Since puppies are highly social creatures, being alone can be quite stressful for them. Fortunately, you can teach your pup to enjoy his alone time, or at least tolerate it. If he never grasps how to do this,
you may end up with a dog who acts out through excessive barking, digging, and chewing – or develops a very serious case of separation anxiety.

When you leave your pup alone, make sure he’s in a safe place–either a roomy crate or a secluded, puppy-safe, space. Puppies should be “crate trained” whenever you leave the house, until they’re about a year old, though some dogs may need more time.

Before your pup goes into his crate, make sure all his needs are met–that he’s been walked or let out, has had some playtime, and has food and water. If he cries, at least you know his basic needs have
been attended to. With time and proper training, your pup will begin to adjust to being alone, and start to understand that you will always return.

Steps to teaching your puppy to be alone:

1. Leave your pup alone in his crate or secluded, puppy-safe space for at least 30 minutes to an hour each day. Gradually increase that length of time to up to 2 hours for pups 3 months and younger, or up to 4 hours for a 3-6 month old pup.

2. Make your pup’s alone time the main time he eats, and he’ll learn to enjoy these stretches more. Leave him with a couple of stuffed chew toys to make the experience more pleasant.

3. Once in a while, interrupt his playtime with short, quiet breaks. Teach your dog that quiet time is a good thing by telling him to “settle down,” and lie still for a second or two. Then reward him and continue playing. When your pup is able to settle successfully for these brief periods, slowly build up to longer segments. Your dog will soon learn that quiet time is followed by
playtime, and the wait is never more than he can handle.