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Sneak out or let him know I’m going?(23 Posts)
Hi everyone, I’m trying to get my 4 month old puppy used to me going out during the day.
At night he’s crated but left in the kitchen diner if I go out during the day.
At the moment I wait til he’s sleepy then put him in his bed in the kitchen, shut the stair gate (and half close the door) and sneak out the house. He usually goes straight to sleep, but wakes a couple of times to have a drink or moves to sleep on the tiles.
When he is properly awake he barks and continues to do so til I return. I’d like to go out for up to 3 hours or so occasionally, but am only managing an hour or so at the moment. I have a camera so can see what he’s up to.
Do you think I should let him see me get my coat on etc and leave the house rather than sneak out? Or will this not make any difference?
Keep a kong ready for when you go out. You leaving =tasty treat.
I don’t know but I’m watching this thread as my puppy too will only be left if he’s asleep - feeling really trapped to be honest 😕
I second the Kong! And also a hello and a fuss when you come in, so double the things to look forward to
Sometimes I leave a Kong, but he’s often too tired to have it when I first leave him, then when he’s awake he’s too upset to have it. When I’m back that’s when he tucks in!
I always make a point of saying goodbye to my dog!
I imagine that to fall asleep, contented and safe and happy only to wake up alone with your person gone, nowhere to be seen must be very frightening indeed.
I am not surprised he barks and is too upset to eat his kong.
Poor little guy.
He needs to know you are going.
Train him with a nice treat to go into his crate and build it up, 10 mins at a time.
Say good bye or rattle your keys, treat in crate, leave for short period, come back and tell him he’s a good boy.
Then he’s learning that you come back and it’s ok to be on his own for a bit.
What TheCrow says worked for me.
Ok I’ll let him know I’m going from now on.
At the moment he’s crated at night but not crated in the day. I did try him but he became too distressed.
He’s had free reign of the kitchen diner for about six weeks.
Do you think I should try crating him again?
When he barks he will take himself in (then out again pretty quickly)
Speaking from experience I wouldn’t crate him now that he’s got access to the whole kitchen. We crated our dog when we went out and it made him super anxious.
The barking indicates that the dog is anxious/scared when you’re out.
Our dog was like this for quite a while (we didn’t realise). In the end we had to train him very hard to get used to being alone. Now he’s happy for hours alone (lazy git).
There are guides online - we followed one to the letter.
Start by getting him used to the door being opened and shut. Then to you being out for a few minutes. Video him. Gradually extend the time he can go without barking until he’s happy for half an hour/40 minutes.
It’s hard work but I am so glad we persevered with it all as I don’t worry at all about the dog when I’m out (as long as he’s walked and toiletted).
When I leave I say ‘back soon’ and he know exactly what that means. Now he just skulks off into the front room to watch me leave from the comfort of the sofa!
I think you're expecting a lot from a 16 week old puppy.
When mine was that age there's no way I could leave him for that long - what about toilet breaks for starters?
He's very young still - you need to build up time left, literally from leaving them 30 seconds at first and gradually building up the time. If they bark, cry or show other signs of distress you've left them too long and need to go back a stage.
Some dogs are never happy being left for long - if you need to be out for longer periods could you get someone to sit with him or could he go to daycare? Four months old is very young in dog terms - he's only been living with you for half his life at most, of course he's distressed when he wakes up and realises you've abandoned him!
As others have said, let him see you leave and make you leaving = nice things for him.
Build up gradually, first make sure he's happy with his kong when you're out of sight in another room, and build up time gradually (start with literally seconds - go back before he barks/whines). Practice for a few minutes several times a day. Teach him you always come back. Build up the time you leave him for.
Then work on you leaving the house. Build your routine with him - put coat on, get keys, give kong and say goodbye. Go out door, lock it, unlock immediately and go back in before he barks. Gradually build up the time again starting with seconds. Your neighbours will think you're mad, but it's worth getting it right at this age to safe yourself problems down the line.
Maybe experiment with the crate open or closed. Mine used to bark or howl when I left (waking up my husband!) unless I shut the door, I think she felt safer and less abandoned. Dh would let her out when he got up and she then had the run of the house for the day. I don't need to do that anymore, she just got used to the routine I think.
I started with tiny bursts of time just sitting outside the front door and gradually built up the time he was left.
I always say ‘back soon’ as I’m just about to leave and he associates that with me going out. I always make a huge fuss of him when I come back in.
Sneaking out would never be an option as he is permanently glued to my ankles!
I would strongly suggest not making a fuss, huge or otherwise, when you come back. You are then making your absence into a Big Thing. Just come in, take your shoes off, wash your hands, put on the kettle, do whatever you normally do, very calmly, ignoring the leaping squeaking dog, and greet him when he has calmed down and all four feet are on the floor.
My dog has a treat ball that she has to push with her nose to get the treats to come out, this is kept, as are the chicken treats that go in it, only for when I go out.
When she knows I'm going out she's practically shoving me out the door in order to get her paws on it and is always very calm when I come home, often not even bothering to greet me for a while if she's upstairs when I get back.
Lots of good advice on here but I agree with pp you're expect too much too soon, you shouldn't leave a 4 month old puppy for three hours. Build it up slowly.
Meant to say, no don't sneak out, train her to be calm when she knows you're leaving the house.
Thanks to those of you who have given advice, I appreciate it.
On the one occasion I have had to leave him for 3 hours I did get a dog sitter in.
It’s rare I will need to leave him for so long.
I do not work.
So today I got my coat and boots etc on and said goodbye.
Left him with a Kong. He barked for about 30 seconds, then settled and slept. I returned after about 15 minutes. On this occasion I did make a big fuss (although still not sure whether I should or not)
I’ll try and build up the time gradually.
Leaving dog with a sitter isn't leaving him (sorry I called him her before) alone so you shouldn't worry about that.
Some dogs are easier to leave than others but it does help if they have something to do when you go out, a kong, or like my dog a treat ball.
I was always unsure about how much greeting to do when I got back, can't see there's any harm in a calm hello and a stroke though.
Sounds like you're doing fine.
Thanks pigsDOfly ... he’s just remembered about his Kong, so he’s having it now, while I have Christmas cake.
We’ll get there in the end, however long it takes
I always say 'See you later' which my two know is their cue for me to go out without them. I think (hope!) they understand that it means I will always come back. When I do come home they always get a hello, and then get a small treat.
He is very young but sounds as if you are doing all the right things so I am sure he will settle down.
I would try to keep treats only for when you aren’t there, so if it’s a treat ball or a kong then when you return it goes away, that means it’s really worth having when you’re gone and is really interesting to your dog. If they have it all the time it’s not a ‘treat’ as such when left x
I didnt leave my dog until she was about 6 months old. When I did leave, I didn't make any sort of fuss, literally left. And when I came back i didn't make a fuss either. Just no fuss. She was fine but I do have another dog so she has never been totally alone and even now at 10 months, she is not left alone for longer than 2 hours.
I wouldn't make a big fuss out of coming back, but it's fine to greet him if he's being calm. I walk in with a 'hello dog, did you have a good day?' Give her a quick stroke and let her into the garden. If he jumps up and gets over excited then ignore him until he's calm - walk past him, take off shoes and coat, let him into the garden etc I always have a '4 paws on the floor' rule for any sort of attention.