So, if you’ve already watched the lesson, you saw me demonstrate two techniques with Miss Eva. Eva was pushing the limits a bit, biting and wiggling around. This is normal and something you will most likely encounter with your pup. We always have to keep in mind that our puppies have a very short attention span so anytime we introduce the new, especially something like massage that involves different sensations over the body, we need to keep it short and sweet. Begin with 20-30 seconds at a time and work your way up. Pay attention to what your puppy enjoys and what they don’t. If they don’t like it, don’t do it! Massage should never be a forced activity. If your puppy wants to walk away, let them. You can wait until they return or just move on. If he or she is especially wiggly, try a potty break! Emptying the bladder makes a great difference in the comfortability factor.
For both the effleurage and pincement techniques demonstrated, it is important to remember this isn’t about pressure. We aren’t performing a deep tissue massage. Giving our puppies a massage is a very gentle laying of hand coupled with smooth easy strokes or, in the case of pincement, gentle lifting of the skin. Pay careful attention when going over joints and the spine. Support limbs under the joints with your opposite hand. Don’t force your puppy’s leg to stay in place. As I’ve already said, if they don’t like it, stop doing it. We want them to enjoy the process, not be in a constant state of anxiety about it. And the same goes for you as well. If you’re uncomfortable, frustrated, or stressed, that’s ok, just walk away or do something else for awhile. Don’t attempt to work on something that requires calm from you and your puppy when you’re feeling the opposite.