Saturday, 9 January 2010
Puppy Training - Playing Doctor
We were told that if a puppy is physically comfortable, he will be mentally comfortable. So we had to make sure we were holding them correctly. If they started to struggle, we had to hold them until they relaxed and then put them down.
We were told if we put them down when they are struggling, this will lead to the wrong message being taught them.
We did not call the puppies to us to be picked up, but just picked them up without them coming to us.
We then settled them down on our laps, comforting them and allowing them to relax. We then lifted the flap of their ear and if they let us do this we said "yes" and gave them a little treat. The "yes" has to come at the right time, and only when they are relaxed and you are lifting the ear. Otherwise the message is misunderstood.
We progressed on from the ears to the eyes, spreading each side of the eye with two fingers. Then we concentrated on a spot of their backs, separating the fur, as if looking for ticks. We separated each claw, front and back paws. Lifted their tails and checked their bums.
Every time the action was allowed in a calm accepting way, we said "yes" and gave them a small treat.
Different dogs will have different tolerance levels. Tracy's puppy fell asleep in her arms whilst she was performing the different tasks, where as mine was squirming, wanting to get down and play. Perhaps my puppy wasn't so comfortable on my lap. I am going to us a towel on my lap next time, to pad out my lap a bit more.