Lockdown - coming out of the other side...

Has lock down got your dog going crazy?

I think it’s fair to say lock down is affecting us all in some way or another. But it’s important to remember that we are doing it to keep us and everyone around us safe.

One day we were all rushing around busy with work commitments and family life and then the next day we are all trying to work from home, whilst keeping children busy and educated.

You think your dog is loving it... but how are they really coping with such a drastic change to their routine?

I’ve been receiving so many messages from people whose dogs are demonstrating new problem behaviours and they don’t know why. Or they are worried that their dogs have adapted to having them at home and as we slowly return back to a ‘new’ normal life they are worried about how their dogs will cope.

Pre-lockdown your dog may have spent an exciting energetic hour with you or a dog walker and just slept for most of the day while you worked and then enjoyed cuddles and fuss when you came home in the evening. And now they have the whole family at home all day every day. Like children, dogs need their sleep, a sleep deprived dog can have a build up of stress hormones which can cause behavioural problems and even aggression. On average, adult dogs sleep for around 12-14 hours in a 24 hour period. Puppies that are using lots of energy can sleep for as much as 20 hours per day!

Pre-lockdown you and your dog may have spent the weekends finding new and fun places to walk or even meeting up with a group of friends and their dogs. And now mostly they are on the same street walk every day avoiding people and other dogs. This can cause a build up of frustration leading to behavioural issues like barking at other dogs, barking at things going past the house. And that barking gets your attention. This can very quickly turn into a head ache for everyone involved.

When you have children and dogs all under one roof it is important to set boundaries early on, a few lock down boundaries can help everyone stay happy. A dog needs his own happy place, somewhere he can go to relax and be left alone. Avoid allowing children to ‘wind’ the dog up with high energy games, why not get your children to play hide the treat in the garden with your dog instead.

For more information on setting these boundaries or any other issues you may be having follow @growingupwith_dogs on Instagram.

Pip x

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Hanley - Stoke on Trent

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