Getting A Puppy At Start Of Summer
At first glance any family can think “Oh, wow, what a great idea!” and it is when you look at it from above. It looks nice. Zoom in closer, though, and talk to families after school has resumed. This is when you realize what expectations you have set for your dog and how it can leave him devastated. For puppies, this can affect them even more so.
Below I will address the pros and cons for a family getting a dog for summer, after which I will provide some advice for the cons.
- Family has less work load because splitting up tasks between each other since is easier since kids are home more.
- Lots of socialization and bonding since children are home. Bonding gets a great head start with lots of time to interact with family members. Lots of different people taking it out for walks inherently leading to more meet and greets with neighbors.
- Potty Training is easier in general if there is a stay at home parent. They have an easier time potty training him since they are home a lot. More people are available during summer to take the dog out for as many potty breaks as it needs helps with the potty training process.
- After summer the instant isolation is devastating. After summer ends the dog realizes that it is all alone. Kids going back to school and not home with him for the most part of the day is shocking. Because of this then…
- Regressions in behavior may occur. Isolation and boredom can lead to destructive behaviors such as an increase in chewing, or even worse huge behavioral issues such as separation distress can develop. They had interacted with kids most of the day and now are left to their own devices.
Transitioning from Summer to School Schedule
Invest in these smooth transitions below instead of having to pay a trainer to come in and undue the damage.
Dog Care Services
Hiring a dog walker, using a doggy day care or leaving them at a dog sitters home during the day helps keep your dog active, socialized, engaged and healthy. Although, make sure to do your research to find caring and knowledgeable individuals. Using all, some or switching on and off throughout the week can help keep boredom aka destruction at bay.
For example, leaving a 4 month old puppy alone all day is not ideal. Isolating a young dog and leaving your house to it’s every whim is not a good idea and they could get into things that could be dangerous to their health as well.
If you are thinking of leaving them in a crate all day that is the least desirable option. Let’s say you have a puppy, and you choose to leave you’re very young impressionable and energetic pup isolated and confined in a crate. He can not move around and make choices throughout the day, so that when you get home the dog is crazed and wired! You’re tired from work and now you have to deal with that. Get the picture? If you say your crate is big enough than you are not using the crate right. A crate needs to be just big enough for a dog to go inside turn around and lay down. Not be a doggy suite. Usually this is because the dog will learn that a crate is a place to sleep and potty! Do you really want to clean up your dogs crate for the rest its life?
What I recommend instead… A) Get my free potty training protocol and B) Place a crate with the door zip tied open so it doesn’t swing around and scare the dog. I place the crate in an enclosed play pen. if your dog is a jumper you can create a dog proof area with baby gates with vertical slats and stack two on top of each other, if you choose to have a play pen but your dog moves it around butdoesn’t jump over it some people have tied weights or sand bags to the pen. Working with a positive reinforcement trainer to come up with the best solution for your family can make everything much easier, learn about my services here.
If you must use the crate than as stated earlier hire a dog walker to come by and let the dog have a break from the crate, otherwise you are walking a fine line between what’s easy for you and what’s best for your dog.
A Note For The Stay At Home Parent
After summer be prepared for your schedule to change. You are now the dogs only main form of interaction, play, fun, training etc. Write up a schedule and work to establish a routine that works for you. As you go along you can make adjustments as you see what your dogs real needs are. (If you need assistance setting up a schedule don’t hesitate to contact me.)
Here’s some examples of adjustments you may realize you need to make:
- He needs to go out potty 15 minutes after he eats breakfast, not 1 hour later or I have to clean up messes.
- My dog gets the zoomies around 10 am and runs around the house. Maybe I should I go for a walk at 930am and let him run around that open field/park so he’s not crazy indoors at 10am.
Lastly, don’t kid yourself parents, even if your kids asked for a dog you are still the primary care taker, no matter how much they take on and how responsible our kids are.