A New Puppy – The Importance of Handling
A new puppy is a lovely experience but on which we can easily get wrong in many ways. If you have or are thinking of having a puppy then it is vital to remember that everything he learns, from this point on, will shape him into the adult dog that he is going to become.
It is always easy to tell an adult dog that wasn’t taught to be relaxed during handling as a puppy. The poor dog becomes stressed and his muscles become tense. Panting and yawning will follow and the dog may even growl or threaten a bite. All of this behavior is a fear reaction to something that the dog is not used to happening to him. Luckily it can be easily avoided if the dog learns not to be afraid of your touch right from puppyhood.
Handling is something that seems easy and obvious with a puppy. Everyone wants to pick the bundle of fluff up and pass him around. Puppy cuddles are always in demand. It is easy to incorporate necessary handling into this routine and then later on when your puppy has grown he will be relaxed when he needs veterinary treatment, his nails clipped or even ear drops.
So every day, in fact as often as possible, from day one try to make a habit of touching each of his paws in turn, feel between his pads and even tap on his nails with something to imitate nail clipping time. You can do this both whilst he is in your arms and whilst he is standing on the ground or a surface.
Check in his mouth regularly, right up to his back teeth and always reward relaxed behavior. Look in his eyes on a daily basis and also check his ears. Another good thing to make a habit of is looking at his anus area because at some point he might need his anal glands emptying and it is best to be prepared.
Groom him every day, even if he doesn’t need it you can rub a soft brush over him, this will both enhance your relationship and teach him to be relaxed in your care.
Your puppy will benefit greatly when you take just a few minutes a day doing this routine. Veterinary treatment will prove less stressful for him, the vet and you as his owner because such type of handling will be normal.