Saskatchewan dog owners face training challenges with obedience classes shut down

Dog owners face training challenges with obedience classes shut down
WATCH: New dog owners are facing training issues with obedience schools shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Elise Darwish reports.

With many people working from home and having more time during the novel coronavirus pandemic closures, a lot of people have gained a new furry family member.

First-time dogs owners are happy with the company, but this also comes with new challenges.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: City of Regina set to reopen its 2 year-round, off-leash dog parks

“He’s eaten one pair of shoelaces, he’s chewed apart his bed and a blanket so nothing too bad, but he’s already escaped my house,” said  Carlee van Soest, who adopted a dog a month ago.

Dog owners have had to train on their own due to obedience classes being closed because of the COVID-19 crisis.

Cheryl Petryshyn, trainer and owner of Encore Dogsports, said it’s important for dogs, and especially puppies, to get them comfortable with their new surroundings.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Regina dog rescue fundraising efforts halted by COVID-19

“They are going to have anxiety, separation anxiety…because they got taken away from their mom and their litter and they got put into this weird situation where there’s people and there’s not a bunch of other dogs in their lives,” Petryshyn said.

Petryshyn explains pets will have been used to being in the house alone, now that more people will be going back to work. She said kennel training is very helpful with that process.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Saskatchewan animal shelters deemed an essential service, staying open

“So it might be 10 minutes at the start, and then you go and let them out. Then it might be a little longer after that. Eventually, they learn that that’s kind of their safe place,” Petryshyn said.

In-person training classes are able to resume in Phase 3 of the Saskatchewan reopen plan. Petryshyn stresses that classes are already filling up quickly, and if you want to enroll your dog, to start looking for availability now.