Dislike of paws being touched

Posted by familyh12
Aug 25, 2009
Hello. My 1 year old doberman has just started snarling when I try to touch her paws/nails. She is ok when she runs through the mud and I make her stand to wipe her paws before coming in the house (with all this rain that is almost a daily task) and she has been ok so far at the vet when she gets her nails done monthly. However if I try to touch her feet in the house she will show me her teeth. How can I get her to feel comfortable in touching her feet? Thank you in advance for your help.
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Aug 26, 2009
Hi familyh12,

I am not familiar with the breed so I will make a general assumption here.

I think what you need to do is desensitization using positive reinforcement:

I assume she is fine when you touch other parts of her body.
Try to pet her body from head to tail as much as often everyday. When she is lying down, caress her legs as if giving her a massage and bring your hand down to close to her paws gradually as you keep talking and encouraging her like "Good girl, doesn't this feel good?". You can also treat her for letting you move your hand close to her paws.

Repeat this and eventually you will reach her paws. Make it as a ritual before going to bed or something. Once she feels comfortable being touched on her paws, you can teach her "Shake" or "High 5" commands.

Good luck