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How's your dog coping with the pandemic?

We were lucky that five-month-old Normie was able to finish all but one class of his first obedience course and had a chance to be socialized by the end of last February. He still loves everyone he encounters - dog or human.

We've had our jabs, so he's set for a training evaluation on February 28 with his old (and greatly loved) trainer. I think he's doing okay, but loose leash walking is far from perfect and we're working on longer down stays.

Our major accomplishment is front door manners. He gets in one bark when he's startled, then one of us says STOP and he comes to us for a treat. No more rushing the door and barking. And he's mastered 'wait' at doors so no rushing out.

How's doggy life going? Are you getting out to classes? parks? training on your own or by video? Am I the only one facing leaving a dog for longer alone times that he's been accustomed to and worried about how that will go?
 

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We’re lucky that our day-to-day schedules haven’t changed much with the pandemic, and won’t change much after, but I do wonder how Peggy will handle it when we can finally have guests over again. The last time was early January 2020. She was only 7 months old! Since then it’s only been a handful of people doing maintenance or repairs and her excitement is understandably through the roof.

Thankfully, we’ve been diligent about weekly outdoor play dates, treating them as essential exercise not only for Peggy but for us, too. We keep far away from the other humans, and always wear masks. Peggy’s manners with humans have improved considerably with just this one hour a week. Being around dog savvy folks who won’t reward her for jumping up or other rudeness is so helpful, even though there are just a few of us there. It’s also been fun watching her doggy skills evolve. We’ve discovered she’s a wonderful referee and will skillfully intervene when things get too rough.

She’s also gotten to meet horses, ponies, and a variety of dogs, heard distant gunshots, played in the changing light of the seasons (including almost complete darkness), etc. — all so important to socialization.

Her mind and body are spent after these sessions and she’s dozy for days. We also experience a certain contentment afterwards. Social time is essential, even for a couple of introverts. I can’t wait until my parents can visit again. Even though I expect Peggy to be annoying at first, I have no reason to believe she won’t quickly settle into these new (old) routines.
 

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Galen only got one series of teen classes before I decided I wasn't comfortable with continuing classes at an indoor venue. Luckily he's not my first dog, so he's on track as far as obedience basics even without attending classes. He's got all the skills my previous guys had at the end of their obedience 101 classes.

I'm lucky the pandemic means I can work from home along with many neighbors. He gets a lot of walks during daylight hours. Consequently he has better leash manners than either Pogo or Snarky had at his age. He sees people on almost every walk. He hasn't developed the reactivity towards Amazon vans that Pogo had, because he's seen so many they are boring. He's met more kids than Pogo and Snarky had at his age.

However, he's still not where I would like him to be, socially. He tends to get nervous around people who seem out of place to him. Out of place often means something is unusual with the way the person moves or with their silhouette. He has reacted to someone limping because of a stroke, someone walking with a cane, delivery men carrying large boxes, people carrying lawn chairs, and people wearing poofy winter hats. Fortunately one of the poofy hat wearers was a dog lover and totally understood the pandemic puppy phenomenon. She took the time to coo over him in a friendly way. The next day he saw her and was delighted to greet her, poofy hat and all. Now I just need to find more friendly strangers.
 

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I am also worried about the pandemic puppy syndrome... We go to a dog park a lot and are starting to see them trickle in. People who have an almost 1 year old dog who is driving them nuts so decide to bring them to the park to run off steam, but the dog has never really met any one (human or dog) outside of the family. It can be... Interesting. Some Annie and I can rehab to playing nicely pretty quickly, others are nervous snarly messes.

Adding to it - dog classes have been cancelled on and off for the last year, and even when allowed to run many clubs are not running. The facility I go to mentioned that if the 3 trainers in the area she would recommend, she has been the only one offering classes for most of the pandemjx. Both CKC clubs within 1 hrs drive havent held classes in a year. The rest don't have their own facility and with community halls being shut down, haven't been able to run. Consequently, most sports classes have been cancelled so she can run more puppy classes - she even ran puppy classes over zoom during the shutdown, and has mentioned she is already seeing severe issues with covid puppies.

Annie's manners towards our rare guests has definitely gotten worse.

I dread going back to work even part time in the office and the resulting seperation anxiety, especially as it would likely require me to move away again, so Annie wouldn't have my mom/Trixie to reassure her. I do try to leave her at least every day or two, but usually she has Trixie to keep her company.
 

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Our masked daughter actually came inside the house this Wednesday and sat on the sofa.

Normie did his best to convince us all that she had come to visit him and that we were free to invite our own guests.

