Teaching your dog to stay home alone

Covid forced us all to make many changes and we all spent much more time at home.  The real winners in the situation was our dogs but they got used to having us around more. Returning to the office,  eating out and popping to the shops will mean sadly we may need to teach them how to be alone again.

We have some tips to prevent your dog from barking and even worse destroying things in the house.

The importance of a routine

Try to maintain the same routine. Feed and walk your dog at the same time.  If you are able to work in a separate room while you are still flexible then the dog will get used to you being apart and you may be able to work without as many distractions.

Leaving the house

If you follow the same steps before you leave the house then when you put your shoes on, collect your keys and coat, your dog will know you are going out.  To teach your dog that this is not a stressful routine and is normal behaviour then act like you're going out but instead of leaving, sit down and relax a while.  This will help them to remain calm each time you get ready to exit.

Create a safe space

It is important for your dog to feel safe and secure.  Be sure to provide a crate or a dog bed that will act as a hideaway and help him to remain calm.  Be sure to keep their space warm and away from draughts.  We have many bed options at www.leathernoses.co.uk including the igloo bed that creates the perfect safe spot.  To Sleep – www.leathernoses.co.uk

Don't overstimulate

When you are at home you are bound to be giving your dog more attention.  This is normal and fun but try not to over-stimulate and give too much attention, they will easily get used to it and when you return to leaving him alone, he might get bored and start entertaining himself with destructive behaviour like chewing furniture.  Toys are great fun to play with and can teach a dog that they can entertain themselves alone.

Take it slowly and build up the time apart

Teaching a dog to spend time alone takes time. Start by interacting less and over shorter periods of time.  Leave the house for a very short amount of time, maybe even starting with a minute, and build up the time apart slowly every day.  When you return to your dog don't make a fuss or a big deal about being reunited. 
If you notice anxiety creeping in because you have left him for too long, take a step back and keep the process going. Do not give up!

Remember you are your dog's everything -including their support so don't be angry with your dog if he destroys something or barks.  Your dog is having a hard time and needs your help.  If you are unable to resolve separation anxiety issues yourself, be sure to find a professional dog trainer to help you solve the issue and keep a happy pup.