Being home alone is not so bad for Bozo if you set it up well. Dogs are crepuscular … isn’t that a neat word? I had no clue what it meant when I first heard it. Simply: active at dawn and dusk. That’s a helpful thing to know about dogs if you have to leave Bozo. It’s likely he’ll be happy to spend most of the day sleeping. Perhaps on the couch once he’s a reliably trained adult but that’s later, WAY later.
Back to the NOW…
In the time you’ve all been at home, it’s important that not only does Bozo spend his time in the crate unless he is supervised but also from time to time, you and the crate are not in the same room. Leave the crate in the kitchen for example, while you go off elsewhere. Work up to an hour or more in a few days.
My dogs seemed to settle readily with music on. They always chose CBC radio or classical music. Music or radio masks the outside bark-triggering noises too.
By the time all the family has to leave at once, Bozo is familiar with his crate and his long-term confinement area and looks forward to the stuffed chewtoys that only show up in those areas.
Now the set up: In the long term confinement area (remember to check that it’s puppy safe if you’re using the laundry room or bathroom), put Bozo’s crate with the door secured open, in one area. Tie at least one of the stuffed chewtoys to the inside of the crate. Leave a couple of others in the long-term confinement area as well as a bowl of water. This is where the automatic water dispensers are really useful! As far away from his crate as space will allow, put his indoor toilet… Perhaps you’re using a baby gate in the doorway. Once Bozo is inside the area, check that the gate is well fitted and secure. My Gus discovered one day how easily he could knock the gate out – disaster!
The music or TV is on and with a casual “Bye Bozo. See you later. Be a good boy,” you’re all out the door.
Eight to ten hours is a long time for a dog (puppy or adult) to be left alone, I think, although I recognize that sometimes in this crazy world, that’s how it is.
Worth investigating is whether you have a retired or stay-at-home dog-loving neighbor, who’d be willing to hang out with Bozo for a bit and perhaps take him to his outdoor toilet sometime during the day. They’d both love that.
If your days are really long, you might want to consider a day care once Bozo has reached at least 16 weeks.
You may be getting the idea that I am not a fan of leaving dogs alone for long periods. That’s true. Given their social nature and the fact we want them to be integral family companions, long alone-times serves neither them nor us.
No suitable room for long-term confinement? An exercise pen will work but know that while they have the advantage of being moveable, they are not as stable. These are portable high-sided wire mesh containment areas that you can put up in any room big enough to contain them. They’re available at moist pet stores. An ex-pen, as they are often called, may be the answer for you.
Just as with a room, put in it the crate with the tied-on stuffed chewtoy, several other stuffed chewtoys. water bowl, and indoor toilet.
“Have a good day,” says Bozo as he settles in with his chewtoys.”See y’all later.”
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