Often when first arriving in your home, your puppy will get used to having people around the house. Naturally, it will believe this is the normal way of life. But when holidays are over, and everyone is back at work or school, your puppy will be home alone for the first time in its life. No wonder he gets confused. And lonely, and possibly noisy. You need to teach him it’s OK to be alone. So what can you do to begin the training straight away?
Remembering a young pup can cope with being awake for only about an hour at a time, let him have some fun for a while – play games; do some training; let him out to investigate the garden (accompany him if very young, or small, and a pup may need a coat if it’s very cold). Take him out for a walk if he’s old enough. All this should be done in short bursts depending on age. Then give him his meal. Once he’s had a chance to burn off some energy and his tummy is full, he will be ready for a good sleep. Put him into his bed in a quiet room, shut the door and leave him alone to sleep. Make sure nobody disturbs him for a while. He will get much needed sleep and learn a valuable lesson that it’s okay to be alone. This might be hard if you have young children, so teach them early on puppy needs to be left alone to sleep.
Our recommended bedtime routine for new puppies is to take them for a short walk at 6pm (if they can go outside) or play some games for around 10 to 15 minutes, then give the last meal, followed by a trip to the garden for the toilet. Put your puppy into its bed and leave him alone to sleep. When you go to bed, gently wake him, keeping things very low key – no fun, no playing – for one last toilet visit, then back to bed. Pup may make a bit of fuss for 15 minutes or so, but if left alone will go back to sleep.