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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have only posted a couple of times but always follow the forum as there is very useful information here. So i'm here to ask some advise. Last night my daughter came to visit for a bit and she has always been very close to Gunner, he is 3 years old. She always kisses him on side of face before she leaves.... a lot! So last night and she was heading out, she again kissed him all up but ended up not leaving right away and finally as she was ready to leave again, she wanted to say goodbye to him but by this time, I noticed he had moved away from her and went behind the glass table. She called him over and he refused to go to her so she insisted and he got up and started to go to her but turned back around and laid behind table again. Now this is where I should have stepped in and told her to just back off and let him be, but no, I called him over to us and he came and sat next to me. That's when she went back to kiss him on the face, and he nipped her and scratched her under the eye with his tooth. She was completely shocked as was I and I immediately sternly told him NO and sent him to bed. His ears went down and and he was looking at us with sad eyes. He looked sad or guilty and just went to his bed.


Now I know she was in his space and I feel like if he really wanted to hurt her bad he could have. my question is, is this something I should be concerned about from now on, or was he just annoyed and it was his way of telling her to back off? I'm thinking the latter but just need reassurance.


Thanks.
 

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It sounds like he really doesn't like people right in his face - many if not most dogs don't, and I think you and your daughter should respect that. I found your previous thread where he nipped a stranger who was also getting in his face.

Him moving away and going behind the table was a very clear sign that he did not welcome the contact. He was trying to send that message without progressing to a stronger warning and IMO, forcing him to accept something he's not comfortable with provoked him to take the next step of nipping. Yes, he could have done some damage if he wanted to and if pushed further he might have, but he just wanted her to back off so this was a warning.

If this were my dog, I would make sure he was allowed to approach people or not, and not force him to accept contact with anyone, particularly if he's showing signs that it's unwelcome.
 

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I had a dog that would do this, too. She was not comfortable with children or strangers getting in her face. I asked a trainer about it, and she said, "I don't think your dog is dangerous. She is acting like a mother dog nipping her pups to discipline them. If she were really dangerous, you'd be talking a trip to the E.R. and major stitches, not just a slight red mark or abrasion on the skin!"

I was very relieved to hear this, but we were still very cautious with her when children or strangers were around, and either put her away in another room, or warned our guests very strongly NOT to get right in her face, and allow her to approach them if she wanted to be petted, not the other way around.

You need to be very much aware of your dog's body language in the future. He was sending VERY clear signals that the attention was unwelcome.

Other signals people may not be aware of are lip-licking, yawning, sniffing the ground, turning the head away from the person and showing the whites of the eyes.

Learn to speak 'dog' and make sure this doesn't happen again! Most dogs do NOT like to be hugged or kissed, but put up with it because we force them to.

Stop The 77

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your replies, I really don't blame him..I actually feel responsible because i saw that he was avoiding her and I should have said something, but too late now, now I will just make sure to tell everyone to not get in his face from now on and especially not strangers, as it is he does not like strange people just coming up to him, he wants nothing to do with them. The other day we were walking on our usual trail off leach and this guy decides to rough play with him like he knew him. I told the guy he does not like strangers approaching him. I got nervous because his hackles were up and he was growling kinda like he does when he plays with other dogs kinds like growling grunting noises but this was a person and just made me nervous!
 

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Yeah definitely not the dog's fault. He tried to send a clear and safe message and it was not respected, then he was forced. If anything he exhibited good bite inhibition as there was only a scratch.

Normally I would say correct that type of behavior, but since he tried to avoid and was forced I am not sure if correction was warranted. Maybe others will have a perspective on that.

Grabbing a dog's face and giving kisses is very often not liked at all by dogs. Some tolerate it...some don't.

I would say so now you know, and don't allow anyone in his face anymore. If he walks away from someone and goes to his place, that is GOOD behavior and should be respected.
 

