Pets Head Back To School
All across the country human children are either already back to school or will be shortly. Teachers claim that students lose roughly two months of math skills over the summer break. Because of this they have to spend a sizeable chunk of time reviewing with the new class of students to be sure they’re where they need to be intellectually to move on to this year’s content.
This doesn’t stop with children and teenagers. Animals can also be affected. The longer a dog is away from a trainer, without having training reinforced, the more they forget their training.
Bessie Mac, author of Holly’s Story and parent of three dogs of her own told PetsWeekly, “If we allow ourselves to slack off on anything, like getting the right amount of exercise, we have to make an extra effort to retrain ourselves to get back into that habit of exercise again.”
Many times we get busy, and in our flurry of activity we often let poor doggy behavior slide. If your dog hasn’t quite been making “straight A’s” in the behavior department lately, take the time each day to reinforce even simple commands like “sit” and “stay.” For an extra challenge for those dogs who are still maintaining their “star student” status, try giving them the sit command in “pop quiz” fashion by asking them to do it in unusual situations or places – like while you’re elbow deep in dish water or you’re typing away at the computer and they walk into the room. Of course, offer them praise and treats for every success!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to call in a trainer temporarily until things are back in order. Bessie Mac told us that she needed help when her life got particularly crazy recently, “So much happened all at once that I let little moments of disobedience slide. Soon enough things started to get out of control. I decided to call in a trainer to help us all – myself included – get back on track, and I’m so glad I did.”
Life gets away from all of us, but it’s no reason to let our pets get away with bad behavior. Brush up on those lessons! If you feel you need a trainer’s help but aren’t sure which trainer you should pick, ask trusted friends or rescue organizations for recommendations.