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Scratching Problem

August 10th, 2004, 11:52 AM
I have a 5 month old German Shepherd. I have had German Shepherd dogs before, but have never had one that scratches like the one I have now. What I mean by that is that she does not just raise her paw, she raises her paw and digs her claws into you. When you try to pull her paw down, she just raises her other paw and scratches you with her other paw. I have tried telling her no, but she continues this behavior anyway. I have never tried to teach her to lift her paw. This is just something she does on her own. If anyone has any ideas about how to correct this problem, I would greatly appreciate it. I frequently have claw marks on both of my arms as a result of this. Thank you in advance for your help.

August 10th, 2004, 12:17 PM
Throw cans,empty coke cans with a few pennies in them,one in each room of the house,when needed you throw it,or just shake it,always worked on my gsd,scared the crap out of him..

Lucky Rescue
August 10th, 2004, 12:40 PM
No offense, heidi, but you don't want to "scare the crap" out of a puppy. And since the dog is sitting right next to the person while doing this, the pennies in the can thing won't work.

The pawing behavior is natural, and what you want to do is make it unprofitable for the dog. Even when you take his paw and put it on the floor, that is attention and for many dogs, even negative attention is better than none.

Set it up so that he is going to paw you. When you see the paw come, move your arm away or stand up abruptly so that the dog is thrown off balance. The second he has all four feet on the floor, praise and/or offer a treat. The pawing is a demand, and dogs must learn that demands do not work.

Saying "No" isn't the best thing. It's much better to give a command that tells the dog WHAT to do - like "OFF!"

August 10th, 2004, 12:54 PM
Your puppy is still young and therefore this probably can be fixed. I have a 7-yr old Golden right now that will not stop this and I am bruised all over. I have to put a pillow in front of me to stop her. She will just go lie down then.

I also heard to gently squeeze their paw and put it on the floor for them and say "no paw" This worked for me other 2 Goldens.

Good luck!


August 10th, 2004, 01:34 PM
It came recommended to be by a trainer and a vet,i wouldnt peg the cans at him,but a little shake of the can isnt gonna scare a puppy to death.Especially a 5 month old gsd.No offense taken.. :D :D

August 10th, 2004, 07:02 PM
Great advise LR

August 20th, 2004, 12:20 AM
thats the main reason i don't encourage people to teach their dogs to shake...invited unwanted paws at a bad time ;)

i've found one of the best things to do with unwanted behavior is to make them not like to do it...

example...when my GSD paws, i grab it and hold it a tiny bit higher than she would normally. not enough to hurt her (would never do that!) but i hold it there for several seconds after she tries to pull away. its slowed her down quite a bit.

she used to put her mouth around my arm (not biting, she has a very soft mouth, but more claiming it as hers or something) to let me know she wanted attention. what i did was push my arm back a bit into her mouth where it was uncomfortable, then hold her mouth there for a few seconds. she would try to get away immediately, and i wouldn't let her.

i only had to do that 2 or 3 times before she stopped completely. i've found that this works better than saying no in a lot of cases.

August 20th, 2004, 06:57 AM
years ago i remember seeing a doco by a credible canine specialist (memory out of action right now, name evades me), who after spending many years with wolves studying them, described pawing behaviour as a natural sign of acceptance and affection, he had natural wild wolves doing it to him of their own accord. i have a lovely GSD (short for germ shep) gal who whe cuddling (her sitting) will push against me with her paws on my belly (front on cuddle) or on my shoulder. her claws dig in deep when she does this, i think that is a natural reaction for the paw when extended (pushing into human flesh soft therefore needs to extend) but remember this is all my theory, not proven. dont you just love theories, i have a new one weekly, ahh, the human mind, so beautiful :D :D :D