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The other day we were walking on our usual trail off leach and this guy decides to rough play with him like he knew him.
In a situation like this, I'd call my dog back and leash him when other people or dogs are approaching. You can't control what other people do, so the best thing to do is to control your own dog.
 

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Speaking up for our dogs is a tough thing to do. Who wants to be that person that kills the joy of kissing a dog? Lol. But, you have to. I have become very good at being firm with people, and stopping things in their tracks. Once you speak up firmly once, you realize it works and hey nobody died. Then speaking up becomes easier :)I yelled a huge STOP! with my hand out at a bunch of middle school girls. There was like 5 of them and they saw me approaching and started yelling " awwwwwwwwiiiiii" while RUNNING at my dog with open arms. They stopped when I yelled, listened while I lectured, when I was done they said "so can I pet him?". No, no you can't. My dog loves kids, but when is a kid not a kid anymore to him? 12, 13, 15? Who knows. Don't want to find out. He is neutral to strange adults but I don't allow petting. If he wanted to be pet, he would not be neutral and aloof. So what if people think it is sad that your dog has to go through life without the affection of strangers? lol big eye roll.

Youre good that you realized the mistake, all of us have made tons..live and learn :) How does your daughter feel about what happened? I'd get them back together, heed the dogs language, respect his cues, and get things on a positive note. And no more kisses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes I usually do leash him up right away when I see people approaching or dogs on leash, but this guy caught me off guard. I don't get people that do that, how do you just assume it's ok to just approach a dog you don't know and pet them or start rough playing at that?
 

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In a situation like this, I'd call my dog back and leash him when other people or dogs are approaching. You can't control what other people do, so the best thing to do is to control your own dog.
To add to this - - It really is OK to be rude to those who insist on ignoring your instructions regarding your dog. A few minutes of their indignation or a lifetime of your dog being labeled dangerous or even worse no longer.. which would be better?
 

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+1 to what's been mentioned already. Canines generally don't like hugs, and they don't like to be approached from the front. Watch when dogs interact with eachother -- they always come from the side.

Not that I would suggest doing this to any random dog, but a dog's tolerance to you holding or touching their back paws is usually a good indicator of how OK they are with being held, hugged, picked up, etc. If your dog hates when you hold or pick up his back paw, you can assume he doesn't like the hugs and kisses too much either. As mentioned, you dog will very often tolerate you smothering them with affection because they really like you and they understand that it makes you happy and they want to please you, but in general dogs don't want hugs and embraces the way humans (and other primates) do.

I finished reading a really good book not too long ago about canine vs primate behaviors and communication. It's called "The Other End of the Leash". Very eye opening!
 

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I finished reading a really good book not too long ago about canine vs primate behaviors and communication. It's called "The Other End of the Leash". Very eye opening!
Ditto on the book suggestion! It's a very easy read, lots of good information without being technical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Speaking up for our dogs is a tough thing to do. Who wants to be that person that kills the joy of kissing a dog? Lol. But, you have to. I have become very good at being firm with people, and stopping things in their tracks. Once you speak up firmly once, you realize it works and hey nobody died. Then speaking up becomes easier :)I yelled a huge STOP! with my hand out at a bunch of middle school girls. There was like 5 of them and they saw me approaching and started yelling " awwwwwwwwiiiiii" while RUNNING at my dog with open arms. They stopped when I yelled, listened while I lectured, when I was done they said "so can I pet him?". No, no you can't. My dog loves kids, but when is a kid not a kid anymore to him? 12, 13, 15? Who knows. Don't want to find out. He is neutral to strange adults but I don't allow petting. If he wanted to be pet, he would not be neutral and aloof. So what if people think it is sad that your dog has to go through life without the affection of strangers? lol big eye roll.

Youre good that you realized the mistake, all of us have made tons..live and learn :) How does your daughter feel about what happened? I'd get them back together, heed the dogs language, respect his cues, and get things on a positive note. And no more kisses.
@CometDog same thing happened to me with some middle school girls when they saw gunner approaching, they were all in "Awww" running towards him but did ask if they could pet him and I told them no he does not like strangers coming up to him and petting him. I felt a little bad but they don't understand it's for they're safety.


