How do I teach my dog to be left alone without completely freaking out?
Well, is that the question that’s keeping you awake at the moment?
How the hell is King Kong the Chihuahua supposed to sleep comfortably at home without constantly informing the entire neighborhood about how bloody disgusted he is at your absence?! Wuuuuusaaaaa…
Let me tell you one thing: you are not the only one with this topic!
A lot of King Kongs have trouble staying alone and that’s why we have four tips for you to make staying alone work!
In a nutshell: leave the dog alone – that’s how it works!
Whether you are teaching a puppy or an adult dog to be alone, the training steps are the same.
It is important that you start small and only leave your dog alone for a few minutes to go into the next room.
He should and may learn that he can rely on you and that you always come back to him. If he manages a few minutes, you can gradually increase the time.
Yes, it can take weeks or even months before your dog can be left alone for half an hour!
If you want to learn to understand your dog better, you can also take a look at our dog training bible!
Dog can’t stay alone? That’s how he feels about it
Does your dog not like to be left alone?
You can’t really blame him that much.
After all, being alone is a human thing and not our dog’s. They are pack animals, as we all know, and as such it is in their nature to want to keep their pack together.
Depending on whether your dog was confronted with being alone at an early age or whether he only had to learn it as an adult, this can work well or less well today. How he was taught also plays a crucial role.
Separation anxiety dog
Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety when their master and/or mistress are not around.
Livestock guardian dogs in particular are known to suffer when just one family member they love is not in the house. In their eyes, it is a bottomless impertinence to leave the pack without their permission.
How long to leave dog alone What is in order?
You want to know if you can leave your dog alone for 6 hours?
We think this is the absolute maximum of hours that a dog should spend alone and preferably not every day!
If you have practiced staying alone with your dog step by step and he can relax alone for 1, 2 or even 3 hours, he will certainly be able to cope with 6 hours in exceptional cases.
Dog barks when he’s alone?
Does your dog howl when he’s alone? Then that is his coping strategy to deal with the stressful situation.
But how can you leave Spike the French Bulldog alone without him starting a concert that the neighborhood King Kong joins in on?
You will probably have to start your training all over again. Once being alone is negatively influenced, you need a lot of rest and patience as well as the gift of being happy about the smallest progress.
Below are 4 tips on how to practice being alone with Spike! You must not forget that our dogs are just as individual as we humans. What works for one may not work at all for another.
If you need more input on the subject of “dog barks when he’s alone”, please have a look at this article!
Practice leaving the dog alone – 4 tips to make it work!
Has your dog not yet learned to be alone or is it difficult to bear?
Here’s some good news for you: you can train your dog to be alone at any age!
However, there is never a guarantee that it will work. But maybe with a little training you can at least make it to the nearest supermarket without your shack being in ruins!
Tip #1: Slowly feed the squirrel!
Which means something like: Many small steps will lead you to your goal!
It’s very important that you practice being alone with your dog in mini-little-mini-mini-mini steps.
For now, leave him in his place when you leave the room. If he runs after you, send him back to his place. Again and again. You only go into the next room for a few minutes, your dog can take it, don’t you think?
If he manages to do this, you can expand the spatial separation by closing the door. Also only for a few minutes. You slowly increase the time. Just like you slowly take out the garbage and slowly go to the mailbox. You can use all these small corridors to practice being alone with your dog.
Many minutes will pass before it becomes half an hour or even an hour. But once you get to one hour, the second isn’t that hard either!
Tip #2: Don’t make a big deal out of it!
When you go, you go. When you come back, you come back. Very relaxed and without much excitement.
This tip always sounds so harsh and so painful, but just ignore your dog when you leave the house and come back.
This is how he notices that nothing is really going on and of course you can greet your dog as soon as the first moment of your return is “over”. It’s just about not confirming his excitement.
Tip #3: Keep your dog busy when he’s alone
What does your dog like? Does he have a sweet tooth or does he love nibbles?
Especially at the beginning of your training phase, it can be helpful if your dog has something to do in the first few minutes of your absence. For example, you can fill him with a food kong that he gets as soon as you leave the house or prepare a sniffing mat or a licking mat.
Tip #4: Make sure your dog is relaxed and engaged
Before you leave the house, your dog should have a chance to do his or her business.
Especially if you are away for several hours, it is important that your dog does not squeeze its bladder while you are away – this leads to stress and, unluckily, to a strong smell in your apartment…
Teaching an adult dog to be alone
Have you given an adult dog a home? Feel tight for it. That’s great!
And now she’s sitting there, the little lady. But no one has ever left the nine-year-old Havanese alone AND YOU WANNA GO SHOPPING NOW, SAMMA ARE YOU CRAZY?
no nonsense. Even Lady can learn that with luck! You build up the training just like you would with a puppy. Step-by-step!
And please don’t overwhelm the old lady. In some cases the effort is simply in vain and yes it is just stressful for everyone involved when the dog cannot stay alone but: there is certainly a solution for that too!
Leaving Puppies Alone – Do’s & Don’ts!
DO’s: You shouldn’t leave a small baby dog alone until it’s five months old at the earliest. Nevertheless, you can work on it beforehand so that it doesn’t get so bad for him.
We want to have them with us all the time, especially when the little ones are still very clumsy and drop-y. But don’t forget that your dog is getting bigger and that he will always demand this closeness later on.
You don’t have to let your pup sleep alone, but feel free to send him back to his spot every once in a while if he gropes after you. Above all, staying alone in a room while you are in the next room can be practiced slowly right from the start.
DONT’s: Which of course doesn’t work at all, neither in puppies nor in adult dogs are sedatives! Giving sedatives to leave the dog alone is absolutely never an option!
Can I leave my dog alone at night?
Yes, you can also leave your dog alone at night!
Have you already practiced leaving your dog alone during the day and that works well? Then it will definitely be even easier for your dog at night.
Many dog owners know it: Chestnut and Cocobello just don’t want to run the evening round anymore. Unnecessary, way too late, better hang out on the couch.
As soon as the evening falls, most four-legged friends get tired. That’s why most people find it easier to be alone for a few hours in the evening or at night. It’s easy!
It goes without saying that here, too, the hours should be limited to a maximum of six at a time! Not every day and not every night!
Good to know:
Our dogs are all individual and a suitable training plan can be designed just as individually. If you are unsure what makes the most sense for you and your dog, please contact a local dog trainer. It’s often easier to create a plan tailored to you when you meet in person!
In short: leave the dog alone – that’s how it works!
Whether you need to leave your chihuahua alone, leave your dachshund alone, or leave your pug alone, they can all be trained and are all dog breeds that can be left alone.
It is important to build up the training step by step and not to overwhelm your dog at first. After all, he should not associate being alone with stress, fear, and panic.
On the contrary, he can learn that he can rely on you and that you always come back to him!
If you are unsure how to structure the training with your dog, do not hesitate to contact a local dog trainer. Our dogs all have their own personalities and sometimes leaving the dog alone can make a better training plan once the trainer has gotten to know the dog.
Would you like to learn more about your four-legged friend? Check out our dog training bible for more helpful tips and tricks to better understand your dog’s behavior.