Leave pup on their own - when?

(25 Posts)
inappropriatelyemployed Sun 29-Jul-18 13:06:11

We have a 5 month old GR pup who can be pretty good at being left in a safe space when we are in the house but we have never left him alone.

How do you start leaving your dog just for a short time and when did you first do it? I presume people use the crate as and unattended pup would be a nightmare!

OP’s posts: |
Treacletoots Sun 29-Jul-18 13:07:36

Look up separation training. It's a process t help your dog undertake you're coming back so they don't fret.

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 29-Jul-18 13:24:01

Thanks - I was wondering when people started doing this though i.e. at what age.

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fourpawswhite Sun 29-Jul-18 13:36:41

I would just get started OP. Really of course it depends on the dog but I have left mine from the start for a few minutes and built up. So the latest one, left in safe puppy pen, she was asleep, went to shop and back, don't think she even noticed.

I do have other dogs around but certainly didn't wait till a specific age point to leave for short periods. Obviously they cannot manage longer times yet but mine would have been fine for a couple of hours by five months. Biggest problem at young age is if they are not housetrained they might have an accident but that's not the end of the world.

It is an important part of training though, ensuring they are happy and content on their own. I would go out for a short while today and get started.

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 29-Jul-18 14:48:53

He has jjust been ill after eating a sock! So is on a restricted diet and we have to watch him at the moment. Will start next week.

Given that he is a bit of a counter surfer and is going through a 'will eat anything phase', is it best to secure him in the crate first. I think he could wreak havoc!

OP’s posts: |
Hoppinggreen Sun 29-Jul-18 14:56:57

With our GR it was in a crate for the 30 minute School run at first
He was about 12 weeks old but he was sleeping in it happily at night anyway .
He was absolutely fine and has no separation anxiety at all now ( he’s 2)

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 29-Jul-18 16:15:54

How old as he when he was still in his crate when you left?

OP’s posts: |


SilverHairedCat Sun 29-Jul-18 16:31:52

Granted, we got our dog at 9mths old, we practiced this as soon as we could as she had known separation anxiety. I suggest you start today, by getting the routine going. You don't have to go anywhere, just get a familiar routine in place so it isn't making them unsettled.

Go through the normal process of gathering up keys, bags, coats etc, going to the door then sitting back down like nothing had happened. Practice doing that a few times until the dog no longer bats an eyelid at it.

Build up then to actually going out the door.
Then to locking the front door and then coming immediately back in.
Then to walking to the end of the path / to the car etc
Then to being gone for 10-30 mins, and build it up to an hour.
They say that when you have it to an hour you've cracked it.

Of course, you may be able to skip lots of steps if your dog isn't anxious like ours was. We also set up a phone on Skype in the house and muted the other handset with us, and watched / listened to her to see what we were up against. She was howling and pacing but not destructive which was good. She did better out of a crate than in it.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sun 29-Jul-18 16:36:16

We left ours virtually from day 1 as I didn’t take him on the School run. He was left for about 50 mins/1 hour twice a day to start with in a crate.

OnlyToWin Sun 29-Jul-18 16:38:10

Started leaving puppy in pen for about ten minutes at a time when he was about 12 weeks old.
I read somewhere to ignore when leaving and ignore when returning too so the process is not a drama for them.

We also gave him a kong stuffed with a little puppy paste which we froze for about ten minutes before giving it to him. We only gave him this when we left him alone and took it away as soon as we returned. Now when he sees the kong being put in his pen he knows he is going to be left, but also is excited to have his kong so has positive associations with us leaving.

OnlyToWin Sun 29-Jul-18 16:40:56

He still goes in his pen now even though he would be fine to roam the house. Think he associates it with safety and comfort. His bed is boiling when we get home so I suspect he enjoys his Kong then snoozes the time away!!

almondsareforevermore Sun 29-Jul-18 20:54:56

We left pup for short periods from the day he arrived. He hated his crate so we soon gave it up and just left him in the kitchen with his bed, toys and water. He just sleeps when left and there’s nothing there he’s ever damaged.

AgathaF Sun 29-Jul-18 21:12:27

We have a 12 week old and leave him for up to two hours at a time in a puppy pen with his crate in it. He's fast asleep when I get back in.

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 29-Jul-18 21:24:15

Thanks, part of the problem has been DH and I largely work from home so we are always around!

