Settling

I’ve been building up time when Zeke spends time alone.

Every morning he goes into the garden, has breakfast, has a play, garden, then has a nap in his crate downstairs. This is when I leave him and take the opportunity to shower and dress. I don’t hear a peep from him as he knows this is the routine now.

I’ve built on this by initially standing outside the house for a few mins, after using the same approach to settle Zeke. Gradually building up time to mow the grass, or pop to the shop. I leave him with the radio quietly playing, after experiementing with music apps, he seems to like country or classical music most.

The first time I got in the car and left him in the house alone, I must admit I was nervous. I’d set up my iPad to record him while I was gone, then reviewed it when I got home. Such a relief to see that he knew I’d gone out, but settled and went to sleep. Only waking when I arrived home. I left it a few mins before quietly letting him out of his crate, all very calm. Obviously, I only leave Zeke alone for short periods, as he is still a puppy with small bladder.

Settling alone is such an important skill for our dogs, so I want to make sure he is able to relax and be safe at home when I’m not with him. I do also use a door gate downstairs so he can see me in the kitchen, and I can see what he’s doing when he’s not in his crate, but he can’t follow me everywhere. Probably the first step in developing alone time.

If this is something you want to build on with your own dog, Dogs Trust have some puppy training advice here where you can find out more. If your dog is already distressed about being left alone, I thoroughly recommend you talk with your Vet who can refer you to a clinical behaviourist if necessary.

Until next time

Jen

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