How To Co-Work With Your Dog
Do you ever feel like your list of distractions is never-ending? The kids are interrupting your Zoom calls, the laundry pile is growing…there’s always something wanting your attention. Then there’s that cute, fluffy ball of fur literally begging for your time. With everyone spending more time at home, the number of people adding a new four-legged friend to the mix has skyrocketed!
So we got a DOG.
While Goose is the epitome of love and positive energy, he's also a show stopper! By show stopper, I mean, stopping the show of me trying to get work done.
Enter Kathy Santo. She’s an incredibly talented dog trainer, helping Goose grow into the wonderful, well-behaved pup he is! These results had me begging her to come on the podcast so you could experience a bit of her magic too.
She shares how to pick the best puppy for your lifestyle, and what the heck to do with it when you bring it home!
I ask her some burning questions you've probably been wondering, like, “How do you keep a dog from barking whenever someone comes to the door?” and “How do you share a workspace with a needy puppy?”
Kathy Santo On How To Choose The Right Puppy
Kathy’s first tip is to create a wishlist. What traits are you looking for in a dog? Do you want them to be really smart or very athletic? Be honest with your assessment. What energy levels can you truly handle? What is the size of your space, and the characteristics of those at home?
When choosing a puppy from a litter, there are few simple tests to determine its temperament. How does it react to sound? Kathy tests puppies by dropping an object (like a food bowl) near them to see how they react when startled. She also softly pinches (not enough to hurt) the webbing between their paws. How do they react when uncomfortable? Do they get nippy, do they run away, or are they quick to forgive?
These simple tests can offer great insights into how they'll behave in your home.
Training Tips For New Dogs From Kathy Santo
Now that you've brought that precious puppy home, how do you manage to get anything done?!
Kathy suggests that before you get ready to go on a Zoom call or do focused work, it's important to first meet your dog's biological needs.
A potty break and some focused body/mind play should do the trick. Now take them for another bathroom break and give them a chew toy to keep them distracted for the duration of your task. If this doesn’t help, it's time to put them in a crate in another room. For dogs who struggle with crates, it's vital to take some time and practice “planned departures”. (Kathy explains this in detail on the podcast episode!)
Pro tip: Dogs with separation anxiety often need you to “nest them” in their crate—filling it with a bale of hay or a cozy bed where they feel protected from all sides
Looking to Stay Focused as a Business Owner
The biggest takeaway here is: Work with your puppy. Block out the time on your calendar if needed. Remember your dog can only focus on their needs being met, no matter who your Zoom call is with. While you work, it can be helpful to play some white noise, keeping them stimulated and focused on something that isn't you!
Top 10 Takeaways:
10. Prep your dog before you go into your “power hours”.
9. Dog training is very similar to raising kids.
8. Learning about training helps you understand your dog better.
7. Plan family learning nights so everybody is watching the same training videos and on the same page when you want your dog to do certain things
6. Use your dog's mealtime as a training opportunity!
5. You'll probably spend a LOT of money on your new pup!
4. Following through with your dog after giving them a command is absolutely essential.
3. Kathy Santo is a true dog whisperer. She speaks another language with these dogs, and these dogs tell her how humans should interact with them.
2. Dog training can be done via Zoom!
1.If you're “on the fence” about getting a puppy, go check out Kathy's training courses.
We all deserve a treat once in a while, and I hope this episode is that for you. Check it out and let me know!