Dogs are very social animals and need their people around them, but hardly any dog owner has the opportunity to be with their dog around the clock. Often the animal has to spend at least a few hours alone now and then. If dogs are not used to this, it can quickly happen that they start howling and barking – hardly left alone – or even damage the furniture out of frustration or boredom. With a little patience, the dog can be accustomed to being left alone, but you should take it slowly.
Never longer than six hours
In general, dogs should never be left alone for more than six hours. Walking the dog is less of a problem. Dogs are packed animals and, although used to it, suffer from great loneliness when completely alone. If they are regularly left alone for eight or more hours, this can hurt the psyche of the animals.
Slowly train your puppy to be alone
If possible, you should get the dog used to being alone for a while when it is a puppy, as this is the easiest way for it to learn. “If you have to leave your dog alone a lot, even if it’s only for a short time, you should introduce it slowly,” advises Sonja Weinand, spokeswoman for the association Pfotenhilfe. “In the beginning, you should prepare it if you want to leave the dog alone. For example, take the dog for a long walk and feed it afterward.” After that, he’ll probably curl up in a corner and sleep. This moment is favorable to start training.
No dramatic goodbye
Now the dog owner can simply leave the house for a few minutes. There must be no drama when leaving the house or apartment. “Just leave without saying goodbye to the dog. It’s best if he doesn’t even know you’re leaving.” like Weinand. “After a few minutes, you come back and again ignore the dog. It must become natural that you come and go.” Gradually you can extend the phases in which the dog is alone.
Don’t give in at the first whine
It doesn’t always work right at the beginning. If the dog yells pitifully the first time because it feels abandoned, you should be firm. Otherwise, he’s associating your return with his howling. The result: he will whine louder and longer to bring you back faster and more safely. Therefore, wait until he has calmed down and then come back with a small treat and pats.
Alternatives to staying alone
In many companies, it is now also permitted to take the dog to the workplace, provided that it is well-behaved and socialized and does not mind lying in the dog basket for a long time. Then this situation is perfect. Another way to save the dog from being alone is to hire a dog sitter, mostly students or pensioners, who charge less money, or the slightly more expensive kennels.