Can you leave a puppy alone?

  1. ADAPTIL Junior helps your puppy stay home alone

    • Clinically proven to help puppies stay home alone.
    • Improvement within the first week.
    • Continue to use for at least one month after adoption.
  2. Home alone "survival kit"

    • Make sure your puppy has a comfortable and safe place when they are home alone.
    • Give them chew toys and other distractions (e.g. calming music , radio) to help them stay occupied.
    • Move items you don't want your pup to play with (e.g. your expensive shoes!).
  3. Departure and homecoming practice

    • Initial daytime departures should be when your puppy is tired and likely to sleep (they sleep a lot so finding a time should be easy!).
    • Behaviourists recommend not to make a big deal about leaving.  A simple cue can be useful to let them know.
    • Start with very short periods of time they are on their own in a different room to you.
    • Provide food-stuffed toys to encourage licking behaviour (this is self-soothing).
    • When you return, wait until your pup is calm before interacting with them. Do not ignore them if they are distressed. If persistent then try a simple cue followed by a treat to help reduce the excitement.
  4. Other tips

    • Don't punish your puppy for any destruction, barking or mess in your absence. This simply increases their worries and can make being left home alone more worrying for them.
    • Every puppy is different and for pups finding being home alone difficult we recommend speaking to an accredited dog trainer or behaviourist for advice.

We recommend:

Releases appeasing pheromones to help your puppy relax when you are not there

  • Recommended by veterinarians

  • Seen on TV

  • 25 clinical studies published

  • 20+ years experience


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Tips for leaving a puppy home alone

No matter how much you love your puppy, there are times when you will need to leave them on their own. This is not an easy thing for them, as dogs are highly social and feel better when they have company. However, with some training they will learn how to manage and hopefully will soon not even notice you are not there! Read our top tips to help your puppy settle when left alone.

Preventing separation anxiety in puppies

The key success factor is for them