Cooperative Care

COOPERATIVE CARE involves training an animal to not only tolerate handling and husbandry procedures, but also to be an active, willing participant in these experiences.

This is a sentence from a great article in the Whole Dog Journal that can be read by clicking this link

I can't say that any of my German Shepherds actually cooperated in their care and, for sure, they were often not a willing participant!  I thought this is going to change with Mookie..  Time will tell, it's a LONG process and I'll update here. 

Below in reverse order is the progress we are making with all the things listed!  

2023 June - July  Nothing new but he did take a BATH!  Maybe "take a bath" is the wrong way to put it because he didn't realize what was about to happen after I lifted him into the tub!  Essentially what he did was hunker down and waited for it to be over.  That was followed but the shaking and the ZOOMIES around the house!  I considered it a success!  

2023 May 
The cone and muzzle were put to good use this month when Mookie tore his toenail on the right dewclaw.  I immediately put the cone on his head and he was fine with it and when we went to the vet, I took along and used the muzzle when she cleaned his foot! 

2023 April  We made some progress this month!!

  • Muzzle - THIS is great!  Got a muzzle that fits and he accepts it well.  It's the best slow feeder I've had!! I wrote a post about it here. 
  • Nails - it is really working!  Mookie is now giving me his paw to grind the nails.  We're at 1-2 at a session per paw followed by a piece of dehydrated salmon!!  
  • Bath tub - This is a work in progress.  I bought him a tub which he sat in when it was on the floor...  legs under it was a little harder but them when I got a rubber bath mat for inside he was more secure.  I think it will be a while before there is water involved but this is progress!! 
  • Comfy Cone - You never know when you need to use a cone on a dog so he now has his own comfy one and we're working on him putting his head into it... slow process but coming along. 

2022-23 October-March (the winter months essentially!)  Lots of regular stuff...  took Mookie to Minna, my groomer friend to do his NAILS...  he was NOT thrilled about that so still am working on them.  Since I got a new grinder that makes little noise, I thing he is going to cooperate!!  MUZZLE work is coming along but the new one I ordered is too big so I sent it back and ordered a smaller one.  TEETH - He's fine with looking in his mouth and was really good at the vet for the exam.  To keep them clean I give him a chicken neck each day!!  Here he is below waiting on his table while I clean off the shelf next to it and modeling his TOO BIG muzzle.  

August/September:  So this is something I have a love/not love relationship with so what we do is sporadic.  Because it's a LONG winter in Wisconsin, I tend to focus on outdoor activities in the warm weather and save the indoor stuff for times when neither of us want to go outside.  Do we continue to do care on a grooming table..  yes..  it helps for conformation but it's usually not much.  Do I try to incorporate CC in daily activities, YES for sure!!

June/July 2022:  For starters, Mookie LOVES the grooming table and runs up the ramp to get on it.  Why, because there is ALWAYS food as part of the process.  Some things we're working on are:

  • Brushing/combing - He LOVES that so no problem there!
  • SIT - On your FEET - Lie DOWN...  all for getting used to being examined.  This is also include SETTLE (laying on side), put your HEAD down (so he relaxes and BELLY (so he will roll on his back for an exam. 
  • MUZZLE - in case he ever needs it at the vet if he is injured.  Always good to have dogs learn to wear a muzzle.
  • CONE - What dog had gotten through life never having to wear the cone!  Best to have it not be a surprise if they need it.
  • TEETH ..  or let me see your teeth!  Useful for the vet and essential for brushing AND CONFORMATION!
  • PAW - as in holding it for cutting nails or just looking at it closely.