How does the weather affect your dogs?
Just been out into our secure field to give our dogs a run and despite the wind and rain, they loved being outdoor with us. But they stayed close and were not as keen to explore for long. They didn’t like the creaking trees or the wind howling. Rain they could cope with, however, as soon as we chose to return home for coffee, they were straight by our sides and quickly settled down on their beds. I am not sure they enjoyed their trip out. Which is why whenever I work with my private clients, I recommend that they record the weather conditions and how they feel – it is so important to recognise that sometimes there is something bigger going on rather than just your dog playing up. If your dog is already under some stress, bad weather can make life a bit of a challenge.
I have had the pleasure to work with several people recently who have had their lives changed by their new rescue dogs. One lady has learnt all about flushing out wounds and nursing her rescue back to good health. Now after months of care, her dog has reverted to a nervous wreck who fears everything. We think this is because while she was in pain with her injury, that took all her energy to keep going. The pain overtook the worry of people. Now the pain has gone, she has reverted. This lady and her husband must start all over again. They will succeed, but this little dog has changed their lives. Another dog seemed fine for a couple of days and then reverted to the scared dog that her new owners had seen when first choosing to rescue her. We found that the poor dog was overwhelmed with all the love and care she suddenly got. Funny isn’t it, that we quickly expect dogs to feel better when we give them what we think they need. Both these dogs are now getting what they do need – peace and quiet and no pressure to do anything. Short walks or just garden exercise for a fortnight with a gentle routine will help.
We noticed even more during lockdown, how we feel affects our dogs. If you are stressed, anxious or worse, our dogs know this. It’s what we love about them most. However. many young dogs will really act up when you are not on your game. They won’t come back when called, pull on the lead and generally naughty and cause chaos wherever they are. Keeping things as safe as you can, is the best way to deal with it. Tidy up and remove articles that could be tempting, keep dogs on lead or long lines if they won’t come back or hire a secure field to give them and you a stress-free walk. Don’t add to your pressure and #bekind to yourselves.
If you look at my website on the dogtraininghelpandsupport page you will find lots of resources to help support you, including tips to keep your dog occupied. Maybe you can teach them scentwork or challenge yourself to go through the various projects to build the bond with you.
If work or life in general is hard for you now, you may find joining our groups helpful. Most of us have been there and it is a place where you will just get the support you need with no judgement. The Walkabout Way dog training groups meet on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at our private training centre in Old Idsworth, near Rowlands Castle in East Hampshire. All dogs and owners are welcome after they have been assessed and worked with us privately. This makes sure that you join our group therapy sessions with some idea of what to do and you are not struggling. With plenty of training support and a friendly ear, it really is the best place to be.