Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tail Obsession

So how did you do with those gentle tail pulls? Did you get the look?
For years I taught the gentle tail pull described in the last post in puppy class. About that time I had a number of clients with chronic tail chasers.
There are three basic reasons for dogs to become interested in in chasing their tails.
1) anal gland problems 2) internal parasites 3) They don't feel connected to it.
Have you ever seen a dog laying in a circle on the floor look at their tail like what's that, then bite it? The funniest part is when they jump up and turn around with the silly look on their face like who bit me. It's not a dog's finest moment. Some seem to become obsessed.
Early in my career I had a client who actually put a dog to sleep because it was a chronic tail chaser. After I began studying the work of the great and wonderful Linda Tellington Jones I became proactive in preventing dogs from becoming tail obsessed.
These tail slide or pulls have been a part of the puppy gentling exercises we do to get puppies accustomed to our handling. Back in the day when handling exercises were new, vets would thank me for including them in my classes because it makes their exams easier when a dog has had their legs and feet touched with intention.
The tail work Melissa mentioned in her comment is a more advanced theraputic manipulation. Good job, Mel, now go back and do a simple tail pull.

Let's learn as much as we can from the sweet, simple stuff before going on to more complex work.
The tail pull has gone from a basic puppy class exercise to so much more. Dogs love to have their tails pulled. Our day care dogs line up when they see me coming for tail pulls. Even our cranky thirteen year old cat, Smokey loves to have his tail pulled.
Remember you start at the base of the tail. You don't just grab the tail and pull. It has to be done right; otherwise, you're just annoying.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, so I did some "simple" tail pulls last night. Interesting results. Nilla immediatly leaned and stretched. When I stopped she turned around like "hey!". She came back and turned around in front of me and waited. Stoney had just about the same response, not a pushy about the repeat. Chilly, really got into it but didn't offer her back end for the repeat. Hemi, wasn't so sure if she liked it or not. While I was holding a Hemi tail the other three were waiting in line for their next turn. I did my homework! Where is everyone else? Jen?