Hand-shy pup

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Rahne

Hand-shy pup

Post by Rahne » Thu May 10, 2012 6:41 pm

Do any people here have experience with hand-shy pups/dogs?

Winter is 14 weeks old now and I have him for 3 weeks. When I first got him he would back/run away from me whenever I would try to touch or grab him. Finally he is showing improvement with me touching him but he still behaves in the same way with any other people (including my boyfriend). He doesn't seem to be afraid of people, as long as they ignore him he seems comfortable and not really interested in them. Sometimes he will go up and sniff people and he also takes treats, he just doesn't want to be touched.

Right now I will ask people not to pet him but instead offer him a treat. I'm afraid that if I push him into contact he might start snapping at them. But some people say I do have to force him into contact and let many people touch him so he will start to like it.

Any one can give me some tips/advice/experiences??

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arianwenarie
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by arianwenarie » Thu May 10, 2012 6:56 pm

I would advise teaching him the 'touch' command. For more info, please PM me. :)

Rahne

Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Rahne » Thu May 10, 2012 7:42 pm

Thanks for the advice arianwenarie. He will sniff people and take treats from them, it is when people raise their hand to pet him that he backs away. So if you can give me the advice on accepting petting that would be great :)

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Gabriele58 » Thu May 10, 2012 8:36 pm

I would appreciate any advice on allowing petting as well. I have the same problems with Loki. Thank you for any advice you can offer.
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by KRHert » Thu May 10, 2012 8:43 pm

Tika will let us pet her, but she does shy away from strangers sometimes. She will take treats just fine though lol. She has been getting better over the past few weeks. Sometimes at puppy class she will go sit right next to complete strangers haha. I feel like she could care less sometimes about being petted, it's more like she puts up with it than she really likes it.
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by arianwenarie » Thu May 10, 2012 9:18 pm

Work with the touch command as I had mentioned earlier. The more you work with your dog on the command, the better...

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Nino » Thu May 10, 2012 9:36 pm

arianwenarie
I have a dog who is the half sister of all the above described dogs (I think not totally sure though lol )
She is now 1½ year old and will fully accept being petted and touched anywhere on the body and both pulled and lifted as long as it is my near family (which is me, my mother and father and my sister, and my brothers children - whom she have been living with for a while because I had to move but still had to finish school - yeay done soon!), she will even enjoy being scratched and will lean up against you as a cat sometimes, it's only within the last 6 months or so she have started to "present her belly for rubs" to my family, but she have always enjoyed for me to "pick up" her head or for me to grap her face "cheeks" and put it close to my face and then when I give her a kiss on the forehead or nose (she has a certain look in her face when she enjoy something and she is totally relaxed).
But she will shy away from strangers if they focus on her, she can be totally relaxed near them even at their feet but as soon as they turn their attention towards her she will walk away - she specially dislike them touching her head (which is funny because she really enjoy this the most with me).
Hellan (who owns Matsi) seemed to get her a lot and she have now accepted him to pet her head by being patient and using lots of treats (along with his own pup Matsi showing total trust in him).

Children is again something totally different - she loves children a lot, and other dogs she also like a lot.

I know/believe that it's not direct fear of strangers, as she can be fine as long as they ignore her - I would more like call it a "respect of their space" by "granting" them space or something like that - do you have any thoughts on that?
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by arianwenarie » Thu May 10, 2012 9:47 pm

When a dog rolls on their back, it is not submission, it's a defensive position. General rule of thumb would be to not pet a dog who is on their back or half on their back & side as that can give the message that it's OK for them to feel defensive. I don't touch my dog when I am loving on her and she suddenly rolls onto her back unless she is completely relaxed and her body is U-shaped away from me. If she's on her side, that is a true submissive position and my dog has learned that she will get LOOOTS of loving if she's on her side.

