How Much Time Can Dogs Stay Alone
If you are going to leave your dog alone for a long period of time then don't be surprised with the behavior issues he might develop. Being alone, your dog deals with two big problems.
The first one is the physic and emotional discomfort, because he sees he is free and he doesn't know what he is allowed to do and what he isn't. Sometimes stress is added because he is afraid of doing something that can get him punished. The second problem comes out of the need of a dog to be permanently around people or other dogs.
I always trained my new puppies to stay alone in the house with a step by step plan. The first time I left my pup on his own was for only 15 minutes to see how he would react. The kitchen was a good place to start, not to big and easy to clean up. Next time I tried it for about 30-45 minutes. Most of the times it went well, just a short time of howling and a very happy dog when I came back. After a few weeks my dog could stay alone for a longer period without any problem. Ofcourse I asked my neighbor's if my dog didn't bark a lot while I was away.
If a little dog is to be left alone the entire day, then make sure he has enough water and that a big part of the room he is left into will be covered in papers. A small dog needs to satisfy his physiological needs every three hours. Do not under any circumstances leave the dog locked in the doggy house without given him access to water. You should let him stay in a small room, for example the kitchen. On my working days my small dog used an indoor potty, he learned there was a special place to do his business.
My little Chihuahua did not howl or bark but he started to tear up my magazines or chew on cardboard boxes when I went away for more then half an hour. I used a great tip on how to solve this habit. Everytime I wanted to go out I showed my dog a special jar with doggie treats in it. While telling him he would get a treat when I was coming back, I placed the jar on a cupboard where he could see it. Again it was a step by step process; leave the house for 10 minutes, come back praise your dog and give a treat. Try 20 minutes, 40 minutes... and so on. After a little while my Chihuahua did not need those extra treats anymore.
When you go to work all day it might be a good idea to come home in your lunch brake or hiring someone to walk with your dog. This way he gets a chance to meet other people and dogs and help you prevent a home disaster.
Experts recommend us to spend a few hours a day with or dog and to introduce him to as many friends and neighbors as we can until he turns 7-12 weeks old, because at this age the puppy holds the capacity to understand some situations. My dogs came from breeders with home-raised pups, used to have children around and they were meeting other people from an early age.
If you have an adult dog, that needs to be fed only once a day, it is simpler. The dog will eat at night or in the evening when you get home. You will walk him in the morning, play a bit and then when you get back from work spend some time with your dog again. Try not to be out of the house more that 8 hours because he has a schedule, your dog knows exactly when he is given food and when he will be walked. If you don't impose him a rhythm, the dog will be stressed and the house a mess. Years ago when I was working as a nurse, I was lucky to have a friend living next door with a dog, when we both had to work our dogs spend the day together. When working at night my dog never had to stay alone.
Never leave the dog alone when you are planning to go on a trip or on a vacation. If possible take him with you or if not, hire someone or ask some friends to take care of him.
It is important to make it up to your dog. If you have to leave him alone a lot during work days, try and spend more time with him on weekends and holidays. Behavior issues can be easily corrected if you just play more with the dog.
Owner of Dogs Gifts and Care.