Sensitive to touch? Questions

Discussion in 'Belgian Shepherd Dog (Malinois)' started by Hailey, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Hailey

    Hailey New Member

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    Sensitive to touch?

    So my malinois is about 5 months old and while he is a great dog in many aspects one of the things thats weird is he growls when we touch his legs, paws, and butt area. If we've just gotten home and he's excited to see us he could care less if we touch him there and if there's food involved I can do whatever I want but otherwise he'll do this weird growl and eventually walk away, but he has given my vet a warning bite when the vet would not let him walk away and held onto him. My vet says it could be sore but it's been like this since about 3 months old and although we ONLY pet him in those areas that he's growly about it really hasn't changed. I've tried treats but obviously that doesn't work because he can always smell the food and will let me do anything but when there's no good left he goes back to being a growly brat. Anyone else have this problem with their dog? If so how did you fix it? Really appreciate any replies because this is a serious thing.
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  3. ShawnM

    ShawnM New Member

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    In my opinion you must touch their paws and legs from the get go; they need to be comfortable with this as ticks and such will especially go for between their toes. Once they figure out you are trying to help them it should be easier.

    Treats and reassuring talk would be the way forward. All dogs are different but with our Belgians it has always been a lot of socialization and making them comfortable with the areas that dogs are more sensitive to from the get go.

    I'm no expert but some "sweet talk" and a lot of physical contact should help your pup get more comfortable; you did not mention if your pup is the only dog you have and alone for long periods of time...that opens up some different things.

    Shawn
  4. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    I'm all for avoiding conflict situations with puppies. Sometimes repeatedly trying to fix a problem can create suspicion, and just ingrain it further. There is unlikely to be a painful condition if he will let you handle his legs for a treat, so I think I would be inclined to carry on using bribery for as long as it takes.
    Some dogs do have sensitive paws, and it is essential that he is going to be able to have them examined, and to have his nails clipped. I would be inclined to think of as many ways as possible of turning any kind of foot-touching into a game, and really make it fun, with lots of happy Yes! sounds, and food rewards. Examples are, touch your hands with alternate paws, (name each foot - I use Foot and Paw), high fives, or get him to use his foot to target your foot, knee, or a toy.
    Food rewards can always be phased out at a later stage.
  5. Hailey

    Hailey New Member

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    He is not the only dog we have a springer spaniel also and he is almost never alone since my sister works later in the day and by the time she has to leave I am home. Thanks for the advice I realize now that I should have handled his legs more when he was younger we just never had a problem with our other dog with it it kinda got pushed to the back of my mind. Really wished I had done more of that now. I'll start making him work for every bit of his food and play a lot of touchy games from now on because this is definetly not something I want!

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