Handling Your Dog
20 Apr 2010
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Handling Your Dog
Puppies, like their human masters, have unique personalities. Through interacting with your dog you will quickly discover what he likes and dislikes. When it comes to physically handling your dog you must be observant and learn to understand what your dog prefers.
Some dogs love their ears tickled but others hate it; some dogs love to have their bellies rubbed; some dogs don't like having their tails touched. You have to learn to interpret your dogs' reactions and then you can comprehend what motivates it.
This knowledge will come in handy when you are handling your dog. If he does something you like and you know he loves a belly rub, then fuss over him while you rub his belly, telling him that good dogs get their bellies rubbed. He will love this. If he doesn't like having his ears tickled, don't do this when you are praising him because it will seem more like a punishment.
It is also very important to learn what sort of handling will soothe and calm your puppy and what kind of interaction will get your puppy excited.
Generally speaking, most dogs find it very soothing to have their chests stroked gently and slowly. If you combine this with a very calm tone of voice, your dog should find this very relaxing and reassuring.
On the other hand, handling your puppy roughly yet playfully around the head and rump combined with a high-pitched excitable voice should get your puppy geared up. In general, any sort of stroking your dog where your hands move very fast will indicate play and excitement to your dog.
These distinctions are noteworthy when it comes to training your puppy. When your puppy obeys a command, praise him using calm and soothing methods. This keeps him relaxed and concentrating on the task at hand. An excited and wound up puppy is just too carried away to be able to focus on learning anything.
The key point is to discover what kind of physical handling your dog finds soothing. Always try to handle your dog in this fashion as a positive training reward. When you have finished training and just want to have some fun, then its time to handle your dog in an excitable, playful way.
When you're training your dog, it's almost certainly your fault if the dog is not doing what you ask of it. This is why it is so vitally important that you do not lose your temper. So before you start to get angry at your dog, consider the following issues.
Have you clearly indicated to your dog what you want it to do? Are your expectations too high so that you're overstretching your dog's capabilities? Are you just doing the same old thing over and over again and your poor dog is just plain bored?
Quite often training issues can be attributed to handler errors. So think very carefully about the situation before you get angry with your dog. Remember that you are trying to establish a warm, loving relationship with your puppy and you do not want to do anything that may hamper that.
There of course will be times when punishment is required. On these occasions, do not lose your temper. Simply fit the reprimand to the crime. Your tone of voice will serve to indicate your level of displeasure with your dog. If your puppy commits a minor indiscretion, a quick "No!" or a little growl should be sufficient to let him know that you are displeased.
Your voice can be louder and sterner for more serious infractions. The important aspect of this process is that once you've reprimanded your dog, that's it. It's over. You must then return to cool on an emotional level. You simply cannot do this if you've lost your cool and become very angry.
Verbal reprimands must therefore be done in a controlled manner as much as possible. Try your best not to get cross with your dog. It will go a long way to building trust, warmth and love. Don't do anything that might interfere with this because it's worth it.