Massage Anyone?

If you’re looking for a way to relax your dog…look no further.  The instructions below will explain how to properly perform the 5 Step Dog Massage that NEADS now teaches during training.

Five Step Dog Massage

1)      Start:  Head and Neck Area

  • Put fingers of one hand together to create a pressure point
  • Other hand should gently rest on the dog’s chest area or side
  • Make circular motions (circles) on the dog’s head, face, neck with the pressure point (fingers together)
  • Slide the circle motions to different areas (do not pick up the hand making the circles – keep on dog)
  • If the dog draws back or shifts from a specific area, slide circle motion to adjourning area on dog

2)      Shoulders and Back

  • Use flat palm of hand with gentle, firm pressure
  • Stroke dog’s shoulders and back, ending at base of tail
  • Motion should “flow” across back area slowly
  • Try for 12 strokes in one minute

3)      Sides, Abdomen, Stomach

  • Repeat # 1, fingers in pressure point in circular motions
  • Continue sliding motions, keep “circles” on the dog

4)      Shoulders, Front Legs, Hips, Back Legs, Paws

  • Place hand on shoulder (front) or hips (back)
  • Create kneading motion with gentle squeezing, working in downward direction (shoulder to front leg or hip to back leg)
  • Continue downward motion to paw, gently knead paw to end stroke
  • Continue to have other hand gently resting on dog
  • Do all four legs

5)      Closure Stroke

  • Place hands apart on either side of dog’s chest
  • Move hands going back to brush dog’s side
  • End with hands coming together at base of tail
  • Stroke is continuous motion
  • Repeat stroke three times to end massage


  • Dog may not accept complete massage when massage is first introduced
  • Let dog dictate/decide massage so dog may stop massage by walking away, starting to play or cooperate by being still or lying down
  • Touch should be relaxing, comforting to dog so try to be relaxed yourself as you do massage strokes


As always, reach out to us at NEADS if you have questions.  And enjoy this relaxing exercise that you and your dog can share.  Be well!