Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Change of behavior after chip

    Posted 06-25-2020 03:23 PM

    Hello all - I adopted a rescue dog 2 months ago. He is a 5 year old terrier mix. Although he was very nervous, he settled in and had a sweet personality. I took him to the vet for a checkup, and then a week or so later, had them install a chip. Since then, he will occasionally nip me if I pet him. He has done that to several other people, as well. He stops short of a bite, but obviously, this can't continue. I took him back to the vet for a thorough exam, and he is fine. I am working with a trainer, who has me Just feeding and walking and kind of leaving him alone, and no petting. She wants me to wait until he comes to me, and even then, just a little scratch under the chin. Does anyone have any thoughts? Thank you


  • 2.  RE: Change of behavior after chip

    Posted 06-26-2020 11:19 AM

    Hi.  I adopted my first rescue animal a year ago, a terrier mix approx 6 yrs old.  I am 60, and have always had dogs, but had never adopted before.  In past, we had always started from puppy.   It has been a very different experience for me.   My adopted terrier, Max, definitely came with baggage.  He will also behave as if he is about to nip me if I pet him in way he perceives as 'picking'.  (Picking things from his fur.)  He has never actually nipped me, but it always startles me.  I have felt his teeth before, but have not experienced any pain.  He is warning me that he is afraid I am about to hurt him. He has the type of fur that needs to be groomed & shaved or it will become matted. I don't know the history from the 6 years before me, but I am assuming from his behavior that grooming in his past has caused him pain and distress.   My solution is to take him to a good groomer that I trust every 6 weeks.  I take him to the vet to handle any other situation that requires he be handled in a way he doesn't like.  My hands only touch him in a positive and loving manner.  After over a year, he now trusts my hands.  He now turns over on his back when he's laying next to me for tummy rubs.  Something that did not happen the first 6 months.  It has been a long process and I think I will still continue to see change in him as time goes by.  Be patient with your rescue, as each month and year pass it will get better.


  • 3.  RE: Change of behavior after chip

    Posted 07-06-2020 03:25 PM

    Thank you - our dog story is so similar.  Patience is not my strength... I will work on this!


  • 4.  RE: Change of behavior after chip

    Posted 06-26-2020 01:09 PM

    Hi Laura, 

    It sounds like you have a really sensitive dog and there's a lot we can do to help dogs like him.   i'd love to hear more about the trainer's plan, how long ago did it start? How often is your dog coming to you, now that you're following the trainer's plan? Does he come to you frequently or is he independent?  I'd be happy to chat with you about him - either here via messages or on the  phone.  Feel free to direct message me.   




    Dr. Sheila Segurson

    Veterinary Behaviorist


  • 5.  RE: Change of behavior after chip

    Posted 07-06-2020 03:23 PM

    Hello!  Thank you for your wonderful response. The trainer has me being very cool with Benny (soooo not my nature.) I had him sleeping in the kitchen, with doors shut.  He wanted me to get a crate, which arrived today.  He wants him to sleep in there, which I don't anticipate being an issue, and also spend time in there during the day.  No big greetings when I see him, just be very calm.  I have a fenced in yard, but the trainer wants two walks daily, a good half hour each.  I have no problem with this.  No reaching out to pet Benny - he hasn't bitten, but emits kind of a sad yelp when I do. Since I'm working at home now, he lies next to me all day (now that he'll be in his crate for part of the time, t his will stop a bit) so it's clear that he knows I'm his person.

    He sounds like a dog who might have been abused.  I will do whatever it takes to help Benny get comfortable and happy.  I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions.  Thank you so much, Laura