Touch Sensitivity




During adolescence dogs can become touch sensitive over parts of their body due to discomfort resulting from growth.

It’s important that we recognise this and know what to look out for. If your dog is uncomfortable, you might notice that they behave out of character. Perhaps they are less settled or don’t like petting in certain areas of their body that never used to be an issue. If your dog is unhappy with being touched they might turn away, lick their lips, close their mouth, start panting, pull their ears back or even walk away. Sometimes your dog may communicate that they want you to stop by growling or snapping the air. It’s important to always listen to your dog and never punish them for communicating. If you look for and respond to the subtle signs that your dog wants you to stop, they won’t feel the need to escalate their response.

You might also notice your dog becoming reluctant to wear their harness during adolescence, avoiding you when you pick it up before a walk. If this starts to occur it might be that they are experiencing discomfort. Stop using that harness for the time being and consider walking your dog on their collar, or introducing them to a new harness that fits and feels very different to wear and might be more comfortable for them.

If you are concerned that your dog might be in pain, always consult your veterinarian. With lots changing during this period of growth it is common for underlying issues to come to the surface and the sooner they are picked up, the better the outcome is.

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