I have experienced clients in sticky situations and most recently a real sticky...
If you have ever had a pet and a break up then you know how truly difficult the combination can be. Many times, no one thinks about the dog until the ball is truly rolling and it turns into an after thought as well as an extreme sorce of contention.
We love our pets and the emotional attachment becomes deep. In assisting couples to come to a mutual decision I like to address the key factors in who, why and how the transition is going to play out with short and long term goals.
The things that need to be considered are:
Who has the better home, lifestyle and ability to care for the pup?
Should co-ownership and shared custody be put in writing?
What about visitation rights and how may that effect the dog?
When children are involved, should the pets stay where the kids are?
If it is a multidog household do we split up the dogs?
These are things worth thinking about thoroughly and coming to terms with the decision that is best for the entire human and canine family.
After a divorce or seperation, schedules change and stress runs high so it is rather normal that you may start experiencing unwanted behavioural changes in your dog.
When I help families in transition it is best to maintain some sort of schedule or normalcy if at all possible. Having outside support is helpful to reduce stress and anxiety both for your dogs and the family. With duties, schedules and time changes the transition for your dog may really create problems. Keeping your dog's meals, walks, loves and playtimes as close to normal as possible may help them during the acclimation and adjustment period to new normalcy. Dog's can truly suffer when the person who is most bonded with the dog is no longer around even when the individual who may take care of and loves the pet changes.
Seperation takes a toll and most families struggle with so much going on with personal emotions, stress and the added tasks that the partner use to do. These changes can really cut into the time that would normally be dedicated to the pup. With so much going on and emotions running high, it is no wonder that dog owners call for help to address the huge surge in poor behavior. Most have no idea that this is a service or a way that a "dog trainer" can help provide needed support to the human and canine family.
If you or someone you know needs assistance in coming to an informed decision about pet custody we provide outcomes for canine care, training and assistance during transitions. We look forward to happy endings and assist families to get there. If you have a story about custody you would like to share we would love to learn about it. It takes a village to raise a child and a dog! Click here for a free PET AGREEMENT