Pet Forums Community

Go Back   Pet Forums Community > >

Dog Training and Behaviour Discuss dog training and behaviour problems in this section. Are you having problems with your dogs behaviour? Then submit your problems and get help from other members. Do you have some excellent dog training advice? then submit your details here to help others.

Registered users don't see this ad - Register Now (It's free!)
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 19-06-2010, 02:54 PM
Django987 Django987 is offline
Pet Forums Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
Django987 is on a distinguished road
Dog who doesn't like to be touched

I have a rapidly approaching 3 year old Jack Russell Terrier. I have only had him for 10 months but during that time we have built up quite a bond and he seems perfectly relaxed and happy around me. However, he is quite highly strung and when we visit the vet it can be a bit of a nightmare.

He has never been much of a touchy feely type dog but does let me stroke him and likes a cuddle every now and then but it does seem to have to be on his terms. When we go to the vet he just doesn't want to be touched or examined in any way and will do everything possible to get off the examination table. He is not aggressive in any way but does get himself worked up so much that he becomes very hot and pants (the vet tried to listen to his chest yesterday but couldn't because of all the panting). I have maintained stroking him generally and touching him in doggy sensitive places (belly, paws, ears etc) at home and he will allow me to do it but clearly doesn't like it most of the time. I persevere with this but it doesn't seem to make any difference when we visit the vet.

At the vets I remain calm at all times and even take him out for a long relaxing walk prior to the visit but none of this seems to matter as he simply wants to get off the table and get outta there! Also it doesn't seem to matter if the vet is male or female - he doesn't particularly like either.

My biggest worry is that if anything serious should happen to him, examining him would be almost impossible which in the long run could be to his detriment.

Any ideas from anyone?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 19-06-2010, 03:01 PM
JessiesGirl JessiesGirl is offline
Pet Forums Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 422
JessiesGirl will become famous soon enough
Re: Dog who doesn't like to be touched

Is it absolutely necessary for the dog to be examined on the table instead of on the floor?

Maybe this is a US thing, but more and more often, the better vets examine dogs on the floor!

It keeps the dogs calmer. In many cases, vet anxiety has to do with being lifted up onto the table. Unless your dog regularly goes to a groomer or is groomed on a table at home, he's anxious up on the table. If it's a stainless steel table with no mat, he's also got insecure footing.

If your vet will not consider exams on the floor, then you can try yourself to accommodate your dog to being comfortable on tables.

Just get a small rug or mat that will give him secure footing on the table at home and then gently get him used to being on the table and treated while there for accepting it.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 19-06-2010, 05:45 PM
goodvic2's Avatar
goodvic2 goodvic2 is offline
Pet Forums VIP Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: In the mad house!
Posts: 4,774
goodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant futuregoodvic2 has a brilliant future
Re: Dog who doesn't like to be touched

Hello, welcome to the forum!

One of my rescue's does not particuarly liked to be touched. He is ok with family, but much prefers his own space. He has his bed in the lounge, and whilst he comes over to you for a fuss now and again, he is much happier in his own bed! I would describe him as quite "aloof", but that is my Max!

I guess some dogs are like that. Yours may get better over time.

Did you know that when you give affection to a dog at a time of anxiety/stress/anger etc, you are in actual fact reinforcing the behaviour?

Although your intention is to give him comfort when he is distressed at the vets. What you are actually saying in doggy language is "I am giving you affection therefore I am rewarding your behaviour". Therefore reinforcing it.

Any affection/attention to a dog is a REWARD. They do not understand that you are trying to comfort it.

I have 3 of my own rescue's, and 2 other dogs living with me. If you watch a pack of dogs integrate, it tells you a lot. Max and Lilly (2 of my rescues) are not very well balanced and have their "issues". When they start to display negative behaviour i.i barking at people, anxiety. Then the other dogs CORRECT it. It is not normal for a dog to "misbehave". They certainly don't lick them or treat them nicely, on the contuary they may even get a little nip.

I am not saying that by ignoring his behaviour in the vet will stop it. But by giving him fuss, you are encouraging it.

You are better to completely ignore him. If you have to, then put a muzzle on him.

Is the dog ill and needing regular treatment, by the way?
__________________
www.dogsineedofspace.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 19-06-2010, 06:13 PM
Zirallan Zirallan is offline
Pet Forums Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 13
Zirallan is on a distinguished road
Re: Dog who doesn't like to be touched

Panting doesn't necessarily mean a dog is hot.. It's also a sign of stress in dogs. The more stressed the dog, generally, the more they pant.

I second the idea of the dog not being examined on the table if possible. I understand that it's a small dog and a lot of vets don't want to get down on the floor if they don't have to but it might lessen his anxiety. Most dogs aren't keen on being picked up unless they've had it done regularly. Slippery surfaces aren't appreciated by any dog and far too many vets have no traction provided for the dog on their tables.

