Dog Behaviour and Training 

Lockdown coping mechanisms for you and your dog

This month we are taking a practical approach to building resilience with our dogs. You live with someone who is familiar with your daily activities. You know that we really only live our dogs’ lives, don’t you ?! For those of us who have no choice but to stay at home, we are limited to what we can eat, our exercise routine has been set by someone else, and our freedom of choice has been taken away. for our own safety. When looking for coping mechanisms, we have to remember the basics. exactly what we do for our dogs; Water, regular meal times, exercise, enrichment, rest … and friendliness.

In these challenging times, our dogs are an incredible source of companionship and comfort, but it’s not their responsibility to make us feel better. We owe it to them and ourselves to take positive action so that we can both benefit from the time together.

Your dog will soon become your greatest teacher if you allow it.

Create a daily schedule

It may sound boring, but we have to create a daily schedule and stick to it. We are all navigating through a new reality that we have not asked for and that we were not prepared for. This is accompanied by a wave of changes and uncertainties, two things we should not deal with.

For many of us, fear and insecurity can open old wounds and trigger reactions that we thought were long buried. We feel like we’re out of control and that in itself can be scary. It’s a normal reaction. Your only job is to take care of yourself, just like you would do for your dog if he was afraid or afraid.

When you brought your dog home, whether as a puppy or by rescue, they were in unknown waters. You navigated through a new reality and I have no doubt that you did your best to show them that you were trustworthy, that they were safe, and that you started the way you wanted them to. Do the same for yourself, show yourself with the same care and understanding.

Routine brings certainty and certainty is what we long for in these uncertain times. It works for our dogs and it will work for us too.

Keep it simple and create a routine for your new circumstances. Make sure it includes healthy meals and trips to top up your glass of water (yes water!), train with your dog (within the guidelines for your situation), Enrichment (Whatever your favorite activity in the house), a set time to go to bed and of course kindness towards yourself and your fellow human beings.

Take time to exercise

There are guidelines that must be followed, but within these guidelines we have the autonomy we need to enable our brain and / or body to train with our family of dogs.

If you can exercise, take the opportunity.

If your usual time outdoors has been restricted, you can still dedicate this time to your dog. You can incorporate a morning, afternoon, and evening practice site into your routine, and I can assure you that this will brighten your day and your dog’s day.

When planning your time, please make sure that you don’t start playing with your dog right after eating. Our vets don’t need to call us because we promoted the game time after dinner and made our dogs bad. You are just busy enough.

When you interact with, play with, and teach your dog, you are not only distracted by everything that is going on in the world, but you also have the opportunity to reduce stress. Stress lowers our immune system’s abilities and your dog teacher can help you improve it by being present and proactively enjoying your time together.

Below are the instructions for an indoor game that you can now play with your dog, and there are many more ideas from our partner Canine’s perspective in theirs Online training club if you’re looking for more ideas. Canine Perspective has a new “Lockdown Corner” dedicated to increasing our energy with the help of our dogs.

Find my keys

This is not just a fun game. It may be a game-changer. If we can get out of there, we may need help to get back to our old routines, and I struggle to find my keys at the best time.

Before you start, make sure your dog can easily pick up your keys. If you can attach something soft to the keychain, e.g. B. a small soft toy or handkerchief, prepare your dog for success.

  • First, sit down with your dog and play a simple retrieval game with your keys. Just rattle them, put them down and rattle them on the floor, and praise your dog if he’s interested in picking them up. If they do, say “praise” and praise them, take them out of them with a drop / out cue and play again. The goal is for your dog to comfortably pick up the keys and drop them in their hands-on request.
  • If you gradually increase the distance between you and the keys, your dog will get used to picking them up and bringing them to you, just like in a normal retrieval game, but more useful!
  • Make this game an exciting, energetic, and well-rewarded game. If your dog drops the keys in your hands, they will be paid well. When you generate this high energy for your dog, you will notice how you feel and enjoy the rest of the stress you are experiencing.
Indoor puppy season
  • While you were playing, your dog started pairing the word “key” with the item he was carrying, so we can now add the “Find” element to the game. Even if your dog is brilliant in this regard, keep in mind that we are specific and want to introduce a guide to finding the keys so that he knows what we are asking for when we need his help. So start at the beginner level, set your dog to success, and make it fun.
  • Leave the keys with a few other items and ask your dog to find the keys that will show you if he understood the key.
  • If you practice this in different places around the house, remember to make fun of it and keep it well paid, your dog can respond quickly and understand what is required of it.
  • Now you can discreetly hide your keys, wait a while, and then ask your dog to find the keys. If you don’t find them right away or find an alternative to keys, don’t worry, just ask again! If it quickly turns out that they are not sure what you asked them to do, just take a step back and practice that a little more.
  • If your dog can easily find your keys from anywhere in the house, it’s time to improve your game. Go to your garden or try this on walks. First, drop your keys “accidentally” and encourage your dog to pick them up for you. Do this a few times and then “accidentally” drop your keys, say nothing, and see how your dog reacts. Give a lot of praise and a decent reward for making a positive choice and if your dog decides that you can pick up your own keys, that’s fine too! You can try again if you are less distracted and asked for more practice first.

If the training doesn’t go according to plan, don’t worry! It really doesn’t matter and it’s definitely not something to be stressed about. Yes, it can be frustrating, but remember that you have written instructions, not your dog!

Take a step back, take a break and ask yourself, “What else can I do to set it up for success?”

If you have problems, ask yourself the same question. What could you do to shift your energy from stress and anxiety to something more positive and productive so you can prepare for success?

Visit us here for Dog Training, Dog Behavior Guides, Dog Grooming Guides, Pet Training Guides, etc.

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.