01-27-2018, 03:02 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Mentioned: 359 Post(s)
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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.