Dog Training — Home Alone
Sometimes it seems that our lives are filled to the point of overflowing. We love our families (including our dogs), but there just isn’t any way that we can spend 24/7 with them. The kids are “latch-key” kids. They often must come home and stay alone while we are still at work. It usually isn’t long, but we go to great lengths to be sure that the kids know the rules and that they understand that we would be with them if we could be with them. We don’t want the kids to hurt themselves or suffer from “separation anxiety.”
We prepare the kids for separation, but most of us don’t even think about preparing our best friend for separation. We go to great lengths to dog-proof our homes. We just simply put things that the dog could destroy out of his reach, and there isn’t much worry about him “obeying the rules.” He can’t turn on the oven or watch an X-rated movie.
Dogs are social creatures. Dogs LIVE to be close to the people that they love, and dogs do NOT like being left home alone. They feel as though they have been abandoned, which I honestly believe is a dog’s greatest and maybe only fear. So it is up to us to prepare them from puppyhood to see separation as a temporary and nonthreatening situation that is expected and accepted.
From the day that you bring the puppy home, always close the bathroom door so that he gets accustomed to you opening a door, going through it, and not being visible to him.
1. Crate train your puppy. Teach him to see his crate as a his safe place where he feels comfortable.
2. Provide your dog with toys (especially chew toys) that he can entertain himself with in your absence.
3. Do not make a big production out of leaving your dog. Simply open the door, walk through it, and shut the door. Long goodbyes are unnecessary and make the dog anxious.
4. When you get home, be sure that you are as glad to see your dog as he is to see you. Sweet reunions make up for absences.