Yesterday, me and my dad were trying to remove ticks on our puppy. I had to hold him under his head and right arm, beacuse ticks were on his front right arm, near the paw. It was very painful for him, he was whining and he tried to bite me, even though he is only two months old.

Today he started acting strangely, like he was scared of us. He maintained eye contact with me more than ever and allowed me to cuddle him, but somehow he showed fear towards me and my dad.

What should I do? I am a newbie owner and I am afraid he might remember this whole situation for good. Will I gain his trust again? Will he forget about it? Thanks a lot in advance.


2 Answers 2


Yes animals remember negative experiences more than positive ones. Mine does. However they also have a great capacity for love, affection and dogs especially love human companionship. Your dog may remember or not remember. There really isn't anything you can do to change that except be kind and remain normal with his with routines, play time, feeding time etc. Be patient over his fear and spend good quality time with him in play and in general. Both you and your dad. Don't force him to approach you, but encourage him with play and reward treats. Not to bribe. But after he had done a positive action. In general if you relax. Sooner or later he will too as they sense your tension and emotions. If you aren't acting naturally then then won't either. He will learn to trust you again he just is wary. Just avoid any situations like that again with monthly flea and tick treatment. You can get them cheaper online. You were only trying to help him but dogs don't understand that. They just remember the experience. It will hopefully fade in time if you give him good experiences. Also they sell things at pet stores or online to relax pets from stress such as pheromone plug ins, sprays. If he is still anxious they do medication for stressful event times such as fireworks new pets etc. One beginning with z is a more natural product as its like mother's milk. Though a spray/ plug in might work better than pills. If ever you need advice. I found an Internet search shown up lots of free helplines such a dog charities, vet nurse helplines are good for behaviour and feeding advice. You sound a caring owner. I'm sure you it will sort its self out in time.


First of all: don't worry.

The constant eye contact etc. Is just some instinctive reaction, as the dog most likely isn't sure on why the whole thing happened. As mentioned in the other reply, stay calm and continue as usual. As soon as the dog realizes it's no longer happening this should change again.

Next time, try to be a bit more careful and "worst case" just let the tick be. Depending on your location, there might be a rather slim chance for any diseases to transfer and damaging (e.g. pressure) the tick might be far worse than just letting it continue until it drops off on its own (as it would act like a syringe).

One of our Huskies - 6 years now - is very trustful, allows us to remove ticks even from next to his eyes, etc. But if there's a bit of redness around one he'd still run from us as soon as he notices what we're trying to do. He'd continue doing so until he notices we've given up.

As for your puppy: sometimes distractions work very well, but this friends on a dog by dog basis. Make the fearful event into something exciting.

For example, try to feed small treats while a second person tries to remove a tick from the dog's back. It's not that unlikely for the dog to make a connection: "If I feel a tick and show it, I'll get stuff!" It sounds weird, but it definitely works.

Our dog I mentioned earlier even has a tendency to force us into cuddling so we notice ticks.

And just to mention it, just in case:

If you haven't done so, get a tick hook or tick twister (marketed under many different names by different brands), if you're still using tongs or just finger nails! Far easier to use and a lot less likely to accidently hurt the dog.

  • 1
    Mario and Tom, thank You guys for suggestions, but something amazing happened earlier this morning. The moment my doggo saw me, he started acting like nothing happened. He was happy and ready to play. I took him to vet to give him two shots of vitamin cocktail and the other one was something for overall health boost, in proper dosage his age. Stiil can't believe it. Thank God he forgot all the mess. Once again thanks for the tips. Cheers Jun 4, 2020 at 20:10

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