How To Desensitize Your Dog To PPEwphungerford
How do I desensitize my dog to PPE? Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE, is everywhere now. Most states, cities, and even countries arewhen they leave the house. Even if you live in a city that doesn’t require it, there is a high likelihood that people will still be wearing it.
We have all had a hard time getting used to the PPE and some of us are still not thrilled with it. But what about your pooch? We bet they are having a hard time adjusting too. It isn’t easy protecting their person when everyone looks like a bandit. And the worst part is that you look like a bandit too.
Desensitizing Your Dog To PPE
Your dog is likely shaken up and on high alert all of the time when people are wearing PPE, even you. While this may cause some overwhelming feelings for you and your dog, there are some steps you can take to help them adjust.
Leave Masks, Shields, Gloves Out
The very first step to normalizing the PPE for your dog is by leaving the equipment out where they can see it. This seems really basic but it is a good way to make it a normal thing. When your dog looks at it, give them a treat and praise them.
Do this every time you see them looking in the direction of your PPE. This will help them associate something awesome, such as food, with the mask, shield, and gloves.
Show PPE to Your Dog
Once your pup can look in the direction of your PPE without barking or running for the hills it will be time for the next step. This is the part where you put the PPE in your hand and present it to your dog. Every time they approach or stay in the area of the PPE give your dog a treat.
Desensitizing your dog to PPE will take a little bit of time but with each successful step, you can move on. Once your dog is doing well with you holding the PPE and showing it to them you are well on your way to being able to go out on stress-free walks with your dog.
Now is the time to start rewarding your dog for approaching your mask, gloves, and shield. Every time they approach to sniff or get a good look, give them a fun treat to reward them. Dogs love anything that is associated with their favorite snack.
Start Wearing Your Gear
When the first four steps have been successfully completed you can start wearing your PPE around your dog. This will be a little bit longer of a process. With each piece of equipment, you put on you will treat your dog.
If they seem okay with you in wearing the PPE, leave it on for a little bit while you do your normal stuff around the house. This would be a good time to give your dog a puzzle toy or a Kong treat toy. You may need to do this daily for two or three days to get them used to it.
Reward Your Pup When They See Others in PPE
Find a good spot on a bench at a park or if you live in a busy area and have a good porch you can sit there. But the key is to reward your dog every time you see someone with PPE on. This could go a few different ways.
Your dog rocks it and doesn’t even blink, he gets nervous and wants to back up, or they freak out completely. If your dog needs to back up or take a break then do that. Don’t make it worse by forging ahead. You may need to start in two or three-minute intervals and work your way up.
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