The designation "Tummy Time" was given by my young adult son, Sam. He also happens to be it's biggest advocate. When Sam comes to our house, after exchanging the usual hellos and other niceties, it's not long before he's sitting on the kitchen floor with his legs straight out. He calls our service pup over, has him lay down between his legs, then rolls him onto his back.
|Young Dorian at 6 months.|
Initially the young pups are not real keen on exposing their vulnerable underbellies to the entire world, so we start off with short, easy doses. But it doesn't take long before they are enjoying the warmth, security and sociability of Tummy Time. Many of the pups will fall asleep in this position for minutes at a time. Added benefits include giving you a good vantage point for checking and massaging paws and inspecting their neck and belly - areas not easily reached. It also teaches an excited puppy to relax!
|Nene, a chocolate, who was puppy camping with us.|
If you haven't tried Tummy Time, you and your pup may be missing out. Again, be sure to start out easy with your pup just downing between your legs. Gradually ask her to relax and roll onto her side, then graduate to her laying entirely on her back. Take your time so Pup enjoys it. Start with short sessions and slowly increase the duration. Before long your puppy will be looking forward to Tummy Time. After a busy day with your service dog in training, you will be too!
Emmy, puppy in training at 5 months of age. Now a working guide dog, her partner calls her "Princess Emmy."
The very same Emmy just 3.5 months later. Wow, what happened? She may be overflowing Sam's lap, but still loves to be held like a puppy.
|A summer day on the deck in Alaska. Dorian appears to have fallen asleep.|