How To Get Your Puppy Used To Being Handled (with Video)

Puppy Training & Behaviour Puppy Expert Advice Dog Training & Behaviour

Hi everyone, it's Laura V here and Teddy. And today we are talking about how to get your puppy used to being handled. Now, of course, your puppy is a companion, they're your best friend. So we want them to associate us touching them with being a really positive thing. And we want them to also feel in control.

The worst thing that we can do is to be picking our puppy up all the time and causing them to not perhaps have the best experiences when they are being handled by us. So how do we do that? Well, the best thing to do is to allow them to make the choice to be handled. If we can, so if they come up to you and they want to be engaging with you, then of course you can be handling them and touching them.


Ideally you wanna touch them on the side that's closest to us rather than putting our hands over them, because that does remove the element of control for our puppy. But in reality, sometimes we do need to take a little bit of control ourselves, particularly if we need our puppy to get used to new things, especially that visit to the vet. We want that to be a really positive experience and when your puppy is as young as little Teddy is, and like your puppy is, this is the best time to teach them to have a good experience with their vet or their puppy doctor.

So what we need to do once again, is try to find something that your puppy loves. Now, when you are handling your puppy generally, that is a reward in itself. You don't always have to have treats with you, but when we are teaching our puppy something new and perhaps something that they're unsure of, we wanna make sure that we can motivate them and allow them to have a good experience so that they remember when they've been handled that way next time, it wasn't so bad.

We wanna get our puppy used to every aspect of being handled, being used to it and also seeing it as a positive experience. So we want our puppy to be facing us as much as possible. If we want to hold them up, just get them used to being picked like this, being handled, stretching back their legs, just in case they need to be examined by a vet, just nice and gentle giving him a treat for every time he lets me do that because he's very lovely and tolerant. Also getting our poppy used to allowing us to touch their fingers as well.


So touching all their all their toes, good boy and rewarding them at the same time, so that we can check in between their toes if we need to. Also getting them used to having the clippers on their nails as well. So just that texture and that sensation of having the clippers on their toenails is really, really important too, so they don't develop a fear of that sensation. The other thing we wanna do is we wanna teach our puppy to let us look at their face nice and closely.

Look at their ears as much as they'll tolerate us during that. If they let us pop our finger just gently into the top part of the ear canal then that's absolutely wonderful. How good, well that probably feels nice, does it buddy? Good boy. Trying to make it as positive as possible, holding their head, having a look at the eyes. Good boy.

And lastly, getting our puppy if we can, just to let us open their mouth. Good boy. So do this really every day and make it as positive as you possibly can, allowing them to get used to all these experiences, not seeing them as a threat and knowing that every time we're touching them in all these different ways that they're going to be okay with it and they know that they can trust us and respect us.



Cutting your dog's nails definitely requires a little bit of skill. So it may be best to get a groomer to do this, but it's certainly worthwhile teaching your dog to present their paw, or at least be comfortable with you touching their paw so that their nails can be trimmed.

So if you do this properly and you spend the time and effort into making your dog feel comfortable, Jester, you should be able to get your dog to actually ask to have it done because they know that something good is just about on its way.

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