With the pandemic having shut down much of ‘normal’ life for long periods of time over the last 12 months, our dogs and puppies may not have had the chance to become accustomed to the places that we will wish to take them to when restrictions start to lift and businesses start to open.
Lots of us would like our dogs to join us on our days out to coffee shops, restaurants, and pubs among other social places. Once these venues open, your dog might be super confident and able to adapt quickly, but chances are they are more likely to need time to adjust and understand the situation at hand – a situation and place they might have never experienced before and is very different to what has been their day to day life throughout the last year!
The key to making sure your dog is able to cope and feel confident in these situations and places is to start your training now. Think about your individual dog and the experiences you would like them to be comfortable with. Post lockdown life, where would you like to take them and what sort of activities will you be doing together? You should then build your training activities around this. Avoid simply expecting your dog to ‘get on with it’ as rushing things may aggravate anxiety and unwanted behaviours and so it is better to take things slowly than to have to rectify a behavioural issue.
In this video I show you how you can start this type of training at home. Over time you can then look to build on this, starting at distance if required from your desired destination and moving closer over time as your dog builds their confidence in these new surrounding and in these new environments. Use tasty treats to positively reward your dog for calm and accepting behaviour and take your training at your dog’s pace. Keep sessions short and sweet and always end on a positive!
Disclaimer: All training is attempted at the owner’s risk and Adem Fehmi accepts no liability for any injuries to pets or owners sustained during training. If your dog is showing signs of a behavioural issue please seek professional advice.