We’re super excited to announce a new member of the JDP crew who’s ready to train and work like a dog. She’s super cuddly, energetic, and has incredible drive…when it comes to getting treats and belly rubs. Everybody, welcome Shuri, our 2-year-old rescue pup.

Now we’ve heard that Miley and Selena have also adopted or fostered to help out shelters during the coronavirus pandemic. We like to think we were the OG adopters that started it all, but we’re happy for them to take the credit.

Puppy love

Dogs are incredible companions, especially if you’re struggling with stress, anxiety, and loneliness during the pandemic. Petting your dog can lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Taking your dog on regular walks is not only great exercise, but it also gives structure to your day, something that health experts are recommending during the pandemic. But science aside, hands down the best thing about having a dog is the endless unconditional love.

Dogs love us so much that our mere presence makes them experience an enviable level of joy. If you’re working from home right now and are experiencing a draft around your ankles, it’s probably your dog’s tail flipping out.

They give us so much, and that’s important to remember when they’re driving you up the wall!

The flip side

When they’re not distracting you with their downright cuteness, they’re chewing something they shouldn’t, or barking, or whining, or staring at you for attention. It can be a challenge to do anything productive.

Unfortunately, our instinct is to give in to those puppy eyes, but the sooner you learn to resist their Baby Yoda Jedi powers, the better for you, your dog, and your business. We thought we’d share some tips we’ll be using with Shuri to keep ourselves productive and to keep her tail waggling as it should.

How to train your dog for a productive weekday

  1. Schedule in playtime
    Set specific breaks throughout your day to send a little time with your dog. Keep it structured and consistent. Dogs, especially young dogs, feel anxious without a routine, which can lead to excessive barking and destructive behaviors. While you’re working, make sure they’re occupied with toys designed to challenge and stimulate them physically and mentally.
  2. Keep your workspace doggo free
    Make it clear that your office is your territory. No, we’re not suggesting you pee around it. While it feels mean to banish your best friend from a part of your house, you’re actually doing them a favor. Celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stilwell explains “Newly adopted dogs thrive on boundaries in their new environment so don’t feel guilty about having consistent rules.” While they might initially kick up a fuss, it will pay off in the long run.
  3. Stick at it 
    Rule number 1 in how to train dogs: the key to success is consistency. Don’t give in to begging, whining and pawing at the office door. Every time you reward this behavior with attention, it’s a step back.
  4. Be kind to yourself
    You will slip up. Have you seen how cute your dog is? Look at that face! Obviously they’re going to win your attention some of the time. Forgive yourself. While it’s good to keep a routine and stick to the rules as much as possible, work fluctuates. Most days you’re frantically on calls, answering emails and putting the world to right, you can allow yourself to relax a little on slower days. Giving your dog a scratch behind the ear when it’s not scheduled scritch-scratch time is completely permissible every now and then. Just do your best.

We hope these tips help train you and your dog (whether newly adopted, or old buddy) on how to adjust to working from home. Now, if you don’t mind, Shuri is scheduled in for a game of tug of war and a round of catch.