puppy massage 1. Rub and gently tug on their ears 2. Cover their eyes for 3-5 seconds 3. Open their mouth, inspect their teeth and place your finger inside of their mouth. You can rub their tongue and gums. I also always watch teeth to ensure they are coming in correctly. Every once in a while, issues with tooth eruption do occur. 4. Rub their belly and chest in a wide circular motion. 5. Run your hand up their back (from tail to head) a few times to ruffle their fur. Also practice “heavy petting” - patting your pup’s back like you are burping a baby 6. Gently tug and twist their tail. 7. Rub your fingers in between all of their pads on their paws 8. Tap on the tip of their nails 9. Put your hands on their collar and apply a slight tug or pressure 10. Touch their nose!
This approach is performed to improve your pup’s ability to handle different types of touch, handling and sensation. It can be performed in ANY order. Do not put your puppy down if they are agitated or upset. If they are displaying resistance, stop until the puppy calms and then resume! Reward with positive praise and snuggles when done!
This is an excellent time to check the puppy over from head to foot each day ensuring everything is forming correctly and the pup’s conformation looks and feels good. I use my hands and fingers as a way to explore and touch every part of them. You can be standing (elevation work) or sitting - try both! Don’t always perform the “puppy massage” in the same room at the same time. As pups age, it helps to do this exercise when they are sleepy - after a solid play session is a great time. It is also CRUCIAL to have others do the massage as well. You want your dog to be tolerant to touch by friends, strangers, kids, the elderly, veterinarians, groomers etc.