In the life of every dog, there comes a situation when they have to be left home alone. Whether they’re alone for 9 hours or 9 minute depends solely on your work schedule. No matter what your life style looks like, you need get your dog used to being alone. Here’s how to do it:
It doesn’t come natural for dogs to separate from their pack, or in this case, you and your family. They prefer being with their master who pets them and takes care of them. A temporary seclusion from the pack is a type of punishment their mothers use while they are young. So, dogs have it in their genes that separation can be dangerous and unwanted.
You need to start training them as soon as they come into your home as pups. Don’t neglect the first syndromes of loneliness such as moaning, barking, destroying the house, and so on. Many people think that it’s cute for little pups to moan and whine but when they grow up they start ruining your place. It’s hazardous not only for your home but for the dog as well. That’s why you need to teach your dog that it’s ok for them to stay home, because you will always come back.
Dogs are Different
Dogs don’t have the same sense of time as we do. They are like little children who don’t know how time is measured. You can’t explain to your dog that you will be back in 10 minutes. That’s why you’ll notice that some dogs show the same excitement when their master returns from the bathroom and when he or she returns from a long day at work.
Never leave your dog alone when it’s hungry, when it wants to go potty or take a walk. Make sure you remove anything the dog might destroy when you leave it alone. If you can, limit its space to a hallway or a small room. Leave a toy for it to play with and have fun to pass the time. Prepare a bowl with water and a blanket to sleep in. A pup won’t be able to wait for too long to go potty so it would be wise to remove carpets.
The Importance of Ritual
Dogs love to know what they’re in for. Think of a ritual that you do each time you leave the house. That way they will know you are leaving, and more importantly, that you will be coming back. Make sure that you don’t leave the house as soon as the dog eats. So, adjust its feeding schedule to leave you some time before you head out. Take the dog out for a walk before you leave for work. And don’t make it a quick walk but a longer one.
Let your dog run for a while, play catch, have some fun. It will be much easier for the dog, and if you’re away for a longer period of time, it won’t be left alone with extra energy. Show the dog its place, give it a toy and tell it you’re leaving. It is very important to use a command that the dog can easily learn so it knows you’re leaving and coming back. Don’t make any scenes, don’t pet it, just leave quietly.
A calm exit demands a calm return. Don’t take your dog out as soon as you enter the house. Wait at least 10 to 15 minutes. Dogs need to learn that your coming and going isn’t anything special. The ritual that you create is meant to create this calming acceptance of leaving as a normal part of their everyday lives.
Never reward dogs when they are whining or barking
Be aware that dogs don’t know what type of behaviour you’re expecting of them. So never pay attention to them when they’re whining, barking, running around, and doing all the things they’re not supposed to.
Keep in mind that dogs won’t think it’s bad being tied to a radiator a few feet away from you. They won’t feel like a lost dog. Nothing can happen to them. When they’re bad, tie them and wait for them to calm down. If you talk to them or acknowledge their whining, they will think that fear and paranoia are good. When they calm down, release them and give them a prize.
Article inspired by Lost Pet Finders.