As a dog trainer on a regular basis I hear experienced clients say “My dog loved other dogs before lockdown” and new puppy owners often say “My dog doesn’t know how to act with other dogs now restrictions have eased.”
Lockdown has affected everyone, even our dogs. You may have had to shield meaning your dog wasn’t walked as much as usual, your dog daycare may have had to close due to staff testing positive or you may have followed government advice and avoided contact with others as much as possible.
Do you find it strange now restrictions have lifted? I know I do…..and we understand what has been happeniing over the past 18 months but imagine how our dogs feel.
Older dogs have had to stay home lots more, not interact with other dogs and have had to deal with a mch busier home due to home schooling and working from home.
Puppies have missed out on the socialisation they need in the first few months of their lives. Then all of a sudden they see other dogs and are expected to know exactly how to behave.
All too often I am seeing off lead dogs bounding over to dogs on lead and not listening when the other dog is saying “give me space”. Owners with puppies go straight over to a strange dog to introduce them and then complain that their dog gets too excited. Then puppies then think all dogs are friendly and this can end incredibly badly.
Having a well socialised dog is incredibly important but it needs to be socialisd in the right way. Most people know the problems that can come with an undersocialised dog but did you know oversocialising can have just as many problem?
Socialisation walks can be of a massive benefit it run properly. Not only will they help create a polite, confident, well socialised dog but your dog will also learn important life skills such as impulse control. To be run safely they need to be done in a controlled environment with all dogs being on lead. They will have space between them and only be interacting in a positive way. This is why it is important to understand a dogs body language and to respond to it. Even the angle of a dogs approach to another dog is important. Lots of people don’t realise that eye to eye comtact can be threatening and that dogs should approach side on to avoid conflict.
If you feel your dog needs some help with socialisation I am starting monthly walks at The Dog Orchard secure dog walking field in Grundisburgh from September. These will be 45 minutes long, with a maximum of 10 dogs per walk who must all be on lead. There will be one walk aimed at puppies under 6 months and one walk aimed at dogs over 6 months.
To book or for more details please click on the button below.
Please be aware that these are not suitable for reactive dogs. If you are unsure if your dog would be suitable please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01473931221 and we can have a chat. It may be that your dog needs some 1-2-1 training before moving onto socialisation walks.
These walks are purely for socialisation and not to be used for any other training needs. If demand is high more walks will be scheduled.
Please dress according to the weather conditions and be aware the field can be muddy.