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Cooperative Care teaches us as humans to "ask" our dogs for permission to touch, handle and manipulate their bodies in ways they may be uncomfortable with. What may currently be a nightmare -- nail trims, tooth brushing, or even vet visits -- can begin to signal good things to your pup! It also teaches our dogs to "opt in or out" of the exercises. Using cooperative care we teach our dogs that they are willing participants in their experiences.
My first, favorite behavior to teach is the Chin Rest -- this is a wonderful "start button" behavior. A start button is a way for dogs to tell us they are ready to start going and also when they are ready to stop.
The chin rest can also be used as a general means of communication - my dogs use it to ask for pets, to come onto the couch, and we use it to capture great photos!
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