Hi everyone,

I've tried twice now brushing Chiba's teeth with the special puppy tooth brush and peanut toothpaste from Petsmart.  She loves the toothpaste.  I always start with introducing the toothpaste by putting a little on my hand and letting her lick it.  But then when I go to brush, all she does is bite and wriggle around.  Any tips?  I want my little Chiba to have nice clean teeth.  Also note that I give her Blue Bones, to help clean her teeth on her own.

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Practice handling your dog. Grab her collar on the underside and hold her like that. Then go through and touch her paws, pick up a leg, check ears, check her mouth, ect. You see this all the time with show dogs. The handlers holding the collar while the judge checks over the dog. It's a trained ability and so important to train your dog to be handled without freaking out. Do this multiple times a day and give lots of praise and food while doing so. Hold a treat in front to her nose to keep her still. This will help you brush her teeth, clip her nails, bathe, and get them to the groomer.

Also, you don;t need to give the dental treats. We brush Eins teeth daily. However, we also do a lot of bones (knee caps), antlers, himalayan chews, ect that help keep their teeth nice and pretty without giving them a poo ton of calories.

I think the more you do it, the more she'll get used to it.  Foxy is 8 months and lets me put the brush in her mouth and brush but she still wiggles around alot.  I also try to do it at the end of the day when she's more worn out from activities and a little tired.  Your baby is still little so it'll take time but hang in there.

This is what worked for me - Set a timer for 5 seconds. Open her mouth, giving a command while opening her mouth. (I say "open wide!") and brush her teeth with your finger.  When the timer goes off, give a high-value treat. Repeat, increasing the time on the timer and introducing the brush slowly over the course of several weeks.

The key is slow and consistent and using the timer helps them realize the "torture" won't last forever. 

I spent a while building up to it - and they do wriggle a lot at first, but Mishka already had excellent bite inhibition, so I think mostly he was trying not to put teeth on me.  Don't try to brush everywhere at first - just a couple seconds of brushing and then let them lick the rest of the toothpaste off the brush.  Next day a little more.  

One thing that makes it easier with Mishka is sitting next to him and approaching him from the side instead of head-on.  That way I'm not looming over him or making him feel like he has to back up.  I also always let him sniff the toothpaste before I start, so he knows what comes next.  

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