2021 hasn’t started how any of us wanted it to! Whether you are now home schooling, working more shifts or actually you have no work at all. Lockdown impacts everyone.
All I can say is I am so grateful for my dogs!
My dogs bring me joy, they make me laugh, they get me out of the house every day and definitely provide me with comfort and companionship.
If you have a puppy or young dog (I have a 19 week old puppy), I think this lockdown is causing some more worry about being able to appropriately socialise them and continue their socialisation process during adolescence.
I want to give some reassurance – you don’t need to go to puppy classes to socialise your pup!!!! What!!! I run puppy classes, so why would I say this???
Yes, I run practical groups for puppy owners, however these are an extra, fun element to the whole programme. If puppy classes just allow lots of free play, then this is not actually teaching your puppy anything good! They are either learning that every dog wants to play with them or teaches them to be overly bouncy or maybe even to become fearful because they feel overwhelmed. Puppy classes must be very carefully managed where there are off lead interactions.
So, without the option of attending group classes (who knows how long this lockdown will last) what can we do to make sure our pups are going to be ok?
Make a list! I love a list and I want to encourage you to make your own. I start my list with things I want my adult dog to be good at e.g. confident around livestock, traffic, children, noises etc. I want to be able to take my dog everywhere with me so I make sure I go to lots of different places so they can experience these. Travelling in the car. Being comfortable at the vets and being groomed. Happy around other dogs. Your list might include having other animals at home or attending shows. I want to encourage you to think about all the different skills you want your dog to be good at. This will then focus your time on getting your pup confident and working towards the adult dog you are wanting. Lockdown doesn’t have to stop any of these activities, all can be done on your daily exercise.
I have free resources to help you on my website: A puppy socialisation checklist and The First 7 days (this will help for rehomed dogs too).
There is also a guide to help get your dog through lockdown.
The Pawsome Puppy Programme is still open, and this is where you can learn everything you need to raise that perfect puppy! So, if you are worried and want to make sure you are doing everything right, then get in touch 😊
Keep safe everyone