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ClaireDutt February 2nd, 2010 08:49 AM

dog touching me
Ok, i'm not even sure how to eplain this properly and i can't find anything on the internet regarding this topic. Now, i dont even want to discuss cesar milan, but he is the only reference to have made mention of this. He has talked about when a dog touches you with his nose or jumps up. He says that only the alpha can touch lower dogs, never the other way around. My 5 month old puppy "touches" both me and my bf with his nose contantly.

He does this very puposefuly, it is not an accident, he lines up and pokes with his nose dead on. On the legs, arms if your sitting, ass if your walking. Is this what Ceasar was talking about ?? is this dominance ?? it feels like it to me.. He doesnt have many other dominant traits, although he is a coon hound and seems somewhat aloof about certain things, def. not dominant.

I'm really not sure how to explain it other than, i want him to stop it because it seems like he's invading my personal space.. am i crazy ?? hopefully someones has some insight for me !! Thanks !

bendyfoot February 2nd, 2010 09:05 AM

Touching with the nose can also be an incredibly submissive gesture, and is seen commonly in pups. It's a soliciting gesture; they're asking for food.

Now, typically this kind of touching would happen around the face/lips (i.e., where the food comes from). Adult dogs will do it to another animal as a sign of submission.

Our adult GSD does this all. the. time. She's incredibly submissive, and is contantly poking at poor Gracie (the dominant dog), and us humans (never Heidi though).

The poking you're describing, on the hands/arms while you're sitting, is a different kind of solicitation...he wants something else, probably pats or just plain old attention. This kind of thing, in an otherwise calm, stable dog...wouldn't bother me at all. In a bossy, dominant dog, however, I wouldn't reward the behaviour, I'd ignore it. I would instead call the dog to me and initiate the positive interactions myself.

Spatx February 2nd, 2010 09:15 AM

Both my dogs 'poke' me when I am sitting down, mainly on the arms, hands or legs. For them, it is their way of saying they want to be petted and have attention. It doesn't bother me with them, since neither of my dogs are dominant types.

Usually I try and initiate the petting sessions, but Nova (my border collie), isn't really the cuddly type. Usually she's happy with just a quick hello pat, and she's off to do her own thing. So when Nova pokes me, I'm quite happy to give her some attention. It's a treat for me :laughing:

Cody, my 9 year old Aussie is a different story. He is too pushy about it, so I will ignore him when he is trying to get attention. He will also poke me when he is hungry and wants his dinner. Having a set feeding schedule helps with this.

ClaireDutt February 2nd, 2010 09:26 AM

That makes sense, the feeling i get from him is a "what are you doing" kind of thing.. and he loooves lots of attention so that also really fits the bill... i mean, things could be A LOT worse so a little nose touching isnt a big deal, i will just make sure that it doesnt get more demanding. ugh... it's been five years since i've owned a puppy, i think i forgot what it's like.. haha

Here's Serj (lab mix) and Hank (Bluetick Coonhound)


tenderfoot February 3rd, 2010 06:20 PM

Cesar is not all bad, but he tends to toss everything into dominance or submission when there are lots of places in-between.

We like to look at things as 'whose in charge of the moment?’. When your dog 'nose punches' you it could be for several reasons. It could be attention getting behavior, it could be to solicit play, it could be a challenge, and it could be aggression.

You do best to read his energy. Anger/frustration would be easy to interpret as aggression. A soft face with soulful eyes could be attention getting “please pet me” emotions. Perky ears, wide eyes and higher energy could be “let’s play NOW” energy.

Everything your dog does has meaning and it is up to you to interpret it correctly and respond appropriately. It’s not a bad thing for your dog to give you the ‘please pet me’ touch, but how often does he do it and what is your response? Do you pet him right away and say ‘yes sir’ or do you ask him to do something first to earn it so that it puts you back in control.

It’s not that you need to be a control freak but dogs basically do what works and when it works they do it even more. So an immediate reward for his demanding behavior can lead to a lot more demanding behavior – is that what you want to sign up for?

gpm88 February 4th, 2010 06:48 AM

Like most people have already stated him "nosing" you isn't necessarily you being dominated. It coule be just him getting your attention. Which is ok considering the other alternatives they can do to try to get your attention.

