7 STEPS TO IMPROVE YOUR DOG’S ALONE TIME
We wish our dogs to accompany us everywhere we go. Unfortunately, it's an impossible task. Helping your puppy or new dog adjust to being alone is vital teaching they need to learn in the very early stages of their life. If they never learn how to do this, you are bound to end up with a dog who acts out by barking, digging, or chewing excessively – or one who is certain to get a severe case of separation anxiety.
Canines are pack-loving creatures, so being alone can be distressing for them. When you live in an apartment, having a dog who barks and cries while you're gone can be a problem. Neighbours aren't always concerned with whether or not your dog is stressed; they are concerned with whether or not your dog is noisy. Now that you've returned to your routine, focus on assisting your dog in adjusting. It'll be beneficial for both her and your mental health. Fortunately, you can teach your dog to enjoy his alone time or at the very least accept it.
Dogs who were already part of the family before the lockdown has become much more accustomed to our presence. Post the pandemic, the offices are resuming and this will affect dogs. They are sociable creatures, and it's typical of them to be concerned when left alone. As a result, you must teach your dog how to spend time alone and guarantee that they learn to feel at ease in their own company.
Training can be an effective way to assure your pet that it's ok to be alone and that even if you are leaving, you'll return. Slowly and gradually increase the duration of time you leave your dog alone. Associate a nice experience with the instruction (for example, treats, toys or praise). Keep in mind that each dog is unique. You must progress at a rate that is appropriate for your dog's reaction, and you must never overextend the training to the point that it becomes stressful for your dog. The following steps will be able to properly explain to you how you can improve your dog’s alone time:
Step 1: Before you go, tire them out:
Make sure your dog has had a long walk before you leave them alone. This will allow them to expend some energy, tire themselves out, and go to the bathroom. That way, they'll be ready to relax and sleep while you're gone.
Step 2: Mental Stimulation is just as necessary:
Getting enough exercise for your dog is critical for a variety of behavioural disorders, and it isn't just about physical activity. Mental stimulation is just as vital for your dog, and just like going for a long walk, using their brain can tire them out. When you leave them home alone, they'll be more inclined to sleep if they've had enough physical and mental activity. You'll save your dog from undue stress or anxiety later in life if you take the time to teach him that being alone is nothing to be afraid of. It's recommended to consult with a trained dog trainer if your dog is already demonstrating signs of separation anxiety or other undesirable behaviours while left alone.
Step 3: Gradually increase the distance and time spent.
Carry on with your routine, moving further away and for longer lengths each time. The distance and duration you increase will be determined by your dog. Don't reward or reprimand your dog if he or she reacts or moves. You should have no problems leaving your dog for extended times once you've gotten to the point where they are fine to be left for up to an hour.
Step 4: Crate Training:
Making the crate the most lovely location on earth is the secret to crate training your puppy. You can do this by making the box a fun place to be! While your puppy is in the crate, provide him with some chew toys. When your puppy is in the crate, make sure you lavish him with care and praise, and never use the box to discipline him. Allow your puppy to go in and out of the crate as it pleases at first, so it doesn't feel trapped. You can start closing the door for 10 – 15 minutes at a time once your dog is familiar with his crate and receives affection and goodies every time it goes inside.
Step 5: Make staying alone an entertaining experience for your pup:
Make sure your dog has something to do when you leave them alone. Of course, something enjoyable! You can get some dog puzzle toys to keep them occupied and stimulated. When these toys are rolled around or a hatch is lifted, they release treats. Pawsindia’s Treat Tumbler is one such exciting toy built specifically for this purpose.
In the wild, dogs spend the majority of their time looking for food. Simulate this for your puppy by putting treats in and around the house for them to sniff out while you are gone. You can even get him new chew toys such as the Croc Dental Toy or the Ultimate Chew Stick from Pawsindia. These toys will ensure your dog has company in your absence and also clean their teeth in the process. The important thing is to give it to your dog right before you leave the house. As a result, he will link your departure with a pleasant experience. This way you tell him that when you leave, good things happen.
Step 6: Make your exits and arrivals calm and composed:
Encourage your dog to go to their bed and stay there for a short time. Reward your dog for staying in their bed quietly. When you depart, don't make a scene. If you show your dog that you care about him and continue making the situation sad, he will take upon it. Simply maintain a pleasant attitude, provide your dog with a chew toy, and say, "See you later, buddy!" "Do your best!"
Also, don't make a scene when you return. Your dog is already excited to see you; if you exaggerate the joy by making a big deal out of it, you risk teaching your puppy negative habits. When their owners arrive home, some puppies may urinate, jump up excessively, or produce loud howling and barking sounds, which may eventually drive you, your guests, or neighbours insane. No matter how delighted you are to meet your dog, welcome him calmly. The remainder of the evening is yours to show him how delighted you are to be back at home and spend some much-needed quality time with him.
Step 7: Make your presence felt:
This remark may appear perplexing, but there is a method to being with your puppy while at work. Knowing that you are present, even if you are not physically present, makes a significant impact on your dog. One way you can ensure that is to place one of your old t-shirts or sneakers on your puppy's bed so he can smell you. This has shown to be a source of comfort for several dogs.
Alone time can prove to be a major problem for your dogs. If not trained properly or neglected, may result in severe mental issues such as separation anxiety, stress and depression. It takes a lot of time, patience, and positive reinforcement to teach dogs with separation anxiety to be alone, but it is not possible. Together you both can overcome this difficult task and continue to lead a happy life harmoniously.
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