Battersea preparing pandemic pets for life after lockdown

23 MARCH 2021

A year after lockdown began in the UK, many of us are looking forward to spending more time outside our homes as restrictions begin to ease – but the thousands of pandemic puppies bought over the past 12 months, used to having their owners around all the time, could struggle.

To help this lockdown generation and their owners prepare for newfound freedom, world-leading animal welfare charity Battersea has launched a new range of one-off virtual classes for dogs aged five to 18 months, tackling key training areas including separation anxiety and meeting new people.

Battersea’s Canine Behaviour and Training Manager, Rob Bays, said: “As many of us prepare to start spending more time outside our home, whether it be to go into the office, visit friends or head to the pub, it’s vital we ensure our pets are also prepared for this big lifestyle change.

“There’s a whole generation of new dogs that don’t yet understand that lockdown life isn’t the norm so we’re encouraging owners to do everything they can to get their young pets ready for the big changes that lie ahead. With the right training in place this potentially overwhelming transition can turn in to an exciting time for them, as they learn to make new friends and enjoy their own company.”

Other online classes available include learning to walk with a loose lead, ways to prevent resource guarding, the benefits and types of constructive play, and how to make sure every pet is happy in a multi-animal household. Owners are encouraged to mix and match which classes they would like to attend.

While the classes are currently restricted to dogs aged 18 months and under, Battersea is always here to help dogs of all ages. The charity runs a dedicated pet behaviour advice line as well as offering a variety of training advice online. Last year over 1,000 owners called the behaviour team looking for help with their dog’s behaviour.

Rob added: “Rescues like Battersea are here to help owners long before they may need to make the difficult decision to give up their pet and we’d urge anyone struggling to care for their dog to get in touch. Whatever the problem Battersea is always here to help, whether that be offering simple advice, walking an owner through different techniques or taking a dog in to our care and finding them a new home.”

Classes are currently available across April and May. Please check the Battersea website for specific dates and availability. Classes are restricted to six dogs at a time so places are limited. Owners can find out more, book a place on a class or register their interest for future classes on the Battersea website.

ENDS

For further information please contact the press office press@battersea.org.uk

Notes to editors

  • Owners can call Battersea’s pet behaviour advice line on 0203 887 8347 or visit the website www.battersea.org.uk/pet-advice/dog-advice.
  • Battersea currently runs a six week ‘Puppy Programme’ virtual training course for dogs aged 2 to 5 months.
  • In a Battersea survey last year, almost half of new owners said they ‘sometimes regret’ their decision to get a pet, with 73% of them saying their misgivings were due to training problems.
  • Battersea is committed to helping every dog and cat that needs us - championing their rights, loving their imperfections and expertly caring for them. Because rescue is our favourite breed.
  • We’re reliant on the generosity of the public to continue to fund our vital work helping dogs and cats and the people who care for them. To donate to Battersea, visit https://donate.battersea.org.uk.
  • Battersea directly helps thousands of dogs and cats across its three centres and uses its expertise, influence, and voice to help many more animals all over the country and across the world.
  • In addition to the site in South West London, Battersea also has two other centres based at Old Windsor, Berkshire and Brands Hatch, Kent.
  • Follow Battersea on Twitter @battersea_ or facebook.com/Battersea