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How long before you can expect a dog to stop being unhappy to be left alone?

(8 Posts)
Enko Fri 21-Apr-17 23:26:23

NDN (who I like and get on with) got a puppy at Christmas. I an right now sat in our lounge and I can hear the dog whimpering and "crying out" as it has been left downstairs as they went to bed.

This happens every night and often when I am off for the day I can hear the same thing.

I suggested when they first got the puppy to use a old-fashioned clock when she mentioned that puppy was not settled at night, however that is the only comment I have made about this. I grew up with dogs but we have never had one ourselves. (I have never felt I could cope with a dog and the children and now they are older I work full time so I feel it is unreasonable to get one - do love them though)

How long does it take for the puppy to get used to being left? I know questions like this can be a bit of a piece of string question. However I wondered if there was a rough estimation?

SirVixofVixHall Fri 21-Apr-17 23:36:02

I don't think any dog ever actually likes being left alone. "The secret life of dogs" showed this too. Some adjust better than others , but dogs are social animals and unhappy by themselves. Do they leave the pup alone a lot in the day too?

CornflakeHomunculus Fri 21-Apr-17 23:36:16

Leaving a puppy to "cry it out" can result in the exact opposite of the desired outcome. Rather than the pup getting used to being left they increasingly associate being alone with being in distress.

If the puppy has developed separation anxiety as a result of being left when they're clearly unhappy about it then it's not likely to just spontaneously get better on its own.

PhoenixJasmine Fri 21-Apr-17 23:39:57

Never, unless it is very carefully desensitised to it. Doesn't sound like that is happening here.

Would they be able to hear the pup at night?

If there's a possibility they can't - please tell them. Years ago I had a dog I had no idea she was howling when alone until a neighbour told me.

Enko Sat 22-Apr-17 00:01:02

I think they do know as NDN has mentioned her dh gets a bit grumpy over it. I can't imagine they do not hear as they have mentioned they can hear DS play his instrument (complimentary) when he practices. The walls are not the thickets basically.

Yes they leave the dog alone during the day. She doesnt work full time but does work away for 5plus hours on the days she does work. I personally would not have a dog if that was the set up (and exactly why we do not have one) pup is a gorgeous Lab.

Dog we had as a child was fine with being left alone. However my stepdad is very good at training dogs and very patient so I would not be surprised if the dog had been trained to be alone (I was 8 so really can't remember)

thank you for all the responses.

SirVixofVixHall Sat 22-Apr-17 00:22:35

Leaving a puppy for over five hours is far too much. Leaving it for that long, then expecting it to be alone again all night is cruel. Puppies should only be left for very short periods, gradually extending the time so they adjust to it without panic. I think many dog owners kid themselves that their dogs are ok with being left, because they aren't there to hear them crying or see their distress. My old dog was rarely left alone, a few hours occasionally, but he was mostly with us. However when he got elderly and frail he seemed much more anxious when he realised we were going out. Once we arrived home after a shopping trip of a few hours and he was crying- I'd thought in the past that this was him hearing us arrive home, but it dawned on me that he might have been howling for the whole time we were away, and we really tried to avoid leaving him alone at home after that. Sometimes of course it is unavoidable leaving a dog for longer than is ideal, but doing it regularly, especially with a puppy, is unkind. Most puppy training books give advice on how long/when/how re leaving puppies alone, so your neighbour should know. Can you say something to her about it?

olliegarchy99 Sat 22-Apr-17 06:39:35

I feel so sorry for the poor pup who was introduced to the house at Christmas shock and during a crucial 4 month period has not been socialised, trained or bothered about. I sometimes feel vetting of where a puppy goes to as well as some sort of dog ownership training should be compulsory.
<rant over>
OP if you are on good terms with your neighbour try and tactfully suggest that time needs to be spent with pup now - perhaps point her to some of the very good advice threads on here about puppy training.

BiteyShark Sat 22-Apr-17 07:28:15

I think the only thing you can do without them getting defensive is during a conversation ask them about the puppy and how they are finding it (you could even say you were thinking of getting one in a few years) then hopefully you can steer it around to training and getting it used to being on its own.

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