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Rahne » Thu May 10, 2012 9:57 pm

arianwenarie wrote:When a dog rolls on their back, it is not submission, it's a defensive position. General rule of thumb would be to not pet a dog who is on their back or half on their back & side as that can give the message that it's OK for them to feel defensive. I don't touch my dog when I am loving on her and she suddenly rolls onto her back unless she is completely relaxed and her body is U-shaped away from me. If she's on her side, that is a true submissive position and my dog has learned that she will get LOOOTS of loving if she's on her side.
Umm I'm a bit confused about this.. Konah rolls herself onto her back at least 10 times a day, it's her favorite position and she LOVES to get her belly rubbed more then anything. I can also just lie down with her and bury my face in her belly and give her kisses :oops:

Like this:
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Nino » Thu May 10, 2012 9:59 pm

Rahne wrote:
arianwenarie wrote:When a dog rolls on their back, it is not submission, it's a defensive position. General rule of thumb would be to not pet a dog who is on their back or half on their back & side as that can give the message that it's OK for them to feel defensive. I don't touch my dog when I am loving on her and she suddenly rolls onto her back unless she is completely relaxed and her body is U-shaped away from me. If she's on her side, that is a true submissive position and my dog has learned that she will get LOOOTS of loving if she's on her side.
Umm I'm a bit confused about this.. Konah rolls herself onto her back at least 10 times a day, it's her favorite position and she LOVES to get her belly rubbed more then anything. I can also just lie down with her and bury my face in her belly and give her kisses :oops:
Same with a lot of dogs I know.. I think it might depend on the situation..
Maybe it's in the context of other dogs?
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Gabriele58 » Thu May 10, 2012 10:03 pm

Thanks so much arianwenarie. I've got it all copied and saved, but don't tell anyone ;)
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by arianwenarie » Thu May 10, 2012 10:04 pm

If their body is stiff and they're on their back, then that's clearly defensive. If they are on their back and relaxed, not so much. I personally have some difficulty differentiating, so I just don't pet my dog when she's on her back. XD

Though, I was told that if their back end is curled up, then that's definitely defensive...if relaxed, then not.

EDIT:
Rahne, thanks for sharing that pic. See how she's U-shaped away from you and her back end is relaxed? That means she's enjoying the attention - which is perfectly OK. If her back end is not like that and stiff and/or she's U-shaped facing you, then that is a dog who may bite from being defensive.

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Sally » Thu May 10, 2012 11:37 pm

Nixi, also from the same litter was hand-shy from the day we got her. She did form a good bond with me and my husband but she never looked for affection. I have never met such an unfriendly pup. Unfortunately her fear of people turned to aggression by the age of twelve weeks. This happened three times, and always towards children, the last time she attacked my son, who I thought she was comfortable with. She never gave any warning, and all three times were in calm, controlled situations.

Dogs like these can be trained to accept touch, but will they ever enjoy it, and will they ever be trustworthy?

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by arianwenarie » Thu May 10, 2012 11:51 pm

It all depends on the dog, unfortunately. I do know some dogs with issues that are controlled and managed. But I have also met other dogs who have been successfully rehabilitated...

The dogs who are controlled and managed - if the owner slacks just a bit on controlling and managing, then the end result may not be good. I know a 11 year old poodle who had severe aggression issues at just 6 months old who enjoys touch. But he's still controlled and managed - if left to his own devices, there's no doubt that he would climb the ladder and establish himself as an alpha. With his owner, he would be considered the beta if there were rank in the pack. He's just overconfident. ;)

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Blustag » Fri May 11, 2012 12:47 am

Rahne wrote:Do any people here have experience with hand-shy pups/dogs?

Winter is 14 weeks old now and I have him for 3 weeks. When I first got him he would back/run away from me whenever I would try to touch or grab him. Finally he is showing improvement with me touching him but he still behaves in the same way with any other people (including my boyfriend). He doesn't seem to be afraid of people, as long as they ignore him he seems comfortable and not really interested in them. Sometimes he will go up and sniff people and he also takes treats, he just doesn't want to be touched.

