Hello my friends,
One of my friends asked me how I got my dogs to let me brush their teeth.
This may not appear to have anything to do with Alexander Technique, and of course, in a direct sense, it doesn’t. But I would never have had the patience to do this without the skill of patience that I acquired through my Alexander training. It helped me get my dogs trained in such a friendly way that they leap into their bed eagerly awaiting a good tooth-brushing.
A friend of mine gave me pointers. They involved not end-gaining and lots of patience.
First, I let my puppy sniff the doggy toothpaste from my finger. I bought poultry flavored dog toothpaste; that helped a lot.
He sniffed once or twice and then licked it off my finger.
That was that! I put everything away while he looked around for more.
I did this every day for a few days. Toothpaste became a special treat.
Then, one day, I put some dog toothpaste on a toothbrush.
I let Rafi lick the toothpaste off the toothbrush. I did this for a few days, just a minute or less at a time. Pretty soon he was ready to eat the toothbrush.
Then, over a few more days, I slowly started to brush his teeth. I’d just do one quadrant and then let it go. He got used to it and I didn’t force the cleaning. The point was to have him be comfortable with my fingers and a toothbrush in his mouth.
Over time, I slowly would brush a tooth more thoroughly. The toothpaste is enzymatic, so just putting it on the teeth also helps clean them. After awhile, I could brush all the teeth in one sitting.
The funny thing about patience is that it took a huge amount in the beginning, but now it doesn’t take any at all. It helps that my dogs leap into their bed when they see me get out the doggy toothpaste! It also helps that my dogs taught me to go slowly and practice what I’ve learned – Applied Alexander®.