Girl plays with her dog, a beagle, after school.

What's your dog doing when you go...

Back to School?

School is no place for dogs. This is a red schoolhouse.

It's that time again. It happens every year. It's time for school - new teachers, new friends, and lots of homework. Are you ready? Do you have your notebooks, pencils, and a backpack?

I'll bet you are ready.
But is your dog ready for you to go to school?
Do you think she will miss you?


Your dog might dig while you're away.
What will your dog be doing while you're at school?

Hopefully, your dog won't be getting into trouble. There are things you can do to help your dog adjust to a new schedule.

A collie barks at the fence in the backyard.
What will your dog be doing?


Before You Leave for School

Let's start with the beginning of the day. Because it was summertime, maybe your dog was used to your being home all morning. It's going to be a big change when you or your family leave to go to work or school and he's alone. He might feel very lonely. How would you feel?

Adorable Yorkie Face

Here are some things that might help your dog adjust.

goofy dog icon1. Don't make a big deal about your leaving. If you get all emotional about leaving your pooch behind, he will pick up on it and get anxious, too. If your dog is used to lots of lovin' in the morning, give it to him when you first wake up. You might even get up earlier and take him for a walk. Then go about your business getting ready for school. A quick "See ya later!" is just what your dog needs to relax and wait for your return.

goofy dog icon2. Fake him out! Every once in a while, pretend you are leaving, but don't. Pick up your bag, go out the door, and then come back. Your dog will never know when you're really leaving and will learn to relax when you are getting ready to leave.

goofy dog icon3. If your dog tends to be upset when you leave, you might take an old t-shirt (with Mom's permission) and drop it on the floor. He'll be able to lay down by your familiar smell.


If you leave things for your dog to do, he will be busy and not so lonely.

Collie playing with a toy.

About Toys (click here for more about toys)

Toys that are made just for dogs who are spending time alone will entertain him while he is waiting for you to come home. Dogs who have toys to play with are less bored. Often, dogs who have poor behavior have lots of energy and nothing to do. Toys can direct dogs to healthy behaviors, use up excess (too much) energy.


You can use 'Interactive' toys like this one when you are not home. These toys allow your dog to play and have fun. Fill the ball with treats and watch the fun begin! (more about these toys)

Watch the video!

This orange ball is a dog toy. Dogs can roll it around and food will drop out.


You probably spent time playing with your dog during the summer. Now that school is starting, your dog will miss you. It would be a good thing for you to spend time with your dog when you get home.

Going for a walk with your dog after school is a great way to get some exercise and hang out together, too. Ask your parents if you can do your homework after you walk your dog.

Invite a friend along. After sitting most of the day in school, the fresh air will feel great to all of you.

Pretty girl walking her two dogs, a mixed breed and a golden retriever.


Let your dog spend time with you. This young girl is playing piano to her golden retriever.
Your dog will be very happy just to spend time with you while you practice your piano or read a book for school. Dogs really enjoy dog stories! Let them share your activities in the evenings.
Read to your dog. She will enjoy the sound of your voice. This gir is reading to her black labrador retriever or lab.


Play a Game!

Your dog may have a suggestion or two, as well. Fetch, soccer, hide and seek, are all good games to play on a weekday afternoon or evening.

Click here for more game ideas!

Your dog may have some suggestions as well. This golden retriever is holding a soccer ball and wants to play!

Groom your dog.

It will help him feel better, too. Get a good brush and comb and spend some time making your dog beautiful. Click here for grooming tips.


Teenage boy snuggling with his white dog.

Make your dog happy!

The most important thing is that you remember to spend some time with your dog after school. Your dog can't tell you when he is lonely or bored. So it's up to you to make his life happy. When you are on your way home after school, just think to yourself...

"How can I make my dog happy today?"



Here are some books that will give you
lots of ideas for things to do with your dog:





Cody's Tour
Kelly's Tour
Trouper's Tour
Your New Dog
Well-Behaved Dog
Special Topics
A New Dog
Your Best Friend
Too Many Dogs
I'll Love You Forever
Training Basics
Following the Rules
What Dogs Cost
Obedience Lessons
Keeping Safe
What Dogs Need
Behavior Problems
Older Dogs
Puppy Basics
Learning Tricks
Losing Your Dog

Ready for a Dog?
Your Stories
When I Grow Up
Your Dogs
Birthday Page
Book Club
Quiz Yourself
Your Poetry

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