Monday, 24 February 2014



No animal likes to be restrained, but in order to care for your dog properly you will need    to know a few restraining techniques.

Often we need to restrain our dogs for their own good. We need to be able to groom them, trim there nails, clean their ears, express anal glands, brush their teeth, give them medication: the list goes on forever.
Your dog’s veterinarian needs to be able to examine your dog and someone needs to hold him so your Vet can accurately determine your dog’s health.

A stressed dog can be unpredictable and an injured dog even more distressed and difficult to control. A dog in pain may bite, even his owner, unintentionally. So you need to know how to restrain your dog for everyone’s best interest.

I will go over a few methods of restraint. Remember, less restraint is always better. Stay calm but be firm. Heavy restraint can cause your dog to struggle, escalating his fear and further stressing the situation.


The neck hold is the most common and reassuring restraint. This restraint stops the dog from turning its head around and biting. This is a great hold for cutting nails if nail trimming is a two person job. Cradle your dog’s head and wrap your arm around his neck. Using the other arm give your dog support under his chest.

Petting and talking softly always helps the dog to remain calm and to distract the dog from the task at hand.

When examining a dog that is aggressive or disoriented a string muzzle may be necessary. A long shoe lace will do. Simply loop the shoe lace or rope into a loop. Loop the muzzle of your dog. You can wrap around the muzzle again then tie in a bow behind his head. Use a bow not a knot for easier release. Some dogs can get so stressed being muzzled that there gums may turn bluish or purple: if so, then remove the muzzle immediately. Never muzzle a dog whose breathing is restricted.


The leg hold starts off by laying your dog on either of his sides. Kneel on the ground facing the back side of your dog. Leaning over the spine take hold of both the front and back legs that are closest to the ground. Use your arm to lie across the dog’s neck. This hold prevents your dog from being able to get up.

Another method of restraint for shorter procedures is the pillow hold. This is a gentler form of restraint. The pillow hold keeps the dog from turning around to bite while being examined.  

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