As a dog owner, it’s essential to teach your puppy to be home alone. Although you love your pet, it’s unhealthy to be too attached. Plus, it’s not realistic since you have to work and go out with friends and socialize, and the latter is much harder when places aren’t dog-friendly. You can try and take it everywhere, but it won’t help you or your dog.
But, saying you’re going to do it and doing it are two different matters. Not only do you have to look at your cute puppy in the face as it beckons you to stay, yet you must figure out the challenges. For example, how are you going to keep it occupied while you’re out of the house? How will you stop it from chewing through all of your shoes if it gets lonely? What happens if it needs the toilet?
It’s tempting to let these obstacles stop you from finding ways to leave your dog alone; however, it’s the wrong move. Instead, you should tackle them head-on and create bespoke solutions that will ensure both you and your puppy are happy. Here are six methods that should come in handy during the process.
Train It Properly
There’s training, and then there’s training. The latter is what pet owners do to show off because they want their friends to see how cute their puppy is when it rolls over or shakes someone’s hand. Unfortunately, it’s cosmetic since your dog will only do it when it’s told to or when it’s around people. As a result, it will forget everything it knows and do what it wants when it’s alone.
Training a dog properly should ingrain the commands in your puppy’s head. Sure, it won’t help when the call of nature beckons your pup, so you’ll have to be proactive in that regard, yet it will eliminate the anxious behavior that lots of small canines exhibit when they’re lonely. An excellent technique is to ease your pet into short intervals where you’re not around.
For instance, you could organize to bring home at the weekend. While you’ll spend most of your time at home with the new family member, you’ll also have to do stuff you can’t during the week. Therefore, your puppy will quickly learn to entertain itself and understand that you won’t be around for every second or every day.
If it’s already settled in, you might want to resist the urge to take it everywhere with you. There are certain places it will love that are ideal for pets, but others, such as bars and restaurants, are counterproductive. As long as you’re home within a few hours, your puppy shouldn’t realize you’re gone!
Create A Safe Place
If you’re not comfortable leaving your puppy in the house alone, there are other options. A kennel probably sounds worse because it’s outside, yet it’s incredibly secure. Firstly, your yard or garden is a healthy place to be when the weather is mild. Secondly, nothing should be able to get onto your property if there are suitable fencing and gates. Thirdly, there are fewer hazards outside than inside.
Your home might be warm and comfortable, yet it isn’t a safe place for a curious puppy that will put anything in its mouth. Most young dogs will choose to chew shoes and furniture, but some gnaw at electrical wiring. If they get through the insulation, they’ll hit the live cables and get a nasty shock.
The only thing you must be wary of with a kennel is the conditions. Of course, it has to be warm or cool, depending on the time of year. You want your puppy to be comfortable. There should be enough space for your dog to roam around, which is why some owners leave the door open. Also, you don’t want it to hold standing water, which is why kennel drain ideas are popular these days.
They are essential if you live in an area that’s a flood risk, but they keep the surroundings dry and welcoming, too, even if rain isn’t an issue. After all, a short downpour can soak the exterior of your property in seconds.
Show It That Life Is Fun When You’re Not There
You’re such an incredible person to be around that your dog never wants you to leave #blessed. For the most part, you’re happy to indulge your puppy because it’s cute and you love the attention. Still, mollycoddling a pet is unhealthy since it teaches it that it can only be happy when you’re around, which isn’t true.
In reality, there is plenty of entertainment for a puppy in a house, regardless of the size. After all, dogs love to sniff and investigate, and you should lean on this behavior when you’re out of the house. For instance, did you know that dogs spend most of their time in the wild searching for food? Your puppy might be domesticated, yet it hasn’t lost this characteristic.
Therefore, a smart trick is to buy toys that are puzzles. Once the puppy works out how it works, the toy will give it a treat in the form of a snack. Any dog will happily spend all day pushing and prodding mystery objects if it feeds them! Alternatively, you can hide food around the house and the garden.
A dog’s nose is powerful, so it’ll soon register the smell and follow it until it digs up a treat. You can make it as easy or as hard as you want, but the more challenging it is, the longer the animal will be preoccupied.
Don’t Leave It For Prolonged Periods
Leaving your dog home alone is fine, as long as it isn’t forever. You must remember that dogs are sociable animals and require company. When they don’t get it, they become lonely and their attitudes change. With that in mind, it’s imperative to arrange stints where people come in and out of the property to break up the day.
Having your lunch at home isn’t something you would usually do, yet it’s vital if your canine is going to be on its own from 8 am until 6 pm. The good news is, you don’t have to be the only person who takes on the responsibility. Puppies are fickle and will love anyone if they are bored!
If you or a family member can’t drop-in, you can utilize technology. Today, dog owners can install cameras with microphones that check up on pets. By speaking into a phone or mobile device, your puppy will hear your voice and be reassured.
The trick is to strike a balance between teaching it to be alone and leaving it unattended without any interaction or essentials.
Dogs are excellent at picking up on emotions. It’s part of the reason why their attitudes can change at the flick of a switch. One moment they are happy, and the next they’re ready to stand their ground. Typically, the owner teaches them bad habits, such as being sad when you leave.
By taking ages to say goodbye, you encourage the puppy to latch on to the fact that you’re sad. As a result, it becomes unhappy and starts to showcase the classic symptoms, such as puppy-dog eyes, whining, and barking. However, if you don’t linger, your pet will hardly have time to recognize you’ve left.
Therefore, you must learn to be less anxious when you leave your puppy alone for the sake of its wellbeing. A fantastic method is to give it a toy or a treat to focus on. That way, you can say a quick farewell and exit stage left while the dog bites into a juicy snack or a squeaky plaything.
To teach a puppy to be home alone, you’ve got to train yourself first!
Tire It Out
The best hack is to make sure your puppy is exhausted. Then, it’ll spend most of the day sleeping and relaxing, regaining its energy, before you arrive home and it gets a second wind. As always, it’s important to take it outside for a long walk to let it expend energy.
Of course, you’ve got to be responsible and get up early so that you have enough time before heading to the office. Also, you must be committed. Taking a dog for an early morning stroll is straightforward in the spring and summer, but it’s twice as hard during the fall and winter when the conditions are horrible.
A good compromise is to go on shorter walks than big ones. You could take it out in the morning for twenty minutes and again at lunchtime. Hopefully, this should tire your puppy out enough that it doesn’t have any pent-up energy to use in the house.
The key is to be strong and understand that you’re the missing piece to the puzzle. Owners who aren’t motivated or passionate about training their pets will give-in and show the wrong behavior. Are you tough enough to resist your dog’s cuteness?!