There’s lots for dog lovers to do at home!
As COVID-19 continues to spread and thousands of Canadians are self-isolating, as well as social distancing, it’s hard not to panic. While we are all a bit anxious during these unprecedented times, the fact that many of us won’t be leaving for work for a while is nothing but good news for our dogs. We are our dogs’ whole world so this new situation seems delightful to them. Luckily, for us dog lovers, there’s no shortage of dog chores to do, information to learn and media to watch while we all take a break apart to grow stronger together.
Learn a new trick
With extra time comes extra patience. Now is a wonderful time to teach your dog a trick you’ve been putting off. High five, play dead, bark on command, spin ...the options are endless. Learn the pieces to the trick bit by bit and then put them all together. Remember to keep training sessions short, full of treats and to always end on a positive note (with a trick you dog can do). You can even practice towards getting your dog a CKC Trick Dog Title. Details here: https://www.ckc.ca/en/News/2019/December/CKC-Welcomes-Do-More-With-Your-Dog%C2%AE-Trick-Dog-Titl
Play a Game
Let loose and play a fun game with your dog. You can do so either in the comfort of your own home or yard. Fetch, hide and seek, long distance “come when called”, racing, playing with non-toxic bubbles. These games are good for the mind and the body. Always play within your dog’s physical and health limitations, being sure not to overexert a young or old dog. When in doubt, ask your dog’s health care team.
Listen to a Podcast
While cleaning, cooking or exercising I love to listen to a podcast. It’s such an amazing feeling to use the time you spend doing chores to learn something new. My favourite podcast covers all things related to purebred dogs and new episodes come out constantly. It’s called “Pure Dog Talk”, and is hosted by Laura Reeves. You can listen to it on Spotify, on their website or on iTunes. I’m actually a panelist on an upcoming talk on rare breeds.
Read a book
While web articles and blogs are fantastic, there’s few things cozier than curling up with a good book. Whether you have some dog books you have been meaning to get around to or want to reread an old favourite, now is the time to get your nose stuck in a book.
Read your breed’s standard
It’s always good to know your breed’s standard inside and out. With some extra time on your hands, why not reread your breed’s standard? You can also find beautifully illustrated standards online.
Watch dogs and trials from around the world
I love watching dog shows on YouTube. It’s especially interesting to watch dog shows from other countries. The beautiful dogs, the style of handling, ring procedure – it’s all so interesting. Our friends in England and the U.S.A. have many taped dog shows available on various streaming sites, but if you search, you can find a dog show online from almost any country.
Have a fake dog show or trial
With many clubs canceling and rescheduling events this spring, why not take charge and throw your own mock dog show or trial? Set up a ring or an agility run in your house or yard. Practice makes perfect and a familiar area is a great place to teach new skills without many distractions.
Start spring cleaning your dog! Give them a good brushing and then a nice bath. You’ll be cuddling with them tons for the next while, so why not make sure they smell good? Many independent grooming shops are still open and would really appreciate your business during these trying times.
Learn about a new breed
We’ve all got breeds we like that we don’t know too much about. Take this time to get to know that breed! With websites and social media, there are endless opportunities to learn all about so many fantastic purebred dogs. You might even find that the breed you are researching would fit in nicely to your home!
Take a long, safe walk
If you’re feeling antsy from staying inside too much, I guarantee your dogs are too. The good news about social distancing is that you can go outdoors provided you don’t get too close to others. If you can stay a few meters from other humans you don’t live with, feel free to take a walk with your dog. Explore a forest nearby or check out a new park or walking path. Moving in the fresh air will feel great for both of you.
These are challenging times we are currently facing. By staying apart, we hope to grow stronger together. We are lucky as dog owners as we have lots of ways to keep busy at home with our beloved four legged-friends. How are you keeping busy while social distancing or practicing self-isolation? Let me know in the comments below!