Training your COVID puppy
For many, it seemed like a heartwarming idea: rescuing a pup from the local shelter to help battle loneliness during the coronavirus quarantine. From the minute the dog came home, they could do no wrong — until, for some owners, shoes were chewed on, socks went missing, carpets were stained, and furniture became glorified dog beds. Sometimes, other unexpected behaviors came through, like pulling on the leash, baring teeth over scraps, or barking
Now is a good time for pet owners to find a trainer to help work through issues they and the dog may be experiencing. For starters, consider the type of training that will work best. For example, if most of the ill-gotten behaviors are happening within the home, then an in-home consultation is worth looking into. If behaviors such leash pulling or poor social skills happen while outside the home, then perhaps an in-person class is suitable, only if available.
According to certified dog trainers, look for a professional who uses reward-based training to teach and modify behavior. Another resource is the American Kennel Club. Ask friends, family and your veterinarian for referrals. You can also check the BBB directory to find professional dog trainers near you.
Then, set up an interview with the trainer to ask questions regarding their training ethics, rates, insurance, and methodology. Request proof of the most current certifications and what types of cases they’ve worked with before your situation. Many trainers are offering consultations and trainings online because of coronavirus restrictions.