The first thing a pet parent should remember is that each dog is an individual, and as such his sensitive area(s) will vary from dog to dog. With that being said, I’ll be using my girl, Alex, and some of her furry friends, Gir and Roxy, to illustrate my point.
Alex’s sensitive area is her rump. Years ago, when she was a little under a year old, I tried to move her by touching her rump and she growled at me. I was pretty surprised because Alex, even as a puppy, was always very easy-going. What did I do? I worked with her, little by little, using treats so I could get her used to having someone touch her “sensitive spot,” and after a short while she was fine. But, even after all these years, I still have to be gentle when I am brushing and wiping her cute rump. She never growled again, but I am always aware that I need to be more careful when it comes to her sensitive area.
Gir’s sensitive spot is his ears. Once, while petting him he moved away from me while trying to nip me when I touched his ears. What did I do? Every time I touched his ears just for a couple of seconds was after our long walk, and while he was asleep on my lap. He seemed to mind less and less having his ears touched.
Roxy’ sensitive spot is her hair. Yes, her hair, and she has lots and lots of hair. Roxy’s mom told me that she did not like to be brushed very much, so from her very first stay with us I took her for long walks, followed by a nice gentle session of brushing and wiping. I did not use treats, but rather exercise to desensitize her to the brush, and get her to associate brushing with something pleasant. Since Roxy comes to stay with us often, she knows our routine:walk, brushing, wiping, and breakfast/dinner, and does not mind being brushed any longer.
Once you figure out your dog’s sensitive part, make sure you work alongside a reputable behaviorist or dog trainer on desensitizing him to whatever it is that is causing him to growl, nip, bite, etc. The examples I used to illustrate my point are that of dogs that are not aggressive, exhibiting symptoms that I’d consider mild, but I’d strongly recommend to consult a behaviorist or dog trainer to help you with these type of issues, and remember that what works for one dog may not necessarily work for another.
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Reblogged this on 4THEBEEZPLEASE and commented:
Just a great read very nicely done some good advice
I think we’ll start working on the desensitizing technique to make sure our dogs are more comfortable with us as a dog walking service. Thanks for the tips!
Your welcome:-) Yes, you should. Abby hates to have her paws cleaned with a wipe, but she is doing better.
I have three dogs, and I think my youngest one is the most easy going. He doesn’t seem to have a sensitive spot, but my other two most certainly do.
Good, you are actually paying attention to what your dogs are sensitive to and not. A lot of pet parents fail to do that.
I never realized these individual sensitivities. I often scratch dogs on their rumps since most dogs seem toolkit it. Thanks for the like.
Dogs are individuals and what one dog loved another could as easily detest. Enjoy your Sunday:-)
Ziggi used to hate getting brushed, but I started doing it very gently while he was eating and before long he actually enjoyed it. Now I can brush him any time (all the while telling him how handsome he is!). He’ll even ask to be brushed by putting his front paws up on the bench and standing in position for me 😉 I’m doing the same thing with my puppy, Dewey Dude, to get him accustomed to being brushed and to associate it with positive things like food and praise. I’m also handling every part of his body when he’s relaxed and sleepy so he gets used to being touched and examined. This makes it so much easier to remove burrs from his fur, inspect his paws, mouth, etc.
Wow! You are doing an excellent job with your furry kids. Keep it up. Yes, you also need to handle him when he is asleep. You make me so proud:-)
Having happy, well adjusted pets is very important to me. I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to do things right as well as observing my animals over the years 🙂 I frequently tell my boyfriend “You just need to think like a dog (or cat, or chicken- LOL)”. I do try to put myself in their paws in order to figure out the best way to do things for them 😉
Excellent! You are actually studying them. Great. Most pet parents and dog lovers fail on that department and I was one of those until a few years ago. Enjoy this holiday weekend:-)
Do you think dogs hate their nails cut because someone has cut into the quick and hurt them?
Yes and no. Yes, perhaps in the past someone cut into the quick and hurt them therefore making them afraid of having someone handle their paws. No, dogs do not like having anybody handle their paws/nails, period. As soon as you get your dog, either a puppy or full grown dog, you need to start handling their paws so they get used to it. This makes it easier for you and anybody else to touch, clip, massage, etc., their feet.
Thanks, Marcela. I, Lexi, am not fond of it, but tolerate it well. My brother Riley (bully/lab mix and found by us at 6 months of age and is now 5 years old), won’t let anyone at all cut his nails – vet tech, groomer, mom. But he doesn’t mind us touching his paws. Mom said well then, you will have to keep them short yourself, so he chews them to a respectable length. (Nope, not kidding!)
Wow! So he grooms himself.
My dog freaks out if you touch his feet. (He was feral his first two years of life). He will scream if you grab his feet or if he gets one tangled in a leash. I have worked with him and can now touch his feet if I do so gently and start by touching his leg first, then sliding down to his feet. But he is still quite sensitive about it.
I am really glad you worked on getting your dog used to having his feet touched. Most dogs do not like to have their feet cleaned, touched, etc. Great job:-)
I’m really grateful to be able to honestly say that there is absolutely no spot on Dazie, The Pit Bull that she minds me touching. ~JC
That is wonderful. Alex, my 12 year old pit mix, doesn’t mind us touching her around her tush specially now that we take her kayaking with us:-)
Hi and thank you for liking my page on my http://www.dogblog.xyz. I do like all your lovely doggy pics! Very nice. Have a great day with all your dogs! Barbara
Thanks Barbara. Have a great weekend:-)
that is so true! very interesting:)
Thanks for stopping by.
Hi! Thanks for liking my post! I had to write to you as the very strange thing is my daughter’s name is Marchella (the owner of Belle). How amazing is that? 🙂
Wow! This world is certainly small:-)
Barney had a toe that was injured before we got him. He never liked nail-clipping, but he despised that nail being cut!
Sabbath used to hate brushing of any sort until we found a brush she liked. It’s a mitt with a rubber brush side to it. She loves it so much she can’t decide which side she wants you to brush. She rolls over for her tummy, and stretches her legs out, then she stands up and puts her rump toward us, then turns around for her back to get brushed. She can’t sit still!
Luckily, she wears down her nails playing fetch, because she is so afraid of the clipper. I worry about when she will start to slow down and will need those nails shortened.
Lol. Your furry kids are certainly funny. What I did with a dog that did not like her nails clipped, her pet parents were never able to cut her nails, was to use treats and the assistance of my girlfriend, Cynthia, to do so. After a nice long, long walk, Cynthia, Bailey and I would sit on the floor. I had a handful of tasty treats and while Cynthia started touching and cutting her nails, I fed her tiny pieces of treats she loved. After a couple of times, Cynthia cut her nails without my help at all.
My dogs sensitive area is the full paw. He will let me hold his paw and caress it but no-one else can get near them.
Most dogs do not like having anybody touch or handle their paws in any way shape or form. But, you do can get your doggie used to it with some training and behavior modification. If it does not bother you, and you get to do what is needed to him, then let it be:)
I’m with Gir, my ears are the most sensitive spot :o)
Lol. Good to know:)
That’s great how you could apply the same technique to work with each different sensitivity. Luckily Eko doesn’t mind much, but I do try to be careful when cutting his nails since he’s not the biggest fan.
Aha! So he does have a sensitive part:) Most dogs do not like having their nails cut.