Covid Dog Training

Yes we are open during the increased restrictions of December 2020.

The pandemic has been a great time for many people to get a dog. In the past, clients would often take a week or two off work when getting a dog. Now that many people are working from home and have wanted a dog, they took advantage of their time at home to train.

The most important part of training a dog is to socialize them to distractions. It is particularly helpful when they are a puppy. When they are older, it just takes longer and can cause certain problems if they haven’t been socialized to certain things as a puppy. For right now I will address getting a puppy during the pandemic.

Two problems with getting a puppy right now:

  1. Winter – Thunderstorms and other common summer distractions like motorcycles and skateboards may not be seen during winter.
  2. Lockdown – Not as many people will be around in general.

Problems will always happen, we just have to figure a way around those problems. Some things that can be very helpful:

  1. YouTube – Find videos of thunderstorms, fireworks, skateboards, motorcycles, etc.
  2. Mimic the distraction – You can mimic children by getting down on the floor. Be loud, run around, wave your hands and anything else crazy you can think of. Wear different hats, hoods. Think of all the different people and items a dog will see in their lifetime and try to mimic those distractions as best you can if you can’t go straight to a source.

Puppies go through a socialization period from roughly 5 to 12 weeks of age. Whatever they see and hear during that time and have a good experience with they tend to like later on. Whatever they do not see or have a bad experience with they tend to not like later on.

When we work an 8 week old puppy around horses and chickens they often sit like a potato and do not care. At 10 weeks of age they will be a little more cautious. 12 weeks, more cautious yet. Often by 16 to 20 weeks you will see a lot of fear barking if they have not seen horses or chickens before.

This is why we quite often have clients tell us they think their dog is racist because they only bark at black people. It is due to the fact that they likely never saw any black people during their socialization period. Have had some say their dog only barks at elderly people with walkers. Had a client say their dog only barked at white people. Loved East Indian people as all of his neighbours were East Indian. Had a client that lived with her dog for the first 7 years in L.A. She said her dog would bark at anyone wearing a toque when she moved to Canada.

The catch 22 is a puppy is not fully vaccinated before 12 weeks of age. Therefore we want to mitigate risk of contracting a disease. Avoid nose to nose contact with other dogs and getting into any dog feces.

Some techniques that can work quite well:

  1. Vehicle – Pop the hatch in your SUV or open a door and hang out near some busy places with your pup in the vehicle. This lets them see the distractions safely from your vehicle.
  2. Carry – You can carry the pup through busy places.
  3. Blanket – Set down a blanket off to the side and sit on the blanket with your pup.

This can all help out tremendously in the development and training with a dog.

Training a dog is all about overcoming the seemingly never ending problems that arise. For that we are here to help.

If you have any dog training needs we are open during the December restrictions. We have a heated indoor training facility where we can social distance as well as wear masks (they will now be mandatory anyway).

We deal with very complex problems and have clients that will come from other provinces as well. We always love helping people get off on the right foot with their new dog. Whether that be a puppy from a breeder or a rescue, we can help them all.

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