Dog training and education: Staying alone

It doesn't help, be it for a visit to the family doctor, for work or for a birthday party: our four-legged friends cannot be there everywhere! Although we as dog owners like to spend time with our dog, it is sometimes necessary to leave our darlings alone. However, this should be possible without worry, so that neither you nor your darling have to suffer. It helps to know that dogs are pack animals and need social contact and constant closeness to their families. We'll explain to you how to prevent separation anxiety and how to get your dog used to being alone without affecting your intimate coexistence.

Separation Anxiety: The Problem With Being Alone

No matter whether small or large, young or old - your dog loves you close and wants to spend as much as possible 24 hours a day with you. Some dogs understand that every time they leave the dog owner they will come back and calm down quickly when they are alone. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety and are afraid of losing control, on the other hand, display abnormal behavior. The most common are:

  • Biting and destroying your furniture and furnishings
  • Scratching and biting , e.g. B. on room doors and walls
  • Howl and bark

Silent suffering is also not uncommon: If your darling does not move from your side after your return and falls asleep exhausted as soon as he has made sure that you will not leave the house again, this indicates that he is restless and restless all day walked nervously through the apartment.

Our tip: If there are abnormalities in your pet's behavior, it can help to install a camera and consult a dog trainer. Due to the good observation skills and existing specialist knowledge, he will find different solutions and support you in the implementation of the upcoming training. In order to promote the well-being of your dog, it also makes sense to find out about possible preparations for stress relief from the veterinarian you trust.

How long can I leave my dog alone?

Many working dog owners in particular ask themselves the question: Can I leave my dog alone for 8 hours? The answer is: No, your dog can stay alone a few hours a day for as long as you have been practicing. But never longer than necessary! If you are absent for long periods of time, you should come up with a solution for how your dog can be looked after.

Let your dog practice with 4 tips

As much as you would like to meet your dog need to be with him around the clock, it is impossible for you - you have to go to work, have hobbies and important appointments. Therefore, make the time of your absence easier for your darling and practice staying alone. Puppies generally learn and understand the goal of the exercise faster, but the training is similar to that of adult dogs.

With these 4 exercises you will get your furry friend used to being alone and relaxed:

  1. Close the door
    Start with the first exercise within your four walls. The first step in this step is to understand that you return every time you leave the room and close the door. To do this, go out of the room and close the door behind you to return after a few seconds. In contrast to other training sessions, you don't praise your dog, you ignore him. In this way he learns to relax in his dog bed or on the favorite sofa regardless of your actions. With praise you would get him out of the relaxed posture and thus possibly interrupt the optimal training.
  2. Extend the time span
    If your dog ignores the alternation of your presence and absence and instead withdraws or deals with his toys, you extend the duration of your absence by the minute. But be careful: dogs are smart and notice the continuous increase in time. As soon as your darling masters being left alone for more than 10 minutes, start to vary your absence flexibly within 1-10 minutes in order to avoid getting used to a steadily increasing absence.
    Our tip: Extend the time spans for your adult dog at smaller intervals than is necessary for puppies.
  3. Break habits
    Your dog orients itself by certain noises and habits that indicate that you are about to leave the house. The jingling of a bunch of keys, reaching for a jacket hook or packing up your handbag will make your darling prick up his ears and possibly cause him to be uneasy. You can change that! Break a link between your habits and the following absence: put on shoes every now and then in the house, take your packed handbag into the bathroom or on the sofa, get the jacket from your wardrobe and then place it over the dining room chair and jingle with your bunch of keys on a tour of the apartment. After a while, your behavior and the noises lose their relation to the upcoming absence and help your dog to stay calm.
  4. Guarantee occupancy
    A busy dog finds it much easier to stay at home alone than a dog that does not get enough exercise and activity. Take a long walk to stay alone before each training session. If your dog needs not only physical but also mental exercise, combine the walk with retrieval training or agility sports. So your dog is exhausted afterwards and lies in his dog bed satisfied.

Our tip: If you are absent for a longer period of time, it makes sense, especially with very active dogs, to ask a friend, relative or self-employed dogwalker for a walk in order to make the most of your darling.

Get your dog used to being alone

Do you know that, too? Your darling sits in front of his bowl at the same time every evening and impatiently waits for his meal. At lunchtime he happily walks up and down the apartment because he knows that his dog walk is coming up. Everything indicates that our doy read the clock or at least know when it is time for certain processes. Of course, your dog does not recognize the face of the clock, but rather “smells the time” by differentiating between new and older tracks and in this way brings olfactory information into a temporal context.

This also applies to your absence: Your dog recognizes by the falling odor level how long you have been gone and when you should return.

Our tip: In order to make it consistent and binding for your dog to stay alone, it makes sense to stick to fixed times whenever possible.

Keeping the dog alone: playing instead of yowling

If you have to leave your dog alone, you should provide exciting employment opportunities, especially for active four-legged friends. In addition to the usual toys and chewing bones of your favorite, you can offer him other opportunities to keep him busy. Since sniffing and smelling are his favorite tasks, here are top 3 best ideas to challenge your darling's nose and create an exciting pastime:

  1. Scent trail
    In the absence of your dog, drag strong-smelling treats across the floor and hide them at the end of the trail, e.g. B. under a pillow, a mug or simply under a cupboard or behind a door. Start with simple, straight stretches. If your dog can find the treats without any problems, you can also drag the tracks around nooks and crannies and hide the treats across rooms.
  2. Sniffing carpet
    If you want to avoid your four-legged friend walking through all the rooms while they are alone or if you only want to keep them in one room, a sniffing carpet offers perfect activity. To do this, hide several treats between the individual layers of fabric and lay the carpet ready for your darling just before you leave.
    Our tip: You can find out how you can easily and individually design beautiful sniff carpets yourself in our article “ Make your own sniff carpets ”.
  3. Surprise package
    Even without an occasion such as Christmas, Easter or a dog's birthday, a nicely wrapped present to unpack is a great highlight for your dog at any time. There are no limits to your creativity: Depending on the level of difficulty, you can wrap individual treats in several layers of newspaper, hide them in toilet paper rolls or stack cardboard boxes of different sizes filled with treats one inside the other. For particularly gifted sniffing noses, there is also an exciting combination of all three variants. For inspiration, just take a look at our "Unpacking a gift" activity idea .

    Our tip: Is your darling particularly dependent on closeness and activity under human guidance? Then think about a dog sitter! Maybe someone from your family or circle of friends is even available? As an alternative, you can also hire external, often professionally trained dog sitters, who often offer flexible care models.

Conclusion: With the right training and getting used to it, leaving your trusting friendship alone doesn’t hurt. Depending on how sensitive or independent your dog is, it may take a little longer to get used to being alone. Do not be discouraged by stepping backwards, stay patient and adapt to the pace of your favorite. In this way you will master the spatial separation calmly and enjoy your time together all the more relaxed and exuberant.

Comments There is no comment for this post yet.
write Comment