But he is a counter-surfer now... and very big. After the sock eating incident this week, I think he'll need to be in his crate but he is used to chilling out in his own space. He goes in a crate at night though.

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AgathaF Sun 29-Jul-18 21:40:42

Pop him in his crate tomorrow and take yourselves out for a 10 minute walk. He might protest but he'll get used to it if you let him, and he can't come to any harm in his crate (but make sure he doesn't have a collar on). I think at his age you need to make it a priority really.

Lucisky Sun 29-Jul-18 21:41:37

I started by putting our pup in her crate in the sitting room while I prepared the evening meal next door in the kitchen. She never seemed bothered as she could still hear us, and more often than not she went to sleep. I just expanded on that over time. However, I have never left the house and left her in a crate - she has the run of the kitchen when we are out.

Lucisky Sun 29-Jul-18 21:43:02

Although I will add that our dog is too small to counter surf.

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 29-Jul-18 21:58:03

Thanks. He will happily lounge in the kitchen while we are all in another room so it's not that we are with him or in his sight at all times.

Will get started this week when he's given the all clear from his vomiting bug - which now looks like it was related to eating socks!

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yetwig Mon 30-Jul-18 17:28:00

We have a rescue 5mth old collie pup, left him from day one, after either a short walk or after some brain training.

Hes not crate trained, just stays behind a gate in the kitchen with his kong. No trouble at all smile

Loubilou09 Mon 30-Jul-18 18:04:08

Just got a new puppy and left her from day one as I have another dog who needs walking so I had no choice. She is so chilled with it I can’t believe it.

With my first dog I agonised over when to leave her and definitely got anxious over it and she is still a little bit nervous when we leave (smells of stress when we come home). I can remember doing all the leaving in crate for 5 minutes and listening outside and then upping the time every day and I am convinced I made it a whole lot worse to be honest. I can remember going out when she was young and being really uncomfortable about being out for over an hour and my anxiety must have been there when we got back.

The new one is soooo chilled, we have a different set up so she has her crate in the utility room with the door permanently open and then she has a playpen attached to that so she has her own area to chill in - she can see us when in the play area but the crate has a blanket over it and is out of sight so is a nice cosy little den. Play pen has a puppy pad and some water in it and she can see and be near our other dog whose bed is in front. It works perfectly and some days she is crying to be put in there!!! I leave her every day on her own whilst I walk the other dog and also leave them both every day if I pop to shops if something, to also pop pup in the crate for a calm down regularly ad she really needs to sleep about 18-20 hours a day and she almost thanks me for it!

The main difference is how I feel about it with this one and my calmness plays a big part

inappropriatelyemployed Mon 30-Jul-18 18:37:43

Thanks everyone.

Pup is back on to eating normal food today so we were able to try it.

He is used to being left on his own in the kitchen while we both work elsewhere in the house, so we reckoned we could go for 15 mins.

We put him in crate with tasty kong.

We made the 'bye, we're off, got keys, visibly all put shoes on and shut front door. Stood outside, timed it.


He woofed when he heard the door open but we came back in chatting to each other as if nothing had happened - not making a fuss.

Keys back in basket. Out of crate he came.

All good!!

Might try this a few more times so we can see he is ok.

OP’s posts: |
AgathaF Mon 30-Jul-18 18:52:56

Great stuff. Glad he's back on his normal food again too.

lucy0132 Wed 15-Aug-18 16:28:32

We have a 14 week GR puppy and started leaving him from day 2 (8 weeks old) for a 5min walk around the block. In his crate so he couldn't come to any harm. Then build it up a little each day. Not a peep out of him now - the longest we've left him is 2 hours during the day when we went to the cinema. Usually at home the whole time so even though he wouldn't have to be left at all it's good to get them used to it so they don't panic. Plus, don't do a massive over the top greeting when you come back in otherwise you make it into a big deal, just speak to them as normal. I would start now, good luck smile

SlothMama Thu 16-Aug-18 09:30:26

We started leaving our girl pretty early on, only for a short time and then gradually increasing the time. We put treats in her pen so she's eager to get in there and now when we leave her she doesn't cry like she used to

TooManyPuppies Fri 17-Aug-18 08:57:44

From day one. We had to work and life didn't stop when we got a puppy. I used baby gates to confine our pups to certain areas of the house. I don't do crates. But I didn't not leave the house because we had a puppy, that would not be practical.

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