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People who are social distancing and working from home


have dogs that are not learning to be alone. I am now getting dogs that are unstable due to novice owners who do not know how to teach, and are showering their emotions on a different species that cannot understand how to respond, unless we teach them. Crate training as a tool to prevent problems is a vital option.


Establishing a safe place for the dog is a benefit to both dogs and owners. In this day and age, in my opinion, it is cruel not to train a dog to have a safe spot like a crate. Many people think they can train their own dog, with little


experience, armed with false premises, a lack of information, and the inability to effectively teach a dog to be a family member. Due to the economy or lack of jobs, moving, or changing schedules, dogs are about to pay a heavy price in these unprecedented times. Shelters are worried and trying to prepare themselves for an onslaught of surrendered dogs. Dogs that have had little training are demonstrative hostages.


They are constantly petted, carried, falsely reassured, and used as emotional teddy bears. People will be moving, getting evicted, becoming ill, or financially challenged. At this point, they will feel that re-homing the dog is their only choice. When people go back to work and kids back to school, separation anxiety will occur, with roughly 30% of dogs reacting to being left alone. The same dogs who have been with people almost nonstop, who have never learned to be alone or how to handle stress. Many are under- socialized due to stay-at-home orders. Love is just not enough. Shelters will be challenged due to staffing shortages and space


limitations. They will be presented with dogs that are reactive, fear- ful, anxious, and highly stressed after being isolated and with constant attention. We need to get ahead of the challenges when dogs begin losing their minds from suddenly being left alone or abandoned after all these months of being with their families. Dogs do not train themselves. Half the dogs in America think their name is “no” since it’s what they hear most often. Let’s get to “yes” with our dogs, and prepare them for


the changes in life. Training is teaching, communication, and relationship-building. Training is when you are no longer guessing, yelling, repeating commands that have never been taught, and blaming the dog with little or detrimental results. Get the communication and understanding going now. Crate


train your dog, teach necessary skills such as loose lead walking, sit, down, wait, come, and place. Make the training fun, learn how to teach, and reward wanted behaviors. Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that people are spend-


ing more time with their dogs. Make use of your time, now, by preparing your dog to be a well-mannered family member. Training creates confidence and a happy dog and owner. I had to build a relationship with Sam in order to rebuild his trust in humans. Relationship and communication help a dog to adjust to changes in your life and theirs.U


Brian Kilcommons, Master Dog Trainer, is offering free live Yweekly dog training webinars. Go to GreatDogsByBrian.com


www.TheNewBarker.com


THE NEW BARKER 63


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