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That's the last straw!

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by Steve Morris, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    We love our new Borderpoo puppy, at 13 weeks his training has been coming on well for the last 5 weeks, he sleeps all night, he's intelligent and funny BUT handling him is a nightmare. He won't let us wipe his paws when he comes in or cut his nails and if we try to be affectionate to him he mouths and nips. He can get quite wild if we push him a little, which we are loathe to do. Other than this he seems happy.

    We have been very gentle with him and only used positive treat training to which he's responding superbly. We've watched all the calming and handling vids and are trying all the suggestions about going slowly and treating him for baby steps. He also gets plenty of attention and exercise for his age and is not left for very long on his own.

    Finally, we decided to take him to the groomers. When we went to collect him he was sitting on the young girl assistants knee being stroked and loving it. They said he was no problem at all . . bathed, nails clipped, eyes and ears cleaned .. . grrrrrrr. What are we doing wrong. We had a Beagle before and he was fine!
     
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sometimes it's just being on better behaviour for a stranger lol!
     
  4. Finsky

    Finsky Active Member Registered

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    Oh he is still very young and what ever reason he is being 'touchy' will change given some time. There doesn't have to be any particular reason for his behaviour, or maybe it is because you are familiar to his where as strangers are not and feels that needs to be more careful.
    My pup is 6.5 months and she still doesn't like her nails being clipped or bum washed, or feet rinsed. Nails I manage to do when she is sleep next to me and I carry on touching her feet....and then 'quietly' cutting nail or two at the time..over the week I get them all done. But they learn and get used to it all eventually.

    As for his getting his paws cleaned...try cloth or water that is quite warm, they don't tend to react to it quite as much as cold water...which is fully as they are so enjoying getting their feet muddy or paddle in puddles.
    Don't push it and force what ever you need to do...but try to be sneaky.
    Mine don't like brushing at all..but I have two brushes, one is for her to grab hold with her teeth while other brush in other hand is very gently and slowly doing the job. Eventually she gives in and realize it is not a big deal and actually quite boring after while..either that or she is starting to enjoy it!

    With some dogs, grooming practises will be always a bit of a battle and others will eventually grow up and accept it..each dog is very different. You just have to accept your new dog has its own mind and will lean when it is ready.
     
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  5. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    I tried to google that, but 99% of posts are about dogs behaving badly towards strangers.
     
  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have a tip. Smear wet dog food, squeezy cheese or similar on your fridge door at licking level and brush (or whatever) while they are busy licking it off. Wipe clean after, easy!
     
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  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I just meant the unfamiliarity of a stranger brought out his best behaviour!
     
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  8. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    Just the same lol. Except he wasn't touchy at all with the teenage girl!!!
     
  9. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    Yeh, I know that. But the internet seems to be full of the opposite . . the unfamiliarity of the stranger bringing out the worst in dogs. Our dog seems to be a bit special in that regard ;)
     
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  10. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oh I wish mine would let a groomer do what he doesn't want me to do!

    I'd be wary of the 'He'll get used to it' approach if he already isn't keen. The best resource I've found for nail maintenance is a Facebook group called 'Nail Maintenance for Dogs' - it's really worth joining and studying their extensive resources (they get tetchy if you ask a question without reading all the resources first!). The techniques can also be extrapolated to grooming, etc. The basic approach is that if he doesn't like his nails being clipped, you stop clipping them, but condition him to get excited by the mere sight of the clippers (show clippers, treat him, repeat, repeat, repeat), and similarly to having his paws touched (or even having your hand somewhere near them), and gradually build up - only moving on when he shows he's really happy with the showing/touching etc. Some people, having got to the stage of being able to hold the dog's paw and hold the clippers near/touching then spend some time clipping bits of dry spaghetti next to the paw to get the dog used to (and associating positive things with) the sound of the clipping.

    If you go too fast, it's possible that it will just annoy him more and more and one day he'll turn and snap, and then it'll be much harder to change his negative state of mind to a positive one.
     
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  11. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    Thanks for the info. That's pretty much what we've been doing. But why did the grooming girl get a pass?
     
