Puppies and Rona Part 3

April 23, 2020

Socialization and Coronavirus

Following up from our previous info and adding some more suggestions for you and your puppy.

Puppy Socialization is a vaccination against future behavior problems – up to the age of 16 weeks is a critical time for socialization and learning.

Socialization teaches your puppy to be comfortable around a variety of people, and safely introduces your puppy to novel, fun and positive experiences in preparation for his life with you as an adult dog.

Coronavirus has changed everything, including our rules for engaging with other people. 

Although dogs don’t get ill from this version of the virus, there is concern of the possibility that they can carry it on their coats and transfer it between people. 

So now what do we do?

If we meet people in our neighborhood or on the street, we are told to stay at least six feet away from them and not let our puppy interact with them.

That said, socialization and development is still important, so here are some ideas for how you can continue to socialize your puppy during the age of Coronavirus.

#3 Obstacles & Sounds

By spending more time at home with your puppy, it’s likely that he hasn’t been able to see and hear a lot of the “usual” day to day things which he would have otherwise experienced by now.  Looking for opportunities to introduce your puppy to a variety of obstacles and sounds at home will help him to be comfortable with them when the time comes for you both to get out again.

  • Download the App “Sound Proof Puppy Training” on your phone, or search for novel sounds on You Tube, maybe train sounds, children playing, garbage trucks.  Play the sounds quietly in the background while your puppy is doing something fun like eating or playing with his favorite toy.  If he seems startled or unhappy, then turn the sound off and try again tomorrow with the volume lower.
  • Something fun and challenging for your puppy to do could be a home made obstacle course –
    • Set out a wobbly pillow or exercise disc for your puppy to walk over
    • Make him a slide from a cookie sheet and a small stool
    • Let him walk through hoops, over pool noodles and on a variety of surfaces including bubble wrap, a cookie sheet or a crate divider.
    • Use tables, chairs or old cardboard boxes and table cloths to make a fort for puppy to explore, hide his favorite toys in there
    • Play hide n seek indoors and/or outdoors

I’m sure you can get creative with all the fun things your puppy could explore. Just keep it simple and fun.  Take advantage if you have kids home from school, use their toys as training aids.

Next time we will talk about how to get your puppy used to the different ways that people can look.