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As with many of us, I have spent the best part of this year working from home. When I am out, very rarely meeting friends or the likes,my wife is home. I would say in a week, usually our dog is home alone at the most for 10 hours.

When we leave together, she screams n scrapes at the gate by the front door. I'm soft, so I find it distressing. Hehe

When covid restrictions are lifted, I will be returning to working in my office/campus.

Do you think its possible to spend too much time with a dog? Should I start some sort of training where she is alone and so gets used to it a little before she will be alone for longer, extended periods? I should add, the longest I will be away n therefore she'll be alone is approximately 7 hours once restrictions are lifted n life returns to a somewhat more familiar way.

Many thanks and stay cool,
From a sweltering Incheon!
 

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I would certainly start accustoming her to being alone - just a few seconds at first and making it very relaxed and normal. Just leave the room, return to the room, over and over for varying lengths of time. But dogs are social animals, and 7 hours is a long time for a dog that is not used to being alone - is there any daycare or pet sitting service you could use for days that require a long absence?
 

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I would certainly start accustoming her to being alone - just a few seconds at first and making it very relaxed and normal. Just leave the room, return to the room, over and over for varying lengths of time. But dogs are social animals, and 7 hours is a long time for a dog that is not used to being alone - is there any daycare or pet sitting service you could use for days that require a long absence?
Aha! I should have been a little clearer. That's the longest I'll be out. My wife will be at home for most of that.

As my schedule currently is, the most would be 3 to 4 hours.

Apologies for the lack of clarity

And, yes. If in the future my schedule changes, and it will be 7 or so hours where she'd be alone, we'd look at a doggy day care or even my parents in law.

Thanks for the advice😊
 

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That is certainly more manageable, but separation can be devastating for a dog - I would still work on getting toffee used to the idea that alone time means extra comfy beds and extra special chews.
 

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That is certainly more manageable, but separation can be devastating for a dog - I would still work on getting toffee used to the idea that alone time means extra comfy beds and extra special chews.
It's pretty devastating for me!

Thanks again for the advice!!

PF is lovely, no question too big or small
 

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I would certainly start accustoming her to being alone - just a few seconds at first and making it very relaxed and normal. Just leave the room, return to the room, over and over for varying lengths of time. But dogs are social animals, and 7 hours is a long time for a dog that is not used to being alone - is there any daycare or pet sitting service you could use for days that require a long absence?
Agree. We have special treat toys that are reserved just for when we leave. The other thing that is very important is that comings and goings have to “No Big Deal.” No fussing or happy, happy joy joy before or after you leave. With Bobby, when it’s time to go I’m all business, routine and I don’t make any kind of fuss when we leave. We keep things calm and quiet with very little attention so he doesn’t get excited or worried, especially when we were training. I let him know it’s kennel/room time with no excitement in my voice. The special treat is the incentive and reward. He trots right in his room for his special treat and I walk out and close the door and say nothing. It’s all calm and it’s all good.😉
When we come home we walk around the house, put our stuff away or whatever for a couple minutes then open the door to his room (we used a kennel for his first year) then wait until he sits, all without looking at him or talking to him except “OK” to release him and tell him “Outside.” Then it’s outdoors to potty then after that we can have our happy greetings! 😊. It probably sounds harsh but we were very concerned when he was a pup as he was our little shadow and he would pee when we left the room and I was very worried about separation anxiety developing. This approach really worked for us and he’s a champ at being alone now. There’s a ton of information in books and online on how to train a dog to be alone. Start in small increments as mentioned above and work up to longer periods
but definitely, start training and let us know how it goes!😊
 

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I am a college professor and in the pre-COVID world I was home in January for a few weeks and in the summer for a couple of months. In January I always made sure to keep a routine where the dogs were home alone for an hour or so each day and in the summers I would indulge in June and July but reimpose home alone time for them starting in late July and through August so that September wouldn't be too upsetting.

One thing I have always done is to make my exits very low key if I am the last one leaving. BF does the same. If there is no dog in sight there is no saying goodbye at all. If one or more of them is near the back door it is just a simple be good. Sometimes I leave a treasure hunt of treats stuffed into chew toys for them, but I do it randomly so the treasure has no association with no person being home.
 

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The more dramatic the exit, the more dramatic the response to your exit. The more dramatic your return, the more dramatic the response to the return. Practice leaving for work. Gather your stuff, get your keys, give the dog a treat in the crate, and leave the house with your stuff. Get in the car, turn it on, turn it off, return to the house. Ignore the dog for five minutes. Ignore all screaming. Invisible yelling dog. After five minutes, wait for a break in the screaming, open the crate door.

Repeat this routine daily, goodie goes in the crate, you move the car in the driveway, return, wait five minutes, open the crate. Goodie goes in the crate, you leave, drive around the block, return. Gradually lengthen the time you are gone. Drive around the block twice. Around the block three times. Go get a coffee and come back. Go get a coffee, drink it in the car, and come back.You get the idea.

The routine is the same every day. That way when you go back to work, the dog has already had you come and go while carrying work stuff, and had many repetitions of a goodie in the crate. The more low key you are about this, the more low key your dog will respond. You are wise to start now.
 

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Agree. We have special treat toys that are reserved just for when we leave. The other thing that is very important is that comings and goings have to “No Big Deal.” No fussing or happy, happy joy joy before or after you leave. With Bobby, when it’s time to go I’m all business, routine and I don’t make any kind of fuss when we leave. We keep things calm and quiet with very little attention so he doesn’t get excited or worried, especially when we were training. I let him know it’s kennel/room time with no excitement in my voice. The special treat is the incentive and reward. He trots right in his room for his special treat and I walk out and close the door and say nothing. It’s all calm and it’s all good.
When we come home we walk around the house, put our stuff away or whatever for a couple minutes then open the door to his room (we used a kennel for his first year) then wait until he sits, all without looking at him or talking to him except “OK” to release him and tell him “Outside.” Then it’s outdoors to potty then after that we can have our happy greetings! . It probably sounds harsh but we were very concerned when he was a pup as he was our little shadow and he would pee when we left the room and I was very worried about separation anxiety developing. This approach really worked for us and he’s a champ at being alone now. There’s a ton of information in books and online on how to train a dog to be alone. Start in small increments as mentioned above and work up to longer periods
but definitely, start training and let us know how it goes!
Such good ideas. We are retirees and Charlie is almost constantly with one of us. We have been deliberately leaving him behind for a few hours at a time just so he doesn't panic if we both need to be away. From what we can tell he doesn't move from his bed , even to eat or drink, the whole time we are out.

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Thank you for the help and advice. I'll be putting it into practice from Monday.
Oh, and practice leaving for work at the same time you actually would leave for work. That way the time of day will also factor into your routine.
 

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Oh, and practice leaving for work at the same time you actually would leave for work. That way the time of day will also factor into your routine.
Yes. Another added twist is that each day is different as my class schedules vary from day to day. I'm thinking I'll have to change myself and leave at the same time daily regardless of my actual schedule. Coffee time!
 
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