Due to the Coronavirus crisis, many more people are adopting a dog. Working from home means they have more free time, and a greater need for company.
Translated by Adriana Dancu
At DoggyDoe in Leeuwarden, for example, many people brought their puppies for training, and even though group lessons are canceled due to the Coronavirus, individual courses are still allowed. Among other things, owners learn what to do when they go for a walk with the dog.
“You have to teach a puppy things. Otherwise, how do they become house trained, and how do you make sure that they sleep at night and not bark?” says Selma Bayrak from the DoggyDoe dog school in Leeuwarden. “Socialising is a bit difficult in these times, but they have to learn to deal with a busy environment. The training has to occur in the first period of a dog’s life, otherwise they will be disadvantaged for the rest of their lives.”
If a young dog is not used to stimuli, they will remain sensitive and afraid of it all their life, says Bayrak. She also notices that people who were already planning to get a dog have done so earlier, because they are more at home due to the Coronavirus. In addition to exercising at home, says Bayrak, owners must also take the dog outside: “They also have to learn to listen to their names outside the home, because there is more distraction there than at home.”
Selma Bayrak sees that it is a lot busier in the nature reserves as well: “A year ago you could walk alone in the forest, but nowadays you meet a lot of people. And a lot of dogs as well, and they don’t all listen perfectly. Owners are better off keeping the dog with them in such a situation. Losing dogs in the woods is not a good idea. For the dogs it is nice that they can run freely, but it is also important that they don’t bother the environment.”
Tips for non-dog owners
Bayrak also has tips for people who don’t have a dog, but want to know what to do when a dog approaches them. “The dog reacts to movement; it triggers them and they see it as a game. So, my tip is, if you are walking or running outside, keep calm and don’t move. Often you start moving your arms out of a kind of a shock reaction, but keep them still. And if you are running, walk around the dog in a wide arc, or better still, stop.”
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