Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let Me Touch Your Feet!

During the Holiday Season many people will be bringing a new furry friend home to join their families. There are many things to know and consider when doing this, but in an effort not to overwhelm my loyal audience, I will be taking these steps one at a time!

Today we will be discussing: Handling.

Handling is very important for all dogs. You can start this process whether you have a puppy or a senior. It's never too early or too late to start!

Handling is an especially important routine because all dogs will need their nails trimmed, their hair combed, teeth brushed and ears cleaned. Do NOT wait until these things actually need to be done to try them! Start getting your dog prepared today!

Get your dog used to having all parts of his or her body touched. Always be gentle and praise them verbally and with yummy treats for good behavior.

Toe nail clipping can make even the most seasoned dog owner cringe; and anyone who's ever "quicked" a dog knows why!
Start small by clipping just the tip of the toe nails. Do just one or two at a time, followed by praise, treats and/or play time. In other words, associate the event with something enjoyable for your dog.
If your dog has clear nails...lucky you! You will be able to see the quick (vein) in the nail, so you shouldn't have trouble avoiding it. For the rest of us, the best advice is to go slow and take a little at a time. Always have styptic powder close at hand to stop the bleeding in case of an accident. Quicks can bleed without stopping for quite some time without this.

Follow the same rules for teeth brushing and ear cleaning. Slow and patient with lots of "Good Dogs!"

You can practice handling whenever your dog is near you. Touch your dogs feet, look in their ears and open their mouths whenever you get a chance.
If you do this enough your dog will become desensitized to the process.

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