pet pro trainerBlog
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 confinement 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.
3. Ensure his/her needs are met.
4. Don’t wait til your pup is falling asleep.
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 ones!
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.
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Even though over-arousal in dogs has had a fair bit of attention in some training circles in recent years , in terms of actually considering it strongly in a training programme, it is far too many times overlooked.
In fact when I hear comments or posts where people say, “oh ‘this method’ or ‘that technique’ just didn’t work for me, my first thought is whether it was due to over-arousal (or under-arousal) being in play.