Teaching Your Puppy to be Handled at an Early Age Can Prevent Problems in the Future
When you first bring home your puppy an important task is to housebreak them. Teaching them what objects are appropriate to play with and where to use the bathroom is incredibly important. However, often puppy owners forget something that is just as important, teaching their puppy to accept handling. When puppies grow older it will be important to ensure that they are used to being touched and groomed. They is nothing worse than having to fight with your dog to get their nails clipped or having a dog that has to be muzzled to be groomed. This can be prevented by training your dog as a puppy to accept handling.
Teach your puppy to accept being touched all over their body. Pet them all over, and use lots of praise and treats. You can also play a fun game of tug with your dog if they are motivated more by play. You want you puppy to learn that you touching them is a positive experience. Make sure that you get as many of your friends and family members to help you out. The more people who handle your puppy, the better socialized they will be. You don’t want your puppy to grow up being unsure when people touch them. Dogs who are afraid of physical contact with others can lash out aggressively to protect themselves. We want our puppies to learn that when people touch them great things happen. Take your puppy on a walk and bring some treats. Ask a stranger to pet your dog and feed your puppy treats. This is a great way to have your puppy learn that people touching them leads to positive experiences.
Make sure to touch their ears, tail, and paws often when they are puppies. As your puppy grows they will need to have their ears cleaned and their nails clipped regularly. It is important that they grow accustomed to being handled as it will make this much easier for you later on. It will also help your vet and groomer. A common problem many dog owners experience is that their dogs hate having their nails clipped. Sometimes, dogs can even act out aggressively. Owners should work with their puppies at a young age to prevent this from happening. Remember to keep training positive. If you need to have someone help you do so. You can work on clipping your dog’s nails or cleaning their ears while another person feeds them a treat.
It is also important to accustom your puppy to having people pat them on the head. It can be very unsettling for some dogs when people reach over their head to touch them. Many dogs do not like when people do this. In fact, many dog bites occur for this very reason. Make sure that you accustom your puppy to having their head petted this way. Give them praise and treats as you do it. However, always remember when you are greeting an unfamiliar dog, let them sniff you first. If they appear friendly then you can pet them underneath their chin. For dogs this is a much more polite greeting!
You will also want to accustom your dog to having their teeth brushed. Make sure you occasionally check your puppy’s teeth. Do this often, and your dog will become used to having you play with their mouth. You also want to make sure that you brush their coat regularly when they are young so they become used to it. Remember to make sure to make the experience enjoyable for them!
This article is the third in a series on puppies. To read other articles in this series and learn more about puppies, click on the links below. Teaching your puppy to be handled is important to creating a successful bond with your dog and will help prevent behavior problems in the future. For more tips or advice on teaching your puppy to be handled contact Highland Canine Training, LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866.200.2207.