With the current Stay at Home order, more people are spending more time home or working from home. Some pets think that this should mean hours of petting or throwing the toy or hours of playing each day and that could mean poorly timed dog interruptions. Like this cute and cuddly dog:

Corona Virus & Dog Training Webinar

I did a free webinar last week with a few current clients and we had a great time. We talked about some Working from home training challenges and solutions. Watch the replay here-

“Stay” Webinar This Thursday

Since we had such a great time, I’m going to offer another free webinar this Friday! We are going to discuss Stay! Let’s help our dogs learn how to stay until invited to move.

Do you have any friends with dogs? Share the link with your friends so they can learn how to teach their dog’s stay too!
Thursday, April 9th at 6 pm Click here for the webinar link

How can we help our dogs choose not to interrupt us while we are working from home?

Starting the day with a nice long walk is a great way to burn off some of our dog’s energy. Even a short 20 minute walk around the neighborhood and letting our dogs check out the new smells left behind overnight is great.

For a lot of dogs this isn’t enough, including my own dogs. They need some mental brain games or running to really allow them to settle for a long period of time. I like to follow the morning walk with a short training session- just 10-20 treats each. We work on parts of our competition routines and you could reward your dog for paying attention to their name, or coming when called or sitting on cue or retrieving the toy and dropping the toy on cue. Remember reinforcement- rewards- are what builds behavior. Rewarding your dog for doing things you like (even if the dog did it without you telling the dog to do it) is the easiest and fastest way to increase how often your dog does these behaviors.

After our tiny 10 treats worth of training, my breakfast is typically ready and I’m ready to transition to my work from home area. A lot of dogs struggle with the transition between getting attention and relaxing. Feeding my dogs their breakfast at this point helps the dogs easily transition since they have something to do while I get started working. I prefer feeding them breakfast from a toy that I put their food in. It takes them 20 minutes to clean the toy instead of the typical 30 seconds.

I also look at my schedule for the day and look at how many video calls I have with dog owners. I like having the option of giving them another toy stuffed with a portion of their daily calories during every conference call or video chat. It’s easy for me to do and it reduces the likelihood that they start a giant play session in the middle of it.

Just to recap, my work from home tips are:

  • Take your dog for a walk first thing
  • Do a short training session
  • Look for 5-10 behaviors that your dog is doing that you like and reward those behaviors
  • Feed your dog breakfast (or a portion of their breakfast) as you begin your work from home tasks
  • Use food-stuffed toys to give your dog something to do when you need to reduce the likelihood of being interrupted

Work from home ideas for when to offer a food-stuffed toy

When the delivery person is about to arrive
As an alternative to feeding from a bowl
As a boredom buster
You are about to get on a conference call
During your meals
During TV time
During office work
When workers are in the backyard
You’re working on a project

What toy works best?

My dog has good taste! Toys that can be filled with a variety of ingredients

Medium to Large amount of food

Small amount of food

Bully Stick Holder to reduce swallowing the bully stick whole

Food stuffing ideas:

  • Canned dog food, Peanut butter, Canned pumpkin, Cheese, veggies. Mix together, stuff in toy & freeze.

My dog will eat anything! Toys that can be filled with dog kibble

Medium to Large Dog

Small Dog

I hope you’ll join us for our free webinar this Thursday night at 6 pm!