Why you and your dog should be practicing social distancing from each other.
Updated: Apr 25, 2020
I am sure the last several weeks your social media has been flooded with advice from dog trainers about how to optimize your time at home to bond with your family pooch, tackle those unwanted behaviors, take some extra walks, and overall just smother them with love and affection! But is that what’s best for our dogs?
Absolutely! But now it's time to start practicing some social distancing from your dog, for THEIR wellbeing.
Before Covid-19, our dogs' daily schedule included a designated mealtime, potty time, walk time and ALONE time. You know, that time when we used to leave our homes to go to that place…what was it called…. oh yeah, WORK! Unfortunately, many of us don’t have a job to go to right now. On the upside, we have been able to be with our dogs 24 hours a day for the past several weeks.
Just like staying at home has been an adjustment for us, our constant presence at home has been an adjustment for our pets too. They may have been a little confused at first, but now they are totally convinced this quarantine thing is the bomb!
Now, flash forward to next month (hopefully) when life starts to get back to normal-ish. We will go back to work, start going out to restaurants and taking long walks through Target (maybe that's just me)! We are counting down the days but our dogs don't know what's coming. They are going to wonder, “Where did they go?”
My professional guess is that after quarantine, dog trainers will be flooded with calls about dogs that “all of a sudden” are chewing up things, having accidents in the house, and barking excessively when they are left alone. We may be ready to get out into the world again, but our four-legged kids like the way things are right now!
So how can we prepare our dogs for this change? It is time to teach or re-teach your dog to be comfortable being alone. The best way to do that is to make sure your dog spends time alone in their crate every day. If your dog or new puppy isn’t crate trained, now is the perfect time to start their training.
Proper crate training is essential to creating a quiet sanctuary for your pet that allows them to relax, stay out of trouble, and will keep them safe in a house that may seem, suddenly, very empty. Take the next few weeks to work on making your dog’s crate a happy space. Be patient and take things slow. Start with short sessions in the crate either within eyesight of you or not, depending on their level of training. Slowly build up the time they spend alone each day. Let’s make sure when we get back to the daily grind of work, school, summer camps and social commitments our dogs will be ready too!
So, keep smothering your dogs with love, keep teaching them new tricks, even take them for an extra walk, but don’t forget, before their worlds are turned upside down again, take a few long walks WITHOUT them.
If you have questions about how to crate train your dog or how to pick out the perfect crate email us at www.allstarmuttsdogtraining.com.