When back to school comes around, you may notice that your dog’s behavior is changing from what you expect. Maybe they see the bags that you’re packing in anticipation for the first day. Perhaps school has already gotten started and you’ve noticed an increased level of aggression or mischief from your dog. Perhaps you expect behavioral changes with back to school because you witness them every year. Due to back to school, your dog has to get used to the empty house they forgot about over the summer. Here are some behaviors that may show your dog is having a hard time with back to school blues.
Dogs show anxiety typically by panting, pacing, and their eyes darting to the point that you can see the whites in them. They often have their ears back and their heads down. Dogs may not know what changes are happening, but they often can tell when something is going to change. This actually makes back to school scarier because they don’t know what’s coming, but they know something is going to change. Just like when you move, your dog may become anxious by watching you pack bags, prepare lunches, and lay out shoes or clothing.
When back to school comes around, it’s easy for families to become tired and forget to put as much attention on their dog as their pet needs. This can mean a lack of playtime, walks, or just regular petting. When dogs don’t receive the attention they want or need, they often turn to mischief as a way of saying ‘look at me!’ If you notice your dog is getting into laundry, taking things, or showing other mischievous, but playful behavior that gets you chasing after them, it’s likely because they feel neglected and just want some attention and playtime. This is easy to solve by throwing a ball around, taking a walk, or playing tug rope for 10-15 minute intervals every once in a while.
When dogs become frustrated, they can often become aggressive. If your dog is showing aggression due to back to school, it may be because mischief didn’t work. It may be because they feel anxious. It’s also often due to a buildup of energy. With the energy from sleeping overnight and sleeping all day while you’re at work and school, that energy can just build and build and with no outlet, your dog will become frustrated from the overpowering feeling of spastic energy growing inside of him.
What to Do if You Experience Back to School Blues
Whether your dog is suffering from aggression, anxiety, mischief, or some other unusual beh
avior, it’s often relatively easy to fix by remembering to give your dog the appropriate amount of attention when you are at home. Remember that your dog doesn’t get any warning that there is going to be a change, it just happens and he has to get used to it in his own time. If you notice that your dog is not adjusting very well to the back to school change, consider talking to your vet or a dog behaviorist about different solutions. You can also head over here and read about a few different options for easing pets back into the back to school mood.