Children are not the only ones affected by the return to school, your dog also suffers the effects. It does happen that your doggie feels neglected at this time, when he has received all your attention during the holidays. Even your children gave him their time.
As a result, your four-legged friend may experience anxiety as you and your children find their rhythm.
A study conducted by American researchers has shown that nearly 20% of dogs are anxious at the idea of separating from their masters. A large majority of them whine, howl or bark, while others become more aggressive. Some dogs even suffer from loss of appetite.
If you are depressed at the idea of preparing for the start of the school year for your children, your doggie is just as affected: by being left alone during the day, he no longer has the impression of counting for you, when he needs your love and attention.
What attitude should we adopt in the face of this change?
Change meal time
The holidays constitute a period of “letting go”. As a result, mealtimes can be staggered, both for you and for your dog. In September, good dog training consists in particular of adopting regular hours to feed your four-legged friend.
To avoid anxiety, the dog should not be ignored. It’s best to start with small periods of solitude with chew toys and bones and make sure to give him a long walk before you leave.
Place the dog in a pleasant corner
The ideal is to leave the dog free in the house if he is used to being free. If this is not the case, we can give him access to a room equipped with a baby barrier… Without forgetting to leave him toys and chewing activities to occupy himself! In addition, do not forget to give him access to water at will as well as a comfortable place to sleep, for example a cushion, a bed or a couch!
The asset keep
Before you leave, give your dog everything he needs to take care of; gnawing bone, mental stimulation toy as well as his favorite toys. If you must be away for more than 4 hours, it is recommended that you ask neighbours, friends or family to come and stretch Fido’s legs. Otherwise, hiring a dog walker can be a great idea. Don’t forget that dogs are social animals that naturally do not live well with prolonged separations!
What activities do you practice with your dog during the back-to-school period?
Cani-VTT (also called bikejoring)
Ideally, choose nature trails with loose soil so as not to damage his sensitive pads; therefore avoid practicing this activity directly on paved ground. If you really want to, using dog boots designed for this purpose can minimize the health risks.
This canine discipline stimulates your dog’s flexibility, speed and intelligence. It consists of following a course while overcoming obstacles. The master guides the dog to the finish.
The herd is an activity generally practiced by a single dog whose aim is to gather farm animals, for example sheep, oxen or ducks!
It is a popular canine activity which consists of a confrontation between two teams of dogs. The team that manages to navigate the obstacles to bring the tennis ball back to the master first wins the game. The course is made up of four hurdles to be cleared both on the way out and on the way back. This activity is ideal for well-trained dogs and has a certain speed. For example, if you have one or more greyhounds, do not hesitate to adopt flyball as a back-to-school distraction.
Unlike cani-MTB, canicross does not require a bike. Simply attach your dog to you using an elastic pull line, canicross belt, dog pull harness
Ideally, it is better to wait for your dog to stop growing to practice this activity intensively. You love this canine sport because you move just as much as your dog, while having the opportunity to run faster than usual! Be careful though; it is important to run on natural and unpaved surfaces to avoid damaging the precious cushions and your dog!
Smell tracking and detection
Entertain your pooch with the tracking game which consists of seeking and finding a person or an object. Give him something that can remind you of the person or object in question so that he can track it with his sense of smell. This activity stimulates his intelligence, but also his body. Tracking therefore allows your dog to exert himself and transmit his flair. Some dog trainers offer introductions to tracking for new owners and young dogs. Use their service to make your dog an excellent tracker.
Walk your dog
This advice seems obvious! However, how can you overcome the recommendation to walk your dog every day? It’s good for him and… for you! This activity, which seems so simple, is however often poorly carried out by dog owners who only think of going from point A to point B while having maximum control over their animal.
To be beneficial for your dog, a walk must allow him to sniff, socialize and ideally run free! Is total freedom not possible? Consider using a long if it is allowed in your municipality to give him a few more meters to stretch his legs. Choose quiet places in nature to reduce the sources of stress and frustration that sometimes accompany walks on the main avenues.