Calmness is a state of mind, not a behavior. Teaching a puppy how to be calm can not be accomplished unless they know how being calm feels. Often owners will tell their puppies to settle down or relax, and the dog will continue the aroused behavior. Why? Because the dog does not know what being relaxed “feels” like. We teach our puppies the opposite ends of the spectrum. In order for them to understand calm or being “easy” ,they must understand the opposite feeling of being “alert.”
Touch is a big part in communication with our dogs. Love, comfort, understanding, reassurance, even pain, all can be conveyed by touch. The skin is the largest sense organ which when touched creates instant release of chemicals such as endorphins, hormones, neurotransmitters, and other substances.
Puppies go through several stages during their first sixteen weeks of life. Stress for them ranges from low to high, and changes even on a daily level. They are learning about our world, and sometimes it is extremely simple for them, and other times, fear, confusion, anxiety are feelings they have to learn how to deal with. Their nervous systems have only two modes: fight/fright/freeze and rest and relaxation. In the fight/fright/freeze mode, the body automatically responds by raising the heart rate, raising blood pressure, stress related hormones increase, and the immune system becomes inhibited. This can happen to a puppy at any level of stress. For example if a puppy becomes stressed because they do not know what is expected of them, it also can manifest itself in a physical way, such as tense muscles, elevated heart rate, even the inability to move.
Knowing the stressors our puppies face at specific times in their early development, has led us to create a one of a kind massage program to help them through these areas. By using specific techniques, changing pressure, rhythm and rate of speed of a strokes, will have various therapeutic results. We are able to show you how to continue these simple techniques to help your puppy as they face new stressful challenges during their life.
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