Achieving Balance and Harmony

DOG CARE

Will a New Dog Adjust to My Schedule?

Hi Cesar,

I don't have a dog yet, but I plan to adopt one from my local shelter. It will be my first dog. I am a teacher so I have many non-work days such as eight to ten weeks of summer vacation, two weeks of Christmas break, one week of Easter break, and several holidays throughout the school year. Needless to say, during those non-work weeks, I will have more time to spend with my dog (i.e. more walks, longer walks, etc.) than when I am working.

My question is, should I stay consistent with the same routine as when I am working even though it is summer time? Would the dog be able to adapt to the different routines between my work and non-work schedules?

Thanks for your help,

Jerome


Dear Jerome,

Congratulations on your decision to adopt a dog, and I am very proud of you for thinking ahead and preparing yourself for the important responsibility of being a dog owner. In answer to your question, the beauty of dogs is the incredible way they adapt themselves to any kind of environmental scenario or schedule, but if you are going to invest more time in your dog during vacation (meaning, for instance, the dog is going to walk for an hour and a half in the morning instead of thirty minutes), make sure that you start weaning the dog to that new routine at least two weeks before you go back to work.

You don’t want your dog to have a drastic lifestyle change, so think of it as getting in shape. Just as it takes weeks or it takes days for you to get in shape, it will be the same process for your dog in getting used to any new schedule or activity.

Stay calm and assertive,

Cesar Millan

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