Don’t let your puppy’s development and future happiness suffer because of Covid-19

No I don’t mean they will catch it and become ill or even die! To date there is no evidence to show that we can pass the virus to or from our dogs (apart from that one Pom in Hong Kong but it has since tested negative for antibodies).

I mean all those puppies who will miss out on vital puppy classes, training sessions and socialisation because people don’t sign up for weekly puppy courses or training or take their dogs to a variety of different environments … and I am worried.

If group events are banned and lockdown occurs puppies won’t be taken to classes
If they themselves have to self isolate and stay home their puppies will miss out on vital training and socialisation.
Some puppy owners may just avoid unnecessary gatherings as a precaution and not book classes or training for their puppy. 

Early training along with socialisation is vitally important to make sure your puppy gets off to the best start possible and becomes the best dog he can be. To have the best life possible your puppy needs training and socialising to be able to grow into a happy, confident well mannered family member.. 

Puppies have what is called a critical socialisation period between approximately 3 -17 weeks of age which includes Canine Socialisation and Socialisation with humans and other animals.

Your puppy’s experiences during this critical period of learning and development can influence and shape their adult behaviour.

Puppies have a small window of time during brain development when they are most impressionable. This is a critical learning period. For puppies, this is during the first 16 weeks of life. Puppies learn so much during this time.

Puppy class, early training and socialisation teaches your dog to be attentive to you in all kinds of distracting environments, it  introduces your puppy to other puppies and older dogs as well as helping them learn to be comfortable around all kinds of different people, including visitors to your home and busy noisy environments.

During this critical stage of your puppy’s life the functional and structural connections of neurons in the cortex of the brain are particularly susceptible to alteration. If you deprive a dog of positive new experiences your dog will have to cope in a world where he has had limited experience and limited skills. Not letting your puppy experience new sounds noises, smells, other dogs, different environments, people and a host of new objects means that he will be less able to cope emotionally and physiologically with the world he will have to live in. These early experiences are what enable him to grow into a resilient, confident, happy dog.

I am so worried I am going to eventually get an influx of under socialised adolescent and adult dogs with huge anxiety problems because of lack of early socialisation and training to build confidence during this time.

Well, Covid-19 isn’t going to spoil Fairydogmother puppy classes, or anything else for that matter … I’m all prepared, so if everyone has to go into lockdown or you have to self isolate you can still continue to do all do my classes via a group video link if it becomes necessary.

I can also do other training or behaviour sessions by video link should you get symptoms and have to stay isolated at home with your dog.

I am admittedly a bit of a gadget geek and I use video conferencing anyway with one to one clients so I am good to go! 

I wanted to make sure I could continue to help support people and their dogs, not to leave dogs untrained which could cause future behaviour problems. 

I will continue to pass on my expertise throughout these tough times even if I don’t get to cuddle your puppies and train them myself (which I love doing) because its important for our dogs futures. It’s important to me that I inspire people to keep up with the training by making it fun, fascinating and interesting as well as factual and useful.

Here is the link to the latest veterinary information from the BVA and WSAVA

Keep it kind,