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Adolescence or other?

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Jojobasharat, Jun 29, 2020 at 9:43 PM.

  1. Jojobasharat

    Jojobasharat New Member Registered

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    Hello! My wee Westie has just turned 1 year old! He’s extremely well socialised, very affectionate and well behaved! Very stubborn like all stereotypical Westies though! Haha!

    very recently in the last few weeks, we’ve noticed that in the evenings, he’ll jump up beside us on the couch to relax or nap. If we try to stroke / pet him, he’ll snap and whine (no biting and no growling). If I leave my hand there he will very gently mouth it and will then start licking my hand. He may even eventually move away.

    he’ll do this during the day too. 90% of the time it will be when he’s awoken from a nap or relaxed.

    Other times, it might be when he is wanting to go for a walk if he knows it’s that time of day.

    Otherwise he’s honestly the most affectionate wee thing and loves cuddles! But the frequency of it is increasing quite a bit and I’m not sure what’s changed?

    he’s not in pain and nothing wrong with his skin as I’ll touch his hips / back etc at other times and he’s fine. And he does regularly let me pat him.

    just to say, when he is napping etc 99.9% of the time he’s left to it and not disturbed. It’s just if he’s come beside us and we go to pat him.

    im just trying to work out what he’s trying to tell us? Or if it’s just his hormones making him grumpy? (He’s not currently neutered).

    its just very new behaviour so trying to work it out! My only assumption is it’s hormone related. Does licking after snapping mean something?

    Any advice very welcomed!

    Thank you!

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  3. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    I would suggest a break from petting. It is possible that teen age issues are coming up with his behaviour.
    It could be as if he saying 'get off...leave me alone...I'm not mood for it'
    While he is showing his moody side at the moment, let him ask/show you when he wants some cuddles..otherwise behave normally, talk to him but don't pet him. If it is all related to his age and getting more independent and confident, then there is no point to push him to physical contact until he is ready.
    Ragsysmum likes this.
  4. Tinytom

    Tinytom Member Registered

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    Oneof our jack russells is exactly the same ...fuss only when he asks for it ...he is now 5 yrs old ..;)
    Ragsysmum likes this.
  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    My dog does this - it's frustrating when they want to sprawl all over you and then complain when you move! For us, the solution was that he can't come on the sofa when we're on it (he accepted this very quickly), but you might be able to get away with just not petting your Westie.

    It might be that before the snap, he had shown in body language too subtle for you to notice that he wasn't happy with being petted - so watch out for any stiffnes in the body, roll of the eyes, changes in ear positions... the earlier you can pick up on this the less need he has to resort to snapping. There's also a phenomenon called 'sleep aggression' where the dog reacts before he's had a chance to wake up properly and realise there's no threat - dogs can sleep with their eyes open so he may seem to be just relaxing.

    I'm sure it is to do with growing up (think of a teenager whose parents still want to cuddle them), though not necessarily hormonal, so neutering may well not make any difference.
  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Can I suggest that if he does come to you for a cuddle, use the five second rule.

    Stroke him for five seconds (and some dogs prefer you avoid the head) then stop. Only if he initiates further contact by nudging you or similar, continue for another five seconds then stop again. Continue only for as long as he keeps asking. That gives him control and in turn that will build his confidence that he can stop it if he wants, without snapping.
    Hemlock, Ragsysmum and niamh123 like this.
  7. Hemlock

    Hemlock Active Member Registered

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    He might just be uncomfortably hot. So he wants to relax with you but doesn't want to be stroked.

    The controlled snap says "please don't touch me" the licking says "I'm sorry I needed to snap".

    I never stroke my dogs unless they ask.
  8. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    JoanneF, your comment on avoiding the head reminded me about Folly's funny way. Put simply she loves most people and when we are out she goes close to them looking at them, if they either say something to her or hold their hand out to her she goes up and lets them stroke or pat her. But if they go to stroke her head she turns it away so they stroke her shoulder. But with people she really knows and trust, myself and a close friend, she loves her head and ears fussed with. I assume its simply a trust issue, for sure their are types of touching I am only happy with very few people.
    JoanneF likes this.

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