In the animal world, the first thing a female dog does when her young is born is to lick it from head to toe. Her tongue conveys to the puppy's brain the initial image of his self. Additionally, if several puppies are born in a litter that are constantly rubbing against each other as they try their first steps, every millimeter of their body absorbs further knowledge of what they are and how they function. This reinforces the formation of their overall self-image.”
quoted by Ruthy Alon
On March 17, we took part in a relaxation massage workshop for dogs conducted by Akademie 4 Łapy from Warsaw. It was a massage modeled on the Shantala massage.
It contains the basic elements that build the bond between the guardian and his quadruped. The dog discovers that a man can be tender and gentle, gets to know his own body, learns to relax tense muscles. The benefit for carers is a great opportunity to contact the dog: they get to know him, his reactions, sensitivity threshold, learn to recognize states of tension and relaxation. The acquired, valuable ability to react appropriately to stressful situations is a permanent part of the dog's defensive arsenal. The ability to consciously relax is extremely useful in the fight against various types of stress.
Touching means contact. For humans and animals, touching has a vital meaning. It restores self-confidence, gives warmth, pleasure, comfort, renews life force. It tells us we are not alone.
During the workshop, we learned how to massage dogs comprehensively - chest, belly, paws, muzzle, tail, back and ears. Massaging individual areas of the body has multiple effects on the body:
– chest massage: beneficial effect on the work of the lungs, stimulation of the heart, stimulation of circulation, relaxation
– abdominal massage: activation of the gastrointestinal tract, stimulates digestion, improves the work of the large intestine (the effects of this massage can be seen ... or rather felt right away
-massage of the forelimb: elimination of muscle tension, relaxation of joints, stimulation of circulation, relaxation
– massage of the hind limb: elimination of tension, relaxation of joints, stimulation of circulation, strengthens bones,
– back massage + tail: strengthening the back muscles, reduces tension in the neck, back and croup area, relaxation
– mouth + ears massage: releasing tension, increasing blood circulation, eliminating headache, soothing, relaxing effect
It is worth mentioning one more positive effect of massage - I assure you that the massager also benefits from it (in the form of calming down and relaxation).
The massage workshop was an unforgettable experience, photos below.
Right after that, we decided to try the techniques on different puppies at different stages of the critical development period. Here are the photos and video:
One thing we know for sure. Massage is a very important point in the socialization of our Australian Labradoodle puppies!
The first kennel of Australian Labradoodles in Poland