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How to get your puppy used to handling

During your dog's lifetime, there will be many times when you will enjoy having a dog that is easy to handle and cooperative. Handling can involve anything from wiping paws to needing the vet to do examinations.

Fear free handling

Start practicing to make handling a cozy moment from day one with your puppy.
Hold your puppy in a soft but firm grip and slowly stroke your hand or fingertips, depending on the size of your puppy, all over his body. Start with the easier parts of the puppy's body, such as the back, but don't go on too long. A minute or so is fine for the first few sessions.

It is important that you stay calm and that the puppy perceives the handling as positive. Talk softly to the puppy as you feel through the body. It is also important that you do not let go of the puppy if it fights and tries to get loose. If you do, the puppy will learn that if it fights, it will get what it wants. And then we have a handling problem instead.

As the puppy gets used to the handling and feels calm and secure, you gradually start to hold each body part a little longer, lifting / bending its legs gently, looking in its ears and mouth etc. Have one or two treats ready and reward the puppy when you have done something that the puppy may not find very funny.

There is a big difference between handling at home and at the vet's, so train in several different environments, but only when the puppy is completely comfortable with all handling at home. Then you can also ask friends and acquaintances to feel the puppy out.

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