- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Adopted our dog - sensitive to touch towards his rear end

May 17th, 2007, 08:45 PM
Hi everyone. My husband and I adopted a really great dog just over 3 weeks ago - approximately 10 months of age and a large-ish mixed breed (55 pounds). His personality is great, he has been neutered, up to date with his shots, and seems to be in good health overall. He does sometimes get nervous around strangers (barking, etc.), but with his foster home and now us, seems to be gaining lots of confidence and the "stranger" problem is diminishing.

One concern I do have - he seems to be sensitive to touch on his hindquarters. If you pat his back near the tail area, he turns quickly - no agression, but just a quick reaction and then seems to realize it's "us" patting him and gives us some licks on the hand. My hubby's brother patted him on the bum (as lots of people do instinctively with dogs) last time he was over, and the dog reacted badly - turning around fast, barking and generally acting nervous/anxious (no bites or snapping, thank goodness).

So, the question is - do you think this is health related (I'm worried about hip dysplasia) or do you think maybe at his former home he was just spanked/kicked in the bum area or generally mistreated? If an abuse issue, how do we work with him to help him realize that friendly pats on the bum mean "good boy" and not anything bad?

Thanks in advance for your help and opinions.

May 17th, 2007, 08:51 PM
or do you think maybe at his former home he was just spanked/kicked in the bum area or generally mistreated?

I don't think someone that foster would do that to any dog.:eek: But maybe in his former family , before he got to his foster ? If that's the case, I would suggest to take it slow with him, don't pat him on his bum, just gently pet him , and tell him he's a good boy.

May 17th, 2007, 08:57 PM
Oh, should definitely clarify - his foster family was awesome. He went to live with the foster home to help with his house training and they helped him along a ton. We still meet with them and their dogs at the park so everyone can play - no concerns there.

I am wondering about his home before he was given to the SPCA.

May 17th, 2007, 09:35 PM
I would get his health checked to make sure he is not in pain in his hind end. Make sure his joints are okay, his tail is ok, and make sure his anal glands aren't impacted or anything, and do blood tests to rule out tick born diseases such as lyme disease, as they can cause painful joints. You may want to rule out hypothyroidism as well, as it can trigger aggression in some dogs. If his health checks out, you can desensitize him to touch on his hind end.

Remember to work slowly.

For the desensitization, you need a bunch of really small yummy treats. Start by reaching out and gently touching the dog on his side/shoulder for 1 second--most dogs have no problem with someone touching his side, and as soon as you touch him, feed a treat. If he is okay with that, increase the time you are touching him before feeding the treat, first 1 second, then 3, then 5 then 10 then maybe back to 6 seconds, then 12...mix it up, and remember to move very slowly. You might start out with 20 repetitions of 1 second for example, before moving on. When he is fine with the side touching, you can slowly work your way up to touching his back, then his hind end. This may take a few days. Do many repetitions just touching his side first, and move in increments to his hind end. Do the same thing with the hind end, starting small (1 second increments) and slowly increasing the time. Move slowly, and end the session on a good note. Keep the dog wanting more. Do several "touch" sessions a day, it can take a while to change negative associations to positive ones. The goal is to get the dog to want you to touch his hind end, because it means good stuff! Once he is doing really well, you slowly fade out the treats, at first still treating frequently, but not every time like you did in the beginning. Then treating not as frequently, then only occasionally. You may want to do "tune-up" sessions every once in a while where the treats come back into play, to keep the dog guessing: "well, I hope they keep petting my hind end, because I never know when hind-end touching might mean treat!" :)

Good Luck!

May 17th, 2007, 09:42 PM
I am wondering about his home before he was given to the SPCA.

Sometimes it's better to not know. :sad:

We would love to see pics of him :D And thank you for adopting a rescue dog, I foster for a rescue, all my dogs are rescues, and they're the best. :thumbs up

May 18th, 2007, 09:48 AM
I agree to what has already been said. First a vet check to rule out any problems, then slowly show him that you touching his rear is a good thing. I have a dog that has been attacked and had trama to her bum from the attack and she was very leery on letting anyone touch her bum. It took awhile but slowly massaging her ( i used a favortie toy instead of treats, some dogs just are not that food motivated) until she was comfortable seemed to work. I was the first one to try it because she is very trusting of me, for me she was okay pretty quickly but as for my husband or company that is what took awhile. I had to supervise and first started with them patting her side and working down a little farther each time. Now she will grab a toy and bring it to you and put her bum out for a butt scratch.

Another thing with a sesitive bum issue that maybe be a problem (it is for me) is when another dog sniffs the rear. Almost the same slow treatment.......let a dog take a quick sniff then move the other dog away....give treats. Progess slowly over time. I am finding this harder because of trust issues. I wish you the best of luck!!

May 18th, 2007, 01:50 PM
Yes, if the dog really loves toys, you can use those instead, or whatever motivates him...with most dogs though it is food! Tiny pieces of cheese if they can handle it, or meat, or soft training treats broken into little pieces. It may take a while, so patience is key.

Keep us updated on his progress!

May 18th, 2007, 06:02 PM
Thanks so much for the advice. First stop will be the vet to double check everything, in the meantime will start with the treats/desensitization process in the hopes that it's nothing health related.

He's definitely a treat-motivated pup, although I think toys would also probably work as he loves to play ALOT. :thumbs up :love:

May 18th, 2007, 06:33 PM
Having a little trouble posting pics, but here goes!

May 18th, 2007, 06:44 PM
What a happy looking fellow!! Like I said earlier I wish you all the luck in the world!! Just be very patient.....I know with my situation I thought I was going to slow. I know when I got my dog as a pup I made sure I touched her everywhere all the time, i have no problem checking anything I need to check, cut her nails in a flash.....but the attacks set me back.

I spent a full week and a half just petting the middle of her back, the spot just before the cut off point that she would turn on you ( she never bit either, but you could see in her eyes she was afraid and then she would look guity and lick your hands). One thing I found also, make sure it is a full pet, like not a quick one were you touch and jerk your hand back.....that is why I tried to massage instead of just petting. I found she was more comfortable when she didn't see the hand move up and then have to worry were it was going to come down on again. Does that make sense to you??

May 18th, 2007, 09:04 PM
Thanks for the pic, he's too cute :dog: