Tips on How to Handle a Squirmy Dog or Puppy
Puppies are most often very active and squirmy. As they mature, dogs do tend to settle down. This, however, is not always the case. Some mature dogs can be extremely active throughout their entire lives. Whether your dog is more active and squirmy does not imply that it is not just as wonderful and intelligent as most other dogs. Squirmy dogs have a shorter attention span due to their adrenaline and active behavior. With special techniques and extra patience, you can handle your squirmy dog or puppy.
Begin to handle your squirmy dog by positioning it on its back or side, whichever seems to be more comfortable without causing the dog to act aggressive. Nipping or biting are signs that the dog is not comfortable.
Avoid eye contact with your dog while teaching it to settle down and refrain from squirming. You need to establish that you are the leader and that you mean business.
Gently hold your dog down in the comfortable position and say the word “settle” in a calm and firm tone of voice. Every time your dog squirms, use a firmer grip and repeat the word. Continue to do so until your dog stops squirming. When the dog behaves appropriately, be sure to praise it for a job well done. A small treat can reinforce the action as well.
Link the settle command through other behaviors, such as “sit” or “down” command. Require your dog to stay in that position until released by holding it and repeating the word “settle.” Remember to reward your dog with the treat and lots of praise when your dog does as instructed.
Addition tips on how to handle your squirmy dog or puppy – Limit the settle training sessions to between 20 and 30 seconds at a time. Perform these short sessions several times a day until your dog associates a calm behavior with the word “settle.”
If it is easier to work with your dog lying down until the command sinks in, avoid moving on to a “sit” or “down” command until you feel your dog is ready.
The reason to avoid eye contact is so that your dog does not think you are playing during the training sessions.
Once your dog learns the required behavior, you can use the command to give baths, cut nails or perform any other tasks that require your dog’s calm, cooperative behavior.
You must be very patient and consistent with your training in order to get good results.