How to socialise / enrich the lives of pups and dogs (as well as us!) during the lockdown

Written by Rachel Wesley

18/04/2020

Not being able to participate in socializing your puppy/young dog in the lockdown situation isn't something to fear !! There are so many other ways you can contribute to a puppy's experiences, confidence and relationship with your puppy/young dog/new dog. Mental stimulation is as satisfying and rewarding as walks and runs around a field.

Scatter feeding

Scatter feeding uses your dogs natural instincts to forage and use the dogs nose to search. Use some plant pots in the garden to hide food. Feeding in different ways can build up your dog's confidence and help with boredom.

Play games with your dog using novel items - it doesn't need to cost a lot and you can use everyday items including recycling. This again builds confidence with different sounds and touch, especially plastic bags and bottles, basically anything that can make a noise. Clean recycling products used in a children's ball or paddling pool is fun and exciting. Throw some treats in to motivate your dog's searching skills. Obviously never leave a dog unattended.

Paws up is a great game to play. This is fun and helps your dog to focus, builds communication and a relationship with your dog when asking for behaviours. Helps puppies with balance and body awareness.

To stop your puppy/young dog jumping up teach them to touch their paw on a marker or object.

Paws up

Use a hoola hoop to teach your dog to jump through it.

Kingsley learning his new trick

Using sturdy items make an assault walk in the garden. Encourage your dog to walk on different heights and uneven ground. Again this helps balance and increases confidence.

Teddies and ornaments can cause your dog to react so use this time while on lockdown to help your dog become desensitised to novelty setting them up for success in new environments.

And always remember - you can teach an old dog new tricks! Have fun with your dog during lockdown. Helen is available to all our adopters and fosters for advice and support.

Helen Mcguirl

Dog behaviourist

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