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Because of work, many dog owners must leave their dogs alone at home. Because dogs are pack animals, it is quite unnatural for the dog to be left alone and separated from the pack; therefore, home-alone training is an important part of proper and important socialization from a young age. Issues around being left home alone and separation anxiety are among the most common problems for dogs; however, these problems can be avoided with proper training and preparation.
Prior to the new puppy or dog's arrival in its new home, it is crucial to have given certain issues some thought. Does the dog have access to the entire house? Where should the dog sleep? Where should he be while he is alone? Where should he eat? The dog is prepared to move in with his new family after these concerns have been addressed, the dog bed has been purchased, and the remaining supplies have been obtained. If these are respected and not altered along the way, the upcoming training and socializing will proceed much more smoothly. When it comes to socialization and training, consistency, patience, and routines are the way to go so that the dog can feel safe and avoid being entirely bewildered.
Home alone training
The new canine must initially adjust to his new home and family as well as his new surroundings. It's crucial to approach all training one step at a time, whether you have a young puppy or an older dog. The new house is a sea of fresh impressions, thus security must come first and foremost before training can start. Therefore, you cannot anticipate that the new dog will be able to be by himself or spend the first night in a separate room. Therefore, it could be a good idea to schedule the dog's arrival in conjunction with a vacation. This will provide you the space and opportunity to spend quality time with your new best friend.
When the dog has adjusted to its new family and home and has settled in well, you can begin home-alone training in small steps. The fewer steps you take, the less likely the dog will develop separation anxiety. The training begins simply by throwing treats into another room for the new dog, then leaving the room for a few seconds. Keep the door open so the dog can see you leave if the dog is locked in. These intervals can be gradually increased, and the exercise is repeated several times a day in different rooms to teach the dog to feel safe throughout the house.
You can practice closing the door behind you when the dog no longer registers that you are leaving it. When you return to the dog, remember to give him extra treats and lots of praise. Going out with the garbage while the dog is inside the house, so it sees you going out the front door, can also be part of the training. This exercise, in which you leave the dog through the front door, is repeated many times and gradually increased. If the dog begins to whine, bark, or howl, wait for it to quiet down before approaching it.
Do not approach it while it is barking, as it will associate its barking with your return and "rescuing" it. If it does and howls for an extended period of time, the interval must be reduced significantly and the training must be scaled back, possibly all the way back to treats in another room with the door open.
Therefore, it is important to continuously examine whether the dog can handle the training during the time you are training. The rate of learning varies greatly from dog to dog. Thus, it is impossible to determine what is typical and how quickly a dog should learn to be by themselves.
Patience is an important factor when it comes to training your dog to be alone at home. If the training takes place under stressful conditions, the dog will probably not get anything good out of it, so you must remember to set aside plenty of time for the training and have a good stock of treats.
Different activity toys, such as a treat ball, are a good idea for when the dog needs to be alone. This ball is filled with small treats, which the dog can push around with its snout, causing the treats to fall out. This type of toy stimulates the dog's nose while diverting attention away from the fact that the dog is alone. Of course, such a ball can only be used by dogs who have been trained to be alone, and you should not expect the dog to always be alone as a result of this ball. An activation toy is thus a "bonus" for the dog that can be left alone to keep it entertained.
How many hours?
It is generally advised that dogs should not be left alone for more than 4-6 hours per day. This is determined by the breed, age, and overall health of the individual dog, as well as their training and ability to manage time alone. A young, energetic dog, for example, may require more frequent breaks and attention, whereas an older, more sedentary dog may be able to tolerate longer periods of time alone.
If you must be away from home for an extended period of time, make arrangements for someone to check on your dog and provide them with food, water, and a chance to relieve themselves outside. Alternatively, you could hire a dog walker or pet sitter to visit your dog during the day, or you could take your dog to a doggy daycare where they can interact with other dogs and people.
When you're leaving the dog
It's crucial that you maintain your composure while you leave the dog at home. Even though the dog is trained, there is a potential that it will start to feel anxious or stressed as you prepare to leave. Avoid rushing out the door. We can all be busy in the morning, so try not to talk to the dog too much in the last 10-15 minutes before you leave. Even if you truly mean it out of pure love, there is no need to draw its attention by promising to return. By doing this, you only increase the dog's awareness of you and your impending departure.
You can offer some treats, give it a treat ball or some other toy and then just be quiet and go. Likewise, it is a good idea not to stir it up when you come back home. Have a calm body language and greet the dog quietly. If the dog is too excited and happy when you come home, you can ignore it when you come in the door, and only say hello to it properly when it has calmed down. In this way, the dog learns that there is no stress associated with departure and arrival to avoid it being on its toes every time the front door opens.