How to socialize/familiarize your young puppy during COVID-19…a few ideas:
make a list of things you want to do with your puppy/dog — then make a second list of things that are associated with those activities. How many of those things can you still do with puppy during this isolation time?
For example — we do a lot of traveling with our dogs. Some things associated with that: riding in a crate in the car (check — we can do that right now), pottying in a variety of environments on a variety of surfaces (check — we can do that right now), hanging out on their mats while we eat a meal (check — we can do that right now), staying in hotels (no — we cannot do that right now), eating their own meals in their crates and in unfamiliar places (check — we can do that right now), drinking water out of a variety of containers (check — we can do that right now), and using different leashes for different activities — long line for pottying/exercising, short leash for moving around in hotels, etc.(check — we can do that right now). So, I can work within our circle of social responsibility and still provide quality socialization/familiarization for my puppy!
As for people and other dogs — encourage healthy family and friends that you see anyway to interact with your puppy. Don’t worry about strangers or casual acquaintances during this time. If you are providing other good experiences for your puppy and helping puppy learn how to learn, this hopefully will be a non-issue. Same for other dogs — I believe it’s more important to foster good relations within the canine circle of friends your dog is going to have long-term anyway, so focus on those dogs and don’t worry about dogs you don’t know.
And work on training of course!!! We’ll be putting ideas on social media, you can still come to our Puppy Great Start classes (as of right now we are still having them with low numbers to stay safe and healthy — this could change at any time, but we’ll keep you posted on our website and social media), and we have remote sessions available where we can work one-on-one via Skype, FaceTime, or Facebook Messenger on any/all of your puppy questions.
Stay safe and healthy and enjoy this time with your puppy!!!