Is it necessary to confine my dog when I leave and how would I teach my dog to be confined?

Jul 21, 2020

Is it necessary to confine my dog when I leave and how would I teach my dog to be confined?

by Dr. Debra F. Horwitz | Behavior Bits

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For many reasons, most young puppies and adolescent dogs may benefit from a designated spot in the house that is a restricted, safe area to remain in when home alone. One reason is that some dogs or puppies are not completely reliable about not soiling in the house when they are alone. Others may need more enrichment and activities than what is provided and may chew on clothes, furniture and other objects because dogs explore everything with their mouth and chewing is fun for them! Ideally, it would be nice if the dog or puppy had a larger area that contained a bed or open crate, some toys, water and if they are going to be alone for some time; an indoor elimination spot. Begin by leading your dog or puppy to their safe spot and throw in a few treats and put them inside perhaps just for their meals. Gradually and randomly, place your dog in the safe spot with some food-dispensing toys and give them a “key” phrase such as “I will be right back” and leave the room for 3-5 minutes. Try to come back before they are anxious and release them and tell them “good dog”. Repeat often and vary the time they are in their confined space until they can spend several hours there while you are elsewhere in the home.

About the Author

Dr. Debra F. Horwitz
  • Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
  • 2012 recipient of the Veterinarian of the Year
  • NAVC 2012 and NAVC 2014 Small Animal Speaker of the Year

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