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Since Peggy learned that demand barking is BAD, and biting is BAD, and hard nose bumping is BAD, and air snapping is BAD, she's really putting her energy into communicating with her paws.

Sometimes it's a whack to the head or the face. (Yep. About as fun as it sounds.) Other times it's more of a "Let's-have-a-heart-to-heart-talk-about-this-unacceptable-situation" paw on the arm or the shoulder, most often when she's not being allowed outside to play.

As I work to teach her that yep, this is BAD, too, I'm wondering if your poodle does anything similar? And are there any acceptable alternatives I can teach her? I wish dogs could learn sign language.

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"Oh you have a headache? Let me help with that."
 

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Haha yes Misha does this too! Often when grooming he'll put up with it for a bit and then put his paw on my hand like "Ok, that's enough." Or when he's bored he'll start poking me with his paw to see if I'll do something. I haven't found a way to teach him not to. I don't mind it if I'm not trying to groom him.
 

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If whining and nose bumps don't work, then yes, I have gotten pawed (and scratched) on the face. Yesterday I thought Miracle was going to put her paws on my knees and kiss me on the face, and instead she pawed me on the chin. My thoughts are that she needs a way to communicate with me, so I allow certain things, so long as she doesn't hurt me. When she gets carried away (like yesterday), she gets sent to her bed to wait.
 

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G2 doesn't paw but she separates. If I'm laying with hubs she'll get in between us and then if he shows any attention towards me she'll climb onto him and lay as close as she can to his face and nose him or just lay her whole head on him. 😂 I swear she's as bad as the kids sometimes.
 

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Ohhhh yes. Fluffy’s worse than a cat! He’s lucky he’s small and can get away with it! He will whack my leg when he’s hungry. He will hit me if he’s lonely. He will attack my knee if he wants to play. He will Poodle Slap me any day!
 

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I get mostly nose bumps and the occasional pawing, but no whacks to the face... for which I'm thankful, especially looking at your poor husband.

I tend to respond quickly to the nose bump which may be why Babykins hasn't felt the need to escalate to whacks? By response, that doesn't mean I always give in to what she wants, but I do look at her and usually pet her.
 

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Yes absolutely. I get the paw nudge aka “PAW. why have you stopped petting me?” Often followed by, “you seem distracted—PAW. please pay attention while you pet me.”


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Sisko doesn't whack unless he is too excited when I ask for his paw. When he wants attention, he will put his head on you or if he can't put his head on you, he will put his head down as close as possible.
 

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Buck does a snooze alarm slap on my lap, when he wants attention. Or he will park his hot snout on my lap. He does this when I’m seated and on my IPad. If he wants one of us to wake up, he will loom over us. Thank goodness he doesn’t use the snooze alarm motion on our faces. Just guilt.
 

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On a serious note, I like that Peggy is smart enough to use a language you both understand. I'm thinking how frustrating it must be from her perspective, to want so badly to communicate her needs then figure out a new way, only to have that shut down. I'm humanizing the problem as I think of how it might be depressing for her over time, i.e., she learns to wear a mask of patience or obedience but behind that mask, she becomes sad and a gradually less spirited version of herself.

I thought of the old bell attached to the door knob method, but if the response was more of often than not was "No, not right now", then that would frustrating for her too. I'm no dog trainer by a long shot. The only thing I can think of is to offer her an alternative outlet (like a chewy to keep her occupied) but you've probably already tried this, or maybe try to keep playtime on a strict schedule, e.g., everyday at 4pm she knows that without a doubt, she gets playtime.
 

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I never discouraged mine from snout bumps, so they never switched over to paw pokes.

I did, however, teach them to wave a paw. That proved to be problem when they got excited and started cycling through every trick in their repertoire. Eventually one of them would gesture wildly with a paw and hit hubby on the YKK tab.
 

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Since Peggy learned that demand barking is BAD, and biting is BAD, and hard nose bumping is BAD, and air snapping is BAD, she's really putting her energy into communicating with her paws.

Sometimes it's a whack to the head or the face. (Yep. About as fun as it sounds.) Other times it's more of a "Let's-have-a-heart-to-heart-talk-about-this-unacceptable-situation" paw on the arm or the shoulder, most often when she's not being allowed outside to play.

As I work to teach her that yep, this is BAD, too, I'm wondering if your poodle does anything similar? And are there any acceptable alternatives I can teach her? I wish dogs could learn sign language.

View attachment 467669
"Oh you have a headache? Let me help with that."
 

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Discussion Starter #14
On a serious note, I like that Peggy is smart enough to use a language you both understand. I'm thinking how frustrating it must be from her perspective, to want so badly to communicate her needs then figure out a new way, only to have that shut down. I'm humanizing the problem as I think of how it might be depressing for her over time, i.e., she learns to wear a mask of patience or obedience but behind that mask, she becomes sad and a gradually less spirited version of herself.

I thought of the old bell attached to the door knob method, but if the response was more of often than not was "No, not right now", then that would frustrating for her too. I'm no dog trainer by a long shot. The only thing I can think of is to offer her an alternative outlet (like a chewy to keep her occupied) but you've probably already tried this, or maybe try to keep playtime on a strict schedule, e.g., everyday at 4pm she knows that without a doubt, she gets playtime.
So true. Our schedule's so loose these days. And the last thing I'd ever want to do is make her feel she's had all of her communication options stripped away. It's just the FORCE of them that's the problem. A boop from Peggy feels getting a head butt to the face. She's made my nose swell up painfully on more than one occasion.

