Confession: My Dog is Super Fussy, And It’s Probably All My Fault
Have you ever been petting a cat when all of a sudden they go into full on demon mode? Things are nice and relaxing one minute – they’re purring and enjoying a nice kitty massage but then suddenly they decide that omg why did you touch my belly you incompetent fool and before you realize what in the hell’s going on they’re kicking you with their back legs & biting your arm…
Confession: My Dog is Super Fussy, And I’m Sure It’s All My Fault
Well my dog is like that, and it’s really embarrassing. She’s not aggressive per se, and she doesn’t bite, but she certainly goes from this is so awesome, you’re the best masseuse in the world! to what in the hell do you think you’re doing touching my foot??? in less than a second.
She grumbles, she groans, and she flops around like a damn fool if you touch her the wrong way – and this includes lightly brushing up against her tail on accident or daring to touch one of her precious her back feet. It’s the same way a puppy acts when they’re super hyper & playful – and she still does it at 5 years old. My dog is super fussy.
I don’t get it, I really don’t. Dogs (at least all the ones I’ve had over the years) are generally pretty laid back when it comes to being pet. And for the most part they’re pretty trusting when it comes to all the weird things we like to do to them such as clipping their nails, cleaning their ears, or brushing their teeth.
But Laika? Well she doesn’t want any of it, and she’s certainly not afraid to let you know about her dislike about anything. She can’t even tolerate a light brushing with a super soft hair brush for more than 10 seconds before she starts having a fit. She’ll flop around, roll on her back, and start pawing anything that comes close to her.
For the most part I’m used to it. 5 years of this fussiness seems pretty normal to me, but when we have to go to the vet? Oh dear…She screams bloody murder when getting shots, and she spends most of the time on her back pawing away any stethoscope or vet hands that come her way. It’s slightly embarrassing to say the least, and it’s definitely one of the reasons why making a trip to the vet is something I consider a debacle.
Now what I don’t understand so much is why. Why all the mistrust? Why all the fussiness? We made trips to the vet on many occasions just for her to get treats from the staff & get weighed – you know, simple good stuff to get her used to the place & a way for her to feel more comfortable there.
Has it seemed to work? Not really.. I mean we can go to the vets office and stay in the waiting room no problem. But when it’s time for her examination? All hell breaks lose again. She’s flopping around, groaning, and acting a fool – making it nearly impossible to get anything productive done. At home I can barely look inside her ears without immediate suspicion – at the vets office done by a professional it’s pretty much a no go.
My Dog’s Fussiness Is Even Worse at the Vet
Unfortunately because of this going hog wild act of hers she now gets muzzled at the vet. She’s never bitten, and she doesn’t growl much, but she’s so damn vocal I feel it’s better to err on the side of caution. Did I mention how embarrassing this is? OK just wanted to make sure you got that point.
Compared to any of my previous dogs I have spent more time with Laika trying to desensitize her to all the weird things that humans will do to her at some point in her life. I’ve clipped her nails at least weekly for 5 years using the best treats possible, always remembering to take it slow since it’s obviously not a favorite activity of hers.
I’ve been brushing her teeth every day for years, but do you think that stops the madness? No. Every single night it’s the same old flopping about & groaning, even though I’m as gentle as possible. I make it a habit of looking in her ears and examining her eyes even when I don’t think anything is wrong – just to get her even more used to it, and letting her know that nothing bad or hurty will happen, yet she still looks at me with that look I know all to well. The one that says I’m about to freak the frak out if you touch my ear one more time. After years of this I’m starting to wonder if I’m the problem…
Is it possible that I’ve coddled her too much? Is my own sensitivity towards her sensitivity making everything worse? Is she just making a game of all of these things? I wish I knew. Or is it possible that some dogs are just super fussy little brats? Or is it possible that Laika is just so sensitive to touch that everything doesn’t just bother her, it really bothers her….I wish I knew.
Whatever the actual reason is one thing is clear – Laika doesn’t like to be messed with. It doesn’t matter if it’s for her good, and it doesn’t matter if you’re trying to be as nice and gentle as possible – she doesn’t like many a things and she’s not afraid to let you know.
So back to that original question about petting cats when they all of a sudden turn & go crazy mode bitey face defensive on you… Is that something that’s seen in dogs other than my own? Or is my dog just super fussy?
I guess no matter what the reasoning behind Laika’s fussiness is the end game will remain the same. She’s my heart dog, and no matter how fussy she gets when I go to brush her teeth I’m going to keep on doing it – no matter how much she protests. It’s good for her damnit, and one of these days I’m guessing she might just settle down enough for us to get it done without
much of a any hassle.
Does Your Dog Get Fussy? What Makes Your Dog Fussy?
When you look up fussy dog in google you get a whole lot of stuff about dogs not eating. I get it, that’s a pretty big issue for many dogs, yet it made me wonder if I was alone when it comes to having a dog that’s fussy when it comes to other stuff – such as taking a bath or getting nails trimmed.
So please tell me I’m not alone on this..Does your dog get fussy when it’s time to clip their nails or take a bath? How do they show you their dislike? Do they flop around, howl, and act like a buffoon? Any theories on why some dogs seem so overly sensitive and/or defensive when it comes to things like nail clipping or taking a bath?
Remy is like this. In his case, I use an excuse that he’s a puppy and full of energy with no self-control. Like he can’t sit still. I can hardly ever pet him, trim his nails, etc., without him flopping around and getting silly and biting. It’s frustrating. He’ll be sleeping calmly at my feet but if I try to pet him or snuggle him, the switch goes off and he wants to play and bite. So … not really aggressive just playful … and annoying. I just want to pet my puppy! 🙂
Jen Gabbard says
OK this makes me feel better, but I do have to say that for some reason Laika never “grew out” of it. She does the same thing exactly, playfully wriggling around, but it makes it impossible to do all of those necessary human things like clipping nails… I wish I knew how to make her snap out of it & get serious for a minute. But I guess I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t also pretty endearing…
This is so interesting. I’d love to know what Laika’s thinking too. Could it all just be a game or playfulness?
Haley’s super laid-back on pretty much everything except nail trimming. It got so bad that I finally resorted to trying a Dremel tool. I was really nervous and skeptical about using it, but after lots of treats and a super slow adjustment period, we’re finally there! She doesn’t seem to mind it but she still gets lots of treats when I grind her nails.
Jen Gabbard says
It’s definitely playful like for sure, it’s just weird that she’s 5 and still does it.. I’m thinking that perhaps it works, and hey playing is funner than actually having to have your nails trimmed she’s sticking with it. It works. I just haven’t found a way to get her to snap out of that wigglyness one she starts going.
I switched to a dremel as well, and even with the noise it makes it’s ended up being a lot easier for me to get the job done.
Teddy, a Shepard-Golden mix is twelve years old…allows good night hug, back scratches (particularly butt), is a master of the look away from you insult….I don’t know why….he’s spoiled rotten…maybe it’s because he was a puppy raised in a house with two cats…
Chloe is my girl She haves her nails trimmed. I am a registered nurse and can’t master it. She yells when I get the clippers. We have to travel one hour to a groomer who puts her in a sling…and she screams the whole time. She is 12 years old…lol