In a year like no other, the whole world was forced to spend more time than ever at home resulting in many getting furry friends to keep them company. With many being puppies, they know nothing beyond the confines of their home where they feel the safest. Introducing your new best friend to environments where they are surrounded by unfamiliar people/dogs can be a daunting task.
But don’t worry there are many ways to train your pup and ease them into the real world. The lack of time away from home has caused more dependence on their owners causing a stressful situation while the world transitions to in person work/social life.
With many only returning to the office/classroom, dogs around the world will have to learn how to deal with being left at home alone for nearly half the day. By nature, many dogs get used to a stable routine and have excessive amounts of stress when deviating from that routine. Therefore, many pups think that the amount of time that you spend at home is normal.
1. Slowly expose your dogs to being alone at home.
Grabbing your keys, putting on your shoes, and turning on your car are all triggers that will cause your dog to think you are leaving. Every so often do these action for short periods of time to slowly adjust your pup to your absence while reassuring them that you will return each time you leave.
2. Train your dog to stay in a crate.
Typically dogs will rummage through trash or eat shoes as a way of coping with the extra alone time and absence of their owner. As a precaution, many will have to for the first time have their dog stay in the cage for extended periods of time. Taking your puppy on a walk right beforehand or leaving them a toy to keep them entertained while stuck in their cage.
3. Try CBD Products that will calm their anxiety and reduce stress.
Zen Bites are a great substitute for your average treat that is beneficial for anxiety relief, joint support, and appetite support. Giving your pup this treat will not only relieve their anxious nature towards you leaving, but can be very useful in getting your furry friend into their cage. Additionally, Zen Drops are another product that can reduce anxiety and can be simply mixed with their food. All of these products are THC free and there are also non- CBD calming chews as an alternative. These non-drowsy chews are anxiety relieving and can help support their behavior.
Introduction to Social Environments
With dog parks are opening back up and parties being able to be held at households, these puppies will be surrounded by other humans and animals that they might not know. Slowly easing these dogs into encounters with others will increase their comfort in these situations and avoid any sticky situations.
4. Introduce them to neighbor’s dogs and close friends.
Using a leash and rewarding good behavior with treats are good ways to initially train dogs brand new to this setting. Easing them into interactions with those that are close to you whether it be close relatives or neighbors can take away the anxiety that may result from large gatherings. Varying the size and breed of the other dogs will make trips to the dog park not a brand new experience.
5. Take on walks where they will come across other dogs.
As always, keeping your dog on a leash on walks will allow you to control them and make sure to keep them under calm while exposing them to new situations. Walking through major parks or by dog parks will sure be an easy way to come across other dogs and allow them to recognize the behaviors of others.
Challenges have been nothing new to us after surviving 2020, but socializing will be a strange adjustment for everyone. However, these strategies and products should make it easier for your furry friend to return to normal.
“Raising a Puppy: Training Your Puppy to Be People-Friendly.” DogTime, 19 Aug. 2016, dogtime.com/puppies/1474-puppy-training-people-friendly-dunbar.
Zhang, Sarah. “All the Sad, Lonely Pandemic Puppies.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 27 May 2021, www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/05/pandemic-puppies-will-be-alone-first-time/619024/.