Home Alone

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Posts: 1
Joined: 28 Jul 2020, 21:41
First Name: Catherine

Home Alone

Post by Catty »

Hello everyone,
I would really welcome some advice regarding getting my 6 month miniature schnauzer puppy, Bumble, to feel happy about staying at home by himself for a little while. Maybe an hour?
He is my first dog, I am 51, and I am loving every bit of having him.
All is well until he is at home, even for 10 minutes by himself. He barks and howls! I have a Furbo camera so can see and hear!
When we are at home he is more than happy to spend time on his own, in the garden, in another room or whilst I upstairs doing a few chores. At night he sleeps happily in his crate from about 10.30 until 7.30, no problem!
I have tried using his crate in the day but he goes crazy!! He seems calmer if I leave him in the kitchen/ sitting room with his bed but even then he barks etc.
I am thinking short times every day is the way to go but would really welcome some advice!
Many thanks🙂

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Posts: 4305
Joined: 19 May 2011, 16:58
First Name: Leigh
Dog #1: Magic
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 20 Apr 2010
Dog #2: Trilby
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Born: 15 Mar 2012
Dog #3: Pip
Born: 21 Feb 2014
is a: P/S Mini Bitch
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Home Alone

Post by zeta1454 »

Hello Catherine and welcome to the Forum :)

You are right that the best way to get your puppy used to being left is to accustom him very gradually to you being away by leaving him for just a few minutes and building up to longer. One of the problems of the recent ‘lockdown’ is that many puppies have not really experienced being left and even older dogs who were fine on their own have become used to having their family at home virtually 24/7. A puppy should usually be trained to be left from the early weeks at its new home and the older they are the harder it is to get them settled with a new routine that involves them being alone. It will work out but may take a little time to get him settled calmly compared to if it had started at a younger age.

You could try leaving him with something to distract / interest him for at least a while such as a stuffed Kong toy or setting up a hide and seek trail for treats in the room / area where he will stay. If he is resistant to being in the crate I would try to set up a separate safe area with a bed, water bowl, safe chew toys etc. Do you have a playpen? This can be useful to keep a puppy safe but is less restricting than a crate. Some dogs relax better if they radio is left on with music playing (classical music or something calming). You could also try a diffuser:

https://www.vetuk.co.uk/dog-behaviour-c ... il-c-837_2

The best thing though is to accustom him to being left for short periods and gradually build up and do this initially as often as possible - several short sessions every day and try to get him used to a routine e.g. going to his safe area when you leave, give him a biscuit or the stuffed Kong, put on the radio / diffuser or whatever routine you like but just so he knows what is happening and that you will come back. Make sure he has been exercised (a good walk or play session with you) and that he has toileted before you go too and he should be more ready to settle down :)
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud

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Oscar 12345
Posts: 1364
Joined: 02 May 2017, 11:28
First Name: Julie
Dog #1: Oscar RIP Sweety
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 21 Dec 2002
Dog #2: Otto
is a: B/S Mini Dog
Born: 04 Jul 2017

Re: Home Alone

Post by Oscar 12345 »

Just to add to Leigh's helpful post, I leave Otto a stuffed kong and make it quite difficult like stuffing a piece of apple at the top so he really has to work at it. Otto likes classical music on softly, I make sure that he can't see out of any windows. Leave a few indestructible toys. Otto was very well used to being left alone but over the lockdown period we have had to desensitise him again and I have noticed on our pet cam that he has howled for a couple of mins before settling. I also find telling him "I won't be long" before I go helps and I don't make a fuss when we come back. He's just let out into the garden without a word.
Man cannot survive with wine alone...
we also need a schnauzer.

Posts: 1
Joined: 17 Mar 2020, 10:59
First Name: Lucy
Dog #1: Teddy
is a: P/S Mini Dog
Born: 19 Feb 2020

Re: Home Alone

Post by lued105 »

Hi Catherine

We have had the same dilemma as we have been working at home so our pup, Ted (5.5 months old) is very used to having us around! We have slowly built up from leaving him for 1 minute at a time to up to about an hour now. When we go out (or just hide in another room...) we put him in his crate and give him 2 stuffed Kongs to chew at. This keeps him too busy to notice we are gone, and means that if he gets stuck getting the goodies out of one, he can go to the other. We then take the Kongs away when we are coming back, to show Ted that the good things come when we go out, so it should be something to look forward to. Gradually building up the time you are gone is a slow process but worth the time and effort. If i watch him on the doggy camera now he may do a bark or two to 'test' if we are coming back but after that will give up and have a nap!

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