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Discussion Starter #1
I've had Pepper for 4 months. He'll be 2 in December. He's a rescue.

While he's not the most affectionate ball of fluff, he does love to sit on my lap for a good portion of the day.

That said, he's all of a sudden seemingly afraid of me touching him! And its breaking my heart.

For example - when I'm sitting on the couch, and he's at my feet I might reach for him - either to pet him or to put him on my lap. And he jumps away!

Tonight, when I went to walk him, I went to the front door and he stayed on the top step. I went up to get him, with a treat in my hand (I'm trying to teach him to come) and when I got to the top of the stairs, he jumped away from me. Of course the treat changed his mind. Then, I went back down the stairs and he followed me.

I love that he's got something of an independent streak, but I can't imagine why he'd jump back from me. I've never raised a hand to him, and never yelled at him (although I do give him my "stern" voice when he's misbehaving.)

I know I sound like an idiot, but it hurts when he doesn't come running to me.

I thought I had saved enough money to hire a trainer, but my tax bill just came in and, well...

So - any ideas?
 

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Does he have any vision problems? Taken a bad fall? Other health issues?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
The vet says he's fine. No eye issues. No health issues (he was diagnosed with White Shaker Syndrome but its very minimal)

But he sometimes doesn't seem to see whats in front of him like a toy he's been playing with.

And one night he had the Yips (some people call it the zoomies) and he fell down 3 stairs. But that's it. He got up from the step he landed on and kept zooming around like nothing had ever happened.

He plays catch with me for at least an hour every night, loves his toys and will bring them to me to throw. He will jump at the couch when he wants me to chase him around. In all other aspects, he's perfectly fine.
 

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Silly question, but do you have a harness on him for the walks?? I think rescues often have flash backs to things that have happened in their lives. If you have a harness on and he balks, just encourage him to come with you and treats work too. It often takes a long time to earn their trust and love. Do you think something scared him on one of the walks recently?? That could also make him have second thoughts about the walk and not be anything to do with you. Hope this works out. I love rescues, but you just need patience's to work through the fears they have.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
He is harnessed on his walks. His foster mom had him on a harness, and I do too.

One thing I know is that he's scared on our evening walks. A garbage pail he's seen a million times is suddenly cause for fear in the dark.

I was told he came from a backyard breeder. I think that where his fear of the rain comes in. He hates it. Won't go out in it. I have to pick him up, take him to the tree in the yard, put him down and cover him with an umbrella. He will stop cold if he has to walk thru a puddle. He also hates, hates, hates baths - and I bathed him last week. So maybe he's mad at me?

As far as his walks are concerned, he'll walk forever and ever. He loves them. He loves seeing his doggie friends on the street. I wish I had his stamina!

And even though he won't come near me when I put my hand out (he is hand-shy), I just sat down on the floor, put a throw on my lap and he climbed right on top of me.

There's no rhyme or reason here. So you can imagine why I'm confused!
 

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Edie's got a good point there. I also sometimes think in my own case when Tyler knows I'm trying to round him up to brush his teeth, clean his face and eyes he is very evasive. He knows I'm taking him to the table top for no fun. I worried especially in the beginning when I was getting him to take care of him-- neuter, tear stains, etc if he connected me picking him up with bad things happening. I've worked more on just picking him up to cuddle him and hug him randomly and I think it's helped. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I worry about the picking him up= things he hates (bath, cleaning his face, etc.)

But 99% of the time, I'm picking him up to put him on my lap for a cuddle.

Maybe that independent streak of his is part of this?
 
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