Handling Massage Exercise
Training Your Poodle Puppy to be Handled
By teaching your Poodle to accept handling of "it's" body while still a puppy, then when special care is required, you will already have created that bond of trust with your Poodle. Your puppy will learn to relax and let you, the vet or the groomer handle it for it's care with daily "Handling Massage Exercise".
This exercise should be done by sitting on the floor with your puppy and inviting your Poodle to lie down on the floor between your legs, on your lap or next to you. Give a tummy rub to relax your Poodle. When your puppy is relaxed gently start massaging it. Begin at the muzzle, rubbing your fingers over the skin and at the same time checking it's teeth. Then move your fingers up over the head, touching the skin around the eyes and inside the ears. Handle each ear flap, and look inside each ear. Massage around the base of the ears. As you are massaging examine your puppy for problems - look for excess wax, redness in the ears, check for bumps, dirt and discharges.
After massaging the face and head, then gently continue down the body in the same slow gentle manner. Don't let your puppy turn this into a wrestling game. Keep it relaxed and calm. If at any time your puppy struggles or resists, then go back to the tummy rub until it relaxes.
Do this daily and incorporate your grooming procedure into the exercise. Daily combing and brushing will keep the coat tangle-free. As you massage & groom, a soft voice of praise is also relaxing to your puppy.
There are other benefits to massaging your Poodle. Besides teaching your pup to be handled, you are also bonding with your Poodle. If your pup is overstimulated in the evening when you want to "veg-out" in front of the TV; then sit on the floor and massage your puppy to sleep while you watch your favorite show!
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