After the new government announcements this week, it is now advised to wear face coverings in the shape of a mask, scarf or bandanna when leaving the home. Therefore, it would be a good idea to start introducing your dog to the face covering you and your family members maybe wearing in the coming weeks and months.
Isabelle from Ringwood Dogs says “Dogs rely on our facial expressions and eye contact as a way of reading our emotions and communicating. Any kind of face covering will take away those facial expressions that they are used to reading when you normally communicate or give commands as well as being a completely “foreign object” to them. Introduce your dog to your mask slowly and gently giving lots of positive reinforcement along the way in the form of some high value, tasty treats”
“You can see in the picture, I have placed a reassuring hand on my dog’s chest whilst talking in my normal upbeat voice. Once your dog is comfortable seeing you in your face mask, try giving some easy commands for your dog to follow – Sit – Watch Me – Down etc, so that if using a mask becomes the new “normal”, you can be sure both you and your dog can be prepared and carry on “normally” as well…..”