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Puppy Care Separation Anxiety

Adjusting to being alone is a major task for your puppy. He’s probably never been alone before and his basic fear is that when you leave, you won’t come back. It’s important to begin teaching him how to manage on his own as soon as possible.

When you teach your puppy to accept his crate as if it were his den, you’ll be able to put him in it when you’re out. Remember to let him relieve himself first and make sure he has a chew toy to play with. Get him used to his crate by staying close by the first few times you put him in it. Then, begin leaving for short periods, working up to longer periods as he appears to become more comfortable in the crate.

• Establish a set routine for your departure and have your puppy watch.
• Don’t make a fuss or ask him if he’s going to miss you. Make your departure seem like a normal event.
• At first, keep your absences very short. Start with a minute or two and work up to a couple of hours.
• When you return, don’t go directly to his crate. Wait until your puppy is quiet, and then casually go to greet him and praise him for being calm. This has the added benefit of showing him how he should greet you – gently rather than by jumping up.

Separation anxiety occurs when dogs become so attached to family members that they become anxious when those members aren’t around. Encourage your puppy to be independent by discouraging him if he constantly follows you around the house.