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WFH with dogs

Dogs working from home during COVID-19

Covid-19 or Circuit Breaker (CB) was implemented on 6 April 2020, every single member of your family and your dogs need some form of adjustments. Some forms of adjustment might be an understatement. Parents are working from home, kids are on home-based learning, the domestic helper is not getting their deserved day-off. And the list goes on and on.

I have also been reading on increasing domestic violence cases, spouses, kids and animals abused are rampant. I have read on a Border Collie that has been abandon in a metal cage in a river in the United States. Thanks to the good Samaritan, this boy is safe in good hands.

In a typical household of two working parents, with two or three kids and domestic helper, the household will require five computers and working space. In this COVID-19 situation, as we often heard, we are moving into the NEW NORMAL.

We are not going to discuss how humans going to be accustom to the new norm. The truth is to be said of our dogs. WFH with your dogs, suddenly, your dogs are seeing you every second of the day; 24x7. Just imagine, if you are a hot-headed and quick to pick on their errors, your poor dogs will see an increased 'hard' hand can be a turnoff.

Dealing with Coronavirus and Pets, I have Six Tips for everyone to stay sane, positive and reinforcing.

Keep a good routine

Can dogs detect Covid-19? There is no substantial scientific evidence that coronavirus can be pass from People to Dog and vice versus. Let keep a good routine. Regular walks, play-time, resting time, meals time and training needs to be regular. Our dog is a habitual animal, and they will find comfort in similarity and consistency. Don't be confused with the long hours working from home, you need to set some rest time and it goes well with chilling out just by the side of our dog.

Allow good rest ME time,

Do create some ME time for you and your dog. I would always recommend some nap time, rest time and relax time for our dog. The ME time is good for our dog and yourself to keep your personal time without distraction. Having able to totally do what you love, like listening to Podcast, Music and catching up with some reading, will satisfy both the dog and you.

What your dog need is a resting place, a corner to retreat into when the tension at home is high. And with the constant attention given by the family, might be too much for your young puppy to take. Rest time is also used to recover from the play or attention by the family.

Crate training puppy while working from home is a must. If you need more information on the benefits of crate training, you can check out my previous blog post here.

Exercise your dog

Keeping your dog at home for extended hours might do more harm than good. However, if the law permits, let work out some schedules to exercise your dog. Daily walks, a long walk, play-time and training are some forms of good exercise. Your dog needs mental, physical and emotional stimulation. A happy and obedient dog is a satisfied dog.

Working From Home has made people lazy, not wanting to step out of the house. It will definitely affect your dog. Especially those who own active and hyper dogs. You will be fine with a couch potato, however for some active breed of dogs, if you leave them unattended your house will be wiped up like hit by a tornado.

Play Games with your dog

Even if you can't go out, you can line up some games to play with your dog at home. Playing games are stimulating, bonding and building trust on both the dog-human relationships. Here are some games I will play with my dogs.

  1. Hide-and-Seek for dog and owner,

  2. Scent work,

  3. Mind game like a teaser, and

  4. Find the toy.

Building a good reinforcement regime is like building good reinforcement history. Dog learn from their past experiences, be it, positively or negatively, a healthy reinforcement history, provides a history of good learning experiences where it will help to keep the good behaviours repeating.

Do not stop reinforcing your dog. Once the reinforcement end, so will be your dog's motivation. Reinforcement can be food, treats toys, pat, hugs, as long your dog like the reinforcer, your reinforcement will not work.

Just some food for thought. Will you continue to go to work, if your boss not paying you your salary? Why do you think your dog will be motivated to respond to you if you have nothing to exchange?

Grooming & Relax time.

Basic grooming like brushing, bathing, cleaning eyes and ears can be a wonderful experience if it's done properly. Grooming builds bond, love and care with your dog. If you love your dog, you will want to groom him.

Try some relaxing moment, like watching the movie together, have a swim, read a book or just bonding your dog will enhance your relationship.

Dogs at home during this WFH period require good management. What will happen when we all are back to work? Will, your dog exhibit some form of separation anxiety? It will be another episode of getting used to, we need to go for out to work and will be back for them.

Have fun, stay safe and keep positive.

Dexter Sim

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