Right now I will ask people not to pet him but instead offer him a treat. I'm afraid that if I push him into contact he might start snapping at them. But some people say I do have to force him into contact and let many people touch him so he will start to like it.

Any one can give me some tips/advice/experiences??
I did mail you and give you advice.

Also Winter was very social here with me and loved his cuddles. He was also very playful which you can see from pics I posted on
the forum. I find this so very sad and wished I had kept him here now. ALL puppies are very well socialised having been born in the lounge where I sleep with the expectant mother and then they are transferred into the kitchen (which is the main room for everyone to congregate) when they are 3 weeks old. Once they are running around they are allowed freedom and are also taken outside and meet all the adults. I cant explain why puppies are shy when they get to their new homes except that perhaps it is something to do with the flights as they spend a long time pre flight and after landing, in a box. They then have an onward journey in a car to their final destination. Having said that many puppies I have flown have bounced right out of the boxes and into the arms of their new owners :D One in particular I was very worried about was a pup I sent out to New Zealand and that was a long flight but pup was so happy when it arrived and just bounced right out of its box into new owner's arms thankfully.

Rahne

Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Rahne » Fri May 11, 2012 12:59 am

Blustag wrote:
Rahne wrote:Do any people here have experience with hand-shy pups/dogs?

Winter is 14 weeks old now and I have him for 3 weeks. When I first got him he would back/run away from me whenever I would try to touch or grab him. Finally he is showing improvement with me touching him but he still behaves in the same way with any other people (including my boyfriend). He doesn't seem to be afraid of people, as long as they ignore him he seems comfortable and not really interested in them. Sometimes he will go up and sniff people and he also takes treats, he just doesn't want to be touched.

Right now I will ask people not to pet him but instead offer him a treat. I'm afraid that if I push him into contact he might start snapping at them. But some people say I do have to force him into contact and let many people touch him so he will start to like it.

Any one can give me some tips/advice/experiences??
I did mail you and give you advice.

Also Winter was very social here with me and loved his cuddles. He was also very playful which you can see from pics I posted on
the forum. I find this so very sad and wished I had kept him here now. ALL puppies are very well socialised having been born in the lounge where I sleep with the expectant mother and then they are transferred into the kitchen (which is the main room for everyone to congregate) when they are 3 weeks old. Once they are running around they are allowed freedom and are also taken outside and meet all the adults. I cant explain why puppies are shy when they get to their new homes except that perhaps it is something to do with the flights as they spend a long time pre flight and after landing, in a box. They then have an onward journey in a car to their final destination. Having said that many puppies I have flown have bounced right out of the boxes and into the arms of their new owners :D One in particular I was very worried about was a pup I sent out to New Zealand and that was a long flight but pup was so happy when it arrived and just bounced right out of its box into new owner's arms thankfully.
Yes you did mail me to tell me to look for professional help but I would also like to get some practical tips on how I can work with him myself :)

I never mentioned him not being playful.. that's not the 'issue'. He backs away from any physical contact with other people and it took him 2 weeks to fully accept it from me and be comfortable about it. He was like that when I got him and now I need to work with him so he improves or at least doesn't get worse.

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Blustag » Fri May 11, 2012 1:07 am

I have pm'd you.

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Tiantai » Fri May 11, 2012 4:27 am

I'm actually having this same problem with long-coat chihuahua Sasha but to a much lower level.
She is friendly with everyone but has this "don't pet me!" attitude. Never in my whole life raising this toy breed have I been "snapped" for simply trying to pet her. I think it's time I tell my cousin to pay more attention to his little pup's negative behaviour towards guesses. While my Buddy accepted food out of my hands with no problem, Sasha is a very hyperactive girl with a strong distrust on both the petting and the treat offer so I've decided to stop offering her treats until she learns to beat her fear of occasional visitors.
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by skyedream » Fri May 11, 2012 9:40 am

My Maya has always been shy around strangers. Even people who speak to her on a daily basis she will shy away from if they try to touch her. She has never been aggressive towards people though; she only ducks her head and backs off when someone tries to pet her. Even sometimes when I try to pet her head she might duck. I agree with KRHert here. Sometimes Maya just doesn't feel like getting petted and when she's in this mood she will just duck and walk away from me.

