Ah, summer: when the kids and dog play together nearly everyday. Then school starts, leaving your dog alone and bored with resulting restlessness, destructiveness, or excessive barking. Avoid these problems by keeping her exercised and included in daily activities. For instance:
- Integrate dog games into the morning routine. Hide favorite toys or treats for her to find, toss a ball for her to catch as you move about, or create another fun game.
- Let your dog ride along when dropping kids at school, and go for a walk or play fetch afterwards.
- Take your friendly dog to the kids’ outdoor sporting events or other games.
- Take that obedience or agility training class you’ve considered or, as trainer Mindy Mymudes of Milwaukee, Wis., suggests, find an experienced instructor offering dog training classes for children — a wonderful way to educate your child about responsible ownership, while allowing your dog precious “kid time.”