At times like this, when you are confined to your home under enforced lockdown due to Covid 19, you can become very aware of the things that annoy you; and yes, this can include your dog. This may be especially noticeable if you have children at home as well. In reality, this is probably as disrupting for your dog as it is for you.
It might be that now you realise how often your dog jumps up at you, or barks at noises, or people passing the house. It might be your pup is pinching things and running off with them. Maybe your dog barks at you, and this is now wearing on your nerves. These aren't the only problems you may be experiencing if you have children at home too.
Long children’s holidays are a time when children are most likely to be bitten by a dog. It is true to say that this is usually the family dog, or a dog owned by a member of the broader family. It is reasonably rare for a child to be bitten by an unknown dog. You may be feeling that you are totally stuck because you can’t (legally) get a dog trainer out to see you during the lockdown. So, what can you do?
The obvious answer is to make sure your dog has space away from your children. It can be a great idea to set aside a room for your dog to chill out in when the kids are having fun. In reality, dogs that are very anxious may also find this difficult. Many anxious dogs worry about being separated from their care giver.
It might surprise you to find that it is totally possible for you to seek the advice of a behaviourist via remote consultation. I have been doing this for several years now with good results. Some benefits of remote consultations are as follows:
1. The whole family can be there as times offered can be more flexible
2. The dog and family are more relaxed without a stranger in their midst
3. You can provide the behaviourist with video evidence before the consultation
4. I have found that people are more comfortable being coached remotely than in person.
This is a surprising aspect of remote consultations. Smart use of a device enables me to observe the handler and provide direct coaching.
5. Using videos, we can demonstrate to you the methods we recommend. Again, surprisingly, I have found people find this easier than in person demonstrations. All members of the family can see this if they are all there, or if the consultation is recorded.
6. My remote consultations are cheaper because I don’t lose an hour or two driving to and from the consultation. I can also make appointment times that would normally be out of bounds due to rush hour traffic (because too much time is lost), such as evenings. Or even later when I might not want to be driving out on my own later in the evening.
7. I can see anyone anywhere in the world for behaviour counselling this way. So, if you are I a remote location, you can still get help.
So if you are wondering how you can get help with your dog during Covid 19 lockdown, please don’t worry. Help is here.
Denise Nuttall Clinical Animal Behaviourist
07764 250554 or 01202 861340
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Resident dog behaviourist with BBC Radio Solent
Full Member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC)
Full Member The Canine Training and Behaviour Society (TCBTS)
Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC) Registered Animal Training Instructor and Clinical Animal Behaviourist