Dogs are tactile creatures, and we love to touch them. That pairing ought to create a great mutual benefit society. You'd think this would be a no brainer. But ironically, I've seen countless problems arise in this realm. How we touch, where we touch, where dogs have conditioned their owners not to touch, all can be significant factors in the overall behavioral balance of a dog.
Dogs who come into training here are touched A LOT. All day long they are taught to stand quietly in front of me, body nestled into my legs, and tolerate being touched from front to back, top to bottom. I want all the dogs who go through training here to relish the hands of their owners. No guardiness, no mouthing, no nipping, no wheeling the head around to threaten, no growling – just soft, responsiveness.
There's a lovely, old fashioned expression in the dog world. We talk about having a dog who "comes soft to the hand." It's that dog who comes confidently but not obnoxiously into our body space, gently soliciting touch and standing quietly to receive it. It's an essential piece of the training here. Owners often remark on how much more intimate , friendly, and confident their dogs are after training which always pleases me immensely. Training is all about enhancing our relationship with our dogs not diminishing it. Touch plays a significant role.
Because our hands can have such a dramatic impact on the animals in our care, and their physical and mental well being, I have spent a lifetime developing techniques to be used by dog owners and handlers. These have been assembled into a system of physical therapy for dogs called Canine Kinaesthetics tm. Individuals who are interested in learning more about Kinaesthetics tm can go to our companion website, www.dogbodycare.com for full details on the Canine Protocol.