Dog growled at me

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Dog growled at me

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Old 01-26-2018, 07:51 PM
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Dog growled at me

So, my dog growled at me tonight. Iím almost positive itís a touch aversion because she gets very sensitive when you touch her paws or tail. Iíve had her 1.5 years and itís always been that way. But I feel like itís escalating because sheís never growled. Sheís running and walking fine so I donít think itís pain related.

But growling at me is not acceptable and it makes me super uncomfortable. I canít have a dog that I canít trust and she has to be ok with being touched because there will come a time when her feet HAVE to be touched.

So, suggestions on ways to desensitize her to this?
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Old 01-26-2018, 08:29 PM
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on the 1 hand, you are a slow learner. 1.5yrs of politely saying, dont touch my feet, and your still doing it.
my GSD pup, was not a lover of patting/rubs. At a year old, she will come for hugs, and i make the most of those times, and leave her be the rest of time.


on the other, for nail trims etc, you must. So for that: clicker train it. Hold for 1 second, click whilst foot in your hand, feet treat reward.
Then increase duration, sensation variance from light to firm hold, maybe a dremel sound, then dremel touch etc etc

Growlng is good, it warns you too much too soon.
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:02 AM
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As was said, growling is a good thing, it's a way for them to politely say, hey, I don't like what's happening, please stop, I don't want to escalate this. It gives us humans a chance to step back and reevaluate how we are doing something. For example a dog that growls when it's collar is grabbed. Well sometimes a human has to grab the dogs collar so growling then is unacceptable. So the owner would have to work on teaching the dog that having it's collar grabbed is a good thing, it causes good things to happen to the dog.

Same thing with your boy, and having his feet handled. It's good that he let you know he's uncomfortable with it because it gives you a chance to step back and figure out how to have him comfortable with that. He could have decided to snap at your hand, instead he politely told you to stop. I agree with Rotten, that clicker training him to accept it would be a good thing to try. Depending on just how sensitive he is you might have to start by touching his feet before moving on to picking them up and holding them. To start with it'd be touch, click (at the same time), high value treat. Do it 5 to 10 times in a row a couple times a day. Start with one foot, get him happy with that foot being touched, then move on to the next one. Once he's good with touch, then try picking up, clicking, treating, and letting go. Again work with one foot before moving on to the other, then work on holding them for a couple seconds. etc. Once he's good with general handling you start introducing the nail clipper or dramel if that's your end goal. Go at his speed, no rushing things or you'll set yourself back. Brake the treats up into little pieces so that you can work longer without your dog getting fat, and make sure to keep the pieces out of sight. What you don't want is to turn the reward into a bribe and when the dog has to see the treats that's what happens.
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