When summer’s over and it’s time for the kids to go back to school, it can be really difficult for your dog. After a summer filled with lots of attention and small people to play with, spending long days in an empty house can really stress out your pooch. Here are some tips for families with dogs to help with the back-to-school transition.
Why your dog may misbehave
There are a few reasons why your dog may misbehave when the kids go back to school. The first is separation anxiety. After being in a house full of people all summer, your pet is suddenly alone. This change can be confusing and upsetting to your pet, so it’s a good idea to prepare your pet for this separation by leaving him alone for progressively longer periods of time before school starts.
Another reason why your dog may misbehave is simple boredom. With no one around to entertain him, he may turn to destructive behaviours like chewing and barking to fill his time. Try giving your dog challenging toys to play with throughout the day. Make sure you buy sturdy toys that your dog can’t destroy too easily.
You can also hide treats for your pet to find throughout the day. Some dogs may prefer a treat dispenser that requires some sort of problem-solving in order to obtain the treat. Others may love sniffing out hidden treats around the house.
Addressing problematic behaviours
If your dog displays problematic behaviours such as jumping up in excitement or chewing things inappropriately, you need to correct the behaviour. Praise your pet for not chewing, not jumping, etc. Don’t yell or hit your dog--he won’t understand why you are doing so. Remind your children not to give your pet attention if he jumps up. This positive reinforcement will make it seem like you want the dog to jump up at you.
Patience and persistence will help you and your dog overcome the back-to-school routine changes. For more tips on training your dog, stop in and chat with the staff at Bark Busters. They’ll help you keep your pet happy and healthy with proper training.
To speak with a trainer, call 1-866-418-4584, or type in your post code on the main page and you will find the trainer nearest you.