The World’s Smallest Violin & What It Has To Do With This Dog Owner

A reader writes:

I recently bought a boxer puppy.  We love him dearly.  He is part of our family.  I am having some trouble with Tucker (all of which is my fault).  I am unsure of how to solve my problems.  The problem is that I have three small children.  My time is very limited.  I am a stay at home mom, so the dog is not alone.  That is not what I mean by having limited time.  I mean that I am busy caring for my kids, and doing everything else a wife and mother does, and don’t have the time to go to obedience classes, or even set up a consistent training schedule for Tucker.  I know he can become a well-behaved part of my family.  He is not terrible now.  My biggest problem seems to be separation anxiety.  Please offer any help you can.  I want my dog to be as happy with us as we are with him.

Thank you,


P.S. I read your book, but I am still confused.  Maybe that makes me a “Stupid is as Stupid does” owner, but I still think you can help me.

Dear Amy:

Did you read the section on Separation Anxiety?  It’s pretty clear-cut and straight to the point article.  If there is something that is still unclear that I can specifically help you with please let me know.

As for not having enough time to train you dog:

– Make him do down-stays while you feed the kids.

– Make him accompany you while you retrieve the mail.

– Let him ride in the back of the car when you run errands around town.

– Get him to do sit-stays while you change diapers.

– Play “Hide the ball” while you clean house.

– Find the dog a new home if you don’t feel you’ve got enough time for the dog.  But I think you’d be amazed at how much you can achieve with only 15 minutes a day.  The cumulative effect is amazing.  Wake up 15 minutes early each day or you can work the training around every-day routines like I describe above.