Worried about your dog having separation anxiety? We love our pups, but we can’t be there all the time. Maybe you’ve been working remote and now you’re getting called back into the office. You want to be able to leave for the evening and come back to calm dog. Or maybe you just don’t want them to learn some independence. There are plenty of reasons our dogs need to learn to be content while they’re alone.
Teaching your dog how to be alone will make them more confident and give you more freedom. Even better, they’ll be so excited when you come back.
Start teaching your dog independence slowly
It’s not fair to expect your dog to go from constant companion to be on its own. If they’ve been your constant companion, you need to start slowly. If you’re going to use a crate or pen, make sure they feel safe and comfortable inside. You want them to associate this space with good things.
Start your dog with short absences
Leave them alone for short periods at first. When you return, greet them with affection and a reward if you want. Repeat this process, increasing the time you’re gone each time. By building up to longer periods, your dog will become less dependent on you. This is good for both of you.
Leave your dog with distractions
Some people leave the radio or TV on. Some people leave out a favorite toy or dog bed. Don’t expect your dog to sit quietly and patiently the entire time you’re gone. Younger dogs especially will want to be active and need distractions.
Take your dog on a walk before you leave
You may not always have time for this, but it can make a big difference. Taking your dog on a walk or just getting them some exercise will help them calm down. This also helps prevent any bathroom emergencies while you’re out.
Don’t make leaving or returning a big deal
The less attention you draw to leaving the less your dog will notice. If you make a big deal out of it, your dog will learn that it is a big deal. Remaining calm when you leave and return lets them know there’s nothing to worry about.
It’s your responsibility
Another good thing to remember is that if your dog is stressed or anxious, they don’t need scolding. They need claiming, training, and reinforcement. You’re the owner and it’s up to you to make sure they’re equipped for a happy life.
Want to read more about dog life?
- Be the pet parent your dog hoped for
- Responsible pet ownership in 2022
- Why socializing your dog is important
- Fun ways to exercise your dog
H2H Canine Orphanage
Home 2 Home is a non-profit canine orphanage revolutionizing the way dogs find their perfect homes. We consider ourselves an orphanage versus a traditional shelter because we provide needs-based care. We also have licensed trainers on staff, veterinary care, flowing water, and always-available beds. Their better life starts when we get them, but their best life is after they’re adopted to their forever home. Learn more about us and our story.