Dress your dog for success! How to use "dress up" as a training exercise
The fall is upon us with beautiful colors and crisp air. It's that time of year when pooch parents begin thinking about dog wardrobes. Some are thinking about the latest in doggy fashion, others are thinking of ways to trump last year's halloween costume and there are those that are just thinking about keeping their pup warm. Whatever the reason, done properly, dressing your dog can actually be used as a beneficial training exercise.
Each year, your dog will routinely visit the vet, the groomer, and will be required to be handled by various strangers. Developing a dog who happily accepts (or minimally, tolerates without stress) his or her body being touched and handled is extremely important.
So, before grabbing that coat or sweater and just slapping it on, follow the exercise below!
A. Grab a handful of your dog's favorite treats and a toy.
B. Show your dog his/her item of clothing and give your pup one piece of treat.
C. Pop your dog's head through the sweater or put the coat on your pup's back, calmly praise and reward.
D. Gently place each leg through the item of clothing, calmly praise and treat your pup for EACH one.
E. Once your dog is dressed, give a big excited praise and toss the toy for a little fetch session or game of tug.
Taking the extra 10-30 seconds to turn this daily dress up routine into a fun exercise will help teach your pup that being handled is pleasurable, fun and rewarding.
PLEASE NOTE: If your dog is averse to having his/her paws or ears touched, being placed in a bag, please contact a trainer to give you more detailed advice and exercises.
Happy fall. Happy fashion. Happy training!