Lock down involves staying at home and avoiding contact with other people. This can seem terrifying but it does not need to be.
Try and see the positive side to all this because this means that we get to spend a lot and I mean a lot of time with our dogs.
So what can us as dog owners do during this time of forced isolation?
A lot does depend on where you stay and how strict your lock down is so please make sure that you know exactly what the rules are for where you stay.
Please ignore any suggestions I give if they go against what the rules are in your area.
Walk your dog
Walking your Cavapoo is not only beneficial for your dog but it will also help you to get some fresh air and to not feel closed in.
Make sure that you do not come in contact with other people during your walk. If you see someone approaching you then change direction and walk away from them.
Do not let your dog off lead at any time even if they are trained to come back to you.
You will not be able to catch him if he bounds up to someone else and it will also not be fair to the other person who is also trying to avoid contact.
Dog parks are not recommended unless you know for sure that it will be empty. Everyone else will have the same idea which can mean that other people and dogs will already be there.
Keep the walk short and rather take your dog out a few times a day if necessary.
Let them sniff as much as they want to as this is very rewarding for them.
Play games with your dog
Dogs love to play and even more so if they get to play with you.
A good old fashioned game of fetch can quickly drain some of their energy and if your yard is big enough then I highly recommend a ball thrower.
It helps you to throw the ball much further then you normally can so your dog will get tired quicker.
If you are stuck inside your house or apartment then try to play fetch in a hallway or passage in your house. Move away any furniture to create a clear path so your dog does not get hurt.
You can also play a game of tug-of-war. Just make sure that you allow your dog to win sometimes so he does not get bored.
Do not allow his teeth to touch your hand and if they do then stop playing immediately to let him know that it is not acceptable.
Make your dog work for his food
Dogs are natural scavengers and have excellent noses and making them work for their food is not mean. It can be very rewarding and stimulating for them.
This only applies to dry kibble.
You can try a food dispensing toy or encourage them to perform some tricks.
You can alternate between the two to make meal time more interesting.
Puzzle toys are a great way to mentally stimulate your dog as well as relieving any stress they may be feeling. You will be surprised at how these toys will tire your dog out.
The Puzzle Brick Toy is a great beginner puzzle toy worth considering.
You can make it really simple or take it up a level to really challenge your Cavapoo.
LickiMats are extremely popular because they just flat out work.
Smear some doggie peanut butter, dog food or yogurt over the mat to keep your dog entertained and to avoid boredom.
Snuffle mats are used to hide dog food in. The mats encourage natural foraging and help to relieve stress and built up energy.
Wash and repair old toys
If you are anything like me then I wait until I have a pile of toys that need washing and fixing before I do anything about it because I never have time to get to them.
Now that we are being forced to stay at home, time is no longer an issue.
So, collect all the old toys that can be fixed give them a wash and repair them.
Pack them away and only give one toy at a time. Rotate them so that he has variety.
Bake some dog treats
Why not try your hand at baking some doggy treats?
They are so simple and quick to make using ingredients that you probably have lying around the house. Even if you get it totally wrong, I am sure that your dog will still love them.
Avoid recipes that use sugar, artificial flavouring and chemicals and never use artificial sweeteners as these are very toxic to your dog and will kill them.
Try and keep the treats as natural as possible and do not feed too often as you do not want a fat dog :))
Go HERE to see a great book that I highly recommend.
Teach your Cavapoo basic obedience
Basic obedience at home is just as important as anywhere else.
A well behaved dog is a pleasure to own so do not underestimate how important this is.
Keep the sessions short and as fun as possible.
Start with the basic ‘sit’ command.
There are many Youtube videos that will show you how to teach your dog basic obedience.
The dog trainer that I prefer and HIGHLY recommend is Doggy Dan.
He has an online course that uses positive and rewarding training so your dog will never be stressed.
Teach your dog some tricks
Cavapoos are such smart dogs that they will easily learn new tricks.
It can be fun for you as well to show off how great your dog is.
Teach them how to roll over or ‘high five’ on command.
Again, keep the sessions short and fun and reward as soon as even slight progress has been made.
Praise your dog and let them know what a good dog they are.
Groom your Cavapoo
It is most likely that groomers are also in self isolation so your Cavapoo will not be able to be professionally groomed.
So why not take the plunge and learn to do it yourself?
Not only will you save money in the long run but it gives you another bonding opportunity with your dog.
Grooming is actually quite easy. I groom my own dogs. You will make mistakes with your first attempt but with everyone not being allowed to make contact with other people, who will see it?
Luckily their hair grows back quite quickly so mistakes will be covered up in no time.
The really simple way is to buy an electric clipper as well as a good hair scissors.
I have the Andis clipper because it lasts for years and is used by many professional groomers.
Be careful of buying cheap clippers as they will not last and will cost you more in the long run. They will also ruin your dog's hair and not give you the result you want.
I use a 3/4 inch blade over there whole body, head and legs. I suggest doing the same as it makes it easier if you are not worried about using different shortness of blades. It leaves the hair roughly 16-19 mm long.
You might need to buy this blade separately.
Always bath your dog and make sure they are totally dry before clipping them.
Also, give your Cavapoo a good brush beforehand and remove any knots so that the clipper does not jam.
Be very careful when you are trimming their heads to avoid poking their eyes or mouth.
The scissors is used to trim the feet, eye brow area and the sides of the muzzle.
Take them on a car ride
First make sure that you are allowed to do this.
If you are able to then put them in the car and take a slow drive. Make sure that they can see out the window and just allow them to watch outside as you drive. Do not open the window.
This is fun and exciting for them and gives them and you a much needed change of scenery.
Watch telly and snuggle up
Most Cavapoos love nothing more than to just be with you.
You also need time to recharge and relax so make the most of this time.
Put on your favorite movie, make some popcorn and snuggle up to each other.
Bonding with your dog has never been easier.