By Debbie Bauer
Brushing, combing, cutting toenails, being held for vet examinations and treatment – these things are a part of life for our dogs. These aren’t events that will happen once and never again. Instead, these are lifelong skills that our dogs will need to learn to deal with as ongoing events in their lives. Yet these are also things that some dogs get very stressed about.
The good news is that we can teach our dogs to think more positively about all of these activities, and we can even teach them to cooperate with us so they are less of a struggle. The better we can prepare our dogs to feel good about grooming, handling and vet visits, the less stress they will feel, and the healthier they will be. Teaching them to be cooperative with us, the groomer and the veterinarian will only make our jobs easier as well!
And teaching every dog to enjoy being touched and handled all over is an important safety skill for daily living. A dog that enjoys and allows touch will be safer in any environment, no matter what role he is expected to fulfill – competitor, companion, therapy dog, etc.
I’ve written about some grooming topics previously. Here are some you may find helpful:
About the Author
Debbie Bauer, HTACP, operates Your Inner Dog in the Effingham, Illinois area and has over 25 years of teaching and consulting experience working with dogs and their people. She specializes in working with dogs that display shy, fearful and reactive behaviors and also has extensive experience working with dogs with special abilities, including deaf and blind/deaf dogs. Bauer has trained dogs in a variety of fields, including therapy work, flyball, herding, print ad and media work, obedience, rally, agility, musical freestyle, conformation, lure coursing, tricks and scent work. She has over 13 years of experience with custom-training assistance dogs, including medical alert dogs, to match the specific needs of each person. Her special interest lies in educating the public about dogs which are homozygous merle (often called double merle), and about how deaf, blind, and deaf/blind dogs can live happy fulfilled lives as part of a family.