With the first weeks of school underway, households across the nation are transitioning to new schedules. Changes in routines and schedules can affect everyone in the family including the family dog. It is important to provide your dog with a smooth transition to a new schedule to prevent destructive or unruly behavior in your household while you are out. While nothing can replace your presence in the home, there are a few things that you can do to make the time you spend away less stressful for your pup.
The key to successful training is to begin while you are still at home, so that, when you leave, your dog continues to exhibit good behavior.
1. Make a small confinement space for your dog – a crate works best – and fill it with his favorite toys. By chewing on toys, your dog will be distracted and less focused on the fact that you are gone.
2. Place your dog in the confinement area for short periods of time with his toys while you are at home. By doing this, you are establishing a fun place for your pup to play, and he does not associate it with your absence.
3. Another fun idea is to get a strong chew toy (like a Kong rubber toy) and place a treat inside it. Your dog will be so focused on getting to the treat, you may leave unnoticed. When you return, get the treat out for him, and he will be your biggest fan!
Now that your dog loves playing in his new space, follow these steps before leaving the house.
1. Get him focused on the treat-filled toy, and maneuver him into the crate.
2. Turn on the radio or a CD while you are gone. This helps to drown out the noise outside that may frighten your pup.
Following this simple plan should help your dog feel comfortable while you are away. Don’t worry though; your dog will love you just the same when you return!
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