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Nose to hand, any chance she gets

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Nose to hand, any chance she gets
  • Asia, one of my fosters, is a lab mix with maybe some terrier in her.  She is very active, high energy, very jumpy, and she has to constantly have interactions with the other dogs or humans.  Its like she has to touch or wants to be touched.  One particular behavior irritates me.  She always has to touch/tap her nose to my hand.  I can't really determine why she is doing this but the choices are, she is looking for food or she wants to be petted/touched.  I've done several things to extinguish this behavior such as keeping my hands up, saying "no" as I caught the behavior at its start, fisting my hands so she taps boney knuckles, and touching her nose before she touches my hand.  She just keeps doing it.  Any suggestions.

  • Kenya does this too, always nuzzling my hands, or if I'm sitting on the couch she will jump up and nuzzle my stomach or under my arms.  Sometimes, she wants something like treats or she has to go out to potty.  Other times, like when she has an ear infection or a bug bite on her head, she wants to be scratched so she will nuzzle me with her wet nose and rub me until I scratch her ears or face.  Other times, I think it might be a nervous reaction, or maybe her way of showing affection.

    The only time it really bothers me is when I'm wearing nice pants.  She has to smell EVERYTHING, and of course my "nice" pants don't smell all doggy so she wants to sniff and nuzzle them all over when they smell clean and new, which leaves me with crusty slobber marks.  I've been working on a "backup" command, so I use my hands and the "backup" command to indicate I need more personal space (I also use this command when the dogs are crowding the door and I need to go in/out, or crowding the kitchen while I cook). 

  • I wonder if at some point this dog was taught a touch command and is trying to please you?  No doesn't tell her what you want her to do, so I'd suggest that you instead teach her an alternate behavior.  It's very hard to do, but you might want to completely ignore the unwanted behavior.  Thor used to do the nose nudge when he wanted some attention and by golly it's hard to ignore 90 lbs of dog rudely nudging hands, arms, elbows, underarms, but we did it, and he no longer even attempts to nudge  Often the behavior will get far worse before it gets better.....I think Anne calls that the extinsion burst....and I believe I misspelled that word, sorry.

  • Option 1

    Step one: Put the nudge on cue.

    Step Two:  Stop cue-ing.

    Option Two:

    If you don't want to do that, (and possibly even if you do) then you need to ignore EVERY nose-nudge.  Even "no" is rewarding in a way, because she gets you to look at and speak to her.  I wold suggest folding your arms or putting your hands on your head and turning away from her each time she does it.  Give her lots of other ways to initiate contact that you LIKE; just a simple sit for example.  It is useful to teach her that sit "works" to get her what she wants by using it in a Learn to Earn context.

    Option Three:

    Teach her a "place" cue, example, "bed".  Give her the "place" signal each time she nose nudges.

    - - -

    If you think she is doing this in order to get food or affection, I am assuming you have already tried to saturate/satiate her desire for food/attention by satisfying the need?  And if so, why did that not work?

  • Good suggestions Glenmar.  All my dogs know what "no" means and will stop the behavior during or won't start the behavior they were about to do.  Asia responsds to "no" but I am not doing "no" consistently to stopping the behavior.  She gets a lot of nose-to-hand touches in and its so fast, saying "no" after the event does nothing.

    Teaching Asia an alternative behavior?  The behavior happens when I get up and mostly when I walk around. Something one does all the time.   It is probably her way of expressing and coping with the frustration of an anticipation.  I don't want Asia to be under a control command when we are just living together.  None of my other dogs do this, they just become alert that I am moving and that is how I want Asia without forcing on her a 'watch me' and stay command.

    I believe that ignoring a behavior is impossible to do and you can't fool a dog.  "Ignore" by the human is a unique behavior and it is a reaction which the dog will detect.  Plus, even if you succeed in diminishing the behavior, the human will revert back to their old ways that created the behavior in the first place.   Asia is just coming out of her one month acclimation period so technically all her behaviors have been pretty much ignored, that is she has a huge allowance given. 

    When I am in my recliner and dogs want some loving, they come over, nudge my hand, flip my hand in the air, and then position their heads so the hand lands square on their head.  I give them what they want and have a petting session.

  • Chuffy

    Option 1

    Step one: Put the nudge on cue.

