When it comes to owning and caring for a dog, it takes a lot of training, patience, and research to get the job done right. Owning a dog isn’t all about fun and games. It’s very important to learn how to properly handle and restrain a dog before you adopt or buy one. Animals often act just like humans. They don’t want others to be rough with them or to be man-handled in any sort of way. They also need the proper restraints when they are out of the house and around others.
Keep reading to learn more about what to use to restrain your dog as well as proper dog handling techniques.
Proper Dog Restraints
Owning a dog means having the proper dog restraints available at all times. No matter how well-behaved your dog is, you can’t always allow them to be off-leash on a walk or roam in your yard untethered. You’ll also want to have the proper dog restraints for the times you need to go to the vet or groomers. Let’s take a look at some of the dog restraints that will make being a dog parent that much easier.
GPS Fence – Allowing your dog out in your yard works the best if you own a GPS fence that keeps them contained to where you want them to be. A GPS fence comes in two different styles- buried wires or wireless. The former is the oldest style of GPS fencing which uses a buried wire to keep pets from crossing over a boundary. The newer wireless GPS fences work with satellites and Wi-Fi to create a boundary without the need for buried wires. Both are more effective than a chain or dog-run, and they give your pet more freedom of movement. Your dog will wear a collar that will give him a small static shock if he steps over the boundary.
Collar – Owning the proper collar is necessary when you’re a dog owner. One of the most popular types of collars is known as the Martingale collar. This style of collar will tighten slightly when the dog pulls at it but will loosen back up to a comfortable position when the dog walks the right way. If you plan to keep a dog tag on your dog, a flatter collar is also recommended. You may also consider a dog harness if you want to have more control over your pet.
Leash – The right leash is important as a restraint for your dog. In most cases, experts recommend a traditional 6-foot leash, either made of Nylon or leather. This type of leash gives your dog room to move while keeping them under your control at all times. Retractable leashes are not recommended as they can cause entanglements, strangulations, cuts, and burns of both dogs and owners.
Muzzle – While you may not think you will need it, a quality muzzle is a good investment for dog owners. Your dog may be fine with you, as his owner, but could nip or bite a groomer or handler. It’s a good idea to keep one on hand when you have to take your dog to the vet or for a nail clipping and are worried that they will become aggressive.
Car seat restraints – A car seat restraint for your dog will protect your dog, the driver, and any passengers of the car. Dogs do not have a sense of balance when it comes to a moving vehicle, so restraining them safely will make the ride that much better for everyone. Car seat restraints come in many shapes and forms, and you can even find booster seats and baskets made just for your loving dog.
Proper Dog Handling
While most dogs generally love being handled by their owners and others, even the most well-trained dog may get aggressive if he feels threatened or scared. For example, your pup may lash out and even bite when you take them to your vet for a mere check-up. Knowing how to properly handle your dog is the first step to keeping everyone around you, including your dog, safe and sound.
There are many reasons why you may have to pick up or move your dog, such as a trip to the vet or groomers. Here are some tips to handling your dog safely:
Stay as calm and relaxed as you can. Dogs can sense when we are upset, frustrated, and angry and will react in kind. If possible, wait until you are in a calm state of mind before handling your dog.
While you must be calm with your dog, you’ll also have to use a firm tone and grip. You don’t need to be overly aggressive, but you do need to show your dog that you are in charge. At the same time, try to use the smallest amount of restraint on the animal as you can.
If your dog is older or has some type of injury, avoid the injured or sore area as much as you can. Many older dogs deal with arthritis, an issue that can cause them to act out when moving around. Some dogs develop what is known as canine cognitive dysfunction, a mental disorder comparable to dementia in humans. When in a confused state, a dog with CCD may also act out when handled.
If your dog is in pain but you must handle them, consider giving them a vet-approved medication. Talk to your vet about safe over-the-counter medications or ask them to prescribe one that will help.
Do your best to comfort your dog while you handle him. This can be in the form of verbal reassurance, treats, petting, and rubbing.
If you are handling your dog in a situation around others, such as a vet, it may be better to allow someone else to take over. The more distressed and upset you get, the more distressed and upset your dog will get. It’s often simply safer to let someone else take the reins.
Consider the use of restraints for dogs that have more trouble being handled.
Always remember that even the best dogs can bite or nip at a person, even their owner, if they are scared or in pain. Additionally, every dog will react differently to being handled.