Teaching a puppy or dog to accept being handled by humans can be a huge benefit in your dog’s life. This will allow your dog to not only enjoy being pet, rubbed or stroked, but will also help your dog be calmer in times when handling is necessary. You want your dog to be as comfortable as possible, whether it’s a nail trim at the groomer’s, a vet visit to get an examination, or when a child wants to hug him hello. Training your dog to have a positive association with handling is an important part of how your dog will react to these types of likely situations.
The key to accomplishing this is to ensure your dog has a positive association with handling. Always try to have handling be paired with things your dog likes, such as tasty treats or his favorite toys.
Some handling exercises include:
– Petting and stroking your dog from head to back
– Moving ears, unfolding them, looking inside, gently stroking and tugging on them
– Gently lifting, holding and stroking paws and nails
– Stroking and gently tugging the tail
– Lifting muzzle to check teeth and gums; rubbing your fingers along the teeth
– Rubbing the belly
– Gently hugging your dog and releasing
– Gently hugging your dog and restrain briefly, then releasing
If you have any questions on handling, you should consult a dog training professional. Remember, getting your dog comfortable with being handled will make a visit to the vet, meeting a new person, or getting groomed much more fun for all of those involved!
Trainer, Perfect Pooch