Because you are working or participating in the outdoors during the day, you worry about your dog. How can you make sure that everything goes well while you are away? We have a solution: teach your dog to be alone. How to proceed ? Here are our tips to achieve this.
Teaching your dog to be alone: when to start learning
Being alone for a dog is not natural. This is why you must teach your companion to take care but also to be wise in your absence. This learning must take place as early as possible. In other words when he is still a puppy! Know that when a small dog arrives in his home, he has never been alone. Since birth, he has been with his mother and the other puppies of the litter.
When your puppy comes to your home, you need to be available. He must be given time to discover his environment and to get used to his new family. Indeed, before leaving your dog alone, you must gain his trust and bond with him. Once he feels at home, you can teach him to be alone!
A well-equipped interior
If you plan to leave your dog home alone, you need to make sure you are well equipped. Here are some equipment to plan:
- Toys to occupy your dog;
- A barrier to block access to part of the house or to the stairs;
- Door wedges to prevent a door from closing and locking up your dog;
- A kibble or water dispenser.
Before leaving, you should make sure that your dog has enough space in the house to occupy and play. Check every room and put away things your dog can break or things that could endanger him like cleaning products. If you have poisonous plants, make sure they are not in the space that will accommodate your dog.
As a reminder, here is a list of dangerous plants for dogs:
- The Dieffenbachia;
- The Jade tree;
- Ivy (common or English);
- The aloe vera ;
- Elephant’s ear (Caladium);
- The Philodendrons;
Leave your dog alone at home: start training
Longer and longer
Now that your dog is comfortable with you, you can start leaving him alone. The first few times, you have to be away for periods. Give him time to go get the mail or put the trash. In short, for just a few minutes. Focus on times when he enjoys a toy or a chewable bone. In general, occupy your dog before leaving, it is easier. The first few times, stay nearby. This will help you know if your dog is barking or crying. If he accepts this absence, you can leave a little longer, to pick up bread or the children from school.
Warning ! Before his 4 months, a young dog cannot be left alone for more than 2 hours. You have to wait until he is 6 months old to leave him alone at home for 4 hours.
Leaving and coming home: adopting the right attitude
When you leave the house you should have a normal, very calm demeanor. If you are stressed or if you leave in a hurry, your dog may be anxious. He will accept your absence less well.
On your return, it is not recommended to be overly enthusiastic. Your dog should understand that being alone is part of everyday life. If your dog shows you that he is not happy that you are leaving, ignore him. On the other hand, try to come back quickly and congratulate him on your return if he behaved well.
How to deal with the difficulties?
It is quite possible and even common that dogs do not wish to be left alone. In this case, if he feels that you are going to leave, your companion will turn into a pot of glue. Don’t scold him! If your dog is reluctant, you need to figure out what is wrong. Here are the possible explanations.
- Your dog was adopted too young. It is important to wait until a dog is weaned before entering a new home. Even though the legal adoption age is set at 8 weeks, the ideal age is 10 weeks.
- Your dog didn’t have time to bond with you. It takes time for a dog, whether young or not, to bond with its owner. If the confidence is not full, your companion will develop stress being left alone.
- You left your dog alone too quickly. If learning is too fast, your dog just isn’t ready. In this case, resume learning and this time take your time.
- Your dog had a bad experience. It is possible that you had to be absent for an emergency and you did not take the time to properly prepare your dog. If this is the case, reluctance may appear.
- Your dog has been alone for too long. Whether or not this extended absence was planned, it can throw your dog off balance.
Our advice to make sure everything goes well when your dog is alone at home
In order for your dog to accept being alone, you need to take good care of it when you are at home. Play with him, take him for a walk, and make sure he gets enough energy. Before you go, give her a toy or a bone to chew on. Young dogs love toys that distribute kibble. They are sold in pet stores and in certain supermarkets. You can also easily find them online.
When you get home, reward your dog with a treat if he’s been good. also take the time to cuddle and play with him. It is important to create a balance!