A year after lockdown began in the UK, many of us are looking forward to spending more time outside our homes as restrictions begin to ease.
However, the thousands of pandemic puppies bought over the past 12 months, used to having their owners around all the time could struggle.
To help this lockdown generation and their owners prepare for newfound freedom, world-leading animal welfare charity Battersea has launched a new range of one-off virtual classes for dogs aged five to 18 months, tackling key training areas including separation anxiety and meeting new people.
Battersea’s Canine Behaviour and Training Manager, Rob Bays said: “As many of us prepare to start spending more time outside out home, whether it be to go into the office, visit friends or head to the pub, it’s vital we ensure our pets are also prepared for this big lifestyle change.
“There’s a whole generation of new dogs that don’t yet understand that lockdown life isn’t the norm, so we’re encouraging owners to do everything they can to get their young pets ready for the big changes that lie ahead. With the right training in place this potentially overwhelming transition can turn in to an exciting time for them, as they learn to make new friends and enjoy their own company.”
Other online classes available include learning to walk with a loose lead, ways to prevent resource guarding, the benefits and types of constructive play, and how to make sure every pet is happy in a multi-animal household. Owners are encouraged to mix and match which classes they would like to attend.
While the classes are currently restricted to dogs aged 18 months and under, Battersea is always here to help dogs of all ages. The charity runs a dedicated pet behaviour advice line as well as offering a variety of training advice online.
Last year over 1,000 owners called the behaviour team looking for help with their dog’s behaviour.
Rob added: “Rescues like Battersea are here to help owners long before they may need to make the difficult decision to give up their pet and we’d urge anyone struggling to care for their dog to get in touch. Whatever the problem, Battersea is always here to help, whether that be offering simple advice, walking an owner through different techniques or taking a dog in to our care and finding them a new home.”
Classes are currently available across April and May. You can check the Battersea website for specific dates and availability.
Classes are restricted to six dogs at a time, so places are limited. You can find out more, book a place on a class or register your interest for future classes at Battersea here.