  12. DixieD

    DixieD Active Member Registered

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    Dogs, even puppies, are very good at picking up different vibes. First, he’d be in an unfamiliar environment, with unfamiliar dog and other smells, which would also make him a bit uncertain, which can make dogs quieter. And, if groomers are working with all sorts of dogs, day in, day out, they’ll exude a certain confidence in handling, which may make him feel more secure about being groomed. Our toy dog was very snappy about being groomed, when he was a pup, but, though you felt his teeth, he never used them. As we didn’t want him to develop “little dog syndrome”, we persevered with very short grooming sessions on areas he could cope with, and he was treated and praised immediately it was done. Now, if he complains, it is usually for a reason, and it’s just a bit of a grumble. And, when he’s told what a good boy he is, at the end of the grooming session, he gets all perky and excited at the thought of his treat.
     
  13. DixieD

    DixieD Active Member Registered

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    Similar as to what JudyN was saying re nail clipping, he might respond really well to clicker training. I do it with my horse, and I’m sure, if she saw someone going down the road, carrying a plastic bag and an umbrella, she’d be off after them, trying to touch both things, as I trained her to do, so she wasn’t frightened of either item. Clicker training is an art in itself, and with your dog’s breeding, I think it would pick the training up very quickly. Loads on the internet about it.
     
  14. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    Yes, he was very worried when he went in. But seemed very relaxed when we arrived, she was stroking him so well on her knee and he seemed to be enjoying it. When my wife and I stroke him, it seems too much for him and within 20 seconds or so he's trying to nip us and it just gets worse if we continue. He clearly loves us as he's always coming to sleep by our legs. It's most frustrating, and I wish I knew what was causing it and why he's not relaxed when we touch him.
     
  15. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Well he's never actually been to a groomers - he's not that sort of dog;) But he's a bit 'special' and can spot anyone with 'intent' over and above normal petting. A dog masseuse at a dog fair once just tried to put her hands on him and he reacted, in a way he wouldn't if it had been a normal friendly pat. And a dog physio once walked a mile around the local heath with us so he'd think she was just a friendly fellow dog walker before she could cop a feel and even then there was no way she could do anything therapeutic. So yes, they're just very sensitive to the vibes, and he's more sensitive than most!
     
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  16. Steve Morris

    Steve Morris New Member Registered

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    Thanks. Yes the clicker training is going really well, he's very smart. We like Kikopup on Youtube and have been trying most of her stuff.
     
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  17. DixieD

    DixieD Active Member Registered

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    The interesting thing about the pony I’ve got, I’ve mentioned this on another thread, was that both the breeder and people who knew her said how sweet natured she was. i bought her as a basically unhandled 5 year old off a little island. In fact, her breeder thought she might be TOO placid for me. The first couple of months I had her, she was the horse from Hell, hauled me everywhere, made threatening faces at me, tried to nip me, if I asked her to do anything.

    Turned out she was scared stiff, being on the mainland, such a different environment to an idyllic life on an island off the West Coast of Sciotland, and it was coming out as extreme defensiveness. Luckily, I found a very, understanding trainer, who looked at the situation, and saw that my pony was actually very anxious, and showed me how to start displaying the confidence my pony needed to cope with her new life. Now, I can lead her round on a piece of string, ride her without a saddle, and with a neck rope only, and she’ll give you big kisses till the cows come home.

    Sometimes, what you think you have, isn’t what you have at all. I was lucky in that I knew, under the threatening behaviour, was a very frightened, and sweet, pony. I imagine it can be the same for dogs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
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  18. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    I thought you were in the US for some reason - or was this in another life? Sorry, being nosey ...
     
  19. DixieD

    DixieD Active Member Registered

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    I didn’t think I’d mentioned it, but we lived in the US from 1987 to 1990. Scottish, born and bred. You must be omniscient. ;)

    Trust me to make a typo in the bit you’ve quoted!
     
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  20. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Be afraid, be very afraid ...:p
     
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  21. Ari_RR

    Ari_RR Well-Known Member Registered

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    Are you sure that you are really relaxed at those moments? If he feels your excitement or anxiety - it may trigger his.
     

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