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57 - Introduce time spent alone

57 - Introduce time spent alone

It is useful for all dogs to learn to spend time on their own. It gives your dog the opportunity to calm, settle down and sleep if he is getting grumpy or over-excited. There may also be times in your dog’s life when he cannot be with you, so it is only fair to teach him how to accept this calmly from an early stage.

Time spent alone should not be distressing for your dog

Avoiding loneliness

Start by leaving your dog for very short periods, while you are at home. Make sure that he has had the opportunity to go the toilet. Decide on a safe, secure area where he will be comfortable. Put the radio on low and give him a blanket or jumper, which bears your (recent) scent, as a comforter. Make sure the comforter is big enough for him to spread and lie down on if he wants to. When you intend to leave your dog, be neutral and avoid over-interacting with him for a short time before you go. If you chat to him and cuddle him just before you leave your absence will distress him even more.

Your dog should be able to cope with being left alone for short periods

Leave something really tasty to occupy him. Keeping a special toy that is only given to your dog when you are out and that is picked up when you return home can help to make your absences less stressful.

Cookie is more than happy to be left alone with her Kong™

Gradually build up the time that your dog is on his own so that he can cope if for example you have to chat to a caller in a smart suit or leave the house on some other solo pursuit.

KEEP CALM

When you see your dog again, avoid the temptation to squeak an excited greeting and ruffle his coat wildly. Say hello quietly and be neutral until you have both calmed down; then calmly let him know how wonderful he is and how much you missed him.

From 100 Ways to Train the Perfect Dog, Copyright by Sarah Fisher, licensed through ContentOro, Inc and used by arrangement with D & C

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