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Proofing a chin rest for Cooperative Care

I stumbled across this video from a few months ago where I was faffing around with Tory and her chin rest. Tory and I have done a lot of cooperative care work together in the past, but not specifically of the butt-brushing variety and brushing her bum has been a hard NO for almost 13 years. And to be honest - I've just avoided it as much as I can and (pre-cooperative care) just gotten the job done when needed. Not ideal, but what you don't know you don't know.

We also practice this stuff really infrequently, in this video she probably hadn't done a chin rest for many months, so I expect her to regress and need more training whenever I re-introduce it, and this session what partly to 'see where you're at' so that I can make a bit of a game plan moving forward.


What is cooperative care?

Cooperative care looks at creating a dialogue with our dogs for use in veterinary, grooming and husbandry procedures. The goal is to reduce fear and anxiety and to build our trust and relationship by teaching dogs how to willingly volunteer for and participate in day-to-day procedures like grooming, lifting, medicating, harnessing, nail clipping etc. Often, husbandry procedures are non-negotiable for the well-being of the pet, but historically that has meant that dogs just need to 'get used to it' while we get the job done, without much thought about their experience during the procedure. 'It didn't matter if they hated having a bath, it needed to be done.' While this is still true in emergency situations or in extenuating circumstances - cooperative care looks to flip that old ideology on its head by proactively training dogs on how to participate before a procedure is required so that we can help them to have better experiences. They won't necessarily learn to love everything we need to do, but we can prevent damaging your relationship, or causing unnecessary stress.

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