My small, 15-pound dog recently had a coyote attack her when she escaped into the front yard. While the coyote was scared off before it did serious damage, a small bite was taken and treated by the vet. However, before she was fully recovered, I gave her the play dead command, where she lay down then yelped in pain as her shoulder hit the ground. She now runs away every time I give her the play dead command. Though it has been several weeks since the attack, she won't evade me anymore, but still ignores me when I do the play dead command.

How can I re-train this command after her injury? (Command is finger gun and saying "bang!")

She knows what I want her to do, just refuses to obey. Other commands are fine.

  • I would say the same way you did when your first taught your dog. Unless, did you get the dog and it knew the trick already?
    – Timmy Jim
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 15:26
  • No, I taught her the trick, but awesome foods don't seem to be worth the pain for her when I try to teach her. She still ignores play dead, but does all other tricks enthusiastically.
    – ilcj
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 15:32
  • Why do you want her to do something that you know hurts her?
    – Mick
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 15:42
  • 1
    Her injury is weeks gone. Only a psychological barrier at this point. No pain.
    – ilcj
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 18:45
  • 2
    When she lays down say good girl bang.
    – paparazzo
    Commented Apr 5, 2017 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


Take it slow and start from square one to regain her trust and confidence. Get her to associate finger and "bang" with good feelings by playing with her affectionately (petting, calm approval voice, gentle and slow) and presenting that stimulus until it is no longer associated with the physical pain.

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