My daughter was very disappointed, she thinks he was trying to hurt her. I tried to explain to her he was uncomfortable and and that was his way of telling her to back off but she was petty upset.
I'm going to tell her all this info I got from all of you guys and hopefully that will make see things differently....
 

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Not that I would suggest doing this to any random dog, but a dog's tolerance to you holding or touching their back paws is usually a good indicator of how OK they are with being held, hugged, picked up, etc. If your dog hates when you hold or pick up his back paw, you can assume he doesn't like the hugs and kisses too much either.
I just tried this. He turned around, I sat, and he got into my lap like a baby rhinoceros lol lots of licks to the face. If a stranger did that, no bueno lol

My dog is very kissy and affectionate with us, but only us lol
 

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I would smack your daughter for being rude. I often rest my face against Shadows and give her kisses, if anyone else did it she would bite.
I doubt it means anything other then please leave me alone. Stick up for your dog and don't worry about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would smack your daughter for being rude. I often rest my face against Shadows and give her kisses, if anyone else did it she would bite.
I doubt it means anything other then please leave me alone. Stick up for your dog and don't worry about it.

Haha @Sabis mom she just doesn't get it, she didn't spend all that time and money on training him and exercising him every day or read this forum and learn all this useful info you get on here. She's clueless..She doesn't even live with us so doesn't interact with him but maybe 2-3 times a month...It really comes down to me speaking up for him from now on and telling people to back off. I will pass all this info on to her and either she likes it or not, and if not, too bad for her..
 

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Hello,

I have only posted a couple of times but always follow the forum as there is very useful information here. So i'm here to ask some advise. Last night my daughter came to visit for a bit and she has always been very close to Gunner, he is 3 years old. She always kisses him on side of face before she leaves.... a lot! So last night and she was heading out, she again kissed him all up but ended up not leaving right away and finally as she was ready to leave again, she wanted to say goodbye to him but by this time, I noticed he had moved away from her and went behind the glass table. She called him over and he refused to go to her so she insisted and he got up and started to go to her but turned back around and laid behind table again. Now this is where I should have stepped in and told her to just back off and let him be, but no, I called him over to us and he came and sat next to me. That's when she went back to kiss him on the face, and he nipped her and scratched her under the eye with his tooth. She was completely shocked as was I and I immediately sternly told him NO and sent him to bed. His ears went down and and he was looking at us with sad eyes. He looked sad or guilty and just went to his bed.

Now I know she was in his space and I feel like if he really wanted to hurt her bad he could have. my question is, is this something I should be concerned about from now on, or was he just annoyed and it was his way of telling her to back off? I'm thinking the latter but just need reassurance.


Thanks.
My 2¢... for what it's worth.

Your dog just taught you both a valuable lesson! Most dogs do not like being hugged, although some will tolerate it. In this case, as you now realize, your dog was doing everything in his power to let you know he'd had enough. So next time you'll recognize the signs! And your daughter learned that dogs are not large stuffed animals that she can do with as she pleases (hopefully you'll explain to her too how to recognize the dog's "signs"!). Thankfully she wasn't hurt in the process!

That being said, I think you were absolutely right to correct the dog for snapping, so he learned a valuable lesson also! It is simply, in my mind, black and white. Snap at a kid for any reason equals a correction EVERY TIME, INSTANTLY!

It is not, and has never been, clear to me why teaching or training stops when a dog chooses to growl or show teeth or snap. The dog is showing you he's uncomfortable yes, but it's still a behavior that to me is unacceptable, period! What's odd about this is a dog that is dog or people reactive is trained to stop that behavior. But when it comes to kids, people often, too often, just accept and manage around the behavior.

