Cuddle Buddies

Co-Author:  Nicole Lauren

Hugging and cuddling our fur babies is what we naturally want to do 24/7! Yet, a dog's love language can be a little different then us humans. Dogs unfortunately do not always like the affection. When a dog is held or restricted it can lead to an increase in their stress levels! Shocking I know! When your fur child squirms or tries to get away it’s not because they don’t like you it’s literally because they hate to feel restrained. Why is that though ? 

 

Well, a few reasons to start. One is their natural instincts. It’s in their genetic make up to to run fast from danger, being held or retrained prevents them from doing so. Even though hugging or picking up your pup isn’t putting them in danger, the feeling they have of not being able to run if there was danger is what triggers the anxiety. Dogs could also have had a bad experience in the past while being held or restricted as well. 

 

Think about it, most dogs do not like going to the vet. They are completely restrained and vulnerable. All while being uncomfortable during a nail trim or vaccine. Although we know vets are there to help and care for them they do not understand that. 

 

It’s a bummer to know our pets really don’t like our hugs but we do have to teach them how to tolerate being retrained for their safety. 

Some helpful tips for making this happen start with 

setting aside a few minutes a day to practice the following : 

* Sit on the floor and hold your pup on your lap.

* You can put your hands around to the front of or under your dog’s chest gently,  for a 2-3 second loose hold and offer a treat.

* Casually increase the length of the loose hold and calmly massage your pup’s chest.

* Decrease the length of the hold as you gradually increase intensity of the hold. Continue to reinforce with food/treats for each hold.

* When your dog is calm and relaxed with a more firm hold you can gradually increase the time held. 

 

If your dog has issues with harness or leash: 

* Start by allowing your dog to smell the harness. 

* Put a treat on the harness, allowing him/her to eat the treat off it. 

* Touch your dog with the harness, praising each time it makes contact. 

*Use Scratch Square when trying to file and trim nails. Helps promote bonding and safe grooming while rewarding them with a treat and not keeping them restricted like at the groomers.

Just make sure to pay attention to signs it may be too much for your dog and decrease or increase the exercise times as needed. Remember, being consistent is what is going to help your dog get more comfortable with being restrained. After sufficient practice they might actually want to snuggle as much as you do! 

 

#petlove #devorapets #snuggles #furbabies #doglover #cuddles #devoracommunity