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Dog training 01.06.2021

How do you get the dog used to wearing a mask because of Corona?

Johann by Johann, Johann has been a dog dad since 2018 and a dog fan since 1986.

Making the mask "normal" for the dog

Communication as the key to successful domestication
Hunde sind Meister der Kommunikation: untereinander und vor allem: mit uns Menschen. Vor Jahrtausenden hat der Wolf erkannt, dass es lohnenswert sein kann, die Nähe des Menschen zu suchen. Besonders in den harten Wintermonaten, wo Beute knapp und so manche Hungersnot auch vor den stolzen Wölfen nicht halt machte, erwiesen sich menschliche Siedlungen mit ihren Nahrungsresten als Rettung in der Not. In weiterer Folge wurde das Kommunizieren zwischen Hund und Mensch perfektioniert - zumindest von Seiten des Hundes. Hunde erkennen - übrigens ähnlich wie Menschen - innerhalb von Sekunden, wie das menschliche Gegenüber einzuschätzen ist. Und handeln dementsprechend. Kopfbedeckungen, hochgezogene Schals, Sonnenbrillen, Helme - all das sind für Hunde Faktoren, die das "Lesen" im Gesicht eines Menschen schwierig bis unmöglich machen. Die häufigste Reaktion: Angst. In der Coronazeit werden Hundebesitzer nun täglich mehrfach mit solchen Situationen konfrontiert. Der Hund reagiert ängstlich, wenn Menschen mit Mund-Nasen-Schutz in Sichtweite kommen.

Aggravated by Corona - how to get the dog used to wearing the mask

Since the beginning of the Corona period, dog owners have increasingly reported the following situation: the dog is afraid of the mouth-nose protection. What happens here? Dogs have learned to read our faces. Of course they hear what and especially HOW we speak to them, but the main line of communication is non-verbal. Corona and dog now poses new challenges to both sides in this context. Whereas in the past it was individual people that you couldn't really "place" on your daily walk or on the street in front of your house, in the Corona era the dog almost exclusively meets people with mouth-nose protection - and literally doesn't understand the world anymore. The drama at the leash is pre-programmed, because also the most sovereign dog will regard this sudden and serious change of his daily environment at least with scepticism.

Dog and Corona shutterstock.com / MT-R

Corona and dog - how to solve the problem?

Basically: no additional stress for the four-legged friend and above all: no pressure. Dogs are much more sensitive and intelligent than many people would still give them credit for. It helps for the time being to let the dog sniff extensively at the own mask. Just like putting on a collar or chest harness for the first time, a foreign object that is to become a familiar object must first be scouted out. If a dog has a favorite toy (ball, dummy, stuffed animal) combine exploration of new things with positive reinforcement of action. Dogs whose best friend is the bag of treats can make the mask/goodie connections very quickly if you reward them regularly. Build this practice into your daily walk and mask anxiety should soon be a thing of the past.

In summary:

  • Do not stress
  • Show and wear at home in a safe environment
  • Let them sniff the mask
  • Feed him treats so that he associates positively.
Banner: shutterstock.com / MT-R
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