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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
We have a 3 1/2 year old Bloodhound who a few times a day either wipes or scratches his cheeks, teeth, gums, jaw and chin on everything - walls, tables, people, counters, couches, you name it, he scratches/wipes it. Sometimes it's just a wipe but other times he lifts his jowls up and gives his gums and teeth a good scratching. He generally does not follow this with the traditional foot scratch.

He seems to do this more at night (specifically right before bed) than during the day. At first, I thought this was a way to leave his scent on the walls but, as his stink is everywhere, I can't imagine this is the reason. I've spoken to his breeder who says it's a unique behavior among his Bloodhounds. There's a video on youtube that shows another Bloodhound doing this, but I've never seen or heard of this phenomena from anyone else. Here's the link:
. Mine does not do the head scratching, just the face wiping. (Yes, I realize how weird I sound!)

He's not hurting himself and it's funny to watch but I am wondering why he does this. Is it a calming behavior? :ponder: Is he just plain weird? What's going on? Any thoughts or ideas are greatly appreciated!
 

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Could it be that he is itchy? With all the skin folds bloodhounds have, my guess is that it isn't that uncommon for them to have mild dermatitis around their face. Or even if not dermatitis, then rubbing their faces still might be one of the most effective ways for them to scratch/itch their skin. Itchy skin is often a symptom of some sensitivity or imbalance, so I'd consider that, too.

Some of our dogs wipe their faces after every meal and after some sloppier drinks.... You didn't mention meals, so that probably isn't your case....
 

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If it's new behavior and is excessive it could be that his mouth hurts and he may have a dental problem. You should take him to the vet and rule that out.

When he was younger Shadow loved to rub against the front of my sofa, it was so funny to watch unless he had been out in the rain and was using the sofa as a big towel, then it wasn't so funny LOL.
 

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My Foxhound does the face wiping after every walk. Rubs his face on the couches then dives on the rug for a good rub.
 

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My old poodle use to that after he ate his dinner, I guess it was a big napkin!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Everyone for your advice-- it's nice to know that there are other dogs out there who do this as well. Dawn- it's interesting you say your Foxhound does this- I wonder if it's a hound thing?

Ruth-- no, nothing different about his bottom jaws and gums. No weird smells (other than hound stink), blood, or anything out of the ordinary. When he first came to us he was a just a year old with lots of plaque and tarter on his teeth. This plaque has since disappeared (we feed only dry, gave him bones to keep him busy, etc) and he has beautiful white teeth. Interestingly, he has the smallest teeth of any dog I have ever known. They are teeny, tiny, little teeth (except for the canines).

Today he did it when I came home from work and I am noticing a pattern to his wiping/scratching; he seems to do it when he's excited. I grew up with Newfies and Old English's, the OES's LOVED to wipe heir wet and stinky beards on you and every thing else after a good meal. I wonder if this is the same behavior but a little more intense? Maybe it's just Bruno's (the Bloodhound) way of expressing his happiness?
 
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