Home Alone and Happy

Home Alone and Happy

How to teach my puppy … to be Home Alone and Happy!

It must be puppy season! Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a fair few pups, just getting settled in their new homes. A common thread (and I’m quite thrilled about this) is that puppy parents are thinking actively about Home Alone Time Training and really wanting to make an effort to ‘get it right’!

Unfortunately there is still a little confusion on exactly HOW to go about this. Although there is no one-size-fits-all, here are a few tips on where to start…

1. Create a good association to pup’s new co
nfinement area!

To avoid unnecessary disaster, its a good idea to limit your pup to an area which is puppy
-proofed both for his safety and your own sanity. It’s absolutely essential that he ‘loves’ his area so ensure it has some good chew toys, food toys, a comfy bed and an area that he can potty.

2. Start Home Alone Training without leaving the house.

You don’t need to leave the house to start training. Teaching the pup to have some quiet time on his own doesnt have to be immediately paired with leaving. You will need to get dressed, get a shower and do other things which mean you are not actively watching your pup, so getting him used to small periods in his area , without leaving the house first is a good first step. Start small and build up.

3. Ensure his/her needs are met.

new puppy early weeks

Pups can quickly become frustrated if they have a lot of energy and the need to run about, play with you and generally explore their new environment. Get up early with them and guide them on their way. Alone time is far less frustrating once pup has had an ample opportunity to explore, pee, poop and play!

4. Don’t wait til your pup is falling asleep.

sleeping puppy

You will find that after about 30-60 minutes your pup will start to slow down. Dont wait for him to collapse into a puppy coma before transferring him into his pen. If you regularly do this he will just wake up in the pen rather than understand the process. He should be slowing down but still awake and aware.

5. Actually leaving the house!

So here we go, the actual leaving part! 
Again, pup should be fully aware before you start.
Go through the ‘motions’ of leaving first.
Put on shoes, pick up bag, open and close the door, then back track and maybe have a cup of tea, go thru the motions again going out the door for a few seconds and back again. Increase the time you leave very gradually.

6. Throw in some easy one

Don’t just increase duration in a straight line. Throw in some easy absences!. You want a puppy that is frankly a bit bored at whatever this game is you are playing.

7. If in doubt, Video … and reach out for help!

If you have any doubt at all in your mind about how your puppy is behaving in your absences, flip up your laptop and record him. There are a lot of body language resources available or you can get a professional to take a look and interpret it for you! Personally, I’m utterly thrilled to have the opportunity to be training towards Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer status.

Get in touch at …  https://petprotrainer.com/contactform/
or drop me an email on sonia@petprotrainer.com
Guiding a pup through Home Alone Training is an important and essential task and I’m so happy that people are really thinking about it BEFORE it becomes a problem!
Sonia Calvert is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner and a Fear Free Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She is a fully endorsed trainer with APDTNZ and is working towards full Certification as a Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) to help deal with home alone training, and is currently working heading up ‘Pet Pro Trainer’.