Is your dog wondering why you are home so much?
Routine helps the mind feel safe for most dogs and people. Something is calming about knowing what is coming next, don’t you agree?
Of course, right now no one knows what is coming next for us. But we can do our best to help our dogs feel comfortable by keeping their day to day routines the same.
I realize this is easier said than done. But if your dog is usually in her crate while you are at work, then still crate her (in a separate room) while you are working at home. If your dog goes to daycare, continue that routine.
Take walks at the same time the dog walker would have. Feed her at the same time. You get the idea… nothing else should change, other than the fact you are home.
How long it takes to form a habit for dogs
When I searched for a scientific answer to how long it takes a dog to form a habit, the answers vary from 3 weeks to 2 months or more.
Once we can get back to our normal routines, your dog will most likely slide right back into the way things were after a few weeks.
Changing schedules may induce bad behaviors
Like I said above, we all strive for consistency, including your dog. When life changes so drastically, your dog may start feeling unsure or scared. And many bad behaviors stem from either boredom or insecurity.
Work on building your dog’s confidence by working on simple training techniques. Nothing complicated here. Get a bag of yummy treats and train some fun tricks. Or maybe have some fun doing an obstacle course like the one we did with our dogs below. The key word is fun. Never make dog training scary or demanding. The goal is to get your dog’s brain working positively.
If your dog is the opposite and is getting over stimulated with everyone home, then take a few steps back and evaluate what can be changed to create calmness. Some down time for the dog and your kids can be a good thing! If your dog is normally crated while you are at work and the kids at school, then keep the crate time the same in a quiet room. If your dog normally has free roam of the house while you are out, then maybe use a bedroom for some quiet time away from the commotion.
The silver lining in every situation
Embrace this time you have together. Soon we will go back to work and school. There will come a time again that we will wish we had more time to spend with our families and dogs.
Take advantage of your time at home by getting outside, take a walk with your dog… even if you have a fenced backyard! Stop and take in all that mother nature has blessed us with. Take a deep breath of fresh air and be thankful for what we do have. This is a great time to strengthen your bond with your dog.
Source: Rescue Dogs 101