The Back-to-School Effect: How Changes in Routine Impact Dogs’ Behavior

Does back to school affect dogs’ behaviour? As summer fades and fall approaches, households with school-age children begin the annual ritual of preparing for the back-to-school season. While the focus is often on the adjustments families make, the family pet, particularly dogs, can also experience significant changes during this time. Dogs are sensitive creatures that thrive on routine and human interaction. When the bustling routines of summer give way to the structure of the school year, dogs may exhibit various behavioral changes. In this blog, we’ll delve into how the back-to-school transition can impact our canine companions, shedding light on the reasons behind their altered behaviors.

The Period of Adjustment

When the household dynamic shifts from a bustling summer schedule to a more regimented school routine, dogs can undoubtedly sense the change. For months, they’ve been accustomed to the constant presence of family members, outdoor playtime, and potentially altered meal times. Suddenly, the house is quieter, playtime is curtailed, and regular schedules are replaced with the school-driven timetable. This abrupt alteration can trigger anxiety and confusion in dogs. Separation anxiety might become more pronounced. They find themselves alone for more extended periods. Dogs that were used to children’s company during summer might experience a lack of stimulation, potentially leading to boredom-driven behaviors like excessive barking, chewing, or digging.

Physical and Mental Stimulation

During summer, dogs often enjoy increased physical and mental stimulation through outdoor activities, walks, and interactive play with the family. With children back in school, these opportunities can diminish. The reduction in exercise and mental engagement can lead to restlessness and excess energy accumulation. This pent-up energy might manifest as unruly behavior, like jumping on furniture or even nipping at family members. To counteract these issues, it’s crucial for dog owners to adjust their daily routines, ensuring that dogs receive adequate exercise and mental enrichment. Incorporating longer walks, puzzle toys, and interactive play sessions during non-school hours can help address behavioral problems arising from reduced stimulation.


In conclusion, does back to school affect dogs’ behaviour? The back-to-school season undoubtedly has a significant impact on the behavior of our beloved dogs. As the household shifts from a summer’s free-wheeling atmosphere to the more structured school routine, dogs can experience a range of emotions, from separation anxiety to boredom-driven mischief. It’s incumbent upon dog owners to recognize these changes and proactively address them. By providing consistent routines, ample physical activity, and mental stimulation, we can help our four-legged companions adapt smoothly to the changes and maintain their overall well-being. After all, our dogs are not just pets; they’re cherished members of the family deserving of attention and care, no matter the season.