It Ain't a Poke in the Eye

Our year-old BC male has figured out that if he pokes you in the crotch with his nose, he'll get the attention that he wants. He doesn't sniff; he just bumps you with his nose. How do we stop him from doing this?

This answer was generously written by April Quist.

Since the dog is looking for attention when he's poking you in the crotch, you need to make sure you don't give him what he wants. Anytime he does it, tell him "leave it, and then completely ignore him - no petting, of course, but also don't even acknowledge him by scolding him. Turn and walk away from him and, if he follows, go into another room and shut the door behind you.

At the same time, start working on more constructive things he can do to earn your attention. If he sits and/or lies down promptly on command, you can tell him to "sit" or "lie down" when he's approaching you and within reach, but before he has a chance to get his nudge in. When he responds, be sure and get down to his level and give him the attention he wants. (And if he doesn't sit or lie down promptly, start working with him so he learns.) For that matter, if you're so inclined, you can teach him a trick to do when he wants attention, but be careful of the trick you choose - you may create a monster. Make sure it's not a trick that will get annoying when your dog starts to do it all the time!

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