Posted by: Sue | 2012-09-28

what age can puppy be left home alone?

I''ve just adopted an 8 wk old dachsund cross puppy. I''m a single mom and my daughter and I live in a large flat. We have a big communal garden, but it is downstairs - we are on the first floor.
At the moment, the puppy stays on her own for the morning, and I fetch my daughter from school and take her home to spend the afternoon with the puppy.
Is there going to be a time when this wont be necesarry?
I know its not ideal, but the puppy was left at a vet, who had to try and find a home for her or she would be taken to the spca. We love animals, and my daughter is devoted to her puppy, but I need to know the best way to do the right thing for our little pup.
We take her down to that garden as soon as she wakes in the morning, many times in the afternoon and before bed too. I''m just worried about the time we can leave her on her own.
many thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi Sue, lovely to hear from you and so pleased you managed to give the pup a home! this is not the ideal situation, as dogs are very much social animals, but they can be taught to spend time by themselves.
What I would suggest you do is to create a playpen area where the pup can be safely left in. Here have the food, water, multiple chew toys and also a toilet area. This should be away from the food and the rest.
What I am going to do is put some link below on playpens for dogs, inside toilet training and also a link to allow you to download a free ebook AFTER Getting a Puppy by Dr. Dunbar. this will give you all you need for now.
What I would suggest for the afternoons is to practise leaving the pup (after being taken for a walk and toilet needs), for short periods of time, gradually building up the time periods left alone. this will stop the pup stressing if it is suddenly left alone when used to company in the afternoons.
There are thousands of dogs (especially overseas) who live in flats and apartments and all that is required is morning walk, lunch time toilet outing and evening walk, and if you do this you should be fine. Dogs are active mornings and evenings and tend to sleep a lot during the day. what would be a good idea, if you can, is to consider day care for the pup, or a dog walker to come in during the day to take the pup out, spend some time with it etc.
The links I mentioned are:-

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: ryan | 2012-09-29

While it was admirable to rescue the puppy, she would be better off if you found a relative or friend who can look after her during the day where she can get out and get stimulation and attention. Or you can find her a good home on your own where you know the people and can be sure she will have a good home. If the situation continues she will most likely develop behavioural problems like seperation anxiety and start behaviours to get attention, most of them being of the kind that get the strongest reaction from you, which is almost always the negative kind..

Reply to ryan
Posted by: Tasha | 2012-09-28

She cannot be left alone ALL day in an upstairs apartment, period. Unless, of course, you are prepared to put up with her pooing and peeing in your home and even worse being lonely and bored all day.

Good for you for ''rescuing'' her from the vet but she may have been better off going to the SPCA and having a chance at being adopted by a family that have a garden, other dogs and human company during the day.

Reply to Tasha

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