Thank you for the link! After reading it, I have to say this:
We don't play games. Neither of my dogs knows how to play. To exercise Rascal, I go out with him and I use a huge 2 armed sweeping motion and say, "RUN! RUN!" and he goes 100 mph all around the yard, coming back to the starting point for me to yell, "RUN" again. We do this until he gets tired.
The only real command he knows and follows is sit or sit pretty (front legs up). He will come if outside 99% of the time. And most of the time inside. Sometimes though he slinks toward me like I'm going to beat him when he gets to me. Of course not. But he's a rescue and he was picked up as a stray so we have no clue what happened before. And sometimes he slinks away from me when I call him. I can't see what the differences are to trigger this behavior.
He doesn't get on any furniture unless invited. He does occasionally invite himself into our laps but usually he asks.
He waits for me to go through the door first. He has learned that since we got him.
Dogs eat at 5-5:30 and we don't eat until 6-7 so there isn't any real issue there, I don't think. Too much time elapses.
I can handle Rascal in any way I can think of. I can trim his feet, give him a bath, carry him around....pretty much anything and he's ok with it.
He pats my arm quite insistently while I'm at the computer. Usually he wants to go out or for me to get in my recliner so he can get in my lap.
I will pet him, tell him he's Mama's good baby dog and I love him but he has to go lay down. He does.
As long as he understands what I want him to do, he really does try hard to do it. Sometimes his fears overwhelm him, I think. He's still very skittish. If I'm reading a book and he's in my lap and I turn the page so that it rustles a little louder than normal, he tenses and sometimes springs from my lap. *sigh* I was hoping he'd get over it but he doesn't seem to be any less skittish than he was when we got him.