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AnswerDear Zena,
My dog does not like to have his feet touched. Even when he "shakes hands," he barely taps my hand. Now, when someone comes close to his paws, he runs away. What can I do about this?

J. Lyons (Georgia, USA)


Dear J. Lyons,

This is a common behaviour among dogs and it becomes a larger problem if they require having their toenails clipped.

Dr. Stanley Coren suggests that you practise very slowly with your dog. Have a tasty treat handy and slowly begin touching one paw. Speak calmly and reassuringly to your dog while you do this - "Good boy, it's okay." Once you have handled his one paw for a brief period of time, give him his treat and make a big deal about it. You could do this several times a day touching the same paw. The next day you could move on to a new paw. This takes time, and requires a great deal of trust from your dog and patience from you.

Hope this helps,

Sincerely Zena & Zippy


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