07538 956 579 louise@hiltondogs.co.uk

Blog

Dog Training Guidance
Book a Training Class

Leaving Lockdown – Is your dog ready?

7 May, 2020

 

After six weeks, it appears the UK “lockdown” in respect of Coronavirus is likely to be lifted soon. For many people, this will come as a welcome return to reality but what will the impact be on the nation’s dogs that have become accustomed to a new routine and not being left alone?

The answer is “we don’t know” – the lifestyle changes we have had to introduce have never been experienced before. We do know that as sentient beings, dogs are able to feel stress and anxiety and that this can be triggered by changes to their lifestyle and routine. To limit the impact of us returning to our “old routine” now is the time to start implementing changes to help your dog adjust.

Please note – If you believe your dog is already (or is highly likely to be) displaying symptoms of anxiety or depression as a result of you living them for longer periods you should seek immediate advice from a suitably qualified professional. The following guidance may not be beneficial to your individual dog.

  1. Write down what your new routine will look like and when this is likely to take effect. You should begin to work with your dog as soon as you know your current routine in likely to change.
  2. Monitor your dog’s current routine and write down:
    • What time they are fed
    • What time are they walked
    • Their walk duration and who is walking them
    • When and for how long are they are resting or located within sight of you/your family
    • When and for how long are they are rested or located out of sight of you/your family
    • Any days when they are not walked
  3. Compare your answers to 2 above to how a “normal” day or week would look. Be honest and practical, if your dog is not normally walked every day but has been in lockdown this is a big change that needs to be re-introduced carefully and gradually where possible. Similarly, if your dog has been walked two or three times by different members of the family and will go back to just once – that is a big change!
  4. Create a “Re-adjustment” plan. Begin to build up your “normal” routine around your current lifestyle. Once restrictions are lifted on daily exercise this could mean taking walks without your dog so they can have short periods alone. If the normal family member “dog walker” has been replaced with someone else, this is another norm that needs to be re-introduced. Having a “dog free” room (this could be the kitchen or an office) where your dog may be able to see you from a distance – through a baby gate – to have some space away and settle may be a good way to slowly build up time apart. Slowly build up periods where you dog is allowed to rest out of sight of you and your family and is not disturbed.
  5. Any changes must be made slowly and carefully and you must continue to monitor your dog’s reaction throughout. If you believe your dog is struggling to be left (showing stress signals – panting, drooling, barking, destructive chewing, pacing etc.), now is the time to seek professional advice. Anxiety levels will not decrease due to prolonged exposure and no dog should ever be placed in a situation that is knowingly likely to cause it distress.
  6. Remember chew toys and feeder toys such as Kongs help to create serotonin, which is a chemical that can calm our dogs. They could be used to create a positive association with alone time but should be used in lots of different situations to avoid the toy itself becoming a trigger for you to leave them alone.

Hopefully, the lockdown will be gradually lifted which means it may be a while before our daily routines change significantly, but that doesn’t mean action should be delayed. Like dogs, we too are creatures of habit and if returning to work is likely to be stressful for you taking action now whilst you are able to dedicate time to your leaving your dog will be one less thing to worry about when it’s time to go back to work.

 

Louise Burton IMDT
Hilton Dogs Training Academy

dog-training-derby-02

Canine Enrichment – Get that brain trained!

  Canine Enrichment is all about provide mental stimulation for our dogs. Whilst physical exercise is an important part of our dog’s health, regular enrichment activities ensure that their brains also get a good workout, which leads to a longer, happier life for your...
Coronavirus Lockdown

Leaving Lockdown – Is your dog ready?

  After six weeks, it appears the UK “lockdown” in respect of Coronavirus is likely to be lifted soon. For many people, this will come as a welcome return to reality but what will the impact be on the nation’s dogs that have become accustomed to a new routine and not...
puppy-toilet-training

Toilet Training Tips

This guide has been written for young dogs, but is also ideal for those owners who may of adopted a rescue dog that may have been in kennels a long time or those adopting street dogs from overseas. Toilet training is about routine and habit. Your puppy has...
dog-training-classes-02

Coronavirus – Puppy socialisation tips

Coronavirus has changed our lives completely. As soon as the social distancing restrictions were put in place I knew that suspending puppy training classes was going to place a huge additional burden on owners when it came to socialisation Of course, outside of the...
Barking Dog

Barking dogs – Is a training class the answer?

My dog barks at other dogs, would a class help him?Sadly, the answer is not straightforward. The most important question to find the answer to is “why does your dog bark at other dogs?”…Possible reasons include:My puppy is excited when he sees other dogs....
new puppy

New Puppy – The Ultimate Toolkit

Whether your new puppy has already arrived or you're patiently waiting for them to reach 8 weeks, this is the ultimate toolkit to get you off to a great start!Firstly, there is one book which is invaluable to any new puppy owner - Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy...
dog-christmas-list

Here comes Santa Paws – what to get your best friend for Christmas

Dogs simply love enrichment toys and it’s thought that fifteen minutes of one of these activities is the same as an hour’s walk for your dog’s brain. Listed below are a few tried and tested toys I can recommend to keep your dog quiet and entertained...
naughty-puppy-training

Help – My puppy is so naughty!

“They won’t do what I tell them to”, “They just ignore me” or “They just don’t listen”, three of the most common complaints I hear from new puppy owners. We place a lot of expectation on dogs generally, possibly because we take them with us into society...
teddy-Adult-Dog-Training

Tails from a Dog Trainer – Winter is coming

As a dog owner, you’re no doubt used to being out in all weather. Whilst last year’s heatwave gave us a challenge not faced for many years (how to cope with 60 days of continuous heat) winter is also worth preparing for. Dark nights and mornings are coming...
Puppy Training

Tails from a Dog Trainer – Jumping Puppies

One of the most common questions I'm asked (particularly from puppy owners) is “how do I stop them jumping up at me?” It’s a behaviour that becomes more difficult to address the longer it is rehearsed, however the answer often lies at the hands (quite...
dog-christmas

Tails from a Dog Trainer – It’s that time again…

As the nights draw in, the Christmas adverts start appearing and before you know it it’s December and the countdown to Christmas begins. A dog’s first Christmas is a wonderful memory, is there anything cuter than a tiny nose sniffing a bauble and being...
dog-firework-night

Tails from a Dog Trainer – Things that go bang!

We’re fast approaching “Fireworks Season” which can be very difficult for dogs. Whilst a noise sensitivity training plan can help some dogs, this can take time to implement, so here are some top tips with helping your dog though the next few months of...
dog-training-barking

Tails from a Dog Trainer – Barking!

People often talk to me about barking dogs. Most people acknowledge that dogs don’t bark without good reason, but what are those reasons? Simply put, when a dog is barking he is trying to communicate. Dogs have different pitches, the same as we have, which...

 

Vet recommended puppy and dog training services

Send a Message

 

11 + 3 =

Phone & Email

07538 956 579
louise@hiltondogs.co.uk

Open Hours

Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm
Sat: 9am - 12pm
Sun: Closed

Address

Hilton, South Derbyshire,
DE65 5FP

Hilton Dog Training Academy

This site uses cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to the site you accept their use. More info in our cookies policy.     ACCEPT