Keeping Your Doggie Happy When You Go Back to School

School has just started and my dog had gone nuts!  What happened?

After a long summer of playing and being with the entire family, school starts and Fluffy's world is thrown for a loop.  Dogs don't like sudden changes and the dramatic schedule change that school brings can place a great deal of anxiety on Fluffy.  Let's talk about some things you can do to minimize this.

The biggest thing you can do to assist in this matter is to minimize Fluffy's separation anxiety.  This can lead to destructive behavior and endless barking.
  • Pay less attention to Fluffy - A week before school starts, ignore him for increasing amounts of time each day so he gets used to not being the center of attention.
  • Start early - Several weeks before school begins, get Fluffy comfortable with being alone by separating him from the family.  If you often take him with you to run errands, leave him at home.
  • Practice leafing the house - Gather your gear, exit the door, but then come right back in again.  Fluffy will cease associating the routine of leaving with your departure and will be more relaxed when you actually leave.
  • Be calm and assured - When leaving the house, you inadvertently confuse your dog if you say sweetly "It's okay, Fluffy - we'll be home soon".  If he is feeling concerned about your leaving, your happy, high-pitched voice tone can make him think it's okay to feel anxious.  As pack animals, dogs expect their leaders to be strong when they leave the pack.  Therefore, ignore Fluffy for about ten minutes before you leave.
  • Toys - Make sure that Fluffy has his favorite toys with him as you leave.  This helps redirect his focus on your departure.
Do this and you will be a long way in making the first few days of school a great experience for everyone.

For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

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