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10 - Use bodywraps and T-shirts

10 - Use bodywraps and T-shirts

This is not about dressing up your dog as a fashion accessory. Both bodywraps and T-shirts have practical uses and can provide an important fi rst step for service puppies that go into freeze when they first wear a puppy coat or body harness, and for dogs that are noise-sensitive. We hope we don’t need to remind you that it is really important that you refrain from laughing at your dog when he is wearing a T-shirt or bodywrap. Body wraps and T-shirts can be bought on the internet

Putting a T-shirt or bodywrap on a timid dog can help him to feel less shy and can help a bouncy dog to settle and become focused on what he is being asked to do. They can also help dogs to overcome a fear of being contained or touched. Giving a dog sensory input with T-shirts or a stretchy elastic bodywrap can also help to reduce over excitability when travelling in a car (see also ways 29 and 30). You can use the bodywrap if your dog is worried about wearing a seat belt or a regular harness. He may feel safer having something around his body that moves as he breathes, and the harness or seatbelt can be popped on over the top of the wrap once he feels con dent.

When wearing a bodywrap, Layla fi nds it easier to concentrate on the job she has been asked to do

T-shirts can give a dog a greater sense of security

CONFIDENCE BOOSTER

Try using a bodywrap if your dog is nervous about being approached by other dogs when out and about. It will not only help his confidence but might also encourage other owners to keep their own dogs under control as they will think your dog is recovering from some strange condition!

Put the middle of the wrap around your dog’s chest

Cross the wrap under your dog and bring both ends up over the ribcage

Tie the knot to one side and let the puppy move around

Putting on the wrap

  1. Approach your dog calmly with the wrap. If he is worried about the wrap, stroke it gently against his side or do some circular TTouches with the wrap in your hand.
  2. When he is happy, place the middle of the wrap across your dog's chest and bring the wrap up and over the top of his shoulders.
  3. Cross the wrap over his withers and take it round the ribs and under his sternum.
  4. Cross the wrap under your dog and bring both ends up over the ribcage.
  5. Tie the ends in a bow or a quick-release knot. Make sure that the knot or bow is off to one side of the spine and that there is plenty of give in the material. The idea is to give him sensory input, not to truss him up in a strait jacket.
  6. 6. Now encourage your dog to move around to stop him from going into freeze. Play a game or give him some treats if he tries to chew the T-shirt or wrap.

ALTERNATIVE TIE

If your dog is worried by the sensation of the wrap crossing underneath his body, tie the wrap in a figure of eight instead.

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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