Leaving a dog

If you have to leave your dog/dogs alone in the kennel/house, the following are tips to hep prevent your dog/dogs barking and causing nuisance to neighbours.

Safe Retreat

Make sure that when you are out your dog feels both happy and safe by:

  • Providing a proper bed or safe/cosy den with access to this even when you are at home, in for example an enclosed corner or in a dog cage with comfy bedding that he has learned to see as his own.   If you are only going out for a couple of hours leave him in his safe retreat (with water) so he can view the time as his rest period.
  • Your door is likely to become anxious if he runs out of water so ensure that you leave out a large fresh bowlful before departing.
  • ·If your dog takes comfort in cuddles he may appreciate being left with a soft toy or fleecy blanket.

·Use blinds or curtains or a door to block any street activity.

With a new dog or a puppy get the dog/pup familiar with your daily routine as soon as possible.

Provide Diversions

Activity toys may keep your dog busy and happy when you are out.  These come in a variety of shapes/colours and prices, the principle however is the same, the idea being that the toy is stuffed with food treats which the dog releases by rolling/chewing/licking the toy.

  • Try to leave a battery operated radio on, so it sounds as though someone is still in the house.

Arrivals and Departures

Try to keep all your arrivals and departures as low key as possible and ignore any excitable behaviour from your dog at these times.  If you make a fuss of him before you leave or upon your return, it will make the contrast of your absence more bearable.  If your dog jumps up and is excitable when you come in, try greeting other members of the family and making a cup of coffee before saying hello to him.

Similarly, don’t try to make up for your absence by making a fuss of your dog when you are at home, as this will make him all the more dependant on your company and reluctant to see you leave.   To make your absence an easier transition for your dog ensure when you are home and do not always give in to his demands for attention.

Exercise

Your dog will be grateful for a rest if you keep him active at other times.  If you can, take him for a long walk or a good run off the lead, before leaving him.

Try teaching him a new trick, like shaking a paw or rolling over, mental activity is often tiring for dogs.  Join obedience or agility classes to give him something new to think about.

Friends and Neighbours

Just because you have to go out, doesn’t mean that your dog needs to be alone, is there a dog friendly neighbour you could let him into the garden or take him for a walk?   Or a dog-mad, but responsible teenager who would be happy to have your dog for the day?   

Younger and older dogs in particular will need to be let out to the toilet, as they may not be as able to hold on for more than a few hours.  If you are really stuck speak with your Vet about dog walkers in your area.

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