He looks so touchable. But if they approach Archie when he’s sleeping or lying down somewhere he may growl.

It makes him feel very uncomfortable. Maybe he’s ‘not in the mood’..

So fluffy and touchable

Look at his photo! He’s so irresistible and touchable. He attracts human hands wherever he goes. However, he’s not a touchy-feely dog.

If approached when out, people want to touch him. They walk into his space, lean over and put out their big hands towards him. He objects. The lady and gentleman are embarrassed and think this is something that should be ‘cured’.

He has, they say, been more nervous since they had him castrated which can often be the case.

At home it starts in the morning. On coming downstairs in the morning, the lady goes over to him where he’s lying on the sofa. He growls. He’s ‘grumpy in the mornings’

I’m sure months ago, to start with, he will have given signs of being uncomfortable. He may have looked away, yawned, licked his lips. Ignored, he has learnt to growl immediately.

How to stop the growling when they approach him?

The way to stop him growling and feeling so uncomfortable, is never to go over to him when he’s resting somewhere. Let him relax knowing that this is simply not going to happen. He will then stop being on the defensive.

Instead, if they want a cuddle, they can sit down some way away from him and invite him over. Then he has a choice. They should call him just once. No persuading or enticing. Take away all pressure. Playing hard to get can work wonders!

Sometimes he jumps on the man, who thinks it’s for a fuss but then growls when he does touch him. He may just wants to be close. He may come and sit next to them with something to chew. Again, he’s not asking them to touch him.

It’s possible to test whether he wants to be touched. Here is a useful video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU4TKzBOzw4

The possibility of pain

The vet has checked him over. He put Archie on pain killers for the past couple of weeks to rule out the possibility of pain being the cause. So far it’s made not difference.

It’s possible in the past something has hurt when he’s been touched, and he has a memory of this.

Other people

As at home, when he has gone over to someone all is fine. He meets the neighbour at the fence and enjoys a bit of fuss.

When people come into their house they will now concentrate on the person being inside first. Then Archie can go over to them rather than visa versa.

On walks they should be his advocate. They should protect him from approaching people touching him. Sometimes he may go over to someone with a wagging tail. They naturally assume the touchable-looking dog wants a fuss, but then he growls when their hand goes out over him.

It may be a bit too important to Archie’s owners that people should be able to touch him when out.

My stuffed dog has a very useful vest.

NB. For the sake of the story and for confidentiality also, this isn’t a complete report. If you listen to ‘other people’ or find instructions on the internet or TV that are not tailored to your own dog, you can do more harm than good. Click here for help