Growls When I Brush His Teeth
Three-year-old GSD, always has been ill-at-ease with tooth brushing, but he likes it. When he hears or sees the brush come out of the jar he trots right over, sits pretty.
He's growled from time to time, but it's getting kind of bad. I'm a little concerned.
Like I said, he trots over in anticipation. I let him smell the brush first, hold his mouth open at the front teeth with crossed fingers. Gentle finger pressure brushing. "Good boys" after. He has no choice in the matter, but I try to make it a pleasant experience for him. Dental health is fine.
I was seriously injured a year and a half ago, which was traumatic for both of us. Long recovery. He was just coming of age then, and took to protecting me, bigtime. I make a point of giving him his space, but he can ask for and receive (non-intrusive) affection.
His training is pretty limited. Hand signals indoors right now. He has an e-collar for walks around the farm animals (had been chasing), is very sensitive to that. He responds instantly to vibrate. E-stim at any level is a bit much for him, gets "clingy" to me. I don't do any training proper with the collar because of that. He's a pretty high-octane dog, even for a working line GSD, especially when I'm around.
I'm thinking there is some sort of emotional management I should be doing with him, but I'm not sure what. Building his confidence? Working on boundaries?