Dogs in Lockdown
Last month I asked our local dog training expert Lee Hobbs to provide some insight into choosing the right dog for you. Now having suddenly found himself with a bit more time on his hands, Lee is back with some advice on how to care for your dogs in lockdown.
Following on from last nights “talk doggie to lee” Facebook live it’s time to discuss dogs in lockdown.
YOUR DOGS LOCKDOWN ROUTINE IS KNACKERED!!!!!
Dogs like routine……fact!!!
They need routine….fact!!
They need to be able to cope when its knocked a little bit off course…..fact!!
How to help your dogs in lockdown
I have received multiple messages from customers over the last few days about their dogs acting a little differently since this crazy situation. A big part of this is due adapting to a new routine and they need us to help them to do it.
Just like us, our dogs’ routines have gone little awry recently and it’s affecting some more than others. We now need to establish a fairly flexible one for our dogs whilst ours has gone to the wall. This doesn’t mean strictly breakfast at 8:30 am, lunch at 12 pm etc.
Consider a routine something like this:
Lockdown routine for dogs
- Wake up – wee
- Breakfast – eat at some point around this time. Maybe give them a kong to keep busy while you get ready for your action-packed day indoors!!!
- Play/energy release
- Hang out/sleep/chill….alone
- Lunch – eat at some point around this time. (For pups mainly and would suggest kong/chewing options).
- Hang out/sleep/chill…..alone
- Dinner – eat at some point around this time, use scatter feed, kongs, food games, something to help RELAX the brain.
- Hang out doing some stuff (whatever you choose but probs a trick-tock
- Toilet break in the garden
- Netflix and Sofa chill
^^^^ something along those lines ^^^^
In your dog’s mind
Just imagine (easy to do right now) that life as you know it has been turned upside down…..familiar????
Well thats guna blow ya mind for a bit. This is exactly what’s happening with your dogs.
“Oi owner, why are you home all day?? I usually have a couple of hours kip right now and all I hear is you banging on about the news and coming over for cuddles every 2 minutes, shut up, leave me alone and go out for a bit”
This is probably what your dog thinks and will 100% need at some point because when we get back to some kinda normal this is what it might be like once again. Believe me, although they are extremely sociable and resilient creatures, they do enjoy their own space at times – just like us!
Now more than ever they need our help to manage this. Now we are home our dogs are constantly disturbed and keep hearing;
- “Cmon doggy lets play”
- “Cmon doggy outside”
- “Cmon doggy its fun time”
- “Cmon doggy its training time”
- “Ahhhh look at you sleeping”
Confusing times for dogs
Your dog is used to hanging out alone and listening to the smooth music radio station you have left on for them all day and suddenly finds themselves out of kilter, craving structure, like kids AND us adults do too.
This is not just psychological but physiological….. dogs eat at a regular time, poo at a regular time, exercise at a regular time, sleep/rest at a regular time.
All I see on social media right now is “All you can do is try to tire them out and give them brain games and training all day coz we can’t exercise properly”
NO NO NO NO NO!!
We need to help them be CONTENTED in a semi-flexible, normal as possible routine and please just leave the dog alone at some point during the day to be the lazy sedate creature they actually are. (Yes even “working” breeds like a good chill out) but if YOU NEED and want a dog that needs to be needed then just go get a lurcher??
Some breeds are naturally active and may resort to destructive chewing or zoomies in an effort to expend pent-up energy. But instead of forcing them to tire out, find more creative ways to engage them in exercise. Since people may be under stay-at-home orders, it may be a great idea to exercise with the kids as well and play fetch in your backyard. If you own puppies, try getting your pooch into early training mode. An easy way to do this is to use tasty doggy snacks or treats as rewards to encourage good behavior.
Eventually, your dog will get used to the new routine. Remember that your dog can sense your mood. Try to stay calm as you help them ease into the new normal.
Have fun and love em.