Bonding Exercise for Your Puppy or Dog

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Bonding Exercise for Your Puppy or Dog

by Sherry Rupke



1. Establishes your dominance (leadership) over the puppy in a non-aggressive manner.

2. It will help you develop a close bond between you and your puppy.

3. Allows you to give your puppy a complete body check everyday. Things such the start of an ear infection, small lumps, ticks, cuts, etc. can go unnoticed and if you catch them early it will be easier to treat.

4. Teaches your puppy that it is OK for you to touch all parts of their body. For example if you need to put eye drops in your puppy?s eyes it will make things a lot less challenging if you have done this exercise right from the start!

Set the Tone
Wait until your puppy has settled and is not in a heightened state of excitement ? after a good hearty play session with a few minutes to settle down is a good opportunity. Have the room quiet or with soft mellow music playing. You relax and settle yourself. During this whole exercise, use a slow calming voice. When touching the puppy you should use soft slow stokes. Moving too quickly, pressing too hard can activate and excite the puppy.

Position the Puppy
Sit the puppy facing away from you: kneel, or sit with your legs spread outward, behind your puppy and put him in a sitting position by placing your arm behind and just under his bum and push his chest back with your other hand. Gently tuck him into a sitting position. Do not press down on his bum because it is bad for his hip joints. You can also utilize a treat to lure the puppy in a sit position.

Down the puppy: lift both front legs gently place the puppy in a down position or lure the puppy to the down position utilizing a treat. Do not force him down by pressing on his shoulder blades because this is bad for the shoulders. If your puppy goes to get up at any point during this exercise growl at him (GRRRRRRR) a loud forceful growl like his mother would do and place him back into the down position. You may have to repeat this numerous times initially but this will calm him right down and he will become relaxed.

Begin the Exercise
1. Gently massage his shoulders. Tell the pup what you are doing throughout the entire exercise (say ?shoulders? over and over while you are doing this)

2. Move your hands down the front legs pads of the feet, under the arm pits and under the tail and massage them (say ?legs?)

3. Touch between all the webs (between his toes) (say ?webs?)

4. Touch all the nails (say ?nails?) you can clip them/sand them at this point.

5. Move your hands up to the head (**see footnote in sidebar) and start massaging the head (say ?head?) the puppy should be very relaxed at this point.

6. Look in the eyes and pull down the eyelid (say eyes) you are making sure everything looks normal, no cloudiness, no guck or rolling in/out of the eye lids etc.

7. Lift up the lip (say ?teeth?) you can take a finger toothbrush and brush his teeth and massage his gums.

8. Lift up the ears (say ?ears?) make sure they are clean and pluck or trim any hair that may be accumulating inside the ear. You can do this by taking your fingers and just pulling it out. It comes out fairly easy and does not hurt them if done a little bit at a time.

9. Move your hands down to the chest and start massaging the chest (say ?chest?)

10. Place your puppy on his left side. Check under the stomach, check the pads of the feet, under the arm pits and under the tail. In male puppy?s that are un-neutered check the testicles for lumps because un-neutered males can develop testicular cancer.

11. Place your puppy on his right side by gently rolling him over on his back and then onto his other side. You do this roll by taking hold of all legs and just guide them over. Check under the stomach, check the pads of the feet, under the arm pits.

Once you have completed all these steps say ?release? or ?free? and give your puppy lots of praise! Take the puppy outside for potty.

Sherry Rupke is a vet tech, and has received years of training on proper care of dogs and other animals. She was raised on a farm and has been interested in caring for animals since she was a child. Sherry has been breeding dogs for over 5 years, and has built an outstanding reputation in the goldendoodle community, visit her website at

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A site featuring goldendoodles for sale, goldendoodle puppies, goldendoodle pictures, and many happy people who have purchased a puppy from Swiss Ridge Goldendoodles

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