Having dogs off leash when school goes back can be problematic if your dog isn’t extremely well behaved around children. Whist the weather is warm there will be days when you will want to pick up the kids from school and take the entire family, including Fido, out for an afternoon at the park or an evening picnic. Before you start taking your dog to school pick-ups, though, you need to have them well-trained to ensure that they won’t cause a problem in the school zone.
Here at Take Your Pet, we provide these simple tips to assist you…
- As with any social situation it may take some time for your pet to get used to the school-pickup routine. The first few times you take your pet on the school run, leave them in the car with the windows down for ventilation – let them see what’s going on at a safe distance. After a few pickups, take them out of the car but stand at a distance where your children can still spot you. When you are confident that your pet feels comfortable you can venture closer to the front gate.
- Remember, just because your dog is comfortable around your children, doesn’t mean that they will be comfortable around other kids. This fact can’t be stressed enough. Your dog is used to your family. Your children are part of your dog’s pack and they have a special bond. Unfamiliar children may make your dog nervous and unpredictable. Ensure that your dog is on a leash and sitting beside you at all times, provide them with reassurance by patting them and speaking to them gently.
- Be aware of your dog’s anxiety level. If your dog is used to only two children and suddenly finds itself surrounded by hundreds of screaming, laughing, running kids, they may become stressed and react accordingly. Take your pet back to the car as soon as you notice any small signs of agitation or anxiety.
- Whilst your dog may be friendly towards children, not all children are friendly towards pets. Some children may not have a pet of their own and may not understand the right way to treat animals. Other kids may find the sight of any dog terrifying. Always supervise children when they are near your dog and be ready to deal with any situations quickly.
If you follow this simple advice, you’ll be able to enjoy your after school activities without needing to waste time stopping at home before you head out.