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Bringing Home Puppy and Alone Time

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I am a huge advocate of early and continued puppy socialization.  Safely introducing your pup to new people, places, and things in a fun and rewarding way is one of the most important goals of dog owners.  In addition to tolerating people, handling, and giving up resources, young pups also need to learn to tolerate being alone.

After spending the first 8 weeks with mom and littermates, making the adjustment to being alone can be very stressful if it’s not introduced slowly to the pup.  After you bring your pup home, it’s important to schedule short, quiet breaks alone in his crate during the day.  Your pup should be tired, but not still wound up from play or exercise, when he goes in.  To help pup self sooth, keep a stuffed Kong in the crate with him.

Pup should barely notice he is alone because he is either too tuckered out to care, or because he has something very high value in the crate with him.  Make sure to only keep the stuffed Kong in the crate during alone time, so it’s special.  To increase the value of the Kong, try the recipes at www.kongcompany.com.  There is no limit to the delicious and nutritious concoctions you can create in a Kong.

Gradually increase the time pup is alone in the crate during the day.  Work on this goal when you are home and when you are out.  Working doggie parents can enlist the help of petsitters or dog walkers to keep the breaks short at first and work up to longer durations in the crate alone.  Unfortunately, with the working schedules of most families, a dog will need to learn to spend time alone at home.  It’s important to work up to this so your pup is not destructive to himself.  It is possible to have a career and a dog.  It takes planning and a little work to make your lifestyles compatible and enjoyable for the whole family.


Written by dawnhanna

April 3, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Posted in Dog Training

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