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Ask Kathy About Dogs Taking Over Guest Bedrooms

By Kathy Santo | Updated: May 1 2019

Student’s Question:

“My dog sleeps on the guest room bed, but my son will be home from college soon and will be using that room. What should I do!?

Kathy’s Answer:

The first thing you should do is not panic!  Most dogs handle change just fine, and sometimes the only thing that stands in the way of them being ok with a new situation is their owner’s emotions. Your only real decision is whether or not the dog will be welcome to continue sleeping in the room while your son is home.

If he’s allowed to stay in the room, start teaching him where his new place will be, reinforcing with lots of cool toys and treats. If he’s not, don’t make a big emotional deal about it. Simply keep the door to the room closed, and offer him one or more alternative options.

Resist the temptation to commiserate with him “Johnny’s being home will be hard for me, too, Spike” and go about your daily life as if all is well.  Because really, in the grand scheme of things, it is!

Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.

In Ramsey, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.

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