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Chewing, errr, a delicate area

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by GreyLee, Feb 14, 2018.

  1. GreyLee

    GreyLee New Member Registered

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    Hi all,
    I wonder if there are any others out there with a similar weirdo to our young lad.
    He's a saluki cross, roughly 2 years old and has been neutered.
    Most evenings he does zoomies around our house and garden.
    Around the same sort of time, he gets quite excited - you can see it in his body language (stiff tail, ears sort of forward). No, there's no agression markers there, before anyone wonders :)
    During this excitement, he chews on his errrr, boy parts. And by "chews", I'm talking really chews. In fact, he backs himself up against a sofa and tucks his leg over his head and chomps.
    It's pretty comical to watch and we expect/hope he'd stop if/when he hurt himself (hasn't happened yet).
    After a very short time we tell him to stop (and threaten to get to squirty bottle if he doesn't - fresh water in a clean squirty bottle is a great tool).
    Just thought I'd share in case there are others out there.
    We're assuming it's due to his age and that he'll grow out of it.
    Violet Turner likes this.
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm not sure why he is doing it unless he is cleaning himself or might have a little infection that he relieves by licking. Or it might be a stress reliever. But
    No, it's not. Something like this is stopping a behaviour because the animal dislikes it. So it is, in that sense, just a more subtle version of hitting him with a big stick (extreme example but same principle). The fact is; he doesn't know he is doing something you dislike (he is maybe cleaning or relieving anxiety but also many other things simultaneously), so he is just being sprayed / punished without actually knowing what for. It risks breaking any bond you have with him because his human, who he trusts to look after him, is suddenly doing something unpredictable and unpleasant and he doesn't really know why or importantly, what you do want. If he is licking out of stress, a punisher like this could raise his stress.

    What you could do, if you rule out any medical reason, is as soon as he comes in, work on some quick training games to have him do an alternative behaviour. So if you are asking him to sit, down, bow, paws up, target (there are loads of ideas online if you need them) he can't be simultaneously doing the behaviour that you want him to stop. It breaks the habit, is less stressful for both of you, brain work tires dogs so he will be more ready to settle, and he learns some cool tricks. Win all round for everyone.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2018
    arealhuman and Josie like this.
  3. poptart

    poptart Member Registered

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    Yes, I wouldn't use aversion techniques unless he's doing something antisocial or dangerous to himself or others. I've never known a dog deliberately hurt itself by cleaning its boy bits. Does he do much humping? It could be he's just a bit frisky and has found a way of relieving himself.
    arealhuman and Violet Turner like this.
  4. arealhuman

    arealhuman Well-Known Member Registered

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    How long ago was he neutered? Could it be the remnants of a the operation causing him itchiness? A trainer once told us about the water bottle thing, and whilst it diverted our dog's attention from other dogs, there's a danger you use it more often and the effect weakens, not to mention the comments above which I've come to learn are correct. Perhaps try another distraction technique, but if it worries you, have a word with your vet. Hope that helps.
    Violet Turner likes this.
  5. Violet Turner

    Violet Turner Well-Known Member Registered

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    Have you been to the vets recently?

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