As we move towards kicking 2020 aside, as I’m sure many people are eager to do, I’d like to take a few minutes to reflect on 2020. After the shock of Covid and quarantines and all of that kicked in, I scrambled to rebuild my business model to figure out a way to continue to operate and support my clients, redesign my website (thanks, Kelly!), add online scheduling and finally start to build my library on YouTube. It was a hard few months and I was lucky that I had already some foundation for remote dog training built, as I had been doing distance sessions for quite some time. However, moving to an entirely online model was not something I was immediately prepared to do. But, it happened and you all embraced it and I can’t thank you enough! In 2020 I helped over 200 clients and their dogs live happier, healthier lives and gain a greater understanding of each other, I love how so many clients took the forced time at home to recognize this was a great time to train their dog with whatever issues – from better basic obedience, leash reactivity, guarding issues, fear issues to separation anxiety. It was amazing to see clients make the choice that they were home and had time (even if money was a bit uncertain), and that it was time to help get their dog help. Seeing the love and understanding from the humans and the sacrifices made to get the training the dogs needed, so both the dog and human could live a happier life, was my greatest joy this year.
So many people got new dogs (and cats!), and I was genuinely worried about how puppies would get all the socialization they could during their critical socialization window while we were in a time of social distancing. Socialization and social distancing are in direct conflict. So I added puppy board & train services, in addition to drop off day training services, to accommodate those who needed in-person services, but where in-home training was not safe to do. So many families took advantage of these options as well and I’m so happy to have been able to help get those pups off on the right foot!
I took some time this year to complete two additional credentials and certifications this year – adding another behavior consultant credential, PCBC-A, and getting my separation anxiety certification, CSAT, both of which enable me to serve more dogs and people. Since separation anxiety training is always (and always has been) done remotely, this was a perfect time to add that into my offering of services and I’m thrilled to help dogs learn to relax and snooze through absences now.
New Year’s Eve will probably look different this year but I wanted to including some helpful tips on creating a safe New Year for your pet, click this helpful guide from Fear Free Pets. Here are some things covered in this handy guide:
- Don’t Attempt to Pull your Dog or Cat Cut from Hiding
- Fireworks and Pets Don’t Mix
- Comfort Them! (you can’t “reinforce” fear!)
- Fear of Lights
Wherever you have landed during Covid – I know many have moved away – I hope you’re happy, healthy and safe. I’m embracing all 2021 will have in store and look forward to some return to normalcy, I hope. I wish you and yours a very happy New Year and hope 2021 gives you an opportunity to do all the things you missed this year.
Happy training and happy New Year!