As many of us are currently working from home, our dogs are not getting their usual time alone built into their day. To help prevent this becoming an issue and causing separation anxiety when it is time to go back to work we have a few top tips.
Turn your car into an office for an hour. Make yourself a coffee in a travel mug, put the radio on and do a few emails on your phone or laptop if you have one.
Make a cosy room for your dog with a bed, water, safe toys, leave the radio on, give them a kong or a licki mat and go and do some work or chores in another part of the house.
Use baby gates and puppy pens to build a softer type of separation, they can see you working but need to chill out in their own space. Employing them with a long lasting chew will help promote calmness and teach them to settle.
Play boundary games, this means they learn to settle away from you on a bed, mat or crate. Once you have built up the value for the boundary you can gradually add distance from you and their boundary.
You may notice more action prompting or attention barking. Reward any disengagement from you, for example if they look away throw a piece of food towards them. Also reward them for settling on their own, they may jump up ready for action but ignore and wait for calm again. They will soon realise it was the calm behaviour you were rewarding as shown here with Rocket. Sometimes a covered crate can help them settle.
Remember never leave your dog alone for too long.