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All dogs, large or small, enjoy relaxing with the pack leader, whether by natural inclination or though training.

 Calming and Handling your dog

Calming your dog

Researchers have found that petting has a significant positive effect on stress and discomfort in dogs. In other words petting a dog makes the dog feel better. The way in which dogs are petted is important. If you move your fingers at all, do so very slowly and very gently. Long firm strokes and comforting works and appears to have a better effect on dogs than mechanical or quick strokes. Do not treat a dog’s tummy as a washboard! Your aim is to make the exercise so pleasant that the dog goes to sleep. To have maximum effect the person doing the petting must have the intention to comfort.
”Belly up” is a vulnerable position, and a dogs willingness to relax on its back, cradled by you, means it accepts your handling.
When you break off the exercise, do so quietly and slowly rather than by jumping up. Give your dog a treat while he is lying down with quiet praise in the relaxing position. Speak calmly and give the release command with no more praise.
Training dogs to relax while being petted is an important part of socialization.
Puppies should experience physical handling without reacting* strongly. Such physical control is necessary for vet care and grooming. It makes a dog more receptive to such activities as an adult.
*Some dogs, find lying on their backs difficult and probably uncomfortable due their build or dogs if they have back problems. Roll over these dogs on their sides instead.

 Calming and Handling your dog

Handling your dog

Dogs aren’t the only ones to benefit from the human-dog bond. People also experience significant health benefits from close contact with household animals.
Petting a dog provides a positive effect on your heart rate and blood pressure.

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