Timid Papillon Needs Training

I recently got a 6 month old female papillon. she came from a family with little kids and they had to get rid of her because she wasnt being propely taken care of. its obvious she hasnt even been brushed or trained in any way.. upon bringing her home she seems timid which is to be expected in a new environment & all.. but she doesnt listen, she appears to know her name but doesnt necessarily come when called ever. she hasnt ate anything either despite her small & skinny stature. now im thinking she's still just a puppy with a high metabolism so im hoping her appetite with grow as the day goes on & i dont know if thats something to be concerned about. our other dogs here at home are kennel trained & are used to being in a kennel overnight, but leaving her in the kennel for a minute she starts to bark & whine. i tried bribing her with treats so she'd come to me but she got bored of it after a minute. she's stubborn & i want to know the tricks to training her, so she wont whine in the kennel & so she'll come when called. can anyone give some advice?

Puppies and young dogs with little or no training can be challenging as many have developed bad habits. This does not mean that you can’t start the process and change things. 6 months of age is a good time to establish good habits and crate training can take you a long way.  Keep in mind that puppies very often will whine and bark when they want attention or when they are not getting their way.  Whining and barking can be extremely annoying but giving into it only reinforces the bad behavior.  It is similar to begging behavior at the dinner table. If the dog is whining and begging for food and you give food to make them stop, this only teaches the dog that whining will get them what they want.  Yelling at her or letting her out of the crate when she has a fit, or giving her attention in any way will only reinforce the behavior. It will take some time, but leaving her in the kennel and letting her bark and whine is what you have to do. She will eventually stop when she figures out that the crate is not hurting her and that you won’t reward the barking.  You may have to keep her on the other side of the house so that the noise doesn’t prevent you from sleeping. 

Making the crate a good experience will help minimize any barking or whining that is caused by anxiety.  Most dogs do really well if you feed them breakfast and dinner while locked in the crate.  They associate the crate with good things and are less likely to freak out when locked inside at other times.  Putting her in the crate when you are out with a rubber Kong toy stuffed with treats will also help her to bond with the crate. You can also try the frozen Kong toy trick at bedtime to minimize barking.  Stuff a Kong with wet dog food, cap the end with peanut butter and put it in the freezer.  She will occupy herself with the Kong instead of trying to bark and get out of the crate.

The obedience staple of “come when called” is a difficult one when trust has not been established. If she is still very new in your household and she may not trust you yet. Small dogs like Papillons are also a bit on the stubborn side as well. Don’t take this personally but try to win her over by using patience, consistency and lots of treats. You can also use a leash to help you teach her ‘come when called’ – that way she can’t run off. Some dogs who like to run will turn it into a game of ‘catch me!’  When you work with her on the leash, start with her just a foot or two away. Say her name and give a tiny pull towards you and give a treat. Don’t let her back up. When she relaxes and takes steps toward you (and the treats) give her another one. Remember to keep these sessions to less than 10 minutes. Over time and with many sessions, she will learn to trust you and ‘come when called.’