Graduate Dog Training Pandemic Style

Dog Training during a global pandemic is not only possible, it’s proven! Here is a great big round up of all the dog training graduates that have persevered through the masks, and distancing, through the scary times before lock down and the surreal times after that. Congratulations and my most sincere “thank you” to all the pet parents that have allowed me to coach them, and their wonderful pups in these most strange of days.

Dog Training Grads Before We Knew

In January and February, all things were a go. Little did we know what was about to through us off the trail in March 2020.

Dog Training Suspended for Months

In the middle of March, the store was locked down. No customers, no classes, no training – the store was closed to foot traffic. The pet parents in the middle of sessions were given options to continue in private, one on one set ups, but the more the corona virus spread, the more obvious it was that even dog training was not worth the risk of humans getting sick. Pet parents did the best they could with the materials they had.

I stayed on through the lock down, working alongside eight colleagues who also chose to help people keep animals fed and in good health with essential supplies while the unsettling pandemic raged on. We pulled together, did the work of 35 staff during long shifts of stressful undertakings.

Dog Training in New Normal

As I put this post together, Niagara Falls and other Ontario regions are fully engaged in a second wave of pandemic infections. Recounting the day by day, week by week, month over month transmogrification of what is dog training in a retail store during a global epidemic is entirely too daunting. Facebook posts can fill in some of the blanks. Perhaps I will post more as I am able to process the implications.

In the meantime, I do suspect there is and will be a generation of puppies that were brought home just before and during the worst of the lockdown that will have more than the average challenge in working towards best behaviour. The lack of socialization (in its widest definition) has put them and their people at a certain disadvantage.

I hope I can continue to help coach responsible pet parents in bringing out the best in their animal companions through our efforts in dog training. I send vibes to the universe on a daily basis, energy to help people have extra patience in working through whatever comes their way, to keep dogs in homes in spite of back-to-work demands, school schedules, and strained resources. Though many markers point to the contrary, positive thoughts and hard work may count towards keeping the animal shelters and rescues empty of homeless creatures, and people dedicated to their new furry family members.

More than 100 dogs during this crazy interrupted year, over 3,000 hours of dog training, more to come and still in the game …

Yours in good behaviour,

Judith

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