Low Stress Handling
In this section, you’ll learn about low-stress handling.
Handling and restraint can be stressful for dogs, which can lead to fear of people or objects. Dogs can also become afraid of locations such as a grooming table or tub. Some dogs will become reactive to touch, especially in sensitive areas such as ears or paws.
Low-stress handling techniques can increase positive associations with people and care-related activities. Low-stress handling is safer for dogs and people. It also promotes the wellbeing of dams and pups during pregnancy and whelping.
Kenneled dogs need regular handling for basic veterinary and day-to-day care. This may include exams, vaccinations, deworming, and whelping help). You may also need to move your dogs within the facility, such as during cleaning, to provide exercise, or to move them to whelping area. You’ll also be handling your dogs when you provide care like food and water, or when you play with or pet them.
Low-stress handling means using quiet, gentle, and calm interactions with dogs. During care, you’ll provide support and minimal restraint, and provide your dog with positive things like treats. This helps your dog accept handling in the future. If a dog indicates distress during handling or care, stop if possible. Never punish a dog for fearful behavior; stop the interaction, and reassess.
How you handle your dog can impact how they feel and behave. Gentle handling reduces the fear, anxiety and stress that many dogs and puppies feel during veterinary visits.
Yin, S.A. (2009). Low-stress handling, restraint and behavior modification of dogs & cats: techniques for developing patients who love their visits. Cattledog Publishing.
Low Stress Handling Library
Bare Bones – If you only have a few minutes for the basics
At-A-Glance: Social Interactions: Handling - CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP
Quick Tips for Success: Puppy Body Handling - CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP
Puppy Body Handling Checklist - CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP
Adult Dog Body Handling Checklist - CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP
Quick Tips for Success: Adult Dog Body Handling - CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP
Snacks – If you want to learn more
Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats: Techniques for Developing Patients Who Love Their Visits
How to Safely Get Close to a Nervous Dog
How Do You Pick-Up a Small Dog, Correctly?
The Best Way to Approach a Dog
Dogs Do Not Like Hugs
Kibble – If you want to take a deep dive into the science
Influence of Male and Female Petters on Plasma Cortisol and Behaviour: Can Human Interaction Reduce the Stress of Dogs in a Public Animal Shelter?
Risk-Factors Associated With Veterinary-Related Fear and Aggression in Owned Domestic Dogs
Effect of a Standardized Four-Week Desensitization and Counter-Conditioning Training Program on Pre-Existing Veterinary Fear in Companion Dogs
A Review on Mitigating Fear and Aggression in Dogs and Cats in a Veterinary Setting
Stress In Client-Owned Dogs Related To Clinical Exam Location: A Randomised Crossover Trial
Minimizing Stress for Patients in the Veterinary Hospital: Why It Is Important and What Can Be Done About It
Additional Resources to Support Dogs in Other Environments
SHELTER & RESCUE
Dogs living in shelter or rescue kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, including those caring for dogs in home-based foster systems or rescue networks, are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Dogs living in homes as family pets face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers, support the human-animal bond, keep pets in their homes, and improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Research & Teaching
Dogs living in research or teaching kennels face challenges specific to their living environments. Practical applications for their management and care may also differ. Additional resources for their caretakers are provided to support efforts to improve, maintain, and protect their welfare.
Applications for Research & Teaching
Teaching Chin Rest to Dogs
Yin, S. (2021, December 14). Teaching chin rest to dogs. low stress handling
How Do You Move a Dog From Standing to Lateral?
Yin, S. (2014). How do you move a dog from standing to lateral? Dr. Sophia Yin. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://drsophiayin.com/videos/entry/how-do-you-move-a-dog-from-standing-to-lateral/
Applications for Pet Families
Low Stress Handling at Home
Pike, A. (2021). Low Stress Handling at Home. Your Dog's Friend. Retrieved June 21, 2023, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQuhHa9v-Z8.
Teaching Your Dog To Love The Cone
Yin, S. (2022, January 17). Teaching your dog to love the cone. Dr. Sophia Yin. Retrieved April 5, 2022, from https://drsophiayin.com/blog/entry/teaching-your-dog-to-love-the-cone/