My recent trip quickly reminded me how the absence of one family member can quickly change the dynamics between dogs. I left for 6 days leaving my husband, 3 kids, 4 dogs and 5 cats …..”home alone.” Although the house was in order and no one was hurt, I noticed subtle changes in dynamics between our dogs. Ex: Conflicts between dogs where normally all is well, revisiting of pushy behaviors such as whining, pawing, nudging and many other subtle changes in response to a change in routine and consistency.
Keep this in mind and be aware of your dog when you return home following an absence….especially if you have someone come to your home to pet sit while you are at the hospital. Although your environment physically stays the same, nobody will behave exactly like you and your dog has spent several days adjusting to another person’s body language, tolerance and ways of doing things in your home. In homes with multiple dogs this can sometimes invite conflicts where they do not normally exist due to the difference in dynamics. If you are aware of this then you can be proactive by setting clear boundaries when you return to help everyone get back on track. Listen to our podcast about coming home for more tips!
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