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  • Writer's pictureHeather Sanderson

Give your dog a helping hand.

You will be doing your puppy or dog and yourself a big favour if you prepare them for life with 'handling' skills.

What the heck is handling? Most dogs get used to being fussed and stroked in an affectionate way - although some like it more than others - but handling is a little different.

Handling is the sort of touches and holds a vet or a groomer would use in their work. - looking in ears, holding paws, running hands over to check for lumps and bumps etc. If we can pretend to hold and touch our dogs gently, in a similar way a vet or groomer would, we will better prepare our dogs for visits to dog care professionals. Reward your dog with nice food and calm words.

Sometimes dogs are a little bit more sensitive about some areas being touched - my dog is like this with her paws, but for others it might be ears or somewhere else - so best to start somewhere else and work up to those parts slowly, over several training sessions if necessary. Watch closely for any signs of stress from your dog so you can make it easier for them.

Keep sessions short and end with play, or whatever else your dog enjoys. Happy training!

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