Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Why Dogs Do Not Like Having Their Feet Touched

Puppy Training

Dear friend,
Today, I would like to touch on a very common and interesting doggie behavior...........

Why Dogs Do Not Like Having Their Feet Touched

Dogs have very tough paw pads. The pads consist of tissue that's similar to a callus, which can be as much as 3/4 inch thick. It's as though dogs are walking on thick leather soles. They can walk comfortably on surfaces that would leave people wincing and hopping.

The rest of their feet, however, are a lot more sensitive - so much so that they hate having them touched. It seems to be a universal dislike. Regardless of the breed, most dogs will jerk away when you touch their feet, especially on top or between the toes.

This curious sensitivity wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that dogs periodically need to have their nails trimmed or their toes inspected for stones or burrs. Some dogs will put up with having their feet handled, but others will fight like crazy. It's not uncommon for groomers to charge an extra fee to provide what should be routine claw care.

The bottoms of dogs' feet are designed to withstand rugged use, but the tops are not. The tops of the feet are loaded with nerve endings that fire off warnings when they sense pressure that could presage potential injuries. You can test this for yourself. Touch the bottom of your dog's feet, and he probably won't react. Touch the tops, and he'll pull away or flinch a little. Touch between his toes, and he'll make it clear that he'd really like to be left alone.

Dogs' feet are essential for them to accomplish almost everything they do. They're used in defense, for hunting, for locomotion, and even for communicating - dogs leave visual markers when they scratch the ground. So you can now understand why dogs get a little nervous when things (or people) that they can't control start touching their feet.

Dogs have thick, tough claws, and even routine pedicures can be uncomfortable - or worse. A cut to the quick of the nail is very painful. Dogs have good memories of things that have hurt them. The more they've been nicked by nail clippers, the more determined they'll be to keep their feet out of reach.

Bad memories may be compounded by the fact that some dogs only have their feet touched when they're being worked on. Neither nail trims nor first aid are experiences that dogs remember fondly. They come to believe that any foot contact is bad contact, and so they shy away from it.

Hey friend, so now you understand the reasons of your doggie friends dislike having their feet touched.

Great, till we 'woof' again, have a good time with you loyal doggie friend.


Puppy Training


Derek said...

Nice Article.


Anonymous said...

that makes more sense now!!! =) thank you very much for the article, it was really really helpful =)