Post-Lockdown Doggy Tips: The doggy roadmap for after Covid-19.
Article by our regular doggie contributor Karen Boyce of Beastly Thoughts Professional Dog Services (BTPDS)
So, we are working our way back into the world after the easing of lockdown rules and isn’t it just fantastic? We are now allowed small but significant meet-ups meaning we can walk out with more than just ourselves! And we can walk out with more than just the dog!
Old Haunts… and New Ones!
It’s lovely that we can now take ourselves and our dogs to old haunts and maybe even new ones, particularly if we have a young dog. Aren’t we feeling better? But the question is, what does our dog think of all this sudden return to the world? Or what is it going to feel if it’s a young dog and hasn’t been too many places or gone very far?
As a behaviourist, I am naturally cautious, even verging on pessimistic because I often help dogs overwhelmed by the world and all its distractions. The governments have a roadmap for the UK population, but you need a roadmap to get your dog back out there.
Why The Caution?
Well, maybe your dog or puppy hasn’t seen a whole bunch of people or children lately (or at all) because we couldn’t go out in groups. Perhaps they haven’t been driven very far because we weren’t allowed to move around much.
Perhaps there are family and friends your dog hasn’t met in a long time or at all. And also, your dog may have never met dogs that belong to your family and friends that your dog may have never met. Babies are now toddlers!
It’s just not been possible to keep your dog’s memories topped up. So, should we be cautious? Yes. So, should we be training? Yes. Does our dog need its own roadmap? Well, definitely.
How are Covid puppies, now “teenagers”, going to feel stepping out into a much busier world than they are used to?
Now, I have just asked a load of questions for JUST ONE scenario. So, your roadmap needs to start with you writing down or thinking about all the different things you would like to do with your dog over the coming months.
Then you need to put in place the training required to make your dog’s reintroduction into the world as stress-free as possible.
Your dog deserves this. It doesn’t deserve an owner blaming it for bad behaviour because it can’t remember how it’s supposed to act in a given situation or because it’s so spooked that it can’t behave.
Get Thinking and Get Training
All this training applies to older dogs getting back out into the world and younger dogs just starting out.
It would help if you started NOW so get thinking and get training. If you think you will struggle with anything, ask for expert help. Here at BTPDS, we are currently running intensive walking and recall courses to help owners and their dogs.
Karen, 57, is originally from Shrewsbury, but now lives in Froncysyllte. She has been helping families and their pets for 20 years as the owner of BTPDS.
BTPDS is the largest pet dog training establishment in Wales. They specialise in puppy training and reactive dogs, but offer a whole host of obedience training classes, lectures, webinars and online training hubs and groups. Karen was named Animal Star Awards Dog Trainer/Behaviourist of the Year in 2019.
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