“My parents absolutely spoil my dog. I love that I can bring Eddie to their house and leave him there when I have to go out of town, but when he comes home, it’s like all of his training has gone out the door!”
Here is what you tell your parents when you ask them to take care of your dog in your absence:
Eddie eats at 7:00 AM and at 5:00 PM.
He gets a cup in the and a cup at night. No scraps or table food.
Eddie is not allowed on the furniture.
Make sure Eddie sits before you put his leash on him.
No rawhide chews and no squeaky toys. Rawhide makes him sick and he eats the squeaker.
Don’t respond to him when he barks at you for attention. It will just make it worse.
Absolutely no jumping on anyone.
Here is what your parents actually do with your dog while you are gone:
Eddie’s food dish is kept full all day.
“He didn’t eat in the morning so we left it out for him. That way, he could pick at it when he wanted. And he was keeping us company while we watched Jeopardy, so we gave him a snack or two. What could it hurt?”
Eddie curls up on any unoccupied sofa or chair.
“So why shouldn’t he be comfortable while he’s watching TV with us?”
Eddie backs away when the leash comes out and runs around while being chased to get the leash on.
“Its a little game we play – Eddie and me. We have a good time. He likes it!”
Rawhide chews and cheap squeaky toys litter the floor.
“We go once a week to the dollar store and they sold three of these for a dollar so I couldn’t resist. Look how much fun Eddie has with them!
Eddie barks for food, to get attention, to play, to go out, and to come in.
“How else is he going to let me know what he needs??!”
Eddie jumps on everyone.
“He’s so cute – he just wants to give us hugs!”
Is there anything you can do about it? No.
Don’t even try to get your parents to adhere to your guidelines for your dog, or to any of the training goals that you and your dog have worked so hard to achieve. Your best bet is to bring him to their house with acceptable toys, chews and bedding, and then say goodbye.
Unless you are paying your folks to take care of Eddie, it is not their job to play by your rules. It is their job to keep Eddie safe and happy until you return. Be relieved that he hasn’t gained too much weight, say thank you to your doting parents, take your dog home, and start training all over. He’ll remember fairly quickly that what happens at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, stays at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.