Is your dog a bit nervous or worried? Are you embarrassed or ashamed because they don’t want to say hello to your family or friends? Or do they cower away from other dogs when you just wish for them to have some playmates?
Well you certainly aren’t on your own!
Since we came out of the final lockdown over a year ago now I am seeing a lot more nervous dogs.
People are calling them ‘lockdown puppies’, puppies that were bought in 2020 and 2021. These puppies missed out on;
– In-person training classes and socialisation sessions
– Going out of the house and getting used to the big wide world
– Having different visitors to the house, or going to visit other peoples houses
At the time, we were so caught up in panic of Covid that we didn’t realise what our puppies were missing out on, and didn’t think about how it would affect them.
If puppies miss out on all of these different types of socialisation and confidence building in the first few months of their lives then there is a risk that they will grow up into nervous, sensitive or worried adult dogs.
So what can we do to help these puppies?
Well lots of things actually!
You can hire a professional dog walker to take your dog out for you at its own pace and slowly and carefully get your dog used to the new person, then that new person can introduce your dog to other people and dogs in a safe and controlled way.
I an working with a few dogs at the moment who wouldn’t let me anywhere near them when I first tried to take them out for walks, now they run to say hi when I go to pick them up!
You can use space, time and positive association to build your dogs confidence around the things that he or she is scared of or worried about, and to eventually change their minds so that they become less scared and worried.
I am doing 121 training walks with a couple of dogs at the moment to build their confidence and reduce their fearfulness around other dogs that they meet on walks, and they are making great progress!
If this sounds like something that you would like more information about, please reach out. I can help.