Pet Tips

Tip – 25 – Bonding with your dog through touch – Touching and stroking your dog


Touching has a powerful emotional effect on many dogs. It is part of the bonding process between the owner and the dog. Furthermore, the dog must be willing to accept your touching him so that you can groom him, care for any injuries, and even simply put leashes and collars on him.

There is a simple process to get the dog used to being touched, which also helps to strengthen emotional ties. It only takes about 30 seconds each day. Sit next to the dog on the floor with the dog either standing or in a down position, put its head in your hand and while saying dog’s name, run your hands over its body. Have it stand and run your hands over its legs as well as the belly region that you couldn’t reach when the dog was on the floor. All of the time that you touch him you softly and calmly say the dogs name—alternating now and then with a bit of praise, such as “Good Dog!” Pay particular attention to its paws. By touching it each day on the paws the dog becomes accustomed to its feet being manipulated and this will also pay off by providing much less of a reaction when clipping its nails.

This is a great way to become familiar with your dog’s body. It will also you to catch any medical problems that may develop since you are now more likely to notice if anything is out of the ordinary. It is also a great way for you and the dog to get in touch with each other and to strengthen the bonds between you. Choose a time each day, such as when you get up in the morning, or near bedtime at night, and make it a regular 30 second ritual.

© Copyright Stanley Coren, reproduction by permission only.

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