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Thread: Do you ever irritate your pups? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
05-11-2014 07:09 PM
brembo I tease-play all the time. Never do i cross the line into something that upsets them though. My dogs have a great tolerance for stupid human tricks due to me being a stupid human full of tricks. Put it this way....when I reach out towards my dogs their tails wag and they are looking to play.
05-11-2014 07:05 PM
LoveEcho I will admit, sometimes I tickle Delta's tongue when it's hanging out... she wiggles her back leg just like a scratch behind the ear and opens her mouth wider.

Other than that... nope, I leave them alone beyond gentle rough-housing and learning how to be handled.
05-11-2014 06:55 PM
petite I don't irritate my dogs. They are conditioned to accept handling but beyond that I have no interest in getting them to tolerate annoying behavior from me that's unnecessary.
05-08-2014 12:23 PM
Lilie There is a big difference in 'irritating when playing' and pushing a dog's threshold to see if you can control the behavior outcome.

When Hondo was a youngster, he didn't care for his tail to be handled. Therefore, everytime I brushed, pet, played, walked by - I quietly ran my hand down his body to his tail. Every...single...time. He now doesn't care at all. I'm sure I irritated him, but I had a purpose and I was watchful of his reactions.

I do not pull his tail when playing. Nor to I grab at his tail. I'm mindful that he didn't care for it, so why should I do it for fun?

My husband loves to play with the dogs and irritate them. They love my husband and are always looking to engage him in play. I think there is a respectful irritation and that's good play fun.
05-08-2014 12:11 PM
Originally Posted by Zeeva View Post

Do you ever irritate your pups?
Why would I?
05-08-2014 11:44 AM
Courtney I think it's imperative to respect the dogs space. Picking at them - just don't see the point. We all know trust and respect works both ways with how we bond with our dogs.

Training and desensitizing something that is uncomfortable for the dog - that would be different. But again, it's not done in a teasing way at all.

Example: It was important for my husband because we do long over night hikes where most people don't go...that Rusty accept being lifted and balanced on my husbands shoulders to be carried. Nothing like an injury happening with a 70# dog and fighting with the dog because they don't want to be carried.

This was something we started training when Rusty was a pup - he wasn't sure at first but we weren't jerks with the way we did it and didn't take pleasure in his uncertain reactions and keep doing it for entertainment value. It didn't take long for him to actually make it easy for my husband to lift him and carry him. It was done with training, rewarding and respect.
05-08-2014 11:44 AM
vicky2200 I guess in the sense on getting them used to necessary actions- yes I irritate them. I brush their teeth, I play with their feet even though they hate it, and I am constantly annoying when they are small (looking in their ears, mouth, lifting up their leg randomly). They aren't thrilled with it but I end up with dogs who tolerate vet procedures, ear cleaning, teeth cleaning, and sometimes even a dog who will tolerate a stupid stranger.

I would never do this with a new older dog, but if it's started as a puppy they think "oh that's just mom being weird" and the irritation wears off. I never purposely irritate them for fun, unless you count when I pet them and they give me a dirty look because they were sleeping.
05-08-2014 11:34 AM
misslesleedavis1 No I cant say we partake in bothering them,

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05-08-2014 11:23 AM
Blanketback I learned very young that teasing dogs doesn't end well. You're creating a response that shouldn't exist - a snapping and basically 'crabby' dog that's always on the defensive - not the kind of dog I want to live with. I do instigate play by tickling, or some other physical thing, but it's done in fun and my dogs respond in kind.
05-08-2014 11:12 AM
martemchik The worst part is the dog snaps/bites while trying to get away…that means the dog is in defense and wants to get away rather than fight/play.

At first I thought you were talking about drive building, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but if your husband/boyfriend/whoever is doing it and the dog is clearly not having a good time and is getting defensive, this is very dangerous. You’re creating a situation in which although the dog probably won’t bite its owner, given the same situation somewhere out in public, it will snap at a stranger.

There is a better way to “irritate” a dog. It’s to withhold the reward or something they want. You can either move the toy fast enough and block the dog when it goes for it, or you restrain the dog and don’t allow it to get to the toy. This is a fun thing for them, the dog will go into prey rather than defense. You should also be able to wrestle or “fight” with the dog for the reward object in this situation and it would lead to the same type of confidence you’re seeing with your dog…but in a much more positive situation.

Are you back in Chicago? I know it would be a bit of a drive for you, but if you’d like to come up to one of my training sessions we can probably teach you and your husband a much more positive way to play with your dogs and get the same results. PM me if you're interested and maybe we can work something out.
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