He could sit and stare at you, which not all that bad, but it could also be considered as "challenging the alpha" and you being the alpha you don't want him to do that. Just as long as you return his stare he is the one who looks away first.

He could also nip/bite at you to get your attention. Which all together is something you want to avoid.

He could bark, which of course is not always wanted.

So out of all those things I think the nosing is the less of all the evils, just don't let him do that to you too often.

Best of luck though!

Marty11 February 4th, 2010 08:44 AM

Although the cold wet nose can be a bit annoying I think it's harmless. Some dogs lick or bark for the attention. My Doberman did this all the time. I used to say to strangers do not hover over the dog she will jump and bump your nose, crouch down to her level it is safer.

tenderfoot February 4th, 2010 08:45 AM

[QUOTE=gpm88;880959]He could sit and stare at you, which not all that bad, but it could also be considered as "challenging the alpha" and you being the alpha you don't want him to do that. Just as long as you return his stare he is the one who looks away first. [/QUOTE]

I am afraid this one gets too much press. Our dogs adore us and will come and stare into our souls for as long as they want and it is not a challenge. It is engagement and connection.

Don't get me wrong there are plenty of times when an arrogant/assertive dog will try to stare you down but it is not nearly as often as a dog who will try to simply connect by looking into your eyes.

Another angle to this is people who stare at their own dogs way too much. Rather like always staring at the boy in school you had a big crush on. They feel it and it puts them up on a pedestal. The only member of the pack who gets stared at like that by everyone is the leader. It is your dogs’ job to look at you for guidance and advice, and if you are staring at him all of the time he thinks you must be looking to him for advice and he must be the leader.

ClaireDutt February 4th, 2010 09:42 AM

I've been paying much more attention to his mood when he does this. He generally does it almost like an acknowledgment. When i get up in the morning i dont talk to him (cause i take a while to wake up) i dont look at him (i wear contacts so i can't see anything until i put them in anyway) and i dont usually pet him (cause i'm on my way to put in my contacts - don't want doggy hands in my eyes) SO he usually gives me a soft little poke in the morning, i guess to say hello ?

and it does seem to happen more if he is in a playfull state. Him and the other dog will be playing and he'll run over to me and give me a poke, i guess inviting play ??

He doesnt seem at all dominat, he's almost on the verge of nervous, which i know leads to anxiety and worse, so right now me and my bf are really working on being really positive and building his confidence.

Asking him to sit or down after the poke and before petting/touching is a great idea !! it's funny how asking for a sit before meals, before coming in the door or going out are so natural, but that thought never even crossed my mind !

Kay9 February 4th, 2010 11:32 AM

a hound breed explores everything with their noses anyway! :)

friend2animals February 4th, 2010 12:13 PM

My dog "noses" me every night. It is more of a gentle nuzzling, than a "nose punch." Each time she displays this behavior, her eyes are soft and soulful. I call this look, her [I]"kissy face"[/I] look...:lovestruck:

My dog has never been a kisser - per say, so she uses her nose, eyes and wide, goofy grin to get her point across...:lovestruck:

Dog Dancer February 4th, 2010 12:28 PM

Interesting topic. My older dog is not a kissy face dog, but loves to give me bum pokes when we're out walking. It's her way of trying to get me to play with her. My lab gives nose pokes constantly just to get more attention. With us it's never been a dominant issue, just loving. Glad that you've been able to figure it out though and it doesn't seem to bother you so much.

Stacer February 4th, 2010 04:01 PM

We have an avid "nose puncher" too. It's definitely for attention and petting. She can be very persistent and I'm glad to read that we've been doing the right thing with her by making her sit or lay down before initiating any petting.

Dog Dancer February 4th, 2010 04:28 PM

Forgot to say, the pups are very very cute! They could nose butt me anytime.

sbtb_eman February 22nd, 2010 02:46 AM

Unless your dog does it to make you fall down, it does sound like it is just for attention.

However I believe if you give in and pet or even acknoledge the nose touch from your dog, you are in fact losing a point in the dominance run. As it seems to be gentle, the best is to ignore ALWAYS. In doing so you do not lose points.

If you believe it to be more than gentle and you think it should stop you should say no to the dog just before he does it. It takes timing but just before is the best way to teach a dog not to do something. If he does it anyway just ignore.

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