Desensitization: Make Your Dog Touch Friendly


Some dogs have an area, or perhaps numerous regions, that, when handled, are very ticklish to them, while others have multiple locations that are ticklish. Some people have such extreme reactions to being touched in their sensitive places that they won’t keep still or allow you touch them at all if you try to do so. When you attempt to touch that region, some of them could even snap at you and bite.

If this is the case, then why is it very vital to be able to handle and touch all of your dog’s bodily parts? Why can’t you simply accept that they don’t like it and leave them alone? They’re doing just fine without your interference.

It is very necessary to have the ability to grip your dog’s feet while you are grooming him. Holding them is necessary for the following grooming tasks: clipping the hair between the paw pads, inspecting the feet for foreign things like thorns and stones, trimming the toenails, and checking your dog for other injuries or wounds.

How can you get your dog to be less sensitive?  To achieve this we base our technique on the Pavlovian Therapy:

Dogs was exposed to a bell before given food an after a while they would drool when they hear the bell ring even without receiving food.

Desensitization is a type of behavioural therapy, developed by a South African psychiatrist, based on Pavlovian therapy and is used to help effectively overcome anxiety disorders.

Try These Steps For Using The Desensitisation Technique Successfully:

By starting to touch the sensitive area for only a few seconds and gradually over time increasing it, your dog will become use to touch and overcome sensitivity issues

  1. Pick up and set down the paws one at a time. Don’t hold them for any length of time, just a quick pick-up, look-see, and then put them down again. Don’t distress or upset your dog. you are showing your dog a weaker version of what you want him or her to get use to.  By making it smaller or weaker, you make the reaction of your dog also weaker and smaller.
  2. Repeat the pick-up, look-see process over a period of days for as long as it takes until your dog becomes comfortable with the procedure. Everything has to be done slow and systematic.
  3. Gradually lengthen the amount of time you spend holding the paws
  4. Once your dog is used to touching, try a light two second massage, look-see and put them down again. Keep doing this again until your dog does not seem to get upset or mind what you are doing.
  5. Gradually increase the time massaging the paws without pushing the time too much.

Use high praise every time your dog successfully complete a little session. Eventually your dog will be used to having the feet handled and you will have achieved desensitising your dog! This desensitization technique can be used for ANY part of your dog’s body that is sensitive to touch.  It can also be used for situations that your dog is fearful of, be it male visitors, children or certain objects.  This also works not just on dogs but also on cats and other animals…and humans!

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