The coping dog, day 2: home alone

We stayed home alone on day #1 for 10 minutes and on day #2 for an hour. No problem for this superstar puppy! I wasn’t too concerned about it because I knew she had already been able to stay home at her previous home – otherwise, I wouldn’t have gone straight to an hour.

With new puppies, I try and leave them for at least 10 minutes every day until they are about a year old. (Unless there is separation anxiety in the puppy – in that case, I would slowly work on it.)

For most puppies I have worked with, staying home alone, when started early and integrated as a normal everyday event, won’t be a problem. The trick is to start on the very first day you’ve got them – when they aren’t yet attached to you! – and then stay consistent. Your value in their life increases with every interaction, which is why you’ll have to keep leaving them home alone every day (or most days): this is how we increase criteria!

Here is the video of The Beautiful and Terrifying Nature of Things’ first entire hour home alone – no Game, no Chrissi:

Apart from starting early, another trick for leaving puppies home alone is to make it a habit to always close the door behind you when you leave a room: go to the bathroom? Rather than letting the puppy follow you, close the door. Same with the kitchen, bedroom … any room that has a door. Do that from day #1, and staying home will come easier to your partner!

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