All cute and small… But very bad-mannered! You have just adopted a puppy and are experiencing difficulties in the first days at home… How do you train a little dog to stay alone at home without stress?
Why do puppies rip through the house?
There can only be one explanation: anxiety! It is likely that you adopted your dog around 2 or 3 months old; which did not leave its mother enough time to round off its education. Before 3 months, a puppy dog is still very dependent on the mother. When it settles down in your home, after a few days of disorientation, the dog will instinctively attach to the person that is closest: you! It is especially true if you live on your own or if the dog was adopted during the holiday season, when you’re very available for it.
Consequently, the moment when you go back to work can turn out to be quite dramatic. Your puppy will express its anxiety with cries at night or during the day; it is likely to forget being clean all of a sudden! Chewing on furniture, objects or clothing is also a sign of separation anxiety.
How to get your dog used to spending time on its own?
It requires self control; it is not easy to be firm with a little puppy dog crying and staring at you with its big eyes! But you won’t win the case without keeping a tough stance: it is crucial that you get your dog used to being alone at home as soon as you have it.
Set up its basket in a spot where you are not within its eyesight all day long.
Warning: we’re not saying that you should isolate your dog, but to make sure that it is not able to see you all the time.
When your dog is constantly following you around, be firm and send it back to its basket. Refrain from replying to its requests for attention.
Similarly, send it back to its basket when it greets you home at the end of the day. Ignore your puppy for 30 minutes, then call it and cuddle: the dog will get used to waiting for you to take the initiative of contact, and not the other way around.
When you’re leaving the house in the morning, do not pay attention to your dog for about 30 minutes before leaving. Avoid all talking and cuddling before you close the door. It may seem rough, but being too close actually turns out to increase anxiety.
Do not get mad at your dog if you come home to some dirtiness or light damages in the house: it wouldn’t understand.
When will my puppy dog be independent?
You have to be patient, but don’t worry: dogs are receptive to rituals, your little puppy will quickly find its bearings and create new reflexes. When they grow up close to their mother, puppies gain independence through progressive and voluntary distance. They become autonomous around 5 or 6 months and then start pulling away from the “pack” (their mother and siblings) and sleep alone for instance. If you manage to use the same training approach, you should meet the same results within a similar time frame.
To give your dog more autonomy as early as possible, without stress, think of getting a Weenect Pets GPS dog tracker. It’ll allow you to know where your dog is at any time of the day and be notified in case it runs away.
Training your dog to be alone may seem challenging: it’s hard not to give in when it starts crying and asks for cuddling! Keep in mind that you’re not being too tough to your dog: on the contrary, you’re simply helping it grow into a healthy animal and be ready to spend long years by your side.