Edie, The Prancer


New Member
Hi! I adopted my 4yr old Aussie mix, Edie, this past September. She is loved and adored by all. Favorites include sleeping on the couch, running, and safari themed toys. She is a wonderful dog and we love her very much. Unfortunately, she is horribly afraid of other dogs so we are currently working on her on-leash dog-dog agression and showing her that other dogs aren't all bad (she doesn't have a single doggie friend yet :(). She also has this lovely habit of gently "stroking" our faces when you are petting her. Any advice as to how to get her to stop pawing at our faces is greatly appreciated! We've tried yelping and walking away, making her go away when she does it, and placing her paws on the ground and saying "paws off!". However, nothing seems to stick. We're trying not to use any physical punishments with her as she is extremely sensitive to being reprimanded. Thanks! We look forward to learning lots of fun new tricks!


Honored Member
Ah, your Edie is dog-agressive. So is my lil 'gangsta' dog. We can help dogs like this reduce their dog agression, and eventually, most dogs like this DO indeed make some canine friends. But, it's likely to be ongoing issue for Edie, but you can help Edie raise her threshold about dogs, and help Edie learn some ways to stay calm around other dogs.

I'll be back to post an idea on helping a dog-aggressive dog, (there's several approaches to try for Edie)
and i'll pvt msg you a link to a group who specializes only in aggressive dogs, as well. But many ppl here also know a lot about this topic, and how to set you and Edie in right direction, also, so hang in there,
it gets easier,
both for you
and for Edie:) .

Re: the pawing of your face, hmmm. That's a new one to me!:ROFLMAO: So Edie is petting you back? :ROFLMAO:lol. I so agree with your "no physical punishment" approach, :D almost all of us here share that with you. I so agree, that teaching a dog what you DO want, is often more effective.
So you want the dog to "keep feet on floor" while you pet him. Maybe one approach to try is this= You want to teach Edie that behavior(keep feet on floor), and reward that behavior when you can spot it. Edie might catch on to this pretty soon if you use a clicker. Others might be by with other ideas, too, so just try each idea til you find one that works for your dog.

Have you ever used a clicker?
If you haven't, don't be shy, let us know, a "click" is super easy way to tell a dog, 'YES! *THAT'S* what i want you to do!" :D:D:DIf you click on CLASSROOM up above, you can see our site admin, Jean, teaching his dogs tricks by using a clicker, in any of the short, easy to understand videos above.
Seeing someone using a clicker might help you get concept. You click when dogs does right thing,
or when dog makes attempts in right direction.
You ignore wrong moves.
No scolding is involved in clicker training.

Evcccccccccery click, gets a reward. Most of us use food for rewards, some use tugging on toys for the reward, every dog is different. I use both, depending on what cue i'm working on. But every click, gets reward, no exceptons. If you use food, use TINY small, raisen sized treats, to avoid a full or fat dog. Use real meat, occasionally swap out the treats for bits of cheese or dabs of peanut butter, swapping out the type of treat helps dog,
or bake up a batch of these
and break them up into tiny treats, to use for training: http://www.dogtrickacademy.com/members/forums/threads/cool-easy-homade-dog-treats.4061/

Mayyyyyyyybe, just maybe,
you can "capture" a few moments of Edie NOT pawing your face,
click and treat that.
You could also c/t (means click and treat) for Edie keeping feet on floor while someone else pets Edie.

So you will get some tiny raisen sized yummy treats, or a tug-toy,
and sit down, and begin to pet your dog. BEFORE Edie can get his paw up onto you, click/treat his feet on floor.

at first, if you can only "catch" Edie doing this for a few seconds, that's okay, c/t a moment of Edie keeping paws on floor.
Praise Edie while his feet are on floor.

Try again. Pet Edie, and before Edie can pet you back, c/t his feet on floor, praise.

If Edie gets foot onto you before you c/t his feet on the floor, stand up and walk away. Lesson is over for now.
Don't be discouraged, keep at this for a while, give yourself, and your dog a good try at this, you'll probably have to be pretty darn fast at first, to catch Edie's paws on the floor before he pets you back.

Keep all lessons short at first, even 5 minutes is long enough for dogs new to lessons. YOu can repeat the 'lesson' several times a day, but keep lesssons short at first.

AT first, you only need a second or two of feet on floor to c/t, start off in baby steps,
Edie will begin to sort out, "when my feet are on floor, i get that click/treat stuff...i guess i'll keep my feet on the floor":rolleyes:
and you can begin to wait a few seconds longer to c/t
and then
a few more seconds before you c/t
and so on,
until you are up to minutes of "feet on floor" til Edie earns the c/t
and so on. Eventually, maybe faster than you expect, Edie will learn what he IS supposed to do when humans pet him.:)

See if that works?
Or stand by for other ideas on how to solve this,
i'm 500% sure you can solve this paw-on-face, one way or another!!:)

I'll either be back with some ideas on dog-aggression, or i'll post whole new thread on it, if i do, i'll send you the link. We're probably about due for a new thread on that topic! lol. I've got some ideas you can try for Edie to help him reduce his reactions.

HANG IN THERE, AND WELCOME, you'll love Dog Trick Academy!!


Honored Member
oh, i left out a part,
once Edie DOES UNDERSTAND, "mom wants me to keep feet on floor"
you can introduce a verbal cue, if you want to, like, "paws off" or "feet on floor"
after you are now able to pet Edie for as long as you want to, with zero paws on your face,
you can fade out the clicker, and THEN, fade out the treats, and make treats an occasional reward every now and then.

you won't have to c/t for Edie's entire life for this behavior, just until Edie learns what it is you DO want Edie to do.

Here's one more video that might inspire you with more ideas: Kikopup is great trainer for dogs with behavioral issues.
Kikopup also has a series on "barking", with five (5) videos, and video #3 might help you get ideas to help with reducing Edie's dog aggression as well.---google "kikopup barking" and look for episode #3, well, probably you should watch them in order, starting at #1,
but each one is only 5 minutes long.