Back to school time: Dog training tips for a smooth transition

Time for school, many changes to the routine, things are more hectic now, right? This more hectic schedule likely means we are gone from the house no for longer periods of time then during the summer. Stressful  for you yes, but guess who else is stressed? That’s right, our dogs.  This can mean some problems at home. Not to worry, there are some basic things you can do to cut this off at the pass…

1. Say “NO” to Boredom

Your dog loves to have you around, it keeps them interested and they feel comfortable. You and your family may not have as much time to spend with your dog now as with the new schedule. When you are not there, they can just get bored, which in turn can lead to some pretty destructive behavior like tearing up the house or excessive barking. You can help your dog say no boredom with some simple steps:

  • Give them some fun and interesting toys-and rotate them
  • Make sure they get plenty of exercise when you are with them
  • Take them with you once in awhile on chores, or (to the coffee shop) when you can

2. Establish a Routine Right Away

In many ways, the boredom that dogs experience when kids are back at school has much to do with the interruption of their normal routine. To get your dog more comfortable with the new schedule make sure to establish a routine for your dogs walks, feeding , and time with you and the family.

3. Help Prevent Separation Anxiety

Dogs can develop Separation Anxiety, which is disorder that causes dogs to feel extreme anxiousness when left home alone. You may not notice that your dog suffers from  this to some degree, and or in certain situations. One of these can be the schedule change of “back to school.” Destructive behavior is usually a major clue that a dog is having separation anxiety. They chew, dig, tear, and yes, bark to relieve the stress. To alleviate the stress you basically have to get the dog used to you being gone.

The catch is you have to do it in a graduated process, this process is called desensitization. you can help to alleviate his stress through a process referred to as desensitization.  This may mean that you have to adjust your schedule for a while so that you can shorten the intervals of alone time for your dog. But as you build up that time, eventually the time seems shorter to your dog, and he/she also realizes you indeed are coming home.  

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