These are handling exercises that will simulate the way a vet handles the pup during a routine visit.
Often dogs will be stressed by going to the vet and being examined. How much time do they normally spend standing on a metal table being poked and prodded? Not much. We need to make sure that this is something they are comfortable with.
We owe it to our vets and their support staff to do as much as possible to ensure that they are not going to get bitten while tending to our dogs. And, as a financial incentive for you, some vets even charge extra for difficult dogs and give discounts to those that are well behaved.
You can do this exercise at home on a table and we also strongly encourage you to get the pup into the vet’s office for no other reason than to be rewarded by some tasty treats from the doc and staff.
Do this exercise with your puppy a couple times a week while he is small and easy to lift up. Continue to spring it on him every now and again as he gets larger. Once he is comfortable at the vet and up on the examining table your work is done.
It is a good idea to have a friend or someone who the pup is not that familiar with do a few simulated exams as well.
Place the pup on a table that simulates a vet exam table.
Examine his body the way a vet would, going over the neck, back, legs, and the eyes, mouth, and ears.
As you examine the puppy, he should be getting tiny tasty pieces of treats.
If he is uncomfortable with the exercise be sure to keep it short and end on a positive note.
Your puppy should be comfortable elevated on a strange surface while he is handled by you, your vet, or a groomer.