Many people have had posts about their dogs biting them or growling at them when they kiss or hug their dogs. Some folks have stated that they cannot physically restrain their dogs or they get mad. I am curious as to how many people have this issue with their dogs?
Kim's fear issues were such that entering a room unexpectedly would send her to a hiding place. Approaching her was not an option...had to wait til she approached me and reward her quietly and gently without putting spatial pressure on her. Hugging and kissing wasn't really an option lol.
As we progressed though she reached a point where she could function in regular society, and we just kept going. I liked (and still do like) to take her with me anywhere I could, plus there was the possibility of having or caring for kids at some point, so we slowly taught her to allow physical restraint, being picked up (in case of emergency), kisses, rolling over (as a game), having her tail brushed and ears cleaned, etc. Learning to tolerate a "head lock" went so well that now she does it voluntarily when she wants attention, and will sleep soundly with my arm draped across her. I honestly think her life is improved by learning to accept these things, and even enjoy them.
I also know some people that feel "this is my house, so my rules" when it comes to their dogs. I guess I tend to come from that mind set myself. I don't think I force my dogs to do too many things that they do not like but there are a few things they would opt out of if given half a chance. Things like baths, nails, teeth brushing and scaling are all things they would say "No" to if I were not into the forcing it to happen deal.
Pretty much the same here...when it concerns their safety and well-being, sure they have to do things they don't like. Nails and bathtime are top of the list. But I make it as easy-to-get-through and rewarding as possible so they do tolerate it...even offering their paws for trimming and climbing into the tub themselves for baths. But they don't like it.
How many of you feel that if you wish to hug and kiss your dogs you should be able to no matter what the dog thinks? How many of you believe that your dogs enjoy the physical affection?
Webster is a snuggle-dog and loves nothing more than to be bundled up and snuggled. The trick was teaching him that he doesn't get that on demand...has to be polite about it. Kim was a matter of shaping...she *wanted* to be close but was afraid to...so it was a step by step process of showing her what was okay and that she would be rewarded for staying close. At no point was she forced into anything. Again, now she even "requests" the close contact even when she knows there is not food/toy reward, so I believe she finds it self-reinforcing on a social level.
How many feel you should be able to do anything you want to your dog? (within reason) and why?
I kinda said this above but...personally I think you should work with your dog to where you can do anything necessary in terms of keeping them healthy and being able to act in an emergency situation. If your dog doesn't like your hand approaching from the top, teach him it's rewarding because you never know when a stranger will and you don't want the person to be snapped at and your dog pay the ultimate price. If your dog is of a size to be carried, they should be able to tolerate it without panicking. Having carried my first heart dog who had just been hit by a truck and mangled to by family's car to rush to the vet, I can't stress how important this is. He was an 80lb dog..if he fought being carried, I couldn't have done it.
But doing things your dog doesn't like just for the sake of it? No. I see no reason to razzle your dog with a foot or blow on his ears or pull his tail or whatnot just to get a reaction, knowing it annoys him. Just as I see no reason for my dogs to whine at me when I'm on the phone because it annoys ME lol.
Using the principals of force x counter-force (as in martial arts) you can get a dog who is much stronger than yourself moving in the direction you want him to go--and quite gently. Ex: if you apply slight pressure to a dog's right shoulder, he will shift his weight into it. You can then use his own off-balance rightward force to turn him to the right. Regardless of the strength disparity--and who has the advantage--it is a useful technique for avoiding injury all the way 'round. BTW, if you want to really see this principle put into practice, watch a physical therapist, or occupational therapist, work with motor-impaired disabled kids. It can be the only way to get a CP kid moving within his ROM, without breaking anything.
OT but...this is also clutch if you have a very large horse standing on your foot
Can't say how many times I've seen people attempting to shove a horse off from their side only to have the horse shift MORE weight in that direction...when a touch on the other side fixes the problem almost immediately.
Anyways, yes, I DO hug and kiss my dog, I also pick him up, snuggle him, and restrain him in all sorts of other ways, which he doesn't seem to mind. He even seems to enjoy the hugs and kisses. When I give him a kiss (on top of the head, I don't do the mouth kisses, lol!) he usually doesn't react, but sometimes looks up at me and licks his lips a little in that affectionate way, like when we come home and he's greeting us, or he sees a kid at the park and he's craving some lovin's, which is usually accompanied by a full-body wiggle.
All that lip-licking and full-body wriggling are usually submissive, calming gestures, often shown when a dog is unsure of your intentions or a bit uncomfortable with the present situation. Just as a general FYI...something you might want to watch for.