Learning to be left alone is a crucial element of your dog's training since it will help them be calm while you're out. If you've newly adopted a dog or puppy, you must educate them that being left at home is enjoyable! Our Corpus Christi vets will give you tips on how to get your dog used to being alone.
Before you Start
You'll need to set up about 10 minutes every day for training. Every dog is different, so you'll need to adjust your pace to match your dog's reaction. Never take your dog's training to the point where it becomes stressful for him.
Gather some toys and treat to reward your dog for good behavior. A comfy bed, in an enclosed spot, with some new blankets can also work. Having somewhere comfy to relax can make being home alone more appealing for your dog. Further, make sure you praise him as well, as dogs respond very highly to it.
Once you've got all of the above, it's time to begin the training.
Step 1: Encourage Your Dog to Stay in Bed
Try encouraging your dog to stay in his comfy bed while you are still in the room with him. Make sure you reward his good behavior with treats and praise when he stays in his bed without making a sound.
Step 2: Gradually Move Away
Slowly walk away while encouraging your dog to stay. You can move further and further away from him, or you can even move to another room of the house or apartment. Be sure to reward him for staying quietly on his bed.
Step 3: Increase the Distance and Length of Time
Carry on with this pattern, moving further away and for longer lengths of time each time. The distance and duration you increase will be determined by your dog. If your dog reacts or moves, don't praise or reprimand them; instead, return to the previous level.
Step 4: Leave for 5 Minutes
It's now time to try and leave your dog alone in the house or apartment.
However, you can't just leave him alone for hours on end; he needs to become accustomed to being alone. To do so, start by leaving him alone in the house for no more than 5 minutes. Return home and greet him after 5 minutes at the neighbor's or shop or just waiting outside the door. It's critical that he understands you'll be returning soon and that you're excited to see him.
Step 5: Gradually Increase the Time
Gradually increase the length of time he's left alone (10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, etc...), and when you return, offer him goodies and attention. You should have no difficulties leaving your dog for extended times after you've gotten to the point where he or she is fine to be left for up to an hour.
The Cold Shoulder
At any point during training, it is important not to give in to your dog's whining and moaning. This doesn't mean reprimanding him, but more that you shouldn't pet and tell him "it's okay" or lavish any sort of praise on him while he is whining. This just teaches your dog that whining and moaning will get him what he wants. If you give in to him, the behavior will only get worse.
So for a lack of a better phrase, give him the cold shoulder when you leave.