How Do I Train My Dog to Stay Alone for 8 Hours?
Separation anxiety when a dog is left alone is common, and difficult to treat. The anxiety can range in severity, from mild anxiety to panic. How you train your dog will depend on his age, breed, and temperament.
Dogs that are left alone for long periods of time may develop many different types of behavior problems including barking, digging, chewing, house soiling, and more. So, how do you stop this unwanted behavior? As Daniel explains:
"You don't train your dog to stay alone for 8 hours. Dogs have a different concept of time, in my opinion. I strongly believe that dogs have the capacity of knowing if it's morning, noon, evening, night - that type of thing - and their behavior will change accordingly. But, they don't necessarily look at their watch and count how much time has elapsed since the moment you left the house and whether it's an hour or an hour and a half or two and a half hours or even 8 hours.
I think that if a dog has the right type of mental stimulation, physical stimulation, nourishment, exercise, training, structured lifestyle, crate trained - then, I think that and they're in a secure property, I think that you can very easily wean a dog off of separation anxiety or that attachment to you fairly quickly. If you can get a dog to be alone and live and coexist with himself or herself without a problem for half an hour or 45 minutes, really that's the same thing as 3 hours or 8 hours as long as they have those basic essentials."
So, the trick is really to make sure your pup has everything it needs before you leave so it doesn't feel the need to make a fuss to satisfy those needs. Additionally, providing your dog with his own "safe spot" is a great way to do this. And, that is where crate training from a very young age can help an anxious dog in the long run.