Please don’t put your Covid Dog in the Donate Pile.
It’s that time of year when we all look around our houses and begin tidying up. Being a minimalist, I enjoy this ritual. However, looking at social media and watching the animal shelters fill up, I realize that now is about the time that people will have regrets about that dog or cat they rescued when the pandemic began.
Maybe it’s that feeling of impending freedom that feeds this trend. It’s possible that your dog has developed separation anxiety since you have almost never left her alone at home. Another likelihood is that the young dog is right in the middle of the teenager phase. Just as in human teenagers this phase is tricky because a puppy that wasn’t taught that calm behavior is the most rewarding behavior is now an out of control puppy in a big dog’s body.
It’s easy to understand. The dogs in these different scenarios weren’t given enough guidance to set them up with the necessary life skills for a long harmonious family dog experience. I like to think of all dogs, whether they were a rescue or purchased from a breeder, as a piece of clay just waiting to be molded into the shape we prefer them to be.
Please understand, that I’m not one to shame anybody for this situation; I have made plenty of mistakes with my dogs over the years. You probably didn’t do behavior shaping with your dog because you simply didn’t know it would be important down the line. The good news is it’s never to late to start teaching dogs all of the things that they need to know.
Now is the time to find a local dog trainer who is educated and certified. Then patiently follow the treatment plan he or she prepares for you and your sweet pup. Of course, I’m happy to help you. Feel free to reach out to me and we can begin repairing your relationship with your four-legged family member.