The Dog Days of Summer Are Over For Your Pup
Brrr. It feels like summer is really over. Mornings are darker, and temperatures have dropped. For summer pups that have only experienced the bright and balmy days of summer, this change of seasons is a shocker!
Walks in the Dark
If your dog is new to being out in the dark or cold weather, this will be another socializing opportunity. You can make it golden by creating lots of positive associations. Don’t venture too far from the safety of your home initially. If your dog wants to watch from the front steps to start with, that’s OK. You can hang together, do some treat tosses, or simply feed them for looking around.
If they are comfortable to wander further, be sure to treat them for sights and sounds. Their experiences will be different in the dark, even with familiar things. Creating positive associations in this context is vital to prevent nervousness or reactivity.
As mentioned, going out in the dark or cold weather can be concerning for some young dogs initially. You may need to go back to basics to help them with the transition. For potty breaks, putting your dog on leash to help them stay on task may be necessary. Some dogs will be more comfortable if the potty area is well-lit.
And even during the daytime, rain, wind or even damp grass can be distracting! Remember to leave some extra time in case those potty breaks take a bit longer than usual.
If your dog is reticent or even refuses to go out, you will need to change your management for housetraining purposes. This is a time when young dogs that are considered housetrained often begin having ‘accidents’ again. Be proactive to help your dog stay on track.
These are just a couple of things to keep in mind at this time of year. For more information on keeping your dog safe and comfortable, check out my cold weather blog.
There are many new things that young dogs will have to deal with, so please be patient with your youngster. And take advantage of these learning experiences to continue building confidence.
And My Yearly Reminder
Take precautionary measures to prevent wildlife encounters. Don’t let your dog loose in the yard from twilight until dawn before giving some warning. This will give any critters that might be in your yard a chance to leave. A few extra moments before letting them out could save you from having to bathe a skunky dog and prevent a stinky house.
Need more tips for your summer pup and how to help them in the colder weather? Check out hipPUP.ca to learn how I can help.