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How to properly massage a dog?
  • SakuSaku
    Posts: 372
    My shiba inus like it when I give them a back rub. I usually give them a massage down the spine and around their shoulders and it seems to calm them down. So it makes me wonder if others give their shiba massage as well and how to do it properly?

    My shiba girl usually screams her head off during bath. I tried to massage her once while giving her a bath and it helps her to calm down. The effect was amazing and almost too good to be true. Anyone ever experienced it?
    Saku & Mina's mom

    Saku & Mina
    Post edited by Saku at 2012-01-04 07:36:46
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    Learning and giving puppy massage was part of my puppy head start class. We usually started at the ears and rubbed circles, then down the back with long, slow pets. Then down the legs.

    It worked amazingly on some of the pups, but for Hammond he just got annoyed and rowdy, haha. At home, though, the ear massage will help settle him or if he's already calm it'll put him right to sleep.

    Pretty much I'd say, if it's working, you're doing it properly. :)
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    I give my dogs massages all the time. I only give them massages when they're tired/calm so it helps them sleep. I use my finger tips and just do circular motions on their bodies. For the head I hold it with both hands and use my thumbs in a circular motion. When the dogs like it they usually do a low groan...which i interpret as "oh yeahhhh".

    In terms of baths, they usually do well since I keep a positive tone and praise them. But I think the fact that I massage/scrub them with my nails help. It relieves itches, makes them feel good, and also gets the shampoo deep into their coat.
  • I also have been giving my dogs massages, esp. since I started massage therapy school (for people, but I do plan to study canine massage at some point too). I have a book about canine massage, both the Tellington touch book and another, but I mostly do versions of the effleurage strokes from human massage. They do seem to like circular strokes, and Bel likes to be massaged on her leg that had surgery. All of them love head massages, which is really just me using my knuckles or thumbs on their heads, esp. on the nose, between the ears, and between the eyes. Oskar loves the base of the tail, too, but he always decides that this would be more comfortable for him if he sat on my lap while I am doing it, and you know, at 125 pounds, he's just kind of big for that!
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    I've never actually tried it on Elwood, but Sadie injured her neck/shoulder during an agility trial & I took her to a dog massage therapist who showed me how to properly massage the injury. Basically I lay her down on her side and rub the shoulder in a circle with one hand so that it moves around in its full rotation. The massage therapist also showed me some stretches to do with her to help give her a better range of motion. I wouldn't say that Sadie is thrilled with the stretches, but she seems to enjoy the massage & it has dramatically helped her shoulder. She's back to happily barreling over the A-frame with no pain :)
    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Oskar sounds cute Bella the 55lb boxer thinks she is a lap dog too.. most our boxers acted like they fit on people's lap. haha

    Saya loves being messaged I dunno any tips I just do slow strokes and in circle motion too.. Saya loves getting her neck and tail area messaged.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • BrewSterBrewSter
    Posts: 193
    quick tip just like a human,if you find a knot work away from the heart ;) ie. one on the shoulder run down towards on the center of his neck up tords his head...i used to be cert massage therapist (for humans) but my instructor made us read books on k-9 as well and that was a preferred technique in most of the books ive read over the years
  • stralimstralim
    Posts: 94
    I have been thinking about this topic alot. While giving Yoshimoto massages I can feel heat in certain area coming off of her body. Shoulders mainly. She responds really well.
    Check out the classes offered here in Boulder at :
    Module 1: Fundamentals of Canine Anatomy and Physiology
    Module 2: Pathologies and Clinical Application of Canine Massage
    Module 3: Expanding Canine Massage Knowledge Through Acupressure and Sports Massage

    Boulder is pretty serious about their dogs. I want to take these classes!

    Post edited by stralim at 2012-01-26 20:19:09
  • I probably will come up to Boulder to do my canine massage stuff. Or at least Colorado--there was another school in Colorado (not boulder but in the Denver/Boulder area) that does canine massage and I'll probably go up there one summer and do it.

    @Stralim, I think we share a lot of interests in holistic healing.... :)
  • ncieloncielo
    Posts: 267
    As a chiropractics assistant I come home and relax with Niko by massaging his paws, his legs, his back legs where it has the most fur and muscles. Actually anyway I see or feel muscle. I massages his shoulders, spine, neck and just behind the ears too. He just sits there and closes his eyes, meditating again. My boss has 3 pitbulls and brings his dogs to work everyday so I asked him about massaging his own dogs and says all the time. Keeps them level headed and relaxed. Makes their muscle function better as well and told me that the places I were doing on Niko are perfect. He's so funny, when I'm doing his front legs he stretches them out of me and looks like a little kid with his arms straight.
    Post edited by ncielo at 2012-01-27 09:26:55
  • inupamuinupamu
    Posts: 38
    Wow, I live in CO and have never seen this type of program before. Sounds like a great class to take. I just need to do a bit more research on it though. Great stuff and thank you for sharing!
  • catloreecatloree
    Posts: 1541
    I ran across this video & thought it was interesting. The music is a little cheesy, but the dog does look like she is enjoying it.

    How to Massage Your Dog

    Catherine (human), Elwood (Shiba), & Sadie (Pomeranian)
  • I am curious to know if when your massaging your dog, do you feel any heat in certain areas of the dogs body? If you get really still, you can start to notice points of release where the dog needs more attention. I was working on my dog last night and found two spots where the heat was just radiating soo strongly. I would stop the massage and my dog would look at me and throw her head back which means "more". Her shoulders right near the base of the neck and her right hip were both producing strong heat sensation. So I just worked on those areas. You'll know when to stop.

    Do you feel heat on certain areas when doing massage on your dog?

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