In this case, the dog was showing you both that he didn't want to be bothered. You called him over and he complied - good dog! There's absolutely no reason he can't or shouldn't learn that snapping or growling when a small child is involved is not ever allowed. It would not have hurt the dog to allow your daughter to kiss him like she always does. I'm not suggesting that you continue to put your dog - or your daughter -in this kind of situation, not at all! But to me it's equally important for the dog to understand that moving away is his ONLY option.

I once watched my first dog, a lab shepherd mixed, intact male who was about 6 yrs old at the time, get chased around by my 3 yr old nephew for 20 minutes. The kid was relentless. The dog would lick him in the face until he fell down, then move away. After doing this numerous times he decided to be more forceful and snapped at the kids face, no contact was made, so no scratches or anything on the kid's face. Didn't matter to me, he got an instantaneous "Come to Jesus" correction from me. And he never snapped at another child EVER!

Should I have rescued my dog from this kid, sure! It really wasn't his fault, it was mine! The kid should have been told to leave the dog alone long before the dog snapped at him, no question. But that doesn't really matter IMHO. The dog "chose" to snap instead of running away, I let him know that choice was a bad one and would not be tolerated. And because of, or in spite of, that I didn't have to manage him around children.

Again, I'm not suggesting that you allow your daughter to continue with the hugs and kisses. She also needs to learn to respect the dog's signals! But I see no reason why, if and when the dog comes to her, he cannot be expected to tolerate whatever she does or move away, period! He knows what to expect and will chose to submit to it or not by coming over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My 2¢... for what it's worth.

Your dog just taught you both a valuable lesson! Most dogs do not like being hugged, although some will tolerate it. In this case, as you now realize, your dog was doing everything in his power to let you know he'd had enough. So next time you'll recognize the signs! And your daughter learned that dogs are not large stuffed animals that she can do with as she pleases (hopefully you'll explain to her too how to recognize the dog's "signs"!). Thankfully she wasn't hurt in the process!

That being said, I think you were absolutely right to correct the dog for snapping, so he learned a valuable lesson also! It is simply, in my mind, black and white. Snap at a kid for any reason equals a correction EVERY TIME, INSTANTLY!

It is not, and has never been, clear to me why teaching or training stops when a dog chooses to growl or show teeth or snap. The dog is showing you he's uncomfortable yes, but it's still a behavior that to me is unacceptable, period! What's odd about this is a dog that is dog or people reactive is trained to stop that behavior. But when it comes to kids, people often, too often, just accept and manage around the behavior.

In this case, the dog was showing you both that he didn't want to be bothered. You called him over and he complied - good dog! There's absolutely no reason he can't or shouldn't learn that snapping or growling when a small child is involved is not ever allowed. It would not have hurt the dog to allow your daughter to kiss him like she always does. I'm not suggesting that you continue to put your dog - or your daughter -in this kind of situation, not at all! But to me it's equally important for the dog to understand that moving away is his ONLY option.

I once watched my first dog, a lab shepherd mixed, intact male who was about 6 yrs old at the time, get chased around by my 3 yr old nephew for 20 minutes. The kid was relentless. The dog would lick him in the face until he fell down, then move away. After doing this numerous times he decided to be more forceful and snapped at the kids face, no contact was made, so no scratches or anything on the kid's face. Didn't matter to me, he got an instantaneous "Come to Jesus" correction from me. And he never snapped at another child EVER!

Should I have rescued my dog from this kid, sure! It really wasn't his fault, it was mine! The kid should have been told to leave the dog alone long before the dog snapped at him, no question. But that doesn't really matter IMHO. The dog "chose" to snap instead of running away, I let him know that choice was a bad one and would not be tolerated. And because of, or in spite of, that I didn't have to manage him around children.

Again, I'm not suggesting that you allow your daughter to continue with the hugs and kisses. She also needs to learn to respect the dog's signals! But I see no reason why, if and when the dog comes to her, he cannot be expected to tolerate whatever she does or move away, period! He knows what to expect and will chose to submit to it or not by coming over.

Just to clarify, she's not a child, she's 20. And yes, she will now need to respect his space.
 
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