Amid the current global health crisis, it can be difficult to see the silver lining in things. Regardless if you've hopped onto the productivity bandwagon or not, I bet you're giving your dog more walks. At least I am!
As difficult as social distancing may be for us humans, it just might be a blessing for our dogs. It certainly is for some dogs, mine included.
The increased number of dogs and people out walking the neighborhood these days definitely presents a challenge. However, distance is often a major factor in leash reactivity. Sometimes it can be difficult to ask our fellow pedestrians, especially those with canines in tow, to keep their distance from our reactive dog. There's a certain social pressure to conform to - the notion that all dogs should love people AND other dogs.
But these days, it's not only socially acceptable to ask for the space your dog needs, it's even socially responsible! Those of us accustomed to having to walk our dogs in the wee hours of the morning, late at night or in inclement weather, can rejoice in an 11AM walk in the sunshine, at least for now.
Consider using the present circumstances as a chance to train your dog. While life is one big training session for our dogs anyway, perhaps we can take advantage of the current situation to move ever closer to our training goals. If you need some help getting your dog's leash reactivity under control, consult a qualified trainer, who can no doubt provide all the skills necessary through an online platform.
Hire a good trainer, follow a quality training plan, and once this is all over, you might find yourself being able to take those Sunday strolls after all.
Looking for virtual dog training help during the COVID crisis? Click here for a list of qualified trainers offering online coaching.
Seeking community instead? Find support among other reactive dog guardians by checking out the DINOS program. DINOS stands for Dogs In Need Of Space. Click here to learn more.
Regardless of how you choose to spend this time with your furry family, always prioritize the safety and health of yourself and others. Wishing everyone well!