Since dogs, as pack animals, are very fixated on their people, it is difficult for them to stay at home alone in a civilized manner. However, it is very, very important for a dog to learn to be left alone. Practice makes perfect here, too, and with a few tricks your four-legged friend is guaranteed not to get bored at home – he won’t even get any stupid ideas. Since the principle “practice early” applies here, you should do the first small exercises with the puppy. This way you can also prevent separation anxiety.
Only after the acclimatization period the first small training unit
However, it is important that your dog’s child first feels safe and secure in his new home. So don’t leave the young dog on the first day, but give it some time to get used to it. You should practice with him whenever your young friend is tired and full. In addition, you can sweeten his alone time with an attractive toy or a tasty chewing bone. First of all, go to another room very inconspicuously and without any farewells. Come back after a short while. If your puppy is still in his spot, give him a few kind words of praise and then get busy with some chores around the room.
Coming and going becomes a matter of course
The puppy should learn to take your comings and goings for granted. If you repeat this exercise several times a day, you only extend the period of time when your four-legged friend reliably stays in his basket. Also, close the door later when you leave the room. If this exercise works, leave the apartment completely for a short time. Also, leave your dog in the house when you go to the mailbox or garbage can. The more natural you behave, the more normal it will be for the dog. Don’t make a big deal out of your leaving, because you want your dog to learn that your leaving and coming back is normal. Large farewell and reunion scenes would unsettle him.
Light and music give comfort
Of course, being brought up to stay alone doesn’t always work without any problems. Some dogs never seem to learn and begin a heartbreaking howl concert as soon as their people leave the house. Other four-legged friends, on the other hand, act as quiet interior designers in Mum’s absence and display an astonishing rage for destruction. For such a dog, toys can be an entertaining diversion. So that the canine frustration is not vented on furniture, curtains, or other furnishings, give your four-legged friend play ropes or softballs that he can yank and chew on to his heart’s content. Smaller, sturdy boxes with lids in which to hide treats wrapped in newspaper are also a great activity. An overly anxious dog doesn’t feel quite so abandoned when the radio is on while you’re away. If you go out in the evening, leave the light on, because many dogs are afraid of being alone in the dark.
Important basic rules for leaving dogs alone
Don’t lock your four-legged friend in a scary room like the basement or bathroom while he’s waiting, but leave him in his familiar, bright surroundings.
Some dogs learn to be left alone more easily if they just have to wait in the car at first; this is a manageable space from which they can also observe their surroundings. If you come back, bring a nice treat and show him that staying alone is definitely worth it.
Many dogs are comforted by a familiar piece of clothing from you, such as a discarded sock or an old sweater in a basket. Some dog breeds, such as Beagles (but also other hunting dogs), generally find it harder to stay alone due to their nature as pack dogs. Therefore, be sure to remain calm and patient while practicing. Don’t punish your dog for doing something wrong while you were away, because he no longer associates this punishment with his mischief, but rather with your return, making him even more afraid of being left alone. Never leave your dog alone for more than four to five hours.