Your dog belongs to the family, he is your best friend and you enjoy spending time together. But there are situations where your dog needs to be alone for some time. Staying alone is one of the most important things your dog has to learn. Dogs are pack animals, so staying alone is a situation they have to get used to.
Now, what is the best way to start staying alone?
If you have a puppy, you can start leaving him alone for a few minutes 2-3 days after he has moved in with you. That way your puppy will learn that you will come back again and again and won’t leave him permanently. It is important that you come back to your puppy before he becomes restless or even starts barking, yowling or scratching at the door. Should this happen, wait a quiet moment before opening the door.
In the case that you have taken up a dog from the animal shelter or simply an adult dog with you, you begin similarly. However you should observe exactly whether your dog has abandonment issues. If your dog already shows signs of stress, fear or anxiety when you leave the room or go just outside the door, you should first start by assigning your dog a permanent place and making it palatable. It is important that your dog gradually learns not to follow you everywhere.
With our 5 tips, getting started with the training alone will be even easier!
Take Enough Time
Patience and time are very important in this training. It takes at least 3-4 weeks time for the training so that your dog can stay alone. If you can’t take a vacation, you should ask friends or a dog sitter to look after your dog while you are at work. In general, you should not leave your dog alone for more than 4-6 hours and make sure that he has enough to do while you are present.
Rituals of saying “hello” and “goodbye“
If you leave the house for a longer time, you can say goodbye to your dog with a “See you later”. This signal serves your dog as security for your return. He learns to relax and knows for sure that nothing exciting will happen for the next few hours. When you come back, you may greet your dog calmly. Greeting rituals can also be observed among dogs and other canids in the wild. It is a sign of trust and family cohesion.
When you start training alone, and even if you leave your dog alone for some time later, it is important that you keep your dog physically and mentally busy. Your dog will find it easier to relax when all his needs are satisfied and a tired dog will less often get the idea to “occupy” himself alone, for example by clearing out the garbage can or using your new pair of shoes as chewing bones.
Chewing articles as well as special aids such as RELXOPET, ADAPTIL and Co. can help your dog to stay alone. Chewing reduces stress and makes your dog relax more easily. The RELAXOPET can, if it has been turned on regularly in resting phases, help your dog to stay calm and relaxed when he is left alone. ADAPTIL is available for the socket and nebulizes a pheromone in the room, which has been proven to have a calming effect on dogs.
Staying alone gives you as the owner more freedom and your dog a more relaxed everyday life. Therefore, it is important that every dog learns to stay at home alone for a few hours!