How Long Can a Puppy Stay Alone?

Most dog owners prefer to have their four-legged friends around them. But there are exceptions: doctor appointments, shopping, or sports courses are better done by two-legged friends without a dog. Therefore the puppy should learn to stay alone. But how long can a puppy be alone? We give recommendations for the first months of life.

Always With You: the First Days in the New Home

When you move in, your new family member will come out of his or her familiar pack. In most cases, the mother and siblings were around the small bundle of fur 24 hours a day.

In nature, a puppy without a pack is doomed to die. Your young roommate senses this instinctively: alone he is afraid.

Therefore, when a puppy moves in, you shouldn’t leave him alone for the first few days. Only when the puppy has gained confidence in the new surroundings should you leave the house without him.

But many puppies already feel uncomfortable in a room without company. What does that mean for living together? Do not make appointments outside the home and stay within hearing and sight of your puppy. If no one is in the apartment, leave the door open when you are showering or cooking, for example.

Get Used to Time-outs

If your four-legged friend bothers you, you can tie him up near the bathroom. Give him a blanket and a toy or something to chew on. In this way, your dog quickly learns to get used to such small breaks. Another benefit is that it won’t break anything while you’re busy. Alternatively, if your puppy has a dog crate as a retreat, you can place this dog crate near you.

First Steps to Staying Alone

After just one day in the new home, you can take small steps towards “staying alone”. If your dog is sleeping or chewing on a toy, get up and go to the next room and come back after a few seconds. Later you can close the door briefly and slowly increase the time. Now at the latest, it is important:

If the dog whines, don’t come back until he’s calm. Otherwise, he’ll record your return in response to his whimper.

Leave the Puppy Alone at Night

Can I leave my puppy alone at night? Many dog owners ask themselves this question – especially when their four-legged friend is not allowed into the bedroom. It is right to get the dog used to the rules from an early age. It is also true that after a few hours the newcomer usually comes to terms with whimpering and whining to be alone. But you should spare your four-legged friend this traumatic experience.

Better lie down on the sofa in the living room for the first few nights. A clever alternative is a dog bed in the bedroom, which you move a little further towards the door night after night. After a few weeks, place the sleeping place in front of the door. If the adult dog has learned to be alone anyway, you can close the door. This training works best with a lockable dog crate. Otherwise, your four-legged friend will choose its own place to sleep and go on a discovery tour at night.

Without a Puppy Out of the House

If your puppy feels completely safe and comfortable, you can venture out on small trips for a few minutes without him. Start with a few minutes. For example, by taking the rubbish outside or getting something out of the basement. This will help you continually increase the amount of time your puppy can be alone. If the four-legged friend whines or barks in your absence, you have been gone too long. Take a step or two back and reduce the amount of time you spent being alone. In this way, your young dog learns step by step to stay relaxed while you are away – you keep coming back.

A puppy shouldn’t stay alone in its new home for more than 15 minutes to half an hour in the first few weeks.

Tip: With a pet camera, you can see how your dog is coping with being alone on the go.

Increase Slowly

If staying alone works well, increase the time further. At around four months old, the properly trained puppy can spend a good hour without you. The preparatory work on the same day is crucial: beforehand, do a nice exploration tour with your puppy with sniffing games. That makes you tired – and staying alone is easier.

Little by little, the young dog can learn to stay alone for up to four hours.

Even an adult four-legged friend should only be without its pack for longer than a couple of hours in exceptional cases.

Five Tips: This is How the Puppy Stays Alone

Here are some tips to make it easier for the puppy to stay alone:

  • Increase the times slowly;
  • Post-training after a short walk that has allowed the puppy to loosen up;
  • Make your companion’s time shorter. For example, with a chew made of cowhide that he cannot choke on;
  • Go without saying goodbye. You can signal to your dog with the command “wait” that he is now alone. Always repeat before leaving home;
  • Do not enter the room or apartment until the dog is calm. Don’t give him a stormy greeting straight away, but behave as normal. This is how your dog learns: staying alone is part of everyday life.
Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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