He ended up on his leash. We're working on better 'stays.'
 

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Asta - pandemic adult spoo - training seems to have been forgotten. Mostly with basic commands. He may be testing me. Most concerned with Recall so it is back to the long line that I hadn't have to use since he was a puppy. His most important commands that help with my bipolar disorder still solid.
 

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I think adjustment to our regular schedules will be very hard for Bb. He's hardly been home alone ever. He has also not been in an elevator with other dogs and non family, something else that will be part of his regular life. But who knows when regular life will resume? I guess I'll make a plan then.
 

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Remy isn’t even close to being properly socialized. My husband and I don’t leave our house or backyard and it’s too cold to get together with friends outside. When the weather gets better we’re going to have a lot of catching up to do. I’m hoping to get out in the neighborhood more, a little bit each day. We’re working on getting used to the car which is going very slowly - he’s completely terrified anywhere near the car. No training classes at all. That’s another thing I’m looking forward to post COVID.

Remy is just 6 months old, so I keep reminding myself that there is plenty I can teach him on my own. I’m also hoping that our strong bond will help him when he encounters new situations once the world opens up.

He’s not used to being left alone but I’m hoping he’ll be able to deal with it when the time comes. I wonder if I’ll be able to deal with being away from him!
 

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We’ve been doing masked-up backyard play dates with other dogs for our five month old Remy. We’re reasonably confident that if the adults are outside, masked and keep a minimum of six feet apart, transmission risks are low, and as a result, he has great social skills with other dogs. But nobody comes inside our house so his door-greeting manners are taught, but untested by strangers. He’ll sit to greet family coming home, but I know strangers will be different.

I do worry about when the pandemic numbers drop and my husband starts traveling for work again, and my children return to school. Right now we’re all packed together in this house, but eventually (one day!) three-quarters of the family will be off and about again.
 

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Life as a pandemic mutt has not changed for us. We are usually in the house anyways, and our daily walks are the same. We still go to the lake and deacon gets to be around people, and we've been to petstores, and to close families houses. Its much different having an adult dog during this time, I feel bad for all the puppy and young adult dog owners. Deacon is a senior.

I too worry about things going back to "normal" @Thomazine . Schools are already to try and resume as normal, even though cases are NOT going down. Before winter break they tried to open, and it lasted all of two days before they had too many cases to continue.

There are 6 people in my household, and only my mom leaves the house, 2 days a week, to work. My dad works from home, and my siblings and I do school from home. I personally have not left the house, other than to see my close family since July. In July I had two friends come over for my birthday. I'm quite lonely, but dogs help.
 

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We were able to get a lot of socializing, training, classes, etc in for Bobby before the pandemic as he is 2 years old. I can SO empathize with the difficulty of raising a puppy during this difficult time. We are beyond grateful and have said that to ourselves many times.

With that being said, I do think the pandemic has had one effect on Bobby in that he has become a bit skittish when meeting new adult people. I have changed my approach and it has helped but we have definitely noticed a skittishness that didn’t used to be there. Now that could be his adult personality that has kicked in as I have heard that poodles can be reserved. There definitely could be other factors, I’m not sure. We socialized Bobby well with people and dogs during his first year but then most of that stopped due to the pandemic. One of our favorite pre-pandemic activities was sitting outside the library or the park across our street and greet people. That all stopped of course.

While he has been able to do a couple of training classes, we haven’t been able to go any further. He’s worked through all the basic obedience classes and his CGC but that’s pretty much all that our training center has been offering this past year. We are waiting patiently for other classes to open up. He does go to his daycare once a week so that helps with dog socializing which he has no issues with.

All in all, I don’t think the pandemic has affected Bobby terribly but I definitely think the skittishness would look a bit different if the ability to greet folks regularly hadn’t stopped.
 

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I think the pandemic has been super helpful in getting Ziggy to where he needs to be with regards to separation anxiety. If I had brought him home and then left for work for 8+ hours a day, his anxiety would have gotten worse. We have been able to practice every day desensitizing him to the sounds of me leaving and very slowly extending the time he is home alone. By keeping him under threshold, he is now able to be crated and home alone for as long as I am comfortable letting him hold his pee. Out of the crate he is more anxious, but we are up to a relaxed and calm 45 minutes.

I've also had so much extra time to get to know him, bond, work on a solid recall, and now do off leash hikes. It looks like I may never need to go back into the office again at my current job, but if I ever need to, I feel like we have build a very solid foundation for bonding and training (and hopefully he will be a bit older and calmer).
 
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