Leaving my dog alone

Discussion in 'Obedience Training' started by rockythepain, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. rockythepain New Member

    hi my friend,my dog is 9 months old, soon or later someday we all in the house have to leave for work,so im wondering how to start training him to stay in the house no barking or ruining things. some times i leave him crated alone in a room and he starts crying when he is alone O_O i don't know what i have to do plz help me before its too late:dogunsure:

  2. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    wow, good question, Rocky, i don't know much, to offer help, but the smart ones will spot you soon.
    How many hours will this 9 month old puppy have to be home alone?
  3. rockythepain New Member

    lets satart from 2-3 hours then we'll move to more but i dont know where to start! i want him to be ready before I find a job! :dogclosedeyes:
  4. fickla Experienced Member

    I would work a ton on crate games. Teach your dog to drive into his crate and stay in there with the door open. Free hape this so it's a really fun game. Feed him in his crate.

    Also start giving your dog a really good bone, or stuffed kong when you put him in his crate. Let him eat it for a short time while you are nearby. Then open the crate, remove the bone, and let him exit the crate. Repeat. This should teach him that he gets great things when in his crate, he doesn't get them when out of it. If he does really good with you nearby, start being in a different room of the house. Remember to come back and take away the bones before he's finished.

    Also remember to completely ignore the whining. Don't even tell your dog to be quiet, or reassure him, as any attention could reward the whining. Wait it out. Only come back when he is quiet.

    Some people have good luck with putting a blanket over the crate when the dog is whining. So you leave, come back and reward if he's quiet, but if he cries have someone put a blanket over it. As SOON as your dog is quiet, come back and lift up the blanket. Repeat. If you try this, remember to take away the blanket as soon as your dog is quiet. If you wait and always have the blanket covering it is no longer a training tool but is simply managing it.

    I would use the crate whenever you leave your dog alone for right now. 9 months is a teenager and even if he's never destroyed something, he is at the age where he could easily be tempted.
  5. rockythepain New Member

    ok there is a start :) he loves to go to his crate coz he knows he'll get a treat when he is out! ill try the bone :) at what age i should leave my dog at home alone and how to stat! in other words,whats the next step after the cate and the bone thing?
  6. fickla Experienced Member

    I don't think it's a matter of age, but more of your dog's individual personality and the amount of training each dog needs to get them comfortable. A lot of puppies are great at being left alone for a few short hours at 9 weeks. But if your dog hasn't been left alone at all since you've had him, it's going to be a bit harder to suddenly teach him that it's ok to be alone.

    I don't think there's specifically a next step after what I've listed, but more expanding it to longer periods of time. So you start with giving your dog a great bone or something to occupy him while you're in the room and just teaching him that being in his crate is a good thing. progressing to you being in a different room, and working on being quiet. Then you just work on the amount of time you can be away from him with him being calm and quiet. I still do the bone at this stage. If your dog can be away from you for 2 hours while you're in a completely different area of the house, it's usually no problem to actually leave the house for 2 hours. Obviously you are quickly going to reach a time where the bone is gone before you come back and take it away, but by that point he should have enough conditioning built up with alone=good (or at least it's ok) that it's not a big deal.
  7. rockythepain New Member

    ok got it thanks a lot fickla :)
  8. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    nice job, Fickla!!!
  9. rockythepain New Member

    just want to ask something,is it bad that i always make time to have someone with him if i am out?? in another words is it bad that i didnt left him alone when he was younger?
  10. fickla Experienced Member

    well, i would say yes. it's a lot easier to start leaving your dog alone if he gets used to it slowly at a young age. then it just becomes a fact of life. but it's not the end of the world if you never left him alone until now. you still have to go through the same steps as you would with a young puppy. and if your dog already has good impulse control then I don't know that this would even take any longer at an older age then it would have if he was young. but that's just my guess.

    On the other hand, my dog Vito (now 12 months) has always had an issue of being left alone, even at 8wks when we got him. Normal puppies do cry when they are first alone, but with Vito it was much more extreme and panicky. I have done a billion crate games, lots of impulse control, tried to shape short leavings, and basically everything I have ever read on having a calm dog alone but it only helped somewhat. I ended up going through a full separation anxiety treatment plan with Vito that took 3 months before I could leave him alone for 2hrs. In Vito's situation, I think that getting older helped him out (more frustration tolerance) but age was only a small factor in it. But I am still extremely grateful for all the foundation work I tried to put in with Vito at a very young age to help with being left alone.

    So long answer, but really it doesn't matter what the answer is. you can't change the past!
  11. rockythepain New Member

    omg, i've started to worry about my dog!! :( the thing is i dont love to leave him alone unless there is a need fo it! -.-
  12. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Ah Rocky, don't feel bad. I adopted a full grown adult dog with a ton of issues, and even adult dogs can learn stuff. Fickla is right, it is ideal if they can learn stuff as puppies, but, we do the best we can.

    No time like the present to give your dog some opportunities, like Fickla describes above, to learn that yes, he is indeed safe while you are gone, and yes, you do come back!!

    Our dog is not home alone much, either, so we, on purpose, leave him home alone for him to gain confidence. If you follow Fickla's great advice up there, your lil puppy will grow in confidence. But keep us posted if you need help!
  13. rockythepain New Member

    thanks both of you! I'm starting to teach him what fickla said above, he dont like to eat his bone while the gate is closed but im sure he'll focus on the bone when i'll do it many times and hope it'll work :)
  14. tinamou999 New Member


    Just wanted to add that you might want to leave the television on for your dog too while you are out. This way he/she will hear voices and not be too mindful of being "really" alone. I leave Madagascar on for my 4 months old Great Dane and leave it on a loop so it keeps on going. Dont know if its the animals in madagascar that have a calming effect on her but something helps :)

    Try it and you might find it works for you too.

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