1. Organize your dog related paperwork. We’ve all got scorecards, Title certificates and, vet records that need organising.
2. Update your dog’s page on any Websites/Databases they are listed on. If your paperwork is all organized, this shouldn’t take long.
3. Display your awards. You’ve worked hard for those titles and ribbons. Get those certificates in frames and hang your rosettes!
4. Streamline your dog show wardrobe. Take a look at your closets. Sort through your clothing to determine what you like and what fits. With the rest, determine whether it’s garbage or whether it can be sold, given away or donated.
5. Take a look at your canine library. Sort through your dog books to determine what you might refer back to and what you haven’t opened in years. With the rest, determine what can be sold, given away or donated.
6. Clean out your vehicle. My car’s main duty is to transport me and the grrls to and from dog activities. As such, it tends to collect a lot of dog related junk: Ribbons, leashes, pails, sand, mud, and dog hair. Now’s a good time to give your vehicle a spa day.
7. Sort through and clean your Show/Trial/Class bags, buckets and tack boxes. These are also things that tend to collect dirt and clutter.
8. Sort through your dog supplies. We’ve all got more grooming tools, grooming supplies, supplements, collars, leashes, toys etc than we use. Now’s a good time to sort through things to determine what you have not used in the last 12 months, what might be expired, and what you might need. Determine what you want to keep, what needs to be thrown away, and what you cam sell, give away, or donate. Use your ‘things I need’ list to support small business in your area.
9. Wash your fabric, nylon, and paracord collars and leashes and harnesses. I’ve always washed mine with my usual detergent in the washing machine on the delicate cycle. I leave them to hang dry.
10. Clean and condition your leather collars, leashes and harnesses. Your leather items can’t go in the washer, but they can be cleaned and conditioned. Clean and well conditioned leather will last a lifetime!
11. Wash your doggy bedding and clothing. My dog bedding gets washed in the dirty/hot water cycle and dried on high heat. Sweaters and coats are usually washed in the cold/gentle cycle and hung to dry.
12. Wash and repair your larger equipment. Jumps, tunnels, treadmills, inflatables, grooming tables, crates, platforms, etc can all likely use a good scrubbing.
13. Wash your dogs toys. Fabric toys can be washed in the washing machine (regular/cool cycle, extra rinse) and tossed in the drier (Low). I air dry toys with ‘live squeakers’ as I find the dryer heat damages them. Most plastic or rubber toys can be washed in the dishwasher, or hand washed (use a scrub brush) after a good soak.
14. Prepare dog training treats and/or show bait. You can make stuff from scratch or chop and portion prepared items. Both can be prepared now and frozen for future use.
15. Maintain your regular grooming schedule. If you are not showing, you will still want to maintain coat so your dog is ready to shine once we are permitted to hold shows again. If you own a pet or performance dog, and your groomer has closed shop, you may need to take on a larger share of the grooming. YouTube has tons of great tutorials.
16. Maintain your dog’s fitness level. Outdoor walks in open areas, cycling, and treadmills are great ways to maintain physical fitness whole respecting a social distancing protocol.
17. Continue training at home. Chances are, when this pandemic has run it’s course, you will still want to show or trial your dog. Keep up your home training so you are ready to enter shows and trials when the time comes. If you need instruction, check out online dog traing options.
18. Consider online or virtual titling opportunities. If you are the kind of person who uses titles as motivation you to train your dog, there are quite a few online options available. Basically, to receive a virtual or video title, you submit video(s) to an organisation to have your performance scored. Many of these venues have multiple sports and varying levels of difficulty.
19. Reach out to your dog sport communities. One of the things I love about my dog ‘family’s networks, is that we rally to support each other in times of need. So if, you are doing shopping, offer to pick up food (dog and human) for those in isolation. Fortunately, current information. If you are able, offer to care for the animals of those who are ill.