During the pandemic, many people working from home found they had more time on their hands, so they decided to get a dog. With pandemic restrictions now easing, however, many of those same people are heading back to the workplace, leaving their intelligent, energetic dogs at home—alone.
For some dogs, the separation anxiety is more than they can handle, leading to behavioural problems such as incessant barking, chewing and defecating. If you find yourself in this stressful situation, the following tips can help ease the transition.
Kennel training makes sense for all dogs, and they learn to love their den-like crate. At home, a kennel serves as a sanctuary, where the dog can rest or sleep. On the road, it’s the safest way to transport a dog. The familiarity of the kennel also serves to keep the dog calm while travelling.
Dogs should have plenty of daily exercise, including long morning and evening walks to tucker them out. Getting them to run alongside you as you bike is another good option. For an even more intense workout, try “bikejoring,” where the dog pulls you along on your bicycle. A tired dog is a good dog!
Gun dogs love to search, chase and retrieve, so incorporate those activities into their daily routine. Stimulate their brain by getting them to search for treats or toys, run agility courses, obey handling commands and learn new skills or tricks.
You can use today’s internet technology to check in on dogs that are home alone. Specialty webcams and smartphone apps allow owners to watch, talk to and even dispense treats to their dogs; they’ll even send alerts if the dogs are misbehaving.