Because your puppy cannot care for himself, you must be able to brush him, pull burrs and sticks out of his coat, clean his ears, and trim his nails. This is where puppy training comes into play.
Unfortunately your Golden puppy doesn’t understand that brushing and cleaning him is necessary and he may struggle and fight when you try to do these things.
To help teach your puppy to accept your care, sit on the floor and have your puppy lay down between your legs. He can lie on his back or his side and he can get comfortable. To relax him, start by giving him a slow, easy tummy rub. If he starts to wiggle or struggle, gently restrain him with one hand as you massage him with the other.
When the puppy is no longer struggling, start giving him a massage. Start at his neck and ears and gently massage the muscles. Work down his neck to his shoulders and down each front leg to the paw. Touch the paw gently, but firmly, and touch each toenail. Go back to his body and massage the back, the ribcage, and the hips. Work down the back legs just like you did his front legs. And then give his tail a little massage as well.
Once your puppy has learned to enjoy this handling, you can check and clean his ears, brush him, check for fleas or ticks, trim his toenails, or comb out burrs.
Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book. This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.