Home Alone Puppies

Posted Monday, 12 January 2015

Dogs need company as they are a social species. Dogs must not be left home alone regularly for more than four hours a day. So please don’t think you can get a dog, drop home lunch time and then again in the evening leaving her on her own for 8 hours or more.

Home alone puppies often cannot be effectively toilet trained as they simply can’t hold their bladders that long. Even if you go home at lunch time.

Home alone puppies often suffer extreme separation distress leading to later relinquishment because of noise complaints or destruction to property as they struggle to cope, chewing reduces stress but causes damage to property.

Home alone puppies can be destructive because they become bored.

Home alone puppies can be nippy when the owners come back because they are so excited. They have stored up their energy all day and now there is someone to play with them. And you are shattered as you have worked all day and all you want is to sit down and have a cuddle with your puppy.

Home alone dogs that do not suffer separation distress tend to be independent as they have had to learn self sufficiency. Independent dogs tend not to be affectionate and are harder to train.

If you are at work all day, do you have time to groom your dog? Some dogs need little maintenance and only need brushing a couple of times a week but others require daily grooming to make sure their coats don't get knotted up.

Do you have time to exercise your dog? Most dogs need at least an hour off lead running about each day. And if they can't go off lead because they have not been trained how to behave then this time should probably be doubled. Dogs should be exercised in a variety of locations so that their mental experience varies. Different surfaces, different activities, different dogs, different scents.

Please see this useful resource from the Kennel Club. Responsibility and care

You can see that I feel passionately about this. Too often people have asked me to help them with problems such as toilet training, excessive bitiness, property damage which are almost impossible to solve because the puppy has had to self educate. Once a behaviour has been learned it cannot be erased, we cannot re write dogs' brains any more than we can human brains. To correct bad behaviours, much time has to be spent on re education and supervision.

Puppies, like children, need a good education. You get out what you put in. If you are working all day you cannot educate your puppy.