Can you leave your puppy home alone?


Can you leave your puppy home alone?
Can you leave your puppy home alone?

Once you have finally arrived at home with your puppy you probably want to be with it all time and never leave it alone. This is however not practical, there are places where you can not take your puppy and sometimes you might have to leave without it. If you are working, you might not be able to take your puppy to work so you will have to leave it home alone.

But, can you leave your puppy home alone? The answer is YES, you can leave your puppy home alone but you need to prepare it for that. This means that you will have make your puppy gradually get used to staying increasingly longer and longer periods alone. Your puppy needs to gain confidence and feel good being on his/her own. As dogs are naturally very social animals it will take some time to make it get used to being alone.

It is Important to note that no puppy should be left alone for a full working day. If you work full time then you should consider hiring someone who can come home and walk the puppy while you are at work. How long you can leave a puppy home alone also depends on how old it is. The older the puppy, the longer you can leave it alone but even an adult dog should not be left alone for more than 8 hours. How long an adult dog can hold it without urinating varies and depends on the dog’s age, medical condition and its size, a bigger dog can usually hold it longer than a smaller one.

Gradually getting your puppy used to being alone

First of all, the puppy needs to settle in her new home. She must feel well and secure in your home when you are there. She also needs to be potty trained and she needs to be taught to settle down and to stay calm.

When this is done, you start by leaving her alone for shorter periods of time in an enclosed area. The enclosed are could be either a crate or it could be an area enclosed with a baby fence. The are two reasons for this. One is that the puppy feels safer and more protected if she is in an enclosed, limited area. It will also prevent the puppy from doing silly thing such as ripping apart furniture or other objects being left in a room with the puppy.

It is important to make the crate (or enclosed area) comfortable and enjoyable for the puppy so that she will associate the crate with something positive. A comfortable mattress with pillows and toy or bone to chew on will be good. If the crate is big enough you can also play with the puppy inside it, that will further make the puppy consider the crate as a good place to be.

Then you place your puppy inside the crate together with a chew toy and you quietly leave the room. For a first time you will leave it alone for a very short period of time, maybe a couple of minutes before coming back to it.

It is important not to make too much fuzz when you leave it. If you give it plenty of affection and caresses and then you just leave the puppy is not going understand and she risks getting upset and worried. Just leave discreetly.

When coming back to the puppy you praise her and give her a treat. You then leave the room again and repeat the process. This time stay away a little longer before coming back. You gradually increase the period you leave the puppy alone and after 3 or 4 days you should be able to leave your puppy alone for a fairly long time.

As the periods alone increases you should go in and check on your puppy from time to time. When you do give the puppy a little treat. Don’t make too much fuzz when checking on your puppy otherwise she is going to miss you when you are gone.

The idea with the treats is to make the puppy associate the crate and being alone as something good and enjoyable.

If your puppy is whining and crying in the crate it is most probably because you have left it in there for too long. Start out with really short sessions and gradually increase them. If you let her out because she is whining and crying then she will learn that doing that will get her out of the crate and get her lots of attention.

If the puppy starts whining and crying as soon as you get out of sight you can also try to distance yourself from the puppy little by little while still remaining visible to the puppy and once you have reached the end of the room you leave it completely. You can see how it is done by watching the short video below.

Keeping your puppy busy in the crate

Your puppy needs something to do while it is in the crate. Keeping him/her occupied is important otherwise boredom can easily the puppy anxious and destructive. Chew toys’ are great for this and Chew toys’ which can be filled with food such as KONGS are excellent. With a toy like this the puppy will have to work to get the treats and it is both fun and mentally stimulating. Then there are also food-releasing puzzle toys’.

These toys’ come in different shapes and sizes and can be filled with treats. Then the puppy has to figure out how to get the treats inside it. Simple bones and rawhide usually works as well as they can keep a puppy occupied for hours. Simply try different things and see what works the best. The main thing here is to keep the puppy busy.

Another thing that can be worth trying is turning on the radio or TV. The sound of it can cover up other noises such as honking cars or trucks. Music has also proved to have a calming effect on dogs. The best kind of music for this would be classical music or other soft and calming music. Heavy Metal might be great on other occasions but not when it comes keeping a dog calm.

The crate or confined area is to be used when training your puppy to be alone. When your puppy grows older, becomes calmer, more confident and well-behaved you can let it out of the crate and give access to the house one room at a time. The aim is to get a dog you can trust and who you can give her more freedom,

The advantages of a trained puppy

There are many advantages of getting your puppy trained to be alone and having a dog who is calm, confident and who you can trust in various situations. If you have managed to make your puppy feel good when being left alone and that you can trust will not do “silly things” when you leave it home alone, then you have come a long way in training your puppy to become the companion you always wanted. A dog who has the self-control and confidence to stay alone for several hours will also be easy to teach other commands.

