During lockdown our dogs have been an absolute blessing – constant companionship, love, and exercise. At one-point dog walking was one of the very few reasons you could even leave your house. If you welcomed a puppy into your home either just before or during lockdown, you’ve now had 3 months of puppy bliss. All that time with a puppy is great for bonding, and would have certainly been a welcome distraction from the uncertain times we have been living in. Now that the world is slowly starting to return to normal, you are almost certainly going to experience 2 main problems with your puppy – separation anxiety and socialising issues.
Your puppy probably hasn’t been on its own at all during the Covid-19 crisis. But now people are returning to work and school, it will soon be time for your new canine friend to be home alone for a number of hours. We would normally gradually teach our puppy this over the first few months, but not being allowed to leave the house has prohibited a lot of families from teaching their puppies the vital skill of independence. So, as you return to normality please ensure you teach your puppy how to be home alone.
Socialising has also been an issue for puppies. During lockdown you have been keeping your distance from people, and their dogs. You have also been unable to take him / her to other houses, cafes or pubs. 8-16 weeks old is a vital period for puppies to experience all these things. So be patient with them if they are learning these skills at a slightly older age, and seek the help of a behaviourist if your puppy is struggling to adjust. Older dogs are not immune to the above as well. Having you home for the past few months would have been a welcome change, so please keep their feelings in mind as you start to leave the house more often once again.
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