Has anyone found their dog has a different temperament?  I’ve noticed it!  The dogs that have come through my door recently have changed.

Pre-lockdown due to Corona Virus, I was making headway with dogs that came to me who were anxious.  That included mouthing me, nipping as well as other stress body language signs such as shaking, agitation, freezing/still.  I worked with these dogs and we really had started making some changes.  Then we went went into lockdown!  Their parents were at home all the time, their routine was suddenly changed, some were/are getting more walks than normal.  Dogs love a routine and whilst some will say they can’t differentiate time, I am not convinced!  My two will certainly let me know when its dinner time!

Dogs will know when the dog walker is at the door to collect them to go with the pack for a walk, they know when you are walking up the path to come into the house, they know when its bed time.  Change in routine has quite an impact on dogs.  When we have dogs boarding, it takes them a couple of days to settle into our routine.  Some take to it no problem whilst other dogs get frightened and anxious.  We always know that after 2/3 days, they will begin settle and relax.

Its the same on the grooming table, familiarity makes a huge difference.  Of course dogs may not like being groomed, so they may become anxious and frightened at the groomers causing them to lash out.  I work a bit differently at The Laundromut.  I don’t like forcing dogs to be groomed – it is an unnecessary evil!  Dogs want to be outside playing in mud or curled up on the sofa!  So, I make it as pleasant an experience as possible.  I recently completed Low Stress Handling Techniques to Silver Certification level (highest level at the moment) which means that I have learnt how to handle dogs in a stress-free manner, causing no harm or further anxiety.

The dogs I have seen so far that are anti-grooming, have definitely gone back to where we were before coming to me.  I guess consistency is key with grooming, particularly anti-grooming dogs.  I offer dogs a meet and treat before grooming and we can decide on the best way forward from there.  That might include a few sessions with NO grooming until they get used to the environment.  Dogs are so sensitive aren’t they!  I had a German Shepherd in recently, who had been re-homed.  What a beautiful big, majestic boy he is!  But absolutely petrified of everything!

Some people won’t have been able to walk or socialise their dog as much. This will no doubt bring a difference in behaviours when life resumes – whatever that may look like

So our dogs are going to be affected by lockdown too.  It’s going to take time for us to get back to what life was before …