MANIPULATION OR THE IMPORTANCE OF STIMULATING YOUR DOG THROUGH TOUCH
Today we will talk about the big and largest benefits of manipulation or touch stimulation. It will definitely make your dog’s life calmer, more balanced and pleasant in all its aspects. For writing this post, we have not only used, as always, our experience, but also other precious information given to us by the professionals credited below.
What is dog manipulation and where do I start?
Dog touch manipulation means touching different parts of your dog’s body for hygienic, educational and medical purposes. Your dog should not only be able to be patted, but also to be touched without fear or aggression by human hands.
Your dog is neither a toy nor a cuddly toy, but a sensitive being, so you should always be careful not to hurt it with sudden or uncomfortable gestures.
This manipulation, which should always be carried out with gentleness, kindness and respect, will also allow your dog to gain in confidence towards you, as well as develop a beautiful complicity and strengthen your unique bond.
VERY IMPORTANT! You have to be sure that your dog does not have any illness that can be aggravated by this manipulation or by massages. In this sense, we recommend you to consult your vet for a prior medical check-up and to rule out any contraindications (fever, wounds, skin diseases, tumours, etc.) that could damage your dog.
Although the ideal is to start stimulating your dog from an early age, don’t worry if your dog is no longer a puppy and you have never done it, probably because you didn’t know all the advantages, because “it’s never too late to do things right” 🙂
We started manipulating Colette when being a puppy, although with a different purpose: to participate at beauty dog shows. In these shows, the jury members examine the teeth, the genital area or the joints. Therefore, it is convenient that the dogs are gentle and calm so that the jurors can observe them better, and this can only be achieved by training the manipulation at home. Those trainings, without knowing it at that time, have been very useful for Colette’s daily life.
What are the main benefits of manipulating my dog?
- Reduces its excitability and therefore decreases its stress, by relaxing it.
- Activates its circulation.
- Improves the dog-human relationship, strengthening your bond.
- Allows you to detect health problems (lumps, skin diseases, etc.) in a preventive way.
In what specific situations in your dog’s life will these benefits be appreciated?
- Home care: brushing, cleaning paws, teeth and eyes, application of medical treatments, etc. are all tasks that you can do yourself more easily to your dog if it is used to being manipulated/used to be manipulated (in the past)
- Grooming: although dog hairdressers strive to make our dogs feel like at home in the hair salon, a dog used to manipulation will undoubtedly feel calmer and more confident in this “beauty appointment”, during bathing, drying, haircutting, cleaning of eyes, ears, glands or nail cutting.
- Veterinary: Let’s not fool ourselves, no matter how much previous manipulation we have practiced with them and no matter how much effort the veterinarians put into it, this is, without a doubt, the most overwhelming place for our dogs. In addition, with the new health protocols, it is now more difficult to accompany your dog to steady it in the medical tests (blood tests, x-rays, ultrasounds, etc.). A previous manipulation habit will at least decrease its stress levels and make the work easier for the vet.
How do I manipulate my dog at home?
- Before starting, make sure you are calm enough to give your dog good vibes.
- Make the space where you are going to stimulate your dog a “Zen Area”: to do this, find a quiet place, without noise, where you can even use aromatherapy or play soft background music (we have a list on Spotify called “Colette’s Pet Playlist” that was created automatically by filling out a small questionnaire about Colette’s character. Cick here if you want to follow it and listen to it). Also, don’t forget to take off rings, bracelets or any other jewellery that could rub it.
- Start touching your dog, who will be standing or lying down (if it wishes so), with your hands gently on areas such as its ears, paws, tail and muzzle. You can accompany your gestures with soft and loving words explaining to your dog that you are going to touch that part of its body to make it feel safe. Even if we do not speak the same language, dogs pick up on the vibrations generated by the sound of our words and understand us. Only when your dog has gotten used to these gentle caresses for a while, you will go on to a much more advanced stage. In this phase, and if the dog’s own size allows it, turn it gently upside down for a few seconds, while you hold it softly but firmly, and continue with the caresses. Don’t be in a hurry to get to this stage, because as you can imagine, your dog may feel threatened in this position and react instinctively by defending itself (grunting or biting).
- 30 seconds a day is more than enough to get started. You will already increase the manipulation time as your dog relaxes to a point where it will ask for itself and you will be able to manipulate it for several minutes at a time. (Colette is often sitting down, and when we slowly bring a hand closer over her without any intention, she lies on her side, or rather I would say she “surrenders”, so that you can pet her tummy ^_^).
Finally, as we pointed out at the beginning, here are the professional references that have inspired us to write this publication:
- PAT DOG EDUCATOR: We love the way PAT approaches dog education. For this reason, we have talked about her several times in our blog in old posts that you can read by clicking here, here or even here. And it is precisely by doing her Doga course, which has a very interesting module about manipulation, that we have learned more about its importance. You can access to her “Doga” course by clicking here.
- PETS & POMS: It’s not a secret that this is the reference hair salon for Colette since she was a puppy, as well as her “Pomeranian Beauty” care line since Silvia, her hairdresser, created it. We also talked about “Pets & Poms” and its wonderful dog spa in a post in the blog, which you can read again by clicking here. Among others, Silvia has published some very educational 2-minute videos in her Instagram with tips on how to manipulate them and thus facilitate the brushing of your Pomeranians, which you can access by clicking here.
- SWEET & CO: Thanks to a solidarity gymkhana in which we participated, we got to know the great “animal life project” behind it, led by Estefanía, her alma mater. We also invite you to discover her website https://sweetandrescue.com. Among many other initiatives, you will find the e-book and course in Spanish “Your bond” (“Vuestro vínculo”), which we have not done it yet, but we confess that it is on our list of “pending doggy tasks”. As we have mentioned, manipulation is one of the ways you can reinforce the bond with your dog and for sure with this stuff you will discover all the tools and secrets to improve your dog-human relationship. For more information about the course “Your bond” created by @sweet_andco and @animal.rei click here.
If you have read this far, we thank you first because it is not a short post 😉 Secondly, it will be your dog who will thank you because you will have discovered the importance of stimulating your dog through touch, and will make you enjoy YOUR moment of complicity together.
Did you know the benefits of manipulation in your dogs?
How do you stimulate them through touch?
We would love to hear from you in the comments below about your experience! Thank you very much!