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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my grandparents (whose house I go to every day, though I don't live there) have this dog named Barnabas, or as everyone but Paw calls him, Barney. He has a good nature to him, and there's a loving dog in there desperately trying to escape.
Ever since Bolt, my wonderful dog (technically, he was my grandparents' but I loved him like my own- maybe more) had his life suddenly taken too soon by being hit by a car (they said he died instantly), I have really, really wanted to tame Barnabas. He is a young fellow, maybe a year old. Which is all the more reason to get him tame- without him being tame we can't have him vetted, and being a puppy he really needs a parvo vaccine. Nan and Paw actually had a pup (Otis) get parvo once. He wouldn't have made it if Patch hadn't led Nan and Paw to him. But that's a story for another day.
This is the case:
Barney will come up to you, sometimes even rear up on you from behind. But as soon as you reach toward him, he jumps backwards. He will lick your hand. He will take food from your hand (and bruise some fingers on accident if you're not careful). He will even follow you around. He just won't let you pet him!
Do you all have any advice?
He had had a hard time in his past. He had his eye shot out by some idiot- I thought I'd bring that up.
He is also still intact, just FYI
He is also thin. I think he may be wormy or something, but we can't do much because the little goof won't let you pet him.
I think he may be part German Shepard because of his coloring. As a side, it would be interesting to see what you think he is. But the main focus is getting him to become tame. Advice please!
 

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Like I've said before, I'm not a professional.

It can be difficult to get a more feral animal to trust you enough to allow you to capture it. Since he seems to be friendly, that's a good thing. It'll be easier than if he straight up didn't want any contact at all. Throughout it all, I would pay attention to body language so that you can make sure he doesn't get too nervous or display signs of aggression.

I would do something like set up a comfortable chair outside near where he'd normally come by (but in a safe area). Bring some really awesome, smelly treats with you and something to do, like a book to read (nothing noisy like a video game). Scatter a few treats around and read your book. You want him to become curious about you. Let him make the advancements.

If you want to make him feel more comfortable, you can do calming signals. Things like yawning, sighing, licking your lips, slowly and softly blinking your eyes, looking away from him. I've had a couple very fearful dogs make their way to becoming comfortable in my presence that way. Eventually he may allow you to pet him, but it's not something you want to rush.

You may want to consult a professional canine behaviorist for a more educated opinion on what to do.

On the note of Parvo, that is very important. If the puppy from before caught Parvo on your grandparent's property, it's likely to still be there. It's a darned difficult thing to sterilize, and near impossible to remove from outdoor property. That would be one of my first priorities after managing to catch him. Of course, make every experience positive. Don't teach him to fear things he shouldn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks.
Oh, and that dog who had parvo was a few years ago- I should've made that clear.
I'll buy some duck or chicken jerky or something that I would eat if I was a dog, if I can. If not, I think we have some less appetizing looking, cheaper treats laying around.
Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
UPDATE: I bought the jerky yesterday and he and Patch really like it. Barney let me pet him under his chin and the underside of his neck. Every time he did he got jerky. In the meantime, Patch really wanted some too, so I started teaching him to sit. :)
 
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