Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

Keep your dog happy while you’re at work.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
4-minute read
Episode #12
Leaving your dog home alone

Don’t Leave Your Dog Alone Outside

One idea I don’t endorse is leaving your dog out in the yard.

One idea I don’t endorse is leaving your dog out in the yard. Even assuming your fence is tall enough and dug deep enough to keep him from escaping no matter what, dogs left alone outside are vulnerable to intruders. Besides, a dog in the yard by himself isn’t keeping fit with calisthenics. At worst, he’s working on problem behaviors such as barking and lunging at passersby; at best, he’s hanging around by the back door hoping somebody will come and let him in again.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

Finally, boredom, pent-up energy, and loneliness are one thing; separation anxiety’s another. Does your dog get restless and whiny as you prepare to leave? Does she gnaw at doors and windowsills while you’re away? Will he not eat when alone? These are a few of the behaviors associated with genuine separation anxiety. If these descriptiosn ring a bell, get competent, in-person help; usually, separation issues are best treated by combining appropriate medication with behavioral techniques.

Maybe someday we’ll all have dog-friendly workplaces and mass transit. Or perhaps be herding sheep and cows. Meanwhile, call me at 206-600-5661, or e-mail dogtrainer@quickanddirtytips.com. I answer questions on Facebook, too – find me by searching for “The Dog Trainer.” That’s all for now. Thanks for listening!

Dog at Home image from Shutterstock


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).