Accepting Your Touch

Your dog should allow you to touch him anywhere on his body without biting at you. This means wiping paws, looking into his mouth, picking up a paw or holding the tail. To teach your dog to accept touch, you begin by giving him a hard treat about the size of a nickel.

When choosing treats I pick very tasty hard dog treats. As the dog is chewing, touch him in an area of the body that is non-threatening, such as on the back. Give another treat and touch the dog on the front leg. If your dog does not like his paws touched then feed a treat and gently hold up a paw with an open hand but not gripping or grabbing the paw. Practice touching about one minute several times a day on different parts of the body.

To begin brushing your dog without him biting at you or the brush, Choose a soft bristled brush. Place him in your lap (if small enough) or put on a leash and step on the leash making it short so he can’t squirm away from you. Feed a treat. while he is eating, brush gently along the back and sides. The minute the dog is finished eating that treat you need to stop brushing. Feed another treat and resume brushing. Only brush the dog while it is still chewing the treat. Take about one minute and brush a section of the dog. Don’t try to completely brush the dog in one training session. After several weeks you should be able to brush the dog for longer times and won’t need to feed treats so frequently. Eventually you can wean the dog off the treats.

The one exception I make is clipping my dogs toenails or taking my dog to the Vet’s office. These events are infrequent and I always want them to be as positive as possible. I always give treats while clipping his nails. At the Vet’s office I have the employees feed the dog treats and while the Vet is giving the examination, I am feeding the treats.