Interestingly, shortly before I read your comment, she gave me an extra hard paw whack, lining a nail up perfectly with the corner of my eye. It hurt and scared me, which made me shout in surprise....something I rarely do......which really got her attention. She sat and stared at me for a minute, flipped onto her back, and then righted herself and verrrrrry gently placed her paw on my arm.

"Good girl, Peggy!"

And out we went.

I'm going to make a more conscious effort to reward the gentle expressions of her physical vocabulary.
 

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I guess the thing to remember is dogs repeat behaviours that work. Annie's pretty gentle with her paws, as I had a St. Bernard who liked to paw me for petting and that hurt , so I refused to reinforce the behaviour.

Annie demand sits a lot when she wants things. Or demand heels. "Look at me, being so perfect, now do what I want" is the vibe I get from her, and I usually oblige.

She licks my face (or any other exposed body part), and looms over me to get me to wake up. If she is begging for something I am eating on the couch, suddenly two paws appear on my lap (she is lying down) and she gazes soulfully into my eyes.

I taught Annie to paw target my hand while lying down as part of teaching cross your paws. So she will paw my hand when i lie down, but it's a very careful, deliberate motion. She will sometimes try to catch my hand with her paw if she's lying down and she wants something. Perhaps you could try teaching her to do it (carefully, to acceptable body parts) on command, so she learns the "correct" parts of the human to communicate with?
 

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So true. Our schedule's so loose these days. And the last thing I'd ever want to do is make her feel she's had all of her communication options stripped away. It's just the FORCE of them that's the problem. A boop from Peggy feels getting a head butt to the face. She's made my nose swell up painfully on more than one occasion.

Interestingly, shortly before I read your comment, she gave me an extra hard paw whack, lining a nail up perfectly with the corner of my eye. It hurt and scared me, which made me shout in surprise....something I rarely do......which really got her attention. She sat and stared at me for a minute, flipped onto her back, and then righted herself and verrrrrry gently placed her paw on my arm.

"Good girl, Peggy!"

And out we went.

I'm going to make a more conscious effort to reward the gentle expressions of her physical vocabulary.
That's a beautiful example of how you are working on behavior shaping with Peggy. :) I've never had a dog over 25 pounds, so I can't even imagine what that feels like to have a dog hit that hard.
 

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So true. Our schedule's so loose these days. And the last thing I'd ever want to do is make her feel she's had all of her communication options stripped away. It's just the FORCE of them that's the problem. A boop from Peggy feels getting a head butt to the face. She's made my nose swell up painfully on more than one occasion.

Interestingly, shortly before I read your comment, she gave me an extra hard paw whack, lining a nail up perfectly with the corner of my eye. It hurt and scared me, which made me shout in surprise....something I rarely do......which really got her attention. She sat and stared at me for a minute, flipped onto her back, and then righted herself and verrrrrry gently placed her paw on my arm.

"Good girl, Peggy!"

And out we went.

I'm going to make a more conscious effort to reward the gentle expressions of her physical vocabulary.
I wasn't sure about the comment I left but I'm glad you took it the spirit that I meant it, i.e. not having all her communication options stripped away. But clearly her strong arm tactics (or leg, ha-ha) have got to end. We can't have you or hubby looking like victims of domestic poodle abuse! I'm wondering if she realized she hurt you after that last paw smack b/c she went tummy up, followed by being gentle.

I think some dogs know when they hurt their owner. When Bella was a puppy, she went overboard mouthing me and I squealed in pain. She immediately stopped and looked at me, like, "did that hurt? I'm sorry!" And she was softer in her nibbles after that. Sachii did something similar and I vaguely recall he stopped the nibbles completely after that. I found it interesting that I never yelled at either of them; just expressed my pain. I think your Peggy "got it" too, at least that time, given her body language.

She's sooo smart and communicative. This by FWOP resonated with me:

...dogs repeat behaviours that work... I taught Annie to paw target my hand while lying down as part of teaching cross your paws. So she will paw my hand when i lie down, but it's a very careful, deliberate motion.... Perhaps you could try teaching her to do it (carefully, to acceptable body parts) on command, so she learns the "correct" parts of the human to communicate with?
Dog training is a bit of a mystery to me; much of it seems intuitive. It helps to have a dog that is motivated by treats. If Peggy is, maybe something along the lines of what FWOP did could work, maybe combined with a clicker.
 

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That pic of Peggy crtacked me up! I don't get hit, but pushed. It's more often when I am sleeping and he's bored. He'll lay down in front of me, facing me. Then he'll put his little paws against my neck and chest and just push his legs out as hard and far as he can lol. He has come up with many ingenious ways of waking me up. Luckily they would stop working and he's try something else. (even french kissing - ewwww!)
 

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I don't get hit, but pushed. It's more often when I am sleeping and he's bored. He'll lay down in front of me, facing me. Then he'll put his little paws against my neck and chest and just push his legs out as hard and far as he can lol.
Lol!

Here's Peggy doing her version of the poodle push:

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She pushes so hard, she pushes herself upright until she's almost tipping over backwards.
 
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