For some of us, our daily routines have altered drastically due to the pandemic. Some of us are working from home, or not working at all. This change has resulted in a different routine for our dogs, one that has their beloved family members at their side constantly.
It’s a great time to have a puppy, I can immediately stop what I’m doing and dote on Mud’s needs. I can let him out to potty when he wakes up, I can do training sessions throughout the day and we can go on daily adventures. Plenty of time and energy to devote to him and keeping him happy.
But, that kind of routine isn’t setting him up for success with his new home where he might be alone while they are at work. Or maybe they will be people with normal lives that don’t revolve around their dogs. He’s going to need to learn to have boring days and learn to be comfortable with my absence.
As important as it is for him to learn to settle and relax while in the house, it’s also incredibly important to make sure he can relax in a crate as well. So in between the adventures, training sessions and play sessions, Mud spends time in his crate. He gets a frozen kong filled with canned dog food to help him learn to settle and is given treat dispensing toys to keep him occupied. Sometimes, he’s crated in the living room with lots of activity going on around him and sometimes he’s crated in a quiet room, away from everything.
Sometimes, he hangs out behind a baby gate and I routinely practice leaving him briefly in rooms without me (puppy-proofed rooms of course!). He’s practiced hanging with other dogs outside while I’ve run in for a minute and has practiced taking naps in a crate in the car as well.
Yesterday, Mud had a particularly boring day. The husband and I were working on insulting the dog van and I took that opportunity to show him that sometimes days are boring. Don’t forget to do the same for your dog.