For many dogs, being alone for a short time is very stressful. That is why they have to learn as early as possible that staying alone for a few hours is part of normal everyday life and is not a problem. It’s easy with a young dog. But even an older animal that has always had a family connection can learn to bridge the abandoned time if you have a little patience.
It is of course important that the dog does not stay alone for too long! It should only be a matter of a few hours, not a whole day!
This is easiest with a puppy that has just entered its family. His internal clock adjusts to the human rhythm of life. You can take advantage of:
This is how you can get your puppy used to being alone in small stages:
The next time you extend the time you are away and combine your return with a fun hour of play. Keep going out and never come back without “good news”. Slowly but surely, the young dog associates your departure with good expectations. Caution: no young dog should be left alone for more than two hours! Also, do not perform long farewell or greeting ceremonies.
If you always make sure that the dog has moved sufficiently before you leave, send him into the basket and offer him a chewing bone or a toy to pass the time, he will also include these two items in the cycle.
Associate the dog’s loneliness with positive feelings. © New Africa-stock.adobe.com
It doesn’t always work right at the beginning. If the puppy screams miserably the first time because he feels abandoned despite all the maneuvers, you have to be tough. Make him howl even if it breaks your heart. Realize that otherwise, he will link your return directly to his crying. The result: it will whine louder and longer in order to bring you back faster and more safely.
So wait until he calms down and then come back – with your dog surprise. Be consistent in the first few weeks and you will have a dog for life who will pass the waiting time with daydreams instead of venting its frustration on your furniture or neighbors.
In the adult dog, the simple tricks for puppies don’t work as quickly as with the little ones. However, you proceed in the same way as with a puppy: slowly and step by step. What you need is a little more patience.
Before you buy an adult dog, you should find out beforehand whether the dog can be alone at all. Some shelter dogs, but also other adult dogs, suffer from separation anxiety, for example. In such a case you cannot avoid getting professional help.