At one point or another, you’ll find yourself at a point when you’ll need to leave your dog home alone. Before leaving your dog alone for long periods, you need to teach them how to amuse himself until you return.
There’s a number of ways to do this, such as stuffed chew toys, and learning how to enjoy his own company without being anxious or stressed. A dog is a very social animal and needs adequate preparation for spending some time in social isolation.
It Starts With Training
When playing with a dog, it’s important to have them settle down for frequent short periods. Teaching a dog to go from playful to calm is the first important step in preparing them to be alone on their own. Your dog will learn that having to settle down is not the end of the world, nor is it necessarily the end of the play session. You’ll find this skill won’t just make their life easier, but yours as well. Your dog will be better behaved on walks, trips, in the car, in the park, or even in pet friendly hotels.
On the other hand, if you don’t teach your pet these basic skills, they will be hyperactive and uncontrollable, simply because you haven’t taught them any other way. Until you train your dog to be calm with inactivity, it might be beneficial to hire a puppy sitter who has time to spend with them.
Creating a confinement schedule is an important step in readying your dog to be home alone. This starts with putting them in their dog crate thorough out the day while you do other activities.
Allowing a dog to run around your home uninterrupted quickly encourages them to become overly dependent. Begin by putting your dog in their dog crate for short-term sessions of solitary confinement. Be sure to check how they are doing while you are preparing food in the kitchen or eating in the dining room. Most importantly, when you are home, make sure to familiarize your puppy with his long-term confinement area, or play room.
Confining your dog while your home enables you to check how they are doing quickly and easily while rewarding good behavior. You can also fill a playroom with special toys, and quickly he will stop associating confinement as a punishment, but as something to look forward to.
Ideally, special toys are chew toys that are indestructible and hallow, allowing them to be stuffed with treats or kibble that occasionally fall out when being chewed on. If your dog is preoccupied with a chew toy, he will fret less when you’re gone. For an added measure, put a radio in their playroom, and tune it to classical music, country and calypso. This is the same for a TV tuned to a talk show.
When Leaving Home
Stuff a number of chew toys with kibble and treats, and for an added bonus, stuff a piece of freeze-dried liver into the hardest-to-reach section of the toy. Place the tasty stuffed chewtoy in your dog’s playroom, and close the door without letting them in. They will be begging to be let in, so when you do, quickly close the door, and you dog will be too occupied to notice you leaving. Your dog will chew and chew to get to the tasty center, but hopefully will eventually fall asleep.
Is It Really Separation Anxiety?
Smothering your dog with attention when you’re there primed your dog to be really disappointed when you leave. An environment where there’s lot of attention and fun when you’re there and none when you’re gone created an anxious dog.
If you allow your dog to become dependent upon your presence, they will panic when you’re gone. Canine anxiety can be a big problem for you and them, as they will be encouraged to do bad habits, like house soiling, chewing, digging and barking. Being anxious is also obviously unpleasant for your dog.
Teaching your dog to be comfortable with confinement using discipline, chew toys and positive reinforcement will allow them to develop confidence and independence. Once your dog is happy with busying themselves, you may now safely allow your pet to be alone without worrying about them being anxious.