Your new puppy needs to be trained in the ways of the world. No doubt you're already thinking about teaching your puppy how to sit, heel and go to the bathroom in the right place. Have you considered how you'll teach your puppy to tolerate tooth brushing and claw trimming? These important behaviors don't come naturally. Like young children, many puppies are resistant to these basic types of grooming and hygiene. To ensure that your puppy gets the type of care he needs on a regular basis, it's your responsibility to teach your puppy how to sit still while receiving this kind of care. These tips will help.
The key to training your puppy to sit still through claw trimming time is to teach your puppy that yummy rewards will always follow. To start, help your puppy get used to the sensation of having his or her paws touched. Spend a minute or two touching and lifting your puppy's paws and touching the individual toes. Stop periodically to give your puppy treats.
Repeat this process for a few days, until your puppy associates this activity with snacks. When you're ready and your puppy seems relaxed when you touch his or her paws, try trimming one of your puppy's claws. Plan to trim only one claw the first time. Reward him or her immediately with a snack. Next time, trim two of your puppy's claws. Keep building up the claw trimming routine until you're able to trim all your puppy's claws at once. To ensure your puppy's continued cooperation, always reward your puppy for a job well done.
The process for tooth brushing is similar to claw trimming. You'll start by getting your puppy adjusted to the feeling of having his or her teeth and gums touched and rubbed. Rub your puppy's teeth and gums gently with your fingers, then rub the teeth and gums gently with soft gauze. Reward your puppy with treats during and after every training session until your puppy is used to the process.
Next, try the process with a tooth brush. Hold off on using tooth paste until your puppy is used to the tooth brush and seems comfortable with the process. Rub the tooth brush over your puppy's teeth in a circular motion. Reward your puppy periodically with treats. After a few sessions doing this, add a tiny dab of toothpaste to your puppy's tooth brush. Brush the teeth gently and keep the cleaning sessions short at first.
As with most types of animal training, repetition and consistent use of rewards is key. For more tips and advice, speak with your dog's veterinarian. Your dog's veterinarian will understand dog behaviors and may be able to recommend products and ideas that will help the training go quickly and smoothly.
You can also contact a center like West Lake Animal Hospital for more information.