How does my dog stay relaxed alone?

It is a piece of freedom to leave his dog alone at home for a few hours. Even if we would like to spend a lot of time together with our furry friend, it sometimes happens that our darling has to stay alone for a short time. Whether it is for the weekly shopping, a hobby that we pursue, where our dog can not come along or a doctor’s appointment. For such situations, your dog must learn that it is not bad to stay home alone and gain the confidence that we will always come back as his social partner.

How you manage to get your dog used to staying alone step by step you will learn in the following tips:

1. create an atmosphere for your dog in which he feels comfortable.

Set up a place for your dog where he feels comfortable and cared for. Before you even start to teach your dog step by step to stay alone, it is important that your dog feels at home. Set up a basket or a dog box, where he can also come to rest in everyday life. Make this place attractive to him by hiding great treats there or giving him a chew bone as soon as he visits this place. It is important that your dog’s resting place is in a place where he is undisturbed but still gets some of the edge of the action.

2. practice leaving your dog alone step by step.

Begin to teach your dog to stay alone as early as possible and as slowly as necessary. It is perfectly fine if you leave the room for 1-2 minutes while your dog is busy with a chewing stick in his basket. Short walks to the basement or to take out the garbage are also wonderful for the first training sessions. It is important that you do not sneak out. Your dog must be aware that you are leaving the room, because this is the only way he will trust you not to leave suddenly. You can announce your going out with a “I’ll be right back.” When your dog gets comfortable with you being gone for a short time without him, slowly start to increase the time.

Only come back when your dog is calm.

We recommend that you install a camera so that you can monitor whether your dog is calm or not. Alternatively, you can use a baby phone. It is quite normal if your dog runs around the apartment for a short time or protests with short barks and yelps. Your task is to wait for the moment when your dog is calm. Then go back to him, greet him with a “hello” and short calm petting. By getting on eye level with your dog, you prevent him from jumping on you. Sometimes it is also helpful to give him something to carry or chew on to avoid a boisterous and tumultuous greeting.

4. Don’t leave your dog alone until he has learned.

“Just a quick shopping trip, will be fine” – NO! Don’t leave your dog alone until your dog has really learned. If you leave your dog alone when he can not yet safely stay alone for a certain time, it can happen that your dog suddenly panics. By not being able to intervene in time, your dog will associate negative emotions with being left alone and, in the worst case, you will be completely back to the beginning of training. It is better if you organize a dog sitter or other caregiver who can watch your dog until your dog can safely and relaxed stay alone for more than 1 hour. Before that, you should not leave him alone, even if the supermarket is not far away, something can always come up and you stay away longer than planned after all.

5. Cover your dog’s basic needs before leaving him alone.

Make your dog physically and mentally happy before leaving him alone. Take him for another short walk, train or play with him for a few minutes. Also, make sure your dog has eaten and has access to plenty of fresh water while you’re away. For more ideas on how to keep your dog physically and mentally occupied, check out our app.

Get started now!

We wish you all the best in training your dog! In our app, you’ll find everything you need for successful training in the “Stay Alone” category. If you need additional help with Stay Alone training or have any other concerns with your dog, you can always ask your questions through our Trainer Chat. Our professional dog trainers will be happy to help you and together we will find a solution.

By Sarah Mertes

Certified dog trainer

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