Preventing Separation Anxiety




It’s natural for your puppy to want to be around you a lot when you first bring them home. Everything has changed for them overnight and they will want to be near you as you are their source of safety.

Eventually you want to be able to leave your puppy settled for a few hours at home whilst you go out but it’s important you prepare your puppy for this and go at their pace.

If your puppy struggles to be on their own, and cries for you to come back make sure you don’t force them to be alone. This can do more damage in the long run. Instead give your puppy free access to you and work on gradually building their confidence to be left for short periods.

One way to get started is to scatter a few treats outside of the bathroom when you pop to the toilet. This will keep your puppy happy and occupied and start to build a positive association to tiny absences throughout the day.

Another thing you can do is set your puppy up with enrichment in their safe space. If it’s a pen or crate, leave the door open so they can choose to come out if they want to. Use an enrichment item that is heavy like a frozen kong so that they can’t pick it up and move around with it. You could also tie the toy down.

Whilst your puppy is enjoying their enrichment, move around the house, picking up and putting down items. Pay no attention to your puppy as you do this. Your puppy can choose to watch or follow you if they want to, or remain settled enjoying their enrichment. This choice really helps to fast-track building confidence as it’s impossible to overwhelm them.

When your puppy is happy to be left for tiny periods, you can practice leaving your puppy for longer.

Before you go make sure they have had physical and mental enrichment and a chance to go to the toilet. Settle them in their pen or crate with an activity to do. Consider leaving on the tv or radio for background noise. You can even set up a doggy cam to see how they’re doing when you’re out. This is great for peace of mind, knowing that they are relaxed and settled without you.

Make sure to go at your puppy’s pace, be warm and nurturing and never leave them to cry it out.

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