Foot touching

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GoingPostal
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Foot touching

Postby GoingPostal » Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:45 pm

I've had Jersey about two months now and got her some booties for the winter, She's terrified of them but hates us touching her feet. So the booties are put away and we are working on getting her comfortable with us touching her wherever.
She basically acts like a brat, really scared, running away and hiding. So I put her on a leash, then she lays down, tries to hide her feet under her and nips at me. Doesn't really bite, just hey I've got teeth dammit, stay away from my feet. Which gets her held down under she settles down and just lays there.
We don't reassure her or otherwise reward when she's acting bratty and after a few minutes of fighting she submits unhappily, just curious what's worked for other people, what I could do differently/better and how long this is going to take. This is my first dog so advice is appreciated.

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Red
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Postby Red » Thu Dec 06, 2007 12:56 am

Here is something you can try, to get her familiar with the boots at least.Put them on the floor and have many treats available.Confine the dog in an area where she cannot walk away but she is not forced to be too close to the evil items.
Leave the boots on the floor and start treating each time she moves toward them.Even a simple glare at them, a half step and so on.Even her neck moving down.Tell her "yes" when she does and give her treats.Make sure you notice every approximation she makes.Do not bait her with the treats, just let her choose to interact with them.Ignore the dog if she comes by you and ask for the treats or she avoids to go close to the boots.The only time you will reward her is when she shows interest for the boots.At her own time, once she understands that the boots are not going to jump at her and strangle her, she will look to get closer to them, in order to get her reward.

Once she gets closer and relax, stop rewarding eye glance, or steps toward them.Look for a foot touch, meaning she puts one of her paws on the boots.When you stop rewarding certain behaviors she will think about something else to do, to get her treats.Big reward when she touches them.
This is only to help her to see the boots differently, allowing her to move at her own pace.The goal is that the boots are no longer something she fears but something she actually wants to see because boots equals treats.
It might take several sessions to accomplish this, don't expect this to happen in one day.It might or not.You can name the boots, to help the dog to identify them.When you say boots, after you helped to make a positive association, her mind set is different.Use special treats for that, something she really likes.

For her feet...can you touch her back or shoulder?Instead of going for her feet immediately start massaging her from the neck and down to the shoulder, till she relaxes.Praise for that and go down her shoulder, slowly.Move back up if she starts showing discomfort and go back to the neck massage.Don't force her to accept the whole thing, just go with what she is willing to give you.If she is okey with you going down her shoulder then move your hands toward her leg.Stop and relax her again.Make sure she doesn't tense up, you can feel the tension easily, under your hand.Name her shoulder so she knows what you are touching.If things go well, go down the leg and touch her foot.Reward her immediately if she does not move away and stop right there.That is enough for now.
Give her a break and do the same later in the day.If you get to touch her feet with this routine, you can then start touching her toes or lift the feet.Name the feet as well.You can tell her "nice feet" or "let me see your feet".For some dogs it helps to let them know of what is about to happen.
If you feel tension don't push anything, if she tries to move away let her be.Again, fears do not disappear overnight so you have quite some work ahead of you.

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GoingPostal
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Postby GoingPostal » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:34 am

I'll try that with the boots, I have been massaging down her legs and shoulders to the feet because she doesn't mind that, just pulls her feet away a little. I have also been saying "good feet" and giving treats when she's accepting it. I'm sure we will work through it eventually.


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