Tips for training your dog during the COVID-19 pandemic

Now more than ever, with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are cautious about interacting with others. It's important to stay healthy and to ensure the health and safety of others! Keeping your social distance, washing your hands frequently, and staying home if you aren't feeling well. These are all pertinent habits to have right now.

If you have a dog who needs training, finding solutions can be tricky. But, don't worry - you're not alone in this process. Here are some tips to help you train:

No matter what the world is experiencing, if you have a dog - taking care of them is always a priority. And, one might say that having a dog who needs work on their manners may require a little extra attention. Distractions, high energy levels, and overall rambunctious behaviors can be hard to deal with if you're working from home or working more demanding hours during the COVID-19 pandemic. These simple additions to your routine can be lifesavers - for both you and your pup!

1. 15-20 minutes can go a long way!

Taking 15-20 minutes out of your day to work on some simple commands with your dog can make a huge difference. Some great commands to practice are:

  • "Sit"

  • "Place

  • "Drop it"

  • "Leave it

  • "Spin"

  • "Paw"/ "Shake"

  • "Sit Pretty"/ "Beg"

If your dog doesn't know some of these commands - even better! Teaching your dog a new command can be even more fun for both of you to work on together. Engaging your dog's mind with a new challenge is a wonderful way to get energy out of them, push them to be even better than they were before, and most importantly - for bonding!

If you're looking for new ways to push your dog, or are simply looking for more training advice, I urge you to connect with the Busy Dog FaceBook page or Instagram, as we post multiple videos a day with fun training tips and more!


2. Training Walks

Walking your dog is already an incredibly important habit to foster. But with nowhere to go and nothing to do - there's no better time than now! Taking your dog on a training walk is a great way to train with real-life distractions while also getting out all of those jittery feelings you may have built up inside of you.

So, what do you practice on a training walk anyways? Here are some of Busy Dog's favorite things to do on a training walk:

  • "Side" - This is when your dog sits next to you when you stop walking.

  • "Heel" - This is when your dog walks with his paws at your heel, or slightly behind you.

  • "Look" - This is where your dog gives you eye contact when commanded.

  • "Leave it" - This should be used when asking your dog to ignore something (people, other dogs, trash, etc.)

  • "Explore" - This is when your dog has permission to move past your side. They can sniff their surroundings, play in the grass, or simply just walk ahead.

  • NOT greeting dogs & people - Not greeting is probably one of the hardest things for a dog. This is because they are extremely social creatures. Getting to say 'hi' to another dog or person is a big deal! And it's great when they know how to properly perform greeting. But, it's even better when they can calming sit to the side and allow the dog or person to pass without jumping or losing their focus (which should be on you)!

  • Any other tricks you'd like! - Training walks are also a great time to practice any other commands you may be working on with your dog. Commands like 'roll over', 'sit pretty', or 'place'. Make it your own and have fun!


3. Virtual At-home Training

If there are specific behavioral issues or general training needs that you have, virtual at-home training is a great way to train your dog during the pandemic! And Busy Dog is offering two easy ways to do it. Here they are:

Private Virtual Program -

This program is similar to our one-on-one in-home training program. You will receive your customized training plan that's specific to your needs. We will meet over Zoom for 1hr sessions, once a week.

Click here to schedule your virtual training sessions.

"20 Days of Training" Series on YouTube -

This is a training series that Busy Dog will be launching on April 6th. We will be posting a new video every single day until April 25th as a way for us all to have fun training our dogs!

Subscribe to the Busy Dog YouTube for updates on videos.

The pandemic is a serious matter, and it is important that we all do our part to stay healthy and reduce exposure to others. Like I said, keeping your social distance, washing your hands frequently, and staying home if you aren't feeling well. These are all pertinent habits to have right now. I urge you to train with your dog for a few minutes a day (15-20 minutes) as a great way to bond and engage with them. Go on a daily training walk to work on your dog's ability to perform with distractions of a safe distance. Practice whatever you'd like on the walks, make it your own and have fun! Lastly, I invite you to solve your specific training problems through a private virtual program, and please join Busy Dog on April 6th for our "20 Days of Training" series by subscribing to our YouTube!