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Thread: doesnt like her back/butt/paws touched

  1. #1
    Junior Member Junior Puppy Member
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    doesnt like her back/butt/paws touched

    I have four dogs and we got three of them from the pound and one from my dad's boss. One of my dogs(my baby) is a five year old german sheperd and husky mix that we got from the pound. Ever since we got her, whenever anyone touches her butt or paws, she growl and snaps at your hand, but does not bite. Also we you rest on her (leae your hand or foot touching her anywear) and not move it, she growls and snaps at you. I am the only one who can use her as a pillow (she has very thick fur) and touch her back, as long as I am petting her head. But I cannot touch her paws for long. When she goes to the vet, they have to put a muzzle on her (which I hate but have no choice). I wondered if I could stop her from doing that. Also she is scared of plastic bags and things that make noise like that.

  2. #2
    Border Collie Freak Dog Moderator Rain's Avatar
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    You said she's a rescue dog? My guess is that she was abused and is very sensitive about those spots because of the abuse. Same with the plastic bags, she may associate that sound with abuse/beatings or being tormented/teased by someone. Just my guess
    "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan.


  3. #3
    Most of the time you can use operant conditioning/clicker training to help dogs learn to associate the touching of these areas with more positive things.

    Here is a site to read that may help you understand how to go about this.

    http://www.clickerlessons.com/nails.htm

  4. #4
    Junior Member Junior Puppy Member
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    Also, touching a dogs' back and/or paws is showing dominance over the dog. Dominant dogs don't like this, at all. Both your dog's breeds are dominant breeds. If the dog was abused she would have scars, broken bones etc to show for it. A NEGLECTED dog, however, are often nervous of new situations, strange objects and strongly dislike being touching in a dominant manner. I'd start "Gentle dominance" with her- her head is ALWAYS below yours, you eat before she does, YOU decide when she's done with a toy, YOU decide when she eats and have the right and privilege of taking it away from her with out a single grumble, she moves out of your way every time, you enter and leave before her, you go down stairs and up stairs be fore her etc. I don't recommend clicker training for dominant dogs, because it gives them too much control over you. The entire point of gentle dominance is to get it into their heads that they do not have control, you have the control.

    My border collie was very neglected and had all the symptoms you describe, but she actually bit people (mostly me). WIth gentle dominance she's become my best friend and star pupil, though she still mistrusts and is not trustworthy around people who move unpredictably (like children and the infirm) and strangers who get in her face (who, in my opinion, deserve to be bit anyway, j/k).

  5. #5
    I have to disagree with a dog having scars or broken bones if abused. I have seen some highly abused dogs without any marks on it. Neglect by the way is a form of abuse. Your dog is at this time taking a dominant stance to protect himself from more bad treatmemt. But Mel-Mac's advice on the "gentle dominance" is right on. Start with something your dog is comfy with, even a whole body massage for relaxation. Avoid the touchy places for now. In time you could incorporate one foot at a time and praise highly for each success. Remember, you will have to groom your dog and cut his toenails, so you have to be able to handle his feet.

    Mel-Mac---I don't think anybody deserves to be bitten by a dog. Sounds like you still have a ways to go in educating your dog and yourself.

  6. #6
    Clicker training in no way puts the dog in charge.

    I hold the clicker, and I hold the rewards. The only way the dog gets the reward is if he demonstrates the desired behavior.

    Just because one may choose not to use force does not put you in any less of a position of control unless you allow it to be so.

  7. #7
    Count the Cotons Senior Dog Moderator Moo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel_mac
    Also, touching a dogs' back and/or paws is showing dominance over the dog. Dominant dogs don't like this, at all. Both your dog's breeds are dominant breeds. If the dog was abused she would have scars, broken bones etc to show for it.

    I don't recommend clicker training for dominant dogs, because it gives them too much control over you. The entire point of gentle dominance is to get it into their heads that they do not have control, you have the control.
    I disagree with these statements...

    Some dogs are more likely to be dominant/submissive than others, but dominance is up to the individual dog, because every litter will have their share of bullies and vistims. That being said, I think German Shepherds are prone to being submissive. An abused dog does not necessarily have scars. A dog can be hit without the skin being broken, it's entirely possible, and likely in this situation. Bruises heal. In my opinion, the dog is association being touched on the back with something negative in her life. That negative thing does not necessarily bleeding. However, if the dog growls, and you withdraw your hand, you are handing the dominance to her in doing what she wants to you do.

    As for clicker training, I'm with RRotties. Clicker training is about positive reinforcement, and I don't think that it in any way gives the dog control. It DOES force the dog to make a concious decision of the behavior to commit to, but the human is still in control. And I think positive reinforcement training is what this dog needs.

    I think clicker training would be very suitable as Raven mentioned that she does not let her touch the paws "for long". Therefore, if it is made brief -Touching the paws regularly, but briefly, and click & stop touching before she gets a chance to growl, and rewarding her afterwards with praise or a treat, would make a positive connection.
    ♫ Come and knock on our door.... ♪

  8. #8
    Junior Member Junior Puppy Member
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    Well, I don't agree with the dominant thing too much. Yes I know German Sheperds and Siberian Huskies are dominant. Sasha almost never growls or snaps at me. I dont know why, but she doesnt. I have heard that when you stare at the do and they stare back, you hae to wait until they drop their eyes first to show that you are dominant over them. Is that true? I have done that a few times with Sasha ad she always drops her eyes with me. When other pople do that, she looks down but she has that 'look' like she's real mad and she growls. I do not know her hisotry except that she was found on the side of the rode a month before we got her from the ound, so no one know if she was abused hysically or not, but I believe that she was neglected. When she plays with our other four dogs, she acts real submissive.

  9. #9
    I agree with the comment to continue to handle these touchy areas frequently but not for long...and use heavy praise. And I believe that once the dog snaps at you and you stop doing what you were doing...that they have just instantly rewarded themself....so they will continue...and maybe go for the next step. I have one of my students in mind with this same situation...They adopted a Westie...and anytime they would mess with her paws...brush her...or even just hold her...she would turn and try to attack the owners. They brought her to me in tears wanting to know what they were doing wrong. I watched them......as soon as Dixie showed aggression....the mom would put her down...or stop touching her...or brushing....and would pet her (kinda like mom was apologizing)! Which...duh....if you think about it....means shes rewarding Dixie DOUBLE time! So--I took Dixie...and just held her in my arms....as soon as she showed aggression...I preped myself for the ride..and just held on to her....sometimes even if they are attempting to bite my hand....Ill still leave my hand n the same spot for a few seconds (most of the time they arent REALLY biting down hard)..and as soon as they give up.....I put them down and treat them. But now....with a larger dog....it may not be as simple....and I dont recommend doing any of that unless you have a professional there with you. And of course you dont want to trigger the negative behavior....so try to stop doing what they dont like BEFORE they get angry...slowly build up their trust. End everything on a positive note!

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