Dog Training

How to Teach a Puppy to Stay Home Alone (4 Steps)

How to Teach a Puppy to Stay Home Alone

The arrival of a puppy at home marks the beginning of its education process. One of the things we must do is teach a puppy to stay home alone. If we don’t, our dog can suffer from anxiety in our absences and could lead to behavioral problems. This article will see how to teach a puppy to stay home alone and avoid future problems.

1. Why doesn’t my puppy know how to stay home alone?

It may surprise you that when you leave your dog starts to whimper, bark or scratch the door. Even when we’ve just gone to the bathroom for a few minutes! For what is this? The reason for this behavior is because when our puppy comes home an important change takes place: he goes from being accompanied by his mother and siblings all day to a new home where people are frequently absent. Your puppy just isn’t used to being left alone. To reverse this situation, we will need to gradually accustom ourselves to our absences.

2. Create a zone of calm

The first step in solving the problem is to create a zone of calm. This will help him to better manage his emotions and to be calmer in the moments when you are not there. If we also leave his favorite toys in it, we will be helping him to spend this time more entertaining and it will be much easier for him.

In short, you should find a place in the house that is not a transit area, and place a bed adapted to their way of sleeping (circular, rectangular… etc.) with their favorite toys. Boost its use by leaving prizes in it when it doesn’t see you. Practice this for a couple of days until you get used to using the calm zone.

3. Teach a puppy to stay home alone

Once he has a calm zone we can start teaching him to stay home alone. For this, we will need to create moments of absence and gradually increase them progressively, so that your puppy accepts these moments naturally.

  1. In the beginning, we will start with a brief absence, of just 1 minute in an adjoining room closing the door. You can take advantage, for example, when you go to the bathroom to brush your teeth.
  2. If our puppy cries, scratches the door, or complains, we will wait for him to calm down. This is very important since we do not want him to understand that in order for us to come back he must cry, scratch the door or complain.
  3. When we meet again we will act naturally (neither ignore nor greet effusively)
  4. For several days we will gradually increase the time. We will start with 1 minute and if our puppy accepts our absence without problems, we will increase to 5 minutes, 10, 20, 30 and so on until we reach 4 hours.

4. Additional Tips

Here are some tips that will help in the task of teaching a puppy to stay home alone:

  • Patience! Training takes days, don’t expect quick results. Dogs need time to assimilate certain things and more when it comes to a puppy.
  • Regarding how long a puppy can stay home alone, it is advisable not to leave it alone for more than 4 hours. If for personal or work reasons this is not possible, try to have someone visit you in the middle of your absence to play or go for a short walk.
  • Always leave him toys to entertain himself (Kong stuffed with food, toys to bite…etc.).
  • A leisurely walk prior to your absence will help him relax. Remember that your puppy should return from the walk relaxed and not overexcited.

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