Keep the routine with your dog! #stayhome
Updated: Aug 22, 2020
So you're reading this because someone most likely shared it to you knowing that you're probably pulling your hair out trying to amuse your dog who by now is probably pawing at the door to go out or pestering you persistently as you try to binge watch The Crown on Netflix or look composed whilst on that conference call with the boss!
Dogs are creatures of habit so this change to their routine of you being home all day with the entire family is probably a tad confusing to them unless of course, you do that every Friday anyway then you have a lucky dog ;o) If you are normally at work or out and about most of the time, with or without your dog in tow, this change in routine can certainly set your dog's additional senses on alert as to why you're in their space a lot more than usual. If you know you are going to be home for a longer period than normal dependent on your work/home schooling the kids/day to day activities try and start a new routine with your dog. From morning until night, not only will this help your dog know what to expect and when, it will also help you plan your days a little better. Knowing when your dog needs your attention or when he will be snoozing will allow you to do other things around your home, help the kids with schooling or work from home more effectively whilst staying motivated.
Don't stay in your PJ's, yes I'm saying get up, have a shower, get dressed and go through all the usual motions you do in the home normally. Believe it or not your dog does watch and tune in to your little routines no matter how small they are. Do you feed your dog breakfast before or after the morning cuppa? Do you sit on the sofa and check emails before heading to work with a cuddle on the side with your dog? Do you sit on the balcony when you come home for lunch with a sandwich and have time together? Are there certain times of the day you give a treat to your dog? Try to keep the same routine in not changing feeding routines and "special times" with your dog to try and keep some semblance of familiarity in you and your dog's day. As your dog will expect a walk or a charge around the garden in the morning and afternoons try to do this also no matter how short the trip is outside. A quick pee up a tree or lamp post will give your dog a sense of routine and a quick sniff of the air to lighten the load on his confusion of a change in daily routine.
Don't lapse on all the commands you have learned together. Just because you are home together more it's easy to feel you can spoil your dog more than normal sometimes because you are feeling fed up yourself or it's easier, to spoil them rather than deal with a challenge that requires a bit more effort on your part. Keep up communication with your dog in the language he knows best, sit, down, wait, stay, come etc, remember to reward accordingly to give your dog the feeling of doing a good job and pleasing you and feeling content in himself that a good job was done. If you don't keep this up you will be back to square one in the obedience arena once you get back to the routine you had before.
Regardless of how changed your days are at the moment, don't get frustrated with your dog, don't lose your temper if he pee's inside (or poops for that matter), just clear it up with no fuss, there are bigger problems on the planet right now than a poo on the bedroom rug. Keep a cool head, give affection, attention, allow time for rest and play, learn something new together, maybe even start an Instagram account for your pooch (seems the popular thing to do right now), have fun and most of all be thankful for your dog's company right now who is none the wiser to the world problems and will love you unconditionally and give you a ray of hope to keep hanging on to.