Is this OK for you?




Consent is as important to your dog as it is to you. You can help your dog to feel safe by making sure they always have the opportunity to choose when and how they interact with you and with other people.

This can be as simple as pausing when you touch them to note their response. Start by using the back of your hand, especially if your dog is body sensitive. Stroke them once before taking your hand away. What do they do?

If they nudge you or lean closer, stroke them again. Continue with regular pauses as long as they are happy. If they lean or move away then give them space. They may not be in the mood to interact right now. You can also get other people to do the same when interacting with your dog.

Another way you can teach your dog to communicate consent using the Bucket Game. When they look at the bucket you can continue whatever you’re doing – this can include brushing them, checking their ears or clipping their nails. If they look away from the bucket at any time, you must stop what you’re doing.

When your dog realises it is easy to communicate with you and you always listen, you may find them wanting to opt in to things more frequently. Choice and control over what happens to them is hugely reinforcing!

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