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Start preparing your dog now for when social distancing slows down

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Posted at 4:00 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 09:55:34-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Despite being closed, Canine Academy in Clarence has kept busy due to the number of people buying dogs during COVID-19.

"People are definitely running into training snafu's and socialization problems because they can't get the dogs out and about," Alex Defoucault said.

According to PetPoint, a data management system that looks at animal adoption needs across the United States, dog adoptions in mid-March were up almost 11% year-over-year, and fostering was up almost 800%.

That means more of a need to train these animals. According to Defoucault, generic things like potty and crate training can still be done normally as if COVID-19 wasn't going on, but socialization (which is the most important from weeks 8 to 24 for puppies) will need to be taught through unconventional means.

"Try to give your puppy a crash course with everything you can have at home," Defoucault said. "So set up Amazon boxes as an obstacle course, put an umbrella in your living room and have the dog eat treats off it so the dog is used to eating off an uneven surface, walking [the dog] across a tarp take them around your yard and get them to walk on a wood pile or stairs."

Canine Academy is also hoping people start preparing their dogs for the eventual return to a normal schedule. Preparing the dog now would be better so there is not a shock and an increase to separation anxiety.

"Crate early and often even if you don't need to," Defoucault said. "Get the puppy used to you leaving so even if you don't have to go anywhere, put the dog in the crate and drive around a little bit."

Canine Academy has suggestions on puppy training, separation anxiety and much more available on their website here.

You can find more resources from the Canine Academy below