Another thing to be aware of is when does your dog start showing signs of stress? Ears laid back, tail tucked, eyes wide, panting.. Each dog is a little different but those are some common signs of stress. He very likely doesn't just start flipping out on the table.. I'm willing to bet that he exhibits signs of stress well before that. Possibly before you even get inside the vets office.. Take the time to watch him and find out when he starts having an issue. Then work with him from there to desensitize him and make the vets a not so bad place where he just gets poked and prodded. If the vet is willing, find out when they're not generally too busy and bring him around so the staff can just give him treats and maybe a scratch behind the ears. In my experience, a lot of dogs have problems with the vet simply because the ONLY time they go there is to be poked and prodded.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 19-06-2010, 07:15 PM
tripod's Avatar
tripod tripod is offline
Pet Forums VIP Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Meath, Ireland
Posts: 1,618
tripod is just really nicetripod is just really nicetripod is just really nicetripod is just really nicetripod is just really nicetripod is just really nice
Re: Dog who doesn't like to be touched

Is there any relelvant medical condition here?
Does your need to go back to the vets anytime soon for treatment?

Stress signals (early) in dogs include pupil dilation, gaze averting, lip licking, yawning, stillness, head turns, slow blinks, food refusal etc. If your dog shows these then you have gone too far and pushed too much.

When working with discomfort or fear, which is likely in your dog's case, start with the easiest your dog can cope with - as in what can you do before he shows early discomfort signs. This may just be proximity at first, not even touching.
So if you can get within 2in (just as an example) feed while withing 2 inches (use high value rewards for this). When your dog begins to look for his treat at this proximity you can begin to up the criterie i.e move closer.
When you actually begin to touch him start again with the easiest - most dogs are more likely to be sensitive with their feet, tail (back end) and head/face being handled so start the furthest from your dog's least comfortable areas.
Play touch4treat - touch area gently (move slowly and calmly) and then immiediatley feed. Repeat and up criteria slowly before moving on to the next area by upping the pressure or the duration of the touch.

My fella was extremely anti-touch when i got him (and a serious resource guarding issue too) and his leash favourite areas to be handled were his feet and butt - they are now his most fave areas for a scratch and will line his butt up for you and give you a foot to have in between his toes massaged!

Here is some detailed info on grooming and handling for adults: G-g-g-g-g-g-grooming part 2 pawsitive dogs

I have found that once you get over the first hump slowly and carefully that they respond really well to T-touch. Try to find a T-touch practitioner that can do a session with you (when your dog is ready) and to show you how its done. The book Getting in Ttouch with your Dog is also great but I think it helps to be shown how its done.

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot reward fear - fear is an emotion and is not contingent on consequence relationship. You can reward fearful behaviour. BUT if fear is the primiary emotion, which it likely is, then the body prioritises that and is not actively learning so giving attention to the dog is unlikley to be detrimental in this way. It may however cause your dog to become more upset and fussed.

Bring your dog to the vets just to hang out and feed him treats in the waiting room or play a game and then go home. Do this regularly to break the association between the discomfort and vets place. Again, proximity is crucial-if your dog shows discomfort signs its too much and learning is unlikely to happen.

If the dog is merely tolerant or worse shut down so appears tolerant of handling procedures then work needs to be slow and calm. With fear you ahve to work at the dog's pace so if he shows discomfort signaling go back to a stage where he was comfortable and start from there again.
__________________
Anne, owned by Rufus & Tripod

Pet Central site & blog
Join us on FaceBook & Follow us on twitter

"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck

"If you don't want your dog to bite you, don't be an a**hole to him." ~ Dr. Ian Dunbar
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 19-06-2010, 07:24 PM
Daggre's Avatar
Daggre Daggre is offline
Pet Forums Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 247
Daggre is on a distinguished road
Re: Dog who doesn't like to be touched

I don't think they see affection as a reward for fear, it just adds to the excitement, whereas by ignoring the dog you are saying, 'it's okay'. Which is what you are doing Taking him for a walk first is a good idea, you could try rewarding him every time he settles in the vets, for instance, if you can get the dog to go 'down' on the floor and you could reward, then allow the vet to touch him, then reward again if he remains calm...

I think you should do a lot of work with the dog, such as making touch a really positive thing! For instance when your dog gets a chew, spend the time he is chewing by touching him, and stroking him, you could also try this at mealtimes! You want the dog to see it as positive, you could do a lot of touching before handing over a toy or playing fetch for instance.

This way the dog should see touch=funfunfun.

