Get your dogs ready to socialise

With England entering the second phase of Stage 1 of the roadmap out of lockdown, Dogs Trust is issuing advice to dog owners as gatherings of up to six people are allowed from this week.

Rachel Casey, Director of Canine Behaviour and Research, said: “After months of restrictions, getting back outside with our friends and family is something we’ve all longed for, and adjusting to normality should come easily to most of us, especially as we knew it was coming.

But our dogs may be confused by the sudden change to their routines, as life as they knew it has been at home, with their families with very little contact with other people and other dogs.

So, it’s important we prepare our dogs for lockdown easing, and teach them vital skills that they can apply in any situation.”

Meeting new people Meeting people for the first time in a while is going to be exciting for your dog. But all this excitement can lead to jumping up – which is not very polite.

Don’t worry if your dog is a big ‘jumper upper’ because it’s not too late to teach them to keep all four paws on the ground.

Your dog will need to learn that keeping all four paws on the floor brings them attention and praise, and that jumping up just doesn’t gain them anything at all.

Make sure you reward your dog with food, play, praise or attention Perfect picnic etiquette Eating alfresco can be tricky when our pooches forget their manners.

But with a few training tricks and following our advice your dog will be picnic ready in no time.

Keep them on the lead or consider buying a very long training lead, a harness and a stake so you can tether your dog and allow them to roam.

Teach them how to settle in advance. Provide an activity to keep them occupied when you are eating. You could give them a snuffle mat sprinkled with tasty treats or a long lasting chew.

Dogs can be wonderfully social and other picnickers may want to say hello so it’s always helpful to teach your dog to do this politely.

Online training videos can be found at


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