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Categories: Marker Training

Q. When I try to touch or interact with my dog, she gets extremely wiggly and tries to lick me constantly. Should I just take her to the vet or groomer to get her nails trimmed? Or will marker training go faster than I think?
I adopted a German Shepherd from the local humane society. She is friendly, gets along with my other dogs, loves and trusts people and loves to fetch a ball. She is about two years old. When I try to touch her or interact she gets extremely wiggly and tries to lick me constantly. It seems very submissive but it is hard to deal with a dog that I can't even brush because she tries to lay down and lick my hand. Of course I don't want to yell at her. I need to treat her like a puppy, albeit a very large one!

I guess she didn't have a lot of handling when young. Her nails need trimming, and I feel like it would take a lot of time to get her ready for that by marker training. Should I just take her to the vet or groomer and continue to work on it at home with all the other things like being still while being handled? Or is it likely to go faster than I think? Thanks for your help.

A. It may take a bit more time at first to use marker training but it will cut down on training as time goes on. Dogs don't just know what we expect of them, we need to show them (in ways that make sense to them).

Sure you can just let the vet or groomer force her through all these things but I don't really feel that it's the fair way to teach a dog what we want.

I would follow the pack structure video and marker video you have.

For wiggly dogs like this, I find that teaching them to put their front feet on something gives them a focus. All my dogs put their feet up on a touch pad or stump or step (or whatever works best at the time) and then I brush them, cut their nails, etc... of course, at first you just work on teaching the "touch" behavior. Giving the dog a responsibility makes a huge difference in their willingness to cooperate.

Here is an example of what you can use, Rubber Touch Tub.

Here is one of our free videos that may help: Training the Touch Pad with Michael Ellis
Good luck with her!

Cindy Rhodes
  
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