Friday, May 17, 2013

I'm Trapped and I Can't Get Out-What to do when you and your dog are in a confined area

Every dog needs a certain amount of space. This means you need to assess what your dog needs in the moment and take into account any prior history.

When taking your dog in public it’s easy to run into situations where your dog can feel confined and trapped. Whether it be in the waiting room at the vets office or in the lobby of your dogs training school, knowing how to properly deal with the situation is important.

Removing your pooch from the confined situation is always the recommended first option. When in a confined situation, make sure you know where the exits are located to make sure that you are not trapping your dog. It’s your job to provide your dog with the proper space before the problem arises.

Both dogs pictured are wearing Freedom No-Pull Harnesses and short leashes providing more control for their handlers.  While both dogs are alert and aware of each other this situation is going well.
If you know that a certain situation, like waiting in your vet’s office lobby for your appointment or waiting for a daycare attendant to escort your dog into the playroom may cause an issue, prepare and have a plan before you and your dog enter. The proper equipment is an essential tool to help manage this circumstance.  A standard 4 to 6 foot leash will help you better control your dog in a confined situation, so it is better to leave the Flexi leash at home. Do you use a No-Pull Harness or Gentle Leader for training class or walks through the neighborhood?  Then you should absolutely be using them in a situation where you would need more control.  How about treats?  If you can do some focus work before stepping foot in the environment you are on the road to a successful visit.  Are you more worried about other animals versus your own or your dog gets stressed when other dogs are barking?  Use your treats and play some obedience game to get them to focus on you rather than what is causing them discomfort.
A waiting area can be a scary place for a dog and owner

Another important aspect if you see a negative situation forming would be to make sure you do not translate to them through your body language that there is a cause for concern rather communicate to the lobby receptionist that you’ll wait outside until it is your turn or leave your dog in the car (assuming the temperature allows) until the lobby is clear.

It’s important to remember that you are responsible for your dog’s well-being and should not be setting your dog up by putting them in a scary situation. Becoming educated about your dog’s body language and reactions are important as we always want to set up our dogs for success.  If you are not sure what to do or cannot interpret what you are seeing consult a professional for help from your educated Morris K9 Campus staff. Visit our website or call us at 973-252-5100 to find out what we can do for you and your pet. 

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