…that will make you a better dog owner
1. Resource guarding is natural
Now that it feels like the shops might run out of produce, our shopping behaviour has changed. We are stocking up on items and eyeing each other with suspicion, especially when someone else nears the section we’re interested in. Note that currently there is no shortage of anything, it just feels like there might be.
How many times did you despair when your dog lunged for food and told them that they really, really don’t have to do it, there will always be plenty? In most cases they have never even gone hungry, to them it just feel like they might.
2. People not respecting the appropriate distance make us nervous
The streets have emptied but some people are still using public transport and we all go to shops etc. Keeping the appointed 2m distance from each other can be quite difficult in a confined space. You might not mind that much but if you pay attention you will see people shifting uneasily, trying to stay 2m away from everyone else.
I imagine that dogs, with their strong sense of personal space, feel like that person a lot of the time. You can help them be more at ease:
- walk them on a longer leash, allowing them to adjust their position as they see fit
- cross the street when you see another dog approaching
- be aware that crowded places are inherently stressful for most dogs and avoid them if possible
3. Being outdoors is exciting
Who doesn’t find it annoying when their dog ignores them in the beginning of the walk? Yet, now that we too must spend time indoors and we can’t go somewhere just because we feel like it, being outdoors is probably a little more exciting for us too.
Let’s keep that in mind next time when we take the dog out and at first they are just sniffing and bouncing around excitedly.
4. Your loved ones will annoy you, if you get stuck inside for long periods of time
Do you know that quirky thing your family member or flatmate does? Chances are, when you’re huddled together in the flat 24/7, that quirk has started to rub you the wrong way.
If you live in a multi-dog household, this is your dog’s life all-the-time. That’s why it’s important to make sure that each dog has their very own resting place, where they are never disturbed. Offering 1-1 time with you, be it training or walking, is probably something they’d enjoy a lot!
5. Having a choice matters
As soon as the governments started ordering people to stay put, internet was overflown with advice to closely monitor our stress and anxiety levels and take extra care of our psychological well-being. Confinement is not good for most of us.
Neither is it for our dogs. And while most dogs are bound to our daily schedule, we can increase their quality of life by offering them choices wherever we can. Here are some ideas:
- cooperative grooming and veterinary care
- let them dictate the speed of the walk
- check if they’re interested in training together before you begin
- when you pet them, take away your hand and see if they re-initiate contact