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Handle with Care

Getting your dog to stay still can be annoying at the best of times. Dog Trainer Basil Theofanides teaches dog owners how to get their dogs used to being handled and examined

“Okay welcome guys. This is the restraint/examination session. The idea of this exercise is really to teach your dog to get used to being handled, and getting the dog so used to it that when you take your dog to the vet, the vet can easily examine the dog as well. You’re all looking a bit scared here, relax okay, I’m not restraining you guys. Okay so we're going to start I think with Jackie. Look at Polly, she’s broken a spring!”

“Polly's actually got allergies so I have to check her quite regularly for any infections that break out”

“Obviously in that case it’s even more important for you to do the examinations for that reason, for her wellbeing”

“Jackie you crouch down, pop Polly between your legs, knees down on the ground. Okay so hand on the chest, hand on the muzzle. Tell her she’s a good girl, happy voice though. Now from there, lift her lips up and just have a look at her teeth and the other side as well. Now open her mouth up by inserting your finger and thumb in her lower lips and put your other finger right down her throat. That’s it, pop your other finger down there as if you're putting a tablet in there and praise her. Now we've got Annabelle and Henry”

“Pop him between your knees, hand on the chest and gently on the muzzle and what you're going to do now is rub his eyes as if you're cleaning them because I think you do clean them everyday don’t you? You can use both hands on there if you like. Let's do his teeth now. So hand on the muzzle first, again what we're doing is we are just simply conditioning him, getting him used to having his mouth touched. You can also check to see if he's got tarter build up, inflammation of the gums those sorts of things. He’s quite happy with that, he’s easy going. That was great how did you feel about that?”

“Yeah, good”

“Good job well done. Loretta your turn if you can just pop down”

“Alright so hand on the chest, hand on the muzzle. Check her ears out one at time. Have a little bit of a sniff in there too. Good and the other one. Of course we're checking for any dirt and canker and smelly ears. If there is a cheesy smell, a cheesy smell means there is a bit of an infection in there and that’s it, well done, well done Zoe and Loretta. Last but not least we've got Banjo and his mate Stan.”

“Okay Stan you've got a big dog. I want you to crouch down but have one leg up and one leg down for me. That’s it, well done. Now hand on his chest, just hold his chest and the other hand put it on his muzzle for me. Now lets pick up that paw and I want you to have a good feel of his toes. In between all the toes, in between his pads as well and having a feel for any grass seeds. Change hands, do the other side, examine every toe and also just pull on those toe nails so he gets used to having his toenails touched in case you have to clip them. Well done banjo, good boy.

This is a fantastic exercise and what it does it puts your dog in a position where you can examine them, examine the ears, the eyes, the nose, their paws and really check for all the things you need to check for. Also it’s a great opportunity for you to bond with your dog and you need to do this exercise every day. If you do that I guarantee you you're going to get some great results with your dogs.”

How do I toilet train my cat

I rescued an adult female, desexed cat six months ago. Apparently she’s always been an outside cat. I have another cat who is mostly indoors and I would only let outside during the day if I was home. Luna didn’t like being indoors and wasn’t using the litter tray properly. I had her confined in the bathroom for a few days to get use to it and she would go next to it, rarely in it. She will sometimes use a tray otherwise will urinate or poop on the floor. I am at wits end. I have two trays, I’ve changed the type of litter, put dirt in the tray, picked up the poop and put it in the tray to show her that where it goes. I’ve used spray in the tray to attract her to want to use the tray. I bought felliway diffuser which is meant to calm cats and have also used the rescue remedy drops in her food. I’ve recently moved house where there is a cat enclosure so she can go in and out when ever she pleases but still goes in the kitchen (as I now close the bathroom door when she started going to the toilet in there), but tonight I noticed she’s been going in the spare room if anything is left on the floor which is carpeted. So I’ve now cleared that whole room to prevent her from going to the toilet. She is still going in the kitchen. I’ve tried cleaning the area and eliminating her scent by using water and vinegar then once dry use bi carb soda and hydrogen peroxide and it has made no difference. She’s been tested for a bladder infection which came up negative. I love animals. I have another cat which she now gets along with and two dogs which she is still getting use to. I don’t know what else to do and I don’t want to give her up but feel like I will have no choice.