Have you been thinking of getting a puppy for some time? The lockdown might have provided you with the perfect opportunity. But there are many crucial things you have to consider before getting a puppy during the lockdown.
Is this the perfect time to get a puppy?
Financially it can be difficult but timewise it’s perfect. You don’t have to take time off work to spend time with your puppy, and to learn to live together, and train him or her. I purposely didn’t say socialize him, as it is pretty much impossible.
How we did it.
We had a litter of Lakeland terriers recently and people came to see them just before lockdown set in. Once the puppies were old enough to go to their new homes we had to deliver them for the simple reason that collecting a puppy was not an essential journey. By the Kennel Club rules, we were able to deliver puppies to their new homes.
It was strange to social distance when we delivered them. There was a quick bit of information given and then we had to leave. It just didn’t feel right… but not much does these days I guess. I missed the little things like showing the new owner how to brush the puppy. Thank God for the internet so that we can Facetime and still help them as much as we can.
It’s lockdown and you’ve got a new puppy.
Even though to some extent, it’s nice to be at home with him all the time, it’s not going to be like this forever. The time will come when you’ll have to go back to work, to the hairdresser, or the doctor and it’s very important to prepare your puppy for such a situation.
You can start by leaving your puppy in a separate room for a short period of time after saying a quiet goodbye (not a big scene with a long speech about how sorry you are for leaving him or her). Fend off the tears and refrain from anxious hugging because your puppy won’t understand what’s happening and why you’re stressed and worried. Once you leave the room, keep quiet and still so that your puppy knows what it feels like to be alone. After a few minutes return to the room and this way your puppy will learn quickly that when you leave you’ll always return. Don’t forget that you can use Calming Floral Spray on yourself and the puppy to help you to adjust!
Noises & sounds.
If you can’t go out with your puppy yet, perhaps because he/she hasn’t had its second vaccination or because you are self-isolating, you can improvise when it comes to different sounds. I would recommend to get the COA Noises & Sounds CD. This CD contains everyday sounds from inside and outside the home. This is a proven technique for the prevention of sound phobias, recommended by vets and animal behaviourists. This CD has a wide variety of sounds and comes with a comprehensive training manual.
Just as sounds are important, so is physical contact – and I’m not just talking about stroking your puppy. One day your puppy will be handled by a vet, a groomer or a show judge and he/she needs to be prepared for it. While your puppy is on your lap, stroke her ears, flip them up and look inside. Touch the tail, vertebrae by vertebrae over the whole length, and gently stroke the legs from the top to the toes. Softly massage the toes and look in between the pads. This applies to the mouth too. Gently open the mouth and check the teeth and gums.
Regular brushing & combing.
Lastly, regular brushing and combing have to be introduced from an early age. You can find a few useful tips in my blog “REAL puppy grooming tips”.