Did you bring home a puppy before the chaos started? How about adopt a new dog into your family since you were going to be working from home for the foreseeable future? Congratulations on your new addition! We are thrilled that you have a new family member in your home!
We won’t be stuck at home forever.
One day the “stay at home orders” will be lifted and we will resume whatever “normal” life looks like for you. We will go back to work in the office, the retail stores will reopen and we will go shopping. Kids will go back to school and the house will be empty. Are you setting your new pup up for success when you do leave the house again?
Will your new dog be successful?
Resuming regular life, while exciting when it happens will come with its on set of challenges. Dealing with traffic, and trying to rush everyone out the door in the morning to get to their respective locations will have its own set of stress. Don’t let your dog be another thing that stresses you out!
Start now! Begin creating a routine for your new pup that includes being left alone for a period of time. That way, when normal resumes, being alone is not something to be stressed about. You won’t come home to shredded pillows, loaves of bread that have been consumed, blinds on the ground instead of the windows, the list goes on.
Routine is Paramount
The most important thing you can introduce to your new dog is a routine. This is easier to do when we go to work and kids go to school. Now we need to create a routine that resembles what the normal will look like for our dog. When the kids go back to school, you know what time they need to be out of the house to catch the bus. You know what time you need to leave the house to avoid traffic. Build a routine around what your normal looks like.
Use the time that you would normally be gone, to introduce your pup to the crate with a stuffed Kong. Take the kids and sit in the car for a while or go for
a drive. Knowing your dog can be successful now, will make the “normal” routine that much easier.
At this point, most families are either working from home or homeschooling kids who are home. Use the time that you are usually working on projects to teach your dog that midday is time for rest. Block them into a bedroom, or crate them for a period of time while you are home and working. This is the most undervalued skill I see in most family dogs. Knowing my dog can sit quietly in a crate while I get some work done, gives me peace of mind that they are fine with being alone, and when I do have to leave the house. I know they are not going to hurt themselves or destroy my house.
What if you have a problem?
If you do discover that your dog cannot handle being separated from you and the family, contact a professional as soon as you think you have an issue. Separation Anxiety protocol takes time to work through and now is the perfect setup to make some great progress before you go back to normal. The protocol is not difficult but it does require time and effort to reach the successful outcome you hope for.