    Step Two:  Stop cue-ing.

    Yes, that is a suggestion and thank you for it but it is incompatible with my dog care philosphy.  You see I can not in good conscience go along with an unwanted behavior, encourage it, and then pull the rug out from under the dog.  Its dishonest to give the dog a false sense of security and I don't know how anyone can think that the Want (surpressed maybe) will be control by not giving the cue.  One benefit from the exercise is that humans feels pretty good about themself for pulling off the deception.

  • Chuffy

    If you think she is doing this in order to get food or affection, I am assuming you have already tried to saturate/satiate her desire for food/attention by satisfying the need?  And if so, why did that not work?

    You are right, that was my first thought food or affection, and those needs are satisfied and even at times satiated.  So it must be something else.  A lot of the time the exhibited behavior is not easily connected with the need that is unsatisifed. 

  •  All my dogs have an OFF command.  This is enormously useful in a number of situations, including working ones.  If the dog is too close to the sheep, I just say "off" and they know they are simply too back off without it being confrontational.  If the dog is approaching injured livestock or wildlife, "Off" tells them to give literal, physical space (whereas "Leave it" means keep working but ignore it).

    I had a dog who was very possessive of his people and it got him in big trouble.  He got into a pattern of biting anyone he considered too close to "his person."

    When he arrived here, "Off" was literally a lifesaver for him.  I taught him to walk with me but not allowing him to touch me physically.  I did it with a "quick bandaid" method of alternating corrections with positive markers, but it could be done strictly with the clicker too (this dog was a clicker whiz kid).  Once he learned that his life would not end if he shared "his person" with the rest of the world, he relaxed and did not see the need to make decisions like keeping people off "his person."
     

  • DPU

    Chuffy

    Option 1

    Step one: Put the nudge on cue.

    Step Two:  Stop cue-ing.

    Yes, that is a suggestion and thank you for it but it is incompatible with my dog care philosphy.  You see I can not in good conscience go along with an unwanted behavior, encourage it, and then pull the rug out from under the dog.  Its dishonest to give the dog a false sense of security and I don't know how anyone can think that the Want (surpressed maybe) will be control by not giving the cue.  One benefit from the exercise is that humans feels pretty good about themself for pulling off the deception.

    I have a feeling that the dog was previously trained with a very tight heel that involved a nudge. And to not allow her to do this as a means of reassurance and/or reward is somehow not "pulling the rug out"? I thought the philosophy was about seeing to the dog's needs, whatever they may be. Maybe she need that touch or it is an effect of previous training. Either way, you have decided that the options presented to you don't mesh with your philosophy. I guess I'm at a loss as to how the "problem" can be solved. If extinction is cruel, and putting it on cue so that it will only be offered on cue and no other time is cruel,  and  training another behavior in it's place that is just as motivationally satisfying is deceit (you accuse those who have done so of deception), then what is the solution?

    Is the nudge a want or an expression to take care of a want, such as a reward or treat? If so, why hasn't the cornucopia of food at dinner time solved it? Or if the reward is human contact, why isn't it satisfying after a few nudges? Unless dogs work for rewards and are good at acquiring and stockpiling. I sometimes find dogs to be of the mind "more is better."

    Or, maybe, you just smell really good.

     

  • ron2

    I have a feeling that the dog was previously trained with a very tight heel that involved a nudge. And to not allow her to do this as a means of reassurance and/or reward is somehow not "pulling the rug out"? I thought the philosophy was about seeing to the dog's needs, whatever they may be. Maybe she need that touch or it is an effect of previous training. Either way, you have decided that the options presented to you don't mesh with your philosophy. I guess I'm at a loss as to how the "problem" can be solved. If extinction is cruel, and putting it on cue so that it will only be offered on cue and no other time is cruel,  and  training another behavior in it's place that is just as motivationally satisfying is deceit (you accuse those who have done so of deception), then what is the solution?

    I guess you did not read all the posts because most suggestions have been applied directly or indirectly with no success.  I suspect consistency and time, maybe a lot of time would change this behavior and I may not ever know the why.  As I stated the behavior exhibited does not always show which need is unsatisfied.  This one had me baffled but I know for sure that roast beef would create unimagible problems and I don't play tricks on my dogs.  I guess I will never know because Asia is being adopted this Saturday.  For all I know the quirky behavior maybe just something I can not tolerate in excess.  The new family spent a lot of time with Asia and they did not see this as a problem but in fact they said they welcomed it.  Oh well, another black dog that got adopted....oh wait isn't the black dog suppose to be hard to place according to current thinking.

