Exercise 4-2: Lie on side while brushing/stroked
The dog lies flat on one side and is then brushed for 3 full strokes of the body with a brush or smooth object. The dog will then switch to lie on the other side for another 3 full strokes. The position can be cued, lured, or gently physically manipulated. Dogs without much coat can be stroked with a smooth object.
Purpose: Having a dog that will lie quietly on their side while being brushed or stroked can be a huge help in the grooming or veterinary care process. This also will help in gauging the dog’s comfort level with being groomed and handled. This behavior also applies to veterinary exams, encouraging comfort while lying flat and still and being touched.
Equipment: Treats and a brush (or smooth object).
Exercise set-up: A surface that is large enough for the dog to comfortably and safely lay on their side. This can be on the floor, a rug, an elevated bed, or an elevated grooming table. The handler may sit on the floor, a chair, or stand, whichever is best suited for the team.
Scoring: To pass this exercise the dog should willingly move or be easily placed into position. The handler needs to complete 3 full body length strokes with a brush (or smooth object for shorter haired dogs). The dog should remain in position for the duration of the brushing, and then when cued, lured, or physically moved, should willingly switch to the opposite side for another 3 full body length strokes with a brush. Each side must be clearly shown.
Non-qualifiers: The dog does not willingly go into a side position. The dog repeatedly tries to get up. The handler does not do 3 full body length strokes with a brush or smooth object. The handler does not perform the exercise on both sides of the body.
Tips: If needed, lure the dog into position. The luring motion can become a cue that they should lie on their side and relax while you brush them.
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