I think teaching Target touch is a good idea too!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 19-06-2010, 08:00 PM
tripod's Avatar
tripod tripod is offline
Pet Forums VIP Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Meath, Ireland
Posts: 1,618
tripod is just really nicetripod is just really nicetripod is just really nicetripod is just really nicetripod is just really nicetripod is just really nice
Re: Dog who doesn't like to be touched

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggre View Post
I don't think they see affection as a reward for fear, it just adds to the excitement, whereas by ignoring the dog you are saying, 'it's okay'. Which is what you are doing

(snip)

I think teaching Target touch is a good idea too!
We cannot say what they 'see' or not but we do have evidence to support the way behavioural and emotional systems work. In fearful situations, do what the dog needs and determine this by understanding doggie signaling. Generally in a strange, scary place the more familiarity the dog experiences the fewer stress syptoms they show so the owner in this case is likely to be a familiar factor. Stay close and speak to the dog calmly once that doesn't escalate stress behaviour. It has been shown that cuddling a distressed dog does not necessarily lead to a reduction of the stress response.

As for teaching a touch cue this is essential for all dogs but especially useful for easily distracted or distressed dogs. Excellent suggestion!
__________________
Anne, owned by Rufus & Tripod

Pet Central site & blog
Join us on FaceBook & Follow us on twitter

"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts." - John Steinbeck

"If you don't want your dog to bite you, don't be an a**hole to him." ~ Dr. Ian Dunbar
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 19-06-2010, 08:28 PM
JessiesGirl JessiesGirl is offline
Pet Forums Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 422
JessiesGirl will become famous soon enough
Re: Dog who doesn't like to be touched

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daggre View Post
I don't think they see affection as a reward for fear, it just adds to the excitement, whereas by ignoring the dog you are saying, 'it's okay'. Which is what you are doing

I'm more of tripod's opinion regarding touch and fearful dogs.

But there's some truth to what you've said as well. There are calming ways to attend to a dog in a stressful situation and there are ways that wind him up even more.

Slow, long strokes of medium pressure with slow, soft, calm tones from you are calming and reassuring. They help the dog to relax and have reinforced his looking to you for direction when he's in trouble.

Quick, choppy pats and chatter from the owner in a rapid cadence in all likelihood are winding the dog up. It's too much and it's exciting to boot. I see an awful lot of owners unwittingly do this because they are feeling stressed themselves! You also see owners do this at more appropriate times, like trying to get a dog to play or before some sort of high-energy exercise. It's a disaster at the vet's though!

I think teaching Target touch is a good idea too!

Me too!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 19-06-2010, 09:52 PM
Daggre's Avatar
Daggre Daggre is offline
Pet Forums Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 247
Daggre is on a distinguished road
Re: Dog who doesn't like to be touched

Quote:
Quick, choppy pats and chatter from the owner in a rapid cadence in all likelihood are winding the dog up. It's too much and it's exciting to boot. I see an awful lot of owners unwittingly do this because they are feeling stressed themselves! You also see owners do this at more appropriate times, like trying to get a dog to play or before some sort of high-energy exercise. It's a disaster at the vet's though!
I agree I feel that long calm strokes and gentle voices are okay- i do this with my dog.
But I see sooo many people going it's okay, it's okay what's wrong, what's wrong, -fuss fuss-' All they do it create excitement and the dogs is just like 'OMG why is she so excited -panics-'
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 20-06-2010, 09:46 AM
Django987 Django987 is offline
Pet Forums Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 3
Django987 is on a distinguished road
Re: Dog who doesn't like to be touched

Many thanks to everyone who has responded so far. Some excellent suggestions.

I particularly like the idea of being examined on the floor and shall definately ask this next time we visit. I have to admit, it was something that just hadn't crossed my mind. My dog doesn't have an ongoing medical problem, he simply visited for his annual booster and the vet wanted to have a general examination just to make sure he was in general good health. However, the sooner this issue can be resolved the better long term although I do realise that a lot of time is going to have to be invested.

I also particularly like the idea of visiting the vet even when he doesn't need treatment and using rewards - therefore associating the vet area as a positive thing. I shall try this too.

I don't fuss him at all when we do visit the vet and if anything tend to ignore him but as so many of you have said, he does show stress symptoms as soon as we arrive in the car park. This is normally in the form of being very restless and barking at other dogs. His temperature also rises and panting ensues but this is the stress, not a temperature control issue. I tend to do a calm hold on his collar (loose but steady hold without making any sound or other motion) whilst waiting which does help but as soon as we enter the examination room he becomes highly stressed.

Again, many thanks for your suggestions....I'll keep you posted!

Last edited by Django987; 20-06-2010 at 09:48 AM..
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Sponsored Ads


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All posts made on this forum are NOT monitored.
All times are GMT. The time now is 09:36 PM.


PetForums is part of the Pet Media group of websites including | Pets4Homes | PetsLocally


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v1.1.7 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like v3.2.8 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.