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Ballarat dog trainer Jamie Huggett says demand for training classes is high | The courier service

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There has been an increase in demand for dog training classes following the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions. Southern Cross K9 trainer Jamie Huggett said there has been a big increase in the number of residents signing up their four-legged friend for training classes since coronavirus restrictions were lifted in 2021. “The other part is that we couldn’t hold classes during COVID restrictions, so when they can run, there was a little bit of a boom for a while,” Huggett said. “We call them COVID puppies that haven’t had the exposure to socialization because people couldn’t go anywhere, so we have a lot of dogs that haven’t had that exposure to socialization signing up for classes.” Mr. Huggett said one of Southern Cross K9’s most popular training programs, an intensive beginner class, was currently at 10 classes per week, involving 30 to 40 dogs. He said that these beginner classes were for dogs older than 16 weeks who had not received any training before. “That’s the typical COVID pup because they were born in early 2021 and are now a year old, so they enter our beginner class,” Huggett said. “There’s definitely been an increase in dogs that struggle with the world a little bit because they haven’t had that socialization initially for one of the main reasons, COVID.” Some ‘COVID pups’ used to their owner working from home need to adjust when their owner went back to work at the office or had to go out for the day, says Mr. Huggett. “Dogs like routine and structure, so as soon as routine and structure suddenly change, it can take a while for them to adjust,” he said. “Probably one thing we’ve noticed is a small increase in behaviors related to separation anxiety because they’re probably so used to having a human in the house with them.” Southern Cross K9 offers dog daycare at its Wendouree and Canada facilities, which Huggett said was in constant demand, even before the coronavirus pandemic. “Before the COVID restrictions, we were getting close to capacity, then when the COVID restrictions came in, we could only have essential worker dogs, so it was a little bit calmer,” he said. “There are more dog owners in and around Ballarat right now, so I guess there’s a bigger pool of potential audience, so it’s been pretty busy.” If you are viewing this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber of El Correo, as we have made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you so much for your support and allowing us to continue telling the Ballarat story. We appreciate your support of journalism in our great city.


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