When you adopt a puppy, you don't get maternity or paternity leave to stay with him. It's a shame, isn't it? So you will have to leave the house to work, but also to go shopping or when you are invited and you can't always take your puppy with you.
He will have to learn to stay alone. This is a difficult stage for the puppy, but also for the whole family.
You are going to leave and he will most likely cry or whine and this is an educational passage that makes your stomach hurt believe me. But you will have to hold on or else your puppy will trash everything in your house out of boredom and to show his anger at being "abandoned".
You wonder how to do it? You will see that it is not complicated, you just have to follow some steps. Steps that I give you now.
Get your puppy used to being bored
Yes, I know, you're thinking, but what is he talking about? So the man tells you that the first step is to get your puppy used to being bored when you're around.
You need to make him independent, to detach yourself from him, to teach him to live on his own while you're away. If I use the word "learn" it's simply because staying alone is not a natural behavior for the dog, who must live in a pack. Your goal is to go against his nature.
Your dog must learn boredom. Because when he is alone he will be bored. To do this, you just have to detach yourself a little from him and not respond to his demands 24 hours a day: cuddles, games, etc.
At the beginning it is not won. He will discover that boredom sucks, it's heavy, it's long and he will go in circles. Until he does something stupid like chewing on something he's not allowed to.
Except that you're there to tell him "no" and to remind him that he shouldn't do that. A puppy that does something stupid when he's alone is common, because he's bored. So you have to let him get bored, stop him from doing something stupid, let him get bored, stop him from doing something stupid again and again. Until he understands that being bored is normal and doesn't justify doing something stupid.
If you succeed in this step, and you will, you have already taken a big step forward. Shall we continue?
Start leaving your dog alone
This step should only begin when your puppy "knows" how to be bored without getting into trouble. So after you've taught him to be bored, you'll have to teach him to be alone. This is not something that can be done in two days and you will have to be consistent in your actions, but also in what you do with your puppy.
You must first choose the room where your puppy will stay alone when you are not there. This room is used for training, but it should remain the same when he is an adult and you leave him "for real" alone. It's best to put his basket and toys in the room so he can get his bearings.
Now you can start learning to be alone. Go into the room and have your puppy follow you. Don't call him, he should follow you without being "invited". Don't talk to him either. Pretend to be busy in the room and then leave, but "accidentally" lock him in.
Wait 5 or 6 seconds (not 4 or 7 is super important, just kidding). Go back into the room and reward him with a treat, a caress. Go back and do the same thing several times, but stay out of the room a little longer each time.
Beware of habits
A dog is not stupid, on the contrary. When you leave him alone to go to work, he knows that the alarm clock rings, that afterwards it's breakfast, the shower, etc. and that all his habits are a sign that he will be left alone very soon. The problem is that these habits and rituals can cause anxiety in your puppy.
He will then demand your attention, will want to play, will cry and even bark. He may also act out to show that he is anxious and doesn't want to be left alone.
This is very common and the solution to this problem is very simple: you must break his habits. Start with the shower, take him out before, give him food earlier or later, in short break this routine and start again on good bases.
In the morning, you can also caress him, talk to him, but without making a big deal of it. Then you should not interact with him anymore. Leave your home without even looking at him as you did when you were training him. This will come back to your puppy's mind and he knows you will come back. And since he'll also have assimilated boredom, he'll wait wisely for your return.
I have a lot of advice to give you so that you put all the chances on your side. Leaving a puppy alone all day is not easy so having done this experience with my dog Uno, here are my tips.
During the stage of learning to be alone, if your puppy starts to cry when he is in the famous room, let him out, but without talking to him or even looking at him and especially without giving him a treat, because learning is a failure. You have to wait until he is not in the room and then go back in and start the exercise again.
Always, in the solitude stage, when you increase the waiting time before coming back, do it gradually. First 5 seconds, then 20 seconds, then 1 min, then three and so on.
At first, your puppy will think of this as a game, but the longer he waits, the more he'll know it's going to take him a while to open the door. Since he has learned to be bored, he will be patient, you'll see. The sessions should not last more than 20 minutes. I advise you to do 3 sessions per day of 15/20 min than one of 45 min.
When you start to leave for an hour, then two and so on, when you come back, wait until he is calm and reward your puppy with a treat.
My conclusion will be simple: the learning process to get a puppy used to being alone can be long and can last several months. Do not lose hope, but continue the exercises without ever giving up. This learning requires a lot from your dog and boredom and solitude cannot be learned overnight.
Stay calm, don't rush things, be flexible with your dog and your puppy will become an adult dog who doesn't mind being alone all day!