14 Nov | Posted by Cheryl Wilson | no comments |
Preparing signs for dog prints one afternoon, the four dogs in the house had to offer their paws to me to be painted and then placed on my signs. Pixie let me use her paw but acted as if I was about to amputate the paw. Tucker let me use his paw but turned his head so he couldn’t see what was happening to it. Grace just laid down as if it was the most boring thing I had had her do lately, and Skeeter acted as if it was no big deal.
What I discovered when we actually did the prints at the dog event was that many dogs do not like having their feet touched. Although their excited humans really wished for a fine piece of dog art, they really didn’t want someone to touch their precious paws. Some, of course, may have been ticketless, but many never got to the actual painting part. They were just not familiar with their paws being held by a human hand.
This is when I had the ah ha moment. It is important that dogs are comfortable with humans touching or holding their paws for a variety of reasons:
• Veterinarians may need to examine a wound.
• Groomers many need to be able to clip the hair around the pads.
• Their humans may need to examine the paw or put a conditioning treatment on the pads.
• Shoes for the dog may be necessary for extreme weather conditions.
• Their human may want a dog print for memorabilia.
The human in a dog’s life can remedy this by simply touching the dog’s paws frequently:
• While your dog is cuddled up on the couch with you, hold their paw. Like holding hands.
• Teach them how to shake or high 5.
• While walking, stop, lift each paw and hold it for a moment.
• When you are petting them, also touch the paws while they are in a relaxed state.
Just a few moments daily will let them trust anyone touching their cute little feet. (I love dog paws!) It is important that they feel comfortable with humans that want to assist them when needed. They will love the attention and won’t become non-compliant or even worse, vicious.