Five easy steps to get your dog used to face masks


09 June 2020
Following last week’s advice by the World Health Authority that people should wear masks in public areas, and that from June 15 they will be compulsory on public transport, Agria Pet Insurance has launched a socialisation campaign to help dogs get used to this unusual sight.

Agria’s Behaviour and Training Advisor, Carolyn Menteith, explains, “We socialise and habituate our puppies to all the things we expect them to grow up and think of as being normal, but we have never thought about doing that with masks. Now it’s the time to do this.”

“Dogs relate to us by looking at our body language and faces, reading the tiniest cues in our facial expressions. As soon as we put a mask on, they can’t do that, or even hear our words properly. So, spending time getting your dog used to seeing a mask has become vital – and it’s really easy.”

Carolyn guides owners in the simple, gentle steps they can take to reassure their dogs, as they begin to learn that masks are a normal part of life, just like glasses, hats or umbrellas.

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Tom Vaughan, Head of Marketing at Agria Pet Insurance, says, “In consultation with Carolyn, we felt that it was vitally important to raise awareness of how strange it will be for dogs to see people in masks.

“Starring the fantastic puppy Reggie, our campaign video gives owners of puppies and dogs of all ages a straightforward guide to learning to adjust to something that looks odd and hides many important visual cues. Guiding and habituating dogs in the right way now will help them to remain happy and confident as they adjust to the new human look.”

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