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I am going back to work! How do I prepare my dog?

- Because of quarantine, my dog is used to me being at home now. How can I prepare him for when I have to go back to work, and he suddenly needs to be alone again? I cannot leave my house, so I find it hard to prepare him.

Dog trainer Steve Walsh at McCann dogs got this question in our podcast Unleashed. 

- This is a challenge right now. In our program, we have several hundred students each month that come through with their dogs, and this has been a pretty common question.

Routine and separation

Steve recommends trying to maintain a bit of routine and separation.

A crate can be a valuable tool in this situation. 

- Teaching my dogs to be comfortable in crates is important to me. When we go to events, visit someone, or my dogs have to go to the vet, they can stay there and be comfortable.

When Steve gets up in the morning, he follows a routine. After breakfast, they go for a walk, get home, and then he goes to his computer to start working. 

- I will put the dog away in another room. I give him a bone, tell him to lie down, and I make it like I’m going to work. I also close the door between us. 

Increase gradually

If your dog is very reliant on you, start with a short time and increase gradually.

Steve will let his dogs do whatever they want to do for a few hours and then come back. 

- I pretend that I was gone.

Dogs are adaptable

 Steve thinks the reality of people going back to work will probably be harder on the people than it is on the dogs.

- Dogs are also really adaptable. I think a lot of the dogs are going to be quite happy to get their sleeping time back! 

If you want to listen to the full episode, with more training tips, you can find the episode here.

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