Preparing for "Easy"
Almost without fail puppies and dogs will require
medical treatment. Many
times it will be the owner dealing with things like splinters, burrs, small cuts,
dirty ears......it is a long list. A dog that will allow you to let work on them is
There are a few things that can be done with a pup to make things "EASY" later.
Put a muzzle on your pup/dog before you actually need one. Regular touching,
squeezing and holding paws, gently "messing" with ears, holding them down
or restraining them with your arms until they no longer struggle will almost
guarantee a more compliant patient...................................if done ahead of time.
Start trimming toe nails and don't do them all in one session. A Dremel tool is
a great alternative to clipping. Get the pup comfortable with a little work on the
ears once in awhile. I wrap an English slip lead around my legs when sitting
on the floor in front of the sofa. The pup is snubbed up so he can't get away.
Start by gently rubbing at first, it won't be long before they can be be cleaned
with cotton balls/swabs and solutions/medications will be tolerated. One thing
for sure, it is much simpler to imprint most all of this when they are smaller.
I have found a good sit is very useful and being able to stand in the "whoa"
position is even better. These can be passively imprinted with young pups.
Later, a solid OB routine will have a lasting impact.
Once in awhile, I will read how someone is having
trouble with medications. It
important to get a dog comfortable with you working around his mouth long
before giving meds..............fewer issues.
For example, my dog(s) will be asked to be in a front sit position.........on leash.
As I bend over and approach them from their left side, I reach down with my
right hand for the top of their muzzle. They are use to this!
The upper jaw is gripped crossways by my right hand while my left hand (palm
up) uses the finger tips to push the lower jaw down.....opening the mouth. They
are use to this!
The left hand is cupped (see picture) and enters the dogs mouth above its
tongue and slides like half a funnel to the back the dogs tilted mouth. The pills
fall off and the hand is quickly rotated and gently pushes the pills to the base
of the tongue. This motion stimulates a swallow reflex and the pills disappear.
Follow that with a head pat, a little throat message, look them in eye and say,
"Good dog". They need that!
Pills many times have to be split. A pill splitter can be bought at any drug
store. There is a little known fact that pills in larger doses are actually
cheaper in the long run......so splitting your own can save a lot. I take the
whole bottle of pills and split them all ahead of time (more efficient). Also,
if a pill is really large with a groove in it (see 2nd and 3rd pictures), one way
to "break" them in two is by placing it on a small screw driver and pushing
down on each edge with your thumbs.
Plan ahead to reach "EASY".
(left click on thumbnails for larger picture)