Even though with most people Maya is shy; she has chosen a certain few people outside of our immediate family she loves. I can't figure out how she chooses them - once it was a person who called her away from a tasty bone when I had been trying to catch her for 20 minutes. Seems like a bum deal to me but it was her choice!

When Maya was little I carried treats around to give to strangers who wanted to speak to her. She's always been happy to take treats and even goes so far as to presumptuously sniff strangers pockets! But petting is still a no-no. I still recommend giving treats to strangers and allowing them to slowly try to pet him under the chin. A dog shouldn't be forced to be petted, it will just make them scared and aggressive.
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Rahne » Fri May 11, 2012 10:00 am

Thanks all :)

So how do I interpret this behavior (happened twice now):
Winter would walk up to a strange person himself, strange person totally ignored him (was in fact talking to me). He raised his hackles and tail in the air and growled at the person..

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by PawPrint » Fri May 11, 2012 12:58 pm

Bear, Winters brother. Was also very hand shy with strangers...Particularly men. It even took a long time for him to tolerate my dad and the older of my brothers touching him. We stopped people on walks from stroking him and just asked them to give him chicken while we talked to them and gradually he started to relax around them.

He has made SO much progress now and does greet people on walks and seek attention without shying away from them much now. As long as it is on his terms when he's in the mood.

He has "cuddly moments" in the evening where he will be rolling around asking my dad/ brother to rub his belly all relaxed and happy with them or sleep with his head on their lap. Then he seems to have forgotten all about it by next morning and doesn't want to talk to them or be stroked... Still he has made amazing progress and we hope he continues to do so.

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by arianwenarie » Fri May 11, 2012 2:41 pm

Rahne wrote:Thanks all :)

So how do I interpret this behavior (happened twice now):
Winter would walk up to a strange person himself, strange person totally ignored him (was in fact talking to me). He raised his hackles and tail in the air and growled at the person..
My own dog has this reaction sometimes when she's off leash and a stranger approaches us. If she's off-leash and she has that reaction, I tell her to leave the space and lay down. If she's on leash, I walk between her and the stranger to make her move (I bump her if necessary) and then I put her behind me and lock my arms behind my back with short slack. If she keeps vocalizing, I stomp on the ground hard. I ignore her once she's behind me and I never face her - I face the problem (whatever that's bothering her).

The reason why Abby reacts this way his because she's not sure of the stranger. She doesn't want the job of greeting the stranger and making sure everything is OK, but she doesn't trust me enough to protect her/us from this stranger. I can tell you that Abby is, as bad as it sounds, unstable around new people because she thinks she has to take on the job but doesn't want to - she's fighting with herself. Slowly, but surely, I'm getting her over this. Trust takes time. ;)

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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by blufawn » Fri May 11, 2012 4:49 pm

I used to have a Deerhound that was hand shy, even though we had her from 8 wks, I found car boot sales really helped. But she still used to park at people in the distance and was very unsure when they approached, but she was ok with them if they sprung out from no where..... dogs are wierd!!
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Re: Hand-shy pup

Post by Jen » Fri May 11, 2012 9:45 pm

Sasha was very much like this as a pup although she stopped it with us pretty quickly she didn't like strangers stroking her for a long time and would back right off. It would not faze me now at all as i understand her better but at the time i had only ever had gundogs who leap up and kiss everyone they see!!!

The good thing is she is now sooo much better and enjoys meeting people and having affection from them BUT she will only let people she knows and trusts touch her head. I know she is not nervous or afraid now so it must be a personal space / rank thing maybe??

I didn't do anything out of the ordinary with her just got her out and about and made sure people she met knew to gently tickle under her chin which she now loves :lol:

Sure your boy will be fine soon. :D

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