come" means even if he won't do it). He was crazy spooked by the brush, but I worked him up to it with a lot of intermittent rewards
and we can more or less brush him now. He eventually runs away, but he doesn't freak and leap back at the sight of the brush.
The only thing is that when we try to put anything around/near his neck he freaks and gets really angry. Angry enough that we back off. I think there are a few reasons for this: one, he was feral before his capture at 2-3 months old, and he was probably captured with a catch pole. And two, at the advice of the shelter we were lassoing him to get him on a leash and he'd react to that and the lasso would tighten and so we were just making it worse. So what I described on March 30 as success was probably the opposite. He just started getting smarter about avoiding us when we got the leash out and more aggressive about snapping at us when we got close with it.
We stopped and called some trainers who said, yes, stop that. So here we are. We live in an urban apartment. Dude needs a walk. He needs to go to the park. He mostly hits his wee wee pads but he doesn't get enough exercise playing fetch in the apartment. We've talked to two trainers. One said to give him time. The other suggested taking him back to the rescue and letting them do the traumatic collaring and then taking him home and working on snapping a leash to the collar and getting closer to actual leash training.
We both dangle leashes all the time. There's a collar lying in my lap whenever I feed him. I've tried playing games where I reward him for sniffing it or letting me touch him with it but I can't touch more than his snout with the leash or he runs away and won't come back.
I played one game of touch today (with chicken, which is irresistible) where I draped the leash over one arm such that he had to stick his head progressively deeper through the draped leash to touch me and get the reward. That was pretty good -- he would not have stuck his head through for lesser treats.
He has a little plastic id collar on from the shelter that first caught him so we could theoretically hook a leash on that just to practice walking in the apartment and down the hallway. We've been doing more scratching around that collar and fingering it when we pet him, which he seems okay with. (A week ago you couldn't touch his collar at all). But I'm wondering if the MeFi hive mind has other suggestions for training games we can play to work him up to getting a collar on.