  • oh wait isn't the black dog suppose to be hard to place according to current thinking.


    I wouldn't know really - almost all the dogs I place are black, pretty much. Wink  Ooops, edited to add - congrats!  I got distracted and hit send without finishing my thought.  Good thing I went back and re-read this!

  • DPU
    I guess you did not read all the posts because most suggestions have been applied directly or indirectly with no success. 

    I did read all the posts before replying. I just thought this was another mathematical exercise of sorts. As in, here's something deemed a "problem." And nothing works (a mathematical improbability, imo). What does one do? Is it magic? Other times, when I read about your philosophy, I must admit that much of it doesn't seem to be logical, to me, so I may ignore it or pass it on by. Nothing against you, personally, I just have a problem seeing where much of your theory fits, though, at times, I think you provide some good insight and when I do pay attention, it causes me to think. A remarkable feat, indeed.

    Anyway, congrats on finding a dog a new home.

  • You are right, that was my first thought food or affection, and those needs are satisfied and even at times satiated.  So it must be something else.  A lot of the time the exhibited behavior is not easily connected with the need that is unsatisifed. 

    Perhaps the dog isn't getting enough work? perhaps the dog's previous home the dog had a job of doing some kind of intense obedience training and your home isn't satisfying the dog's need to work? The real reason for the behavior is almost certainly prior training, but hey, lets go with the "all dog behaviors that irritate people are caused by un-met needs" hypothesis that fails to stand up to any kind of scrutiny.

     Many dogs are taught to nose-touch their owner's hand and they are highly rewarded for doing so with food, attention, toys. Since this dog is doing it without a verbal command it seems likely the prior trainer used a specific hand/body language to cue the behavior and you are accidently cueing the behavior. The dog's just doing what she was taught and is probably very frustrated and puzzled as to why you aren't highly pleased with her doing what she thinks you want. The obvious solution is to ignore it until she gives up.

  • Kudos to you for fostering this dog while your rescue group found her a new home. Hopefully the family will love her and she has her forever home. I think you know that the issue with finding large, mixed breed, black dogs homes is VERY REAL  in shelters but you were feeling a litlle snarky.  This dog was lucky to get into a good rescue program.

  • mudpuppy

    You are right, that was my first thought food or affection, and those needs are satisfied and even at times satiated.  So it must be something else.  A lot of the time the exhibited behavior is not easily connected with the need that is unsatisifed. 

    Perhaps the dog isn't getting enough work? perhaps the dog's previous home the dog had a job of doing some kind of intense obedience training and your home isn't satisfying the dog's need to work? The real reason for the behavior is almost certainly prior training, but hey, lets go with the "all dog behaviors that irritate people are caused by un-met needs" hypothesis that fails to stand up to any kind of scrutiny.

     Many dogs are taught to nose-touch their owner's hand and they are highly rewarded for doing so with food, attention, toys. Since this dog is doing it without a verbal command it seems likely the prior trainer used a specific hand/body language to cue the behavior and you are accidently cueing the behavior. The dog's just doing what she was taught and is probably very frustrated and puzzled as to why you aren't highly pleased with her doing what she thinks you want. The obvious solution is to ignore it until she gives up.

    Never have met a dog that chose "work" over play and sleep.  When dogs come to my home its spa time and they enjoy the relaxation and I get very well behaved dogs.  This particular dog came from Missouri and was in the shelter for a little more than a year.  The dog is not too old so most of her life has been in that Missouri situation.  That shelter had no enclosure for the dogs, so most of Asia life has been in a cage and always on a leash.  I doubt very much that there was any type of training and from I what I see, she only knew the sit command.  I don't see why anyone would teach a dog to nose-touch-hand, very useless IMO.  And once again IGNORE did nothing.  What else was one suppose to do since it happens so fast.  You know as I think about it, the most likely scenario is the dog was food trained and this behavior is the compulsive/obsessive behavior that sometimes accompanies food treat training.  That has to be it since the behavior is so out of context and illogical.