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Teaching your dog to stay home alone

Dogs naturally like being a part of a pack and being alone can be hard for them. Although you love your dog, life is busy — work, soccer games, gym time, and errands- unfortunately, this means we sometimes have to leave our dogs home alone.

It is necessary to teach them how to stay home alone. This can help your pet by decreasing barking and yapping.

The key is to avoid boredom and fear of abandonment. Here are some tips:

  • Do you have a puppy? Start training them early on to stay on their own. Of course, start gradually and do not leave them for an entire day right away. The key is for them to feel safe in the environment where they are being left.

  • Adopt an adult dog? It is also best to start training gradually to stay on their own, even if your pet was used to it in their previous environment. You should train even more gradually if you’re adopting a dog from a kennel who can be more sensitive. Their sole bond with humans has been temporary or traumatic, so they’re more sensitive than other dogs when it comes to breaking temporary bonds.

  • Boredom often makes for nervous dogs, which can cause problems. Some signs of boredom are chewing, digging, yapping, and barking, but also jumping near the gate where they come in and out. Don’t punish such behavior but instead avoid boredom. For example, hide some dry treats or use toys you can fill with treats to keep your dog busy.

  • If your dog has free rein in the house or yard, make sure everything is put away and there are no hazards.

  • Let your dog run around a bit before you leave. Tired dogs are less likely to bark or chew.

  • Another solution is to feed him before you leave. Dogs with full stomachs naturally tend to nap.

  • Don’t make a fuss when you leave or come home. Avoid painful goodbyes and ecstatic reunions. Dogs are already thrilled with a simple pat or greeting.

  • If you think your dog has real abandonment issues, consult a behavior specialist or talk to Dr. McMillen

  • You can support your dog’s training with Zylkene®. This behavior supplement relaxes your pet without causing drowsiness. It can help your pet be calmer, easier to train and adapt smoothly. Be sure to ask Dr. McMillen if you think your pet could benefit from supplements or medications.

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