Dogs are certainly lovely to have around as pets. Once you have gotten your dog as a pet, you can’t help but want to spend all day long at home playing around with your new furry friend. But, the problem is that this is not a reality that many people are living in. Even though they are eager to be at home with their pet dogs, they still have to go to work every day during the weekday.
They also have to go on a grocery shopping trip among other things. So, you certainly can’t expect to be at home with your dog all day long all the time. Even though your dog is going to miss you whenever you are away from home, he/she will need to learn to stay at home alone. Otherwise, your dog may end up with separation anxiety which isn’t good for both of you. So, here are some tips to help you with how to train a dog to stay home alone.
1. Distract Your Dog With Toys
If you are going to leave your dog at home alone, he/she is going to need something to keep him/her occupied while you are gone. So, this is where toys for dogs come in. As far as toys for your dog is concerned, I would recommend that you use the stuffed Kongs. That is because a stuffed kong is designed to take a long time for a dog to work through which will keep your dog busy throughout the time that you are gone.
Stuffed Kongs are packed with treats for your dog as a reward for working through them. You only want your dog to work on a stuffed Kong while you are gone though. So, give your dog the stuffed Kong when you are getting ready to leave and then when you return back home later on the same day, take it away from him/her. That will ensure that your dog associates his/her stuffed Kong with being alone at home.
2. Gradually Leave Your Dog Alone
Leaving your dog at home alone all day long too quickly can cause him/her to become anxious about where you have gone. So, in order to reduce your dog’s anxiety about your whereabout, you will want to leave your dog alone at a gradual rate. In order for this to work well, you may need to stay at home for the first few days. Start out by going outside for just a couple of minutes.
Within that time frame, you can do things like taking a garbage bag out to the trash can or checking your mailbox for any mail. Don’t forget to give your dog his/her stuffed Kong before doing so. Once your dog gets used to being alone while you are at home, you can start to leave your home. Start out by leaving your home for up to an hour by going on a grocery shopping run, for example.
3. Leave And Arrive Home Without Fanfare
In order to reduce the risk of your dog developing separation anxiety, you will want to avoid making your departure and arrival too much of an event for your furry pal. So, don’t give your dog any attention while you are getting yourself ready to head out of your home for the day. Once you are all ready, you can go to your dog and give him/her the stuffed Kong.
As you are doing that, you can say something like “Be good, I will be back” to your dog. Oh and don’t forget to take your dog outside to pee before you leave if necessary. You can learn how to potty train your dog here. When you arrive back home, just focus on getting yourself settled in like taking off your shoes and coat and putting your purse or bag away.
Once you have settled yourself back at home, you can go and play with your dog. Also, if you already have a dog bed at home, you can command your dog to go there once you arrive at home. You can go here to learn how to give the bed command to your dog.
4. Exercise Your Dog Before You Leave
You will want to make time each morning to give your dog at least an half hour of exercise. Not only is exercising good for your dog, but it will also help your dog to use up a great deal of his/her energy. That will help to tire out your dog while he/she is at home alone. That is because if your dog is tired while you are gone, then he/she will be less likely to worry about where you are at.
There are a couple of great options that I would suggest for how to give your dog a much needed exercise in the morning. You can play a game with your dog called frisbee. This is a game in which you toss the disc-shaped thing across the air and your dog needs to run in order to catch it. You will want to make sure that there is plenty of space outdoors so that your dog can easily run while playing frisbee.
Another option for exercising your dog is to go for a walk. You can do that within your neighborhood, ideally on a sidewalk.
5. Confine Your Dog
You may also want to look at confining your dog to a specific room within your home while you are gone. Just make sure that the room is devoid of any furniture that you don’t want your dog to be jumping on. If you have a spacious crate for your dog, you may want to put him/her in there, especially if you don’t have any rooms that are free of any dog-sensitive furniture.
These are my tips for how to train a dog to stay home alone. If you don’t train your dog to be alone while you are gone, you may find out from your neighbors that he/she had been barking while being alone. So, you will want to avoid this happening. What are your thoughts? Do your dog feel comfortable being alone while you are gone? Feel free to leave a comment below.