Join Date: Oct 2018
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I need to start over somehow
Rico has been with me about a month and is going on 14 weeks old. So far, it's been a bit rocky. I'm feeling a little down because I feel like I've somehow disappointed him as his person.
We wake up early, eat and play a bit, and then it's a 12-14 hour day. I take him to work with me and we play at lunch. We eat and play after work. I'm always gentle with him, verbally and physically. My "yelling" is a firm "no" in a serious tone. I try to talk to him through the day, occasionally reach over to tease him with a rope or chew toy, tap my fingers so he'll play with them, that kind of thing (I have an L-shaped desk and he sits on top of it with his carrier and a pad. He can come out to lay down and go back in for a nap as he wishes). I try to have a mini-training session every time we play together and he really likes his treats.
But he doesn't just cower when I try to pet him (not all the time, just most times), he actually moves as far away from me as he can. It doesn't matter which part of his body I try to stroke. I'm trying to learn his body language and cancel my pet when he does it. He rarely approaches me but will cry if I'm too far away from him or move into a different area for just a moment. Sometimes after eating, playing, and the bathroom, he just cries and I have no idea what he wants. He seems withdrawn.
I'm just worried that he's depressed at this point and that I've let him down since I work long hours and we only play three or four times a day. That he neither likes nor is interested in me. How can I improve our relationship? How do I kindle that bond I always hear about between a dog and his human? I'm willing to start over and put in the work, I just don't know how.