Puppy spending time alone
January 17, 2019
All puppies have to get used to spending some time by themselves. Help your puppy learn that their time alone can be a positive thing, through training and a little planning.
You should begin by leaving your puppy alone in a room for a couple of minutes and gradually increase the amount of time. The time alone should be a positive thing, so providing suitable play toys in your absence will help to keep them occupied. Having your puppy crate trained means that you have a safe refuge for these short periods of confinement, as well as a place where your puppy feels relaxed.
Leaving the house
Start leaving the house for short periods and gradually increase the amount of time your puppy is left. The length of time alone should be varied so your puppy learns that you leaving doesn’t always mean you will be gone for a long time.
When leaving them alone it's important not to make lots of fuss saying goodbye; it's better to simply leave as if nothing is happening. On returning, it can help to ignore your puppy for a few minutes so they are not rewarded for any over-excitable behaviour.
If your puppy has had an accident and messed in the house you should simply clean it up as if nothing has happened, and never punish them for it. It may also help to leave a radio on whilst out, so your puppy has some background distractions and the home is not so quiet. This will also drown out any noises coming from outside that your puppy may react to.
Toys that provide mental stimulation such as chew toys and those that dispense kibble as a reward for puzzle solving, help keep boredom at bay. Remember to rotate toys on a daily basis so that they maintain their novelty factor.
Consider other ways for your pup to stay entertained, such as creating a digging area using a child’s sand pit. This can also teach a puppy where the ‘approved’ digging location is and help save your garden.