Warm-up (video from FB All Agility Group)
I was thinking about this video and wondering how you could incorporate a use for this while we find ourselves self-isolating due to COVID 19. The video is, I think, self-explanatory. I remembered that my vet is often appreciative of how manageable my dogs are during their exams. This tells me that the vet sometimes struggles with dogs mannerisms during their visits. This blog will be about how you can get your dog to cooperate while you manipulate them.
The best thing you can do is start this from the very first day you get them! You should be touching them as much as possible. Ears to tail. Nose to toes. Everywhere. Encourage them to be calm during this process. The more lively your puppy is the shorter the session should be. Your goal is to keep them calm without inciting play. Your puppy should not put it’s teeth on you during this process. Ever! If you have picked up your puppy to do this with them and they are struggling the worst thing you can do is put them down immediately. Hold them until the struggle stops. Acknowledge that this may not be the right time to do this with the puppy and when the puppy stops struggling, praise them…good pup! Then set them down and try again later. Your puppy should be able to be patient with you during your attempts to go over them with your hands. At any time. However pick and choose your battles and work your way towards being able to put your hands where you want when you want and still have a patient, calm puppy. You will also want to have them get used to the idea of being able to manage this with a collar on. Work the two ideas separately! If your puppy is particularly fussy you can distract them with a piece of food. You should be able to touch their paws, ears, tail and mouth. When you are doing the mouth you should be able to open the mouth, look at the gums and teeth and apply gentle pressure to the gums.
Let’s say you have an older dog and you didn’t have this good advice before. What should you do? Exactly the same! Easier with a puppy because it is easier to shape desired behaviours but older dogs can be taught too!! The biggest tip I can give is to not overwhelm your dog. Small doses. Soft touch to start. Gradually increase to being able to hold and manipulate limbs with different pressures. If you can accomplish this it will make warming up your dog a more pleasurable experience for both of you and your vet will thank you!!
As always if you have questions or comments you can interact with me through this blog. Any time you spend with your dog will only strengthen the bond between the two of you and they can be a great source of comfort during these stressful times of COVID 19!