July 24 2016
Before we know it, the kids will be heading back to school and
everyone's routine will change. When children return to school, the
stress on every family member can be huge - including the family dog. This
abrupt change in routine can seriously affect our canine companions, who are
creatures of habit. But with a little understanding and preparation before the
first day of class, families can avoid many of the back-to-school behavior
problems their dogs might exhibit. By providing training and the right
combination of food, shelter and entertainment, families can help their canine
companions adapt to a new schedule.
With parents at work and no children to play with during the day,
dogs left alone can become stressed, often resulting in destructive behaviors
and endless barking. Following these guidelines can help reduce the potential
stress of separation and help return dogs to normal in a few weeks.
couple of weeks before your children go back to school, get your dog used
to being alone. Begin by separating your dog from the kids and the rest of
the family. For example, if you frequently take your dog with you to the
store, leave him at home.
less attention to him: Dogs may be the center of
attention when the children are home. You need to change this scenario
before the children return to school so that your family dog can adjust
more quickly to the quiet time. Pay less attention to your dog for
increasing amounts of time about a week before school and extend the
amount during the days that follow.
Dogs sleep a great deal during the day, but when they wake up,
they want something to do. It doesn't take much to entertain a dog, even when
you're not at home.
are natural foragers who love to look for food on the ground - and will
literally spend hours doing so. You might even try hiding some treats so
your dog spends time looking for them. And always provide lots of fresh,
clean water to keep your dog well hydrated.
- Toys: Dogs love toys,
but they can quickly get bored with them or destroy them. First, buy
high-quality, virtually indestructible toys that your dog will always
enjoy, such as those that hold treats like the GameChanger, Buster Cube™
and KONG™. Second, every few days, rotate what toys are available to him.
This gives your dog something new and fun to hold his interest.
Dogs need to have their own "home". Just as we feel more
at ease in our home, so do dogs. If your dog doesn't have a place of his own,
create one for him.
- Crate: Most dogs love
crates. However, if your dog hasn't been crate trained, don't start training
him the day the kids leave for school. That's too late and can actually
add to his stress. Although your dog will soon enjoy his new den, do not
leave him in his crate for extended periods of time. If you find you will
be away longer than 8-10 hours for a dog and 4-6 hours for a puppy, ask a
friend to come by to let him out to toilet.
your dog will be inside all day and you are concerned about him toileting
in the house, enclose him in an area that is rather small (this inhibits
the tendency to toilet) and has a floor of vinyl or tile in case he makes
When dogs are stressed, they can sometimes exhibit unusual
behaviors, such as jumping up or even biting. It is not uncommon for children
to come home from school and be greeted by the dog in an unnecessarily rough
manner, knocking a child to the floor. After being left alone all day, the dog
has pent-up energy - and when he sees the kids, his excitement might cause him
the kids: Parents
need to train their children to avoid immediately entering the dog's area
as soon as they get home. Kids should ignore the pet for 5-10 minutes to
allow him to settle down. With young children, it is always best to have a
parent present to reduce the chance of a problem. Once your dog learns the
routine, he will relax.
your dog: It
is amazing how quickly dogs learn what is acceptable and what is not. Dogs
have a language of their own and once we understand it, we can easily
control them by "speaking their language." Bark Busters
specializes in using dogs' natural, instinctive communication methods as
the way to train them. It's simple, and it works.