With the current health-crisis of 2020 seeing many of us forced into isolation, out of work or some setting up their home-office and working remotely, for those who are needing to implement the Work-from-home change, a typical workday would have previously seen us leaving the house in the morning and returning 6 to 8 hours later.
While you may be adjusting to your new circumstances, something else you may need to consider is your new fury co-worker.
The Dog. For your dog, this is also a change in their daily routine. For most dogs, the change would be welcomed as nothing would please them more than to hang out with their human, but while we navigate this uncertain time, we must remember that the new norms won’t be around forever. Eventually, things will return to normal, so it is important that your dog is still able to cope with the alone time he previously had. Although the notion of hanging out with your dog all day may seem like a wonderful alternative to working away from home, constant access can be detrimental. When a dog has too much access to its owner, it can be a recipe for a series of behavioural issues and can potentially cause separation anxiety.
The Importance of Alone Time
If you are now spending a lot more time at home, you may be allowing your dog to spend his days curled up beside you, following you from room to room or sitting beneath your desk but as much as we love their companionship, it is important to give them some “alone time”.
Giving your dog sufficient time on his own is crucial if they are to establish or maintain their own independence away from you. The ability for them to be calm and confident when left alone is significant in deterring any anxious behaviours relating to separation.
If your dog becomes used to your presence throughout the day, this will become the new normal. When we are able to return to our places of work, the sudden change can be detrimental or confusing. Think about it like this; Your dog spends every waking (and sleeping moment) by your side. He is comfortable and content with his human and knows that this is all part of his daily routine. Imagine if you go away on holidays or your working situation changes, and you no longer work from home. As dogs do not speak English, the sudden change in your lifestyle is hard to convey. He isn’t used to being left alone and as a result, he becomes anxious and stressed. This can lead to constant barking, digging and
destructive chewing. What To Do To Help Maintain Their Independence
Keep it as normal as possible.
If your dog spends his days outside resting while you work, there is no reason why this cannot continue.
Time outside where they cannot see you is perfectly fine. Your dog will typically rest throughout the day so allowing them the opportunity to sleep, rest and be calm as they would when you’re away is important to maintaining their ability to “just-be” without constant stimulation.
If your dog will be inside the house, implement the use of a Training Mat. This Mat can be positioned anywhere in the home and if instructed, they can find their place to rest that doesn’t involve being under your feet all day. It will also give them to same opportunity to rest without interruption. Mat training is also fantastic for teaching our dogs how to be calm even if we have to walk into another room for a short time.
Found By The Hound have a fantastic range of Placement Training Mats. Visit our Online-store to view our collection.
Be Mindful Of Bad Habits
The change in your dog’s day may spark some excitement. Being allowed inside all day whilst you are focusing on your work does not allow much opportunity to appropriately supervise (nor should you have to while you work).
If your dog doesn’t quite understand indoor boundaries, be mindful of his whereabouts in the home or cheeky habits may develop, like jumping up onto furniture.
Remember Folks, dogs will not understand that this is a temporary situation. Make sure you keep their day as normal as possible. Their independence and ability to cope is paramount to their happiness and resilience in varying circumstances.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Found By The Hound Team.