Quick Tips for Success: Adult Dog Body Handling – CRONEY RESEARCH GROUP



Appropriate desensitization and counterconditioning to handling is important for all dogs in adulthood to ensure their comfort and minimize fearfulness. Desensitization is the gradual exposure to a potentially scary object, being, or experience that begins and a very low intensity that does not elicit a startle response. Counterconditioning is the pairing of a potentially scary object, being, or experience with something that the dog likes such as food. The goal is that the handling experiences are positive, not neutral or bad. This is accomplished by watching the dog’s body language (Learn more: Body Language Handout) and giving highly valued treats. Use our Adult Dog Body Handling Checklist to help guide you through this process.

Shreyer, T., Rezvani, T., Croney, C. (2021). Quick Tips for Success: Adult Dog Body Handling. https://vet.purdue.edu/discovery/croney/files/documents/211105%20-%20QT%20Adult%20Dog%20Body%20Handling.pdf


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Stellato, A., Jajou, S., Dewey, C.E., Widowski, T.M., and Niel, L. (2019). Effect of a standardized four- week desensitization and counter-conditioning training program on pre-existing veterinary fear in companion dogs. Animals, 9, 767, doi:10.3390/ani9100767

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Topic(s): Bare Bones Basics, Behavior, Breeder Resource, Dog to People - Low Stress Handling
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