"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring-it was peace."

-Milan Kundera

Training Your Puppy to Be Alone

It's no secret that puppies are very social creatures, as they love to play and interact with those around them. They also tend to become very attached to their friends and owner, which is why training your puppy to be alone is a key step in the training process.

Teaching your pup how to be alone is an important part of the puppy's growth process. If not properly trained in this, they can develop behavioral symptoms stemming from separation anxiety, including excessive barking, chewing, and digging.

When leaving your pet alone, it is imperative to ensure they are in a safe environment, either a crate with lots of space or a puppy-proofed room. Before putting the 
puppy into his crate or "safe space," ensure that he has been walked, exercised, and has food and water. Therefore, you are sure that all of his needs are met if he begins to cry. 
And with time, and proper training, your puppy will gradually begin to adjust to being alone, while developing the understanding that you will return after leaving them.

Helpful Tips:

  • Begin the training process by leaving your puppy alone in his crate or secluded space for 30 minutes to an hour each day. As time passes, and the puppy gets older, you can increase the length of time they are alone to 2 hours for puppies under 3 months, and up to 4 hours for puppies over 3 months. 
  • Sometimes, puppies respond well to "white noise," such as a radio or TV. Additionally, particularly with crates, dogs sometimes like the space to be darker, resembling a den. 
  • Make the alone time as enjoyable as possible for your puppy. Make their alone time their feeding time, while also providing stuffed toys or chewies to make the stretch of time more pleasant.
  • You can also start introducing "quiet time" into their play times. Interrupting playtime with a brief pause teaches them more self-control by settling down and lying still for a few seconds. Then, once he has settled, offer a reward or treat and allow him to continue playing. With time, lengthen these "quite times" to longer segments, and your pup will begin to understand that alone time will be followed by a fun playtime! 


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