Safe dog training in a pandemic

training

It’s a crazy time right now, and it’s so difficult to know how to keep ourselves and our family safe. After reading government guidelines, doing a risk assessment, and reflecting on my personal circumstances I am cautiously reopening for business. I love training dogs but I want to make sure that I do so safely and with the same quality that I strive for in my dog training sessions. So, I have come up with these guidelines that I will be following for now.  I will be revising them as new information comes through and according to the health of my family and myself. Just ask if you have any questions!

COVID 19 Guidelines for owners and handlers for Pawfully Clever Dog Training

From July 2020

What is Covid 19?

Covid 19 is the serious respiratory disease caused by novel coronavirus and is highly contagious. The disease can lead to fatalities, especially in the age group above 70 years old and those who are immunocompromised. People with no known underlying health complaints have died, however, so nobody can consider themselves safe from this disease.

 

How is Covid 19 transmitted?

Covid 19 is passed on in the following ways:

  1. Exhaled vapour (breathing out, coughing, sneezing, talking, shouting, singing) that enters the new host via eyes, nose or mouth.
  2. Fomite transfer – Respiratory droplets land on surfaces, which are then transferred through touching the surface and then touching the face, whereby the virus can enter the new host’s respiratory system and lead to contagion. This can include on dog’s fur.
  3. It is understood that Covid 19 can also be passed on via faeces and urine. Hand driers that blow hot air can suck particles from the environment and blow out viral particles, which are then inhaled.

 

What am I doing to mitigate risk?

  1. One to ones only – I am only working with one household at a time. This means that there may be more than one dog or more than one handler, however everyone should be from one household.
  2. Outside only – I am only holding training sessions outside. Unfortunately this means that we will be subject to the weather, and I will cancel or postpone if it is too hot or the weather is not suitable for the dog’s learning. I will endeavour to do so with as much notice as possible.
  3. Venues – While we are meeting outside, I can meet in gardens, parks, or fields for hire. If we go to a field for hire the client is responsible for the cost of the hire on top of my training fee. If we meet in a garden there will need to be access from the outside so that I don’t travel through someone’s house. If we are in a public space such as a park I ask that we do all we can to keep to the appropriate distance and are considerate of other users.
  4. Washing and disinfectant – I will wash my hands before I travel to you, and afterwards as soon as possible. I have disinfectant wipes and hand sanitiser that I will use before and after each client.
  5. Limited sessions per day- I will only be opening Monday- Wednesday and will be doing up to 3 sessions per day only.
  6. Equipment – I will wipe all equipment with dis-infectent beforehand and ensure that it is washed in between each client
  7. Food – Sometimes it is useful for me to bring particularly high value treats. These will only be prepared by me after I have washed my hands on disinfected surfaces and then put into a new plastic bag. I will wipe the bag before handing it to the client.
  8. Distancing – I will keep 2m from the client at all times.
  9. Handling of dogs – I use client’s dogs to demonstrate techniques with if necessary, however, at this current time it seems like an unnecessary risk. For now I will only coach owners on handling in one to ones. However, if there is a need, for example with socialising a puppy, then I will only do so after discussion of risk mitigation with the client.
  10. Mask on request – I can use a mask if requested. It can make it difficult to hear in outdoor venues when speaking from a distance, however.

 

 

What am I asking owners and handlers to do?

  1. Bear with me! This is going to take some adjustment. If I am doing something you are not comfortable with, or if you wish me to take more precautions, then please speak up. My priority if keeping my clients safe.
  2. Washing and disinfectant – Please wash your hands before and after sessions. I also recommend wiping your dog with a disinfectant wipe after sessions.
  3. Distancing – Please keep 2m from me and from other members of the public in our sessions.
  4. Equipment – please bring all equipment you will need with you, including high value treats.
  5. Disclosure – If you or someone you have been in contact with has tested positive for coronavirus please tell me immediately before the session. If after our session you test positive for corona virus or you suspect you may have it (up to two weeks after our session) you must let me know immediately so that I can protect my family and my other clients. If you have someone close to you who is vulnerable, please let me know if I need to take more precautions.
  6. Only one household at a time- I can only work with people from one household at a time.

 

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

 

 

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