Imagine you could go to places together, the pub, a dog friendly restaurant, trips in the car and even holidays at a campsite or a hotel which allows dogs. In order to do things like that you must be able to trust your dog and be sure that she can stay calm.

Dogs who are not properly trained to stay alone at home, might get into all kinds of trouble. It is quite common that they develop separation anxiety which is a quite serious condition for dogs but one which fortunately is not too hard to cure. A dog suffering from separation anxiety will nervous and anxious from the moment its owner leaves the house until he/she is back again. During this time the dog might become destructive and start barking, tearing things apart and even try to escape from the house, while doing this he/she risks injuring him/herself.

Where to get help

The Online Dog TrainerIf you need help to train your dog to stay alone then you might want to consider hiring a dog trainer. If you have a good dog trainer in your area and you can afford the cost then that would be just great he or she can help you with your dog and teach you the fundamentals you need in order to train your dog. However, if you can not afford a personal dog trainer or if there is no one in your area then you might want to consider an Online Dog Trainer.

With an online dog trainer you will learn by watching videos with a professional dog trainer who is working with clients dogs. He or she will explain exactly what needs to be done in various situations and there is always support to get via e–mail, Skype or a forum.

The advantages of an online dog trainer is that the Online Dog Trainer is always available so you can get help training your dog whenever you have time. The cost is also quite low, around 40 dollars per month. If you want to learn more about the Online Dog Trainer, you can find my Full Review Of This Program Here.

I hope you found this post useful, if you have any questions or tips and tricks on how to teach your puppy to stay home alone then please post them below.

Comments 8

  • Hey,

    Thanks for sharing, me and my girlfriend have been toying with the idea of getting a puppy for a little while. The main thing stopping us has been having to leave the puppy alone. I work from home so I’m about the majority of the time; but I do to meetings, the gym etc. so there are days where I’m out for most of the day.

    Some great and easy to follow/ implement tips on how to get a puppy used to being on their own. How long would you suggest waiting before starting this type of training?

    • You can start this kind of training almost right away. Just let the puppy get used to his/her new home and find his/her marks. This should only take a few days or a week. Then you can start this training but really slowly. You make the puppy get used to stay alone little by little and once it is a few months old it should be able to stay alone for a few hours.



  • One of the big questions and concerns we always had was to left puppy alone in home and we were looking ways and training to get rid of this issue.I am glad to read your helpful post to deal with this problem.As far as I can recall, when I was away from home there were complains from neighbors saying my dog was too much barking and noisy.I realize now what exactly the barking cause was,Because we left him alone for a entire day; although we had been feed him up properly by placing food and water in his crate from every morning. Thanks for this insightful article

    • You have certainly found the cause of the barking. Leaving a puppy alone for a full day is a bit too long but it should be able to manage a few hours on its own. Just make sure that you make it get used to being alone gradually by leaving it alone for increasingly longer periods.

      Maybe you can try out what I have written in my post and then get back to me?

      I would be very interested in knowing how things went. You can then just write about your experiences here in the comment field and if you have any issues I will do what I can to help you.

      I wish you the best of luck.


  • Hello Jojo, I must say that this article is very helpful and informative. I have an adult dog but I really have a problem leaving him alone so my neighbor always needs to watch him which is something very uncomfortable. You intrigued me with an online dog training program, I must see what is it all about and hope that it helps. Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi and thank you for your comments. Training an adult dog to be home alone is really the same as training a puppy. You have to gradually make your dog get used to being alone. It is also important that your dog considers you to be the Packleader. A dog who considers him/herself to be the leader will feel responsible for you and will therefore be very nervous when you leave the house without him/her as he/she can not watch over you when you are gone.

      The Online Dog Trainer can certainly help you with your problem so why not sign up? You will get three days access for one dollar and that you can check it out and see if this is something for you.

      I wish you the best of luck and if I can be of any help please leave me a message below.

      All the best,


  • My puppy is a cry girl and it hurt me to see her cry sometimes. There have been situations where I camtbtakebher out and had to leave her alone at home, my neighbors had to call to tell me she was crying. Its been really hard leaving her alone at home. I would go with the suggestion of a trainer to help train her to be comfortable alone at home. Thanks for the information.

    • Puppies crying  when being left alone is very common. The thing is that you will have to make it get used to being alone slowly, and leave for longer and longer periods of time just like I mention in this post. She really can learn to stay home alone but it does require a little patience.

      A good dog trainer can certainly help you with this but if there is none available where you live or if you find it too expensive then take a look at The Online Dog Trainer. You can read my full review of this program here.

      I wish you the best of luck.


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