Tips To Socialize Your Puppy During The Pandemic
Socializing your dog helps them remain confident and safe in new situations or around other dogs and people. If you are a new puppy parent, you may be wondering how to best socialize your furry friend during the pandemic. With the lockdown restrictions still in place in much of the GTA, your options for introducing your puppy to other dogs and people are severely limited. Luckily, you don’t need to worry about delaying socializing your dog, we asked our dog daycare staff to share some of their tips on how you can socialize your puppy even with the extra restrictions in effect.
Here is what they had to say:
Shake up your walk routine
As often as possible, take different routes for your daily walks with your pup and even try different neighbourhoods and different environments with varied surfaces. This routine change will expose your dog to new smells, sights and sounds. A great advantage of walking your dog in new areas is that your pup will understand not to seek attention from every passer-by and learn to not get agitated by unfamiliar dogs that they come across.
Introduce them to some outside noises
We are exposed to a lot of different sounds when we are outdoors, cars driving by, people talking, other dogs barking, and even wind blowing. You can help your puppy become accustomed to these sounds even from the comfort of your own home. There are numerous videos or soundtracks you can download for your dog to hear. Make sure you introduce your pup to such noises gradually and without making them feel uncomfortable or scared. Use these noises in the background to help your pup keep a calm attitude and carry on with the regular activities such as playing, eating or sleeping.
With many people working from home and spending weekends at home, your dog can get very accustomed to being around you and your family all the time. Introducing scheduled daily crate time is a good way to get your dog accustomed to spending some alone time, even if you are home. Start with 10 to 15 minutes a day and eventually work up to naps and feeding time in the crate. Once you find your dog is getting more comfortable in the crate, introduce crated car rides. This will help ensure your puppy doesn’t have separation anxiety when you leave, or doesn’t get anxious on trips to the vet.
Leash train your dog
One of the most challenging situations for every dog owner is teaching a puppy how to keep calm while you have stopped somewhere or are chatting with someone you came across on one of your walks. A good scenario to practice with your puppy is having them sit or stay when you stop. Walk around your home or go for a walk around the park and purposely stop on regular intervals. When your dog stops along side you, reward them with a treat while having them maintain that position. This will help them get accustomed to stopping alongside you when you do.
Take your pup to dog daycare
This is one of the most effective solutions to socializing your puppy. Dog daycare can help your furry friend learn how to act in a new environment, as well it will expose them to a variety of other dogs and people. Dog daycares help ease anxiety, and it will help prevent separation anxiety. Especially since so many of us are home most of the day during the pandemic. Another big benefit of dog daycare is that your pup will spend a lot of their energy running and playing with other dogs helping curb any potential destructive behavior.
Just because the pandemic has put a restriction on gatherings and has changed the way we go about our daily routines, it doesn’t mean that you can’t properly socialize your puppy and help get them accustomed to being in new scenarios and being introduced to new people and dogs. So, enjoy spending time with your puppy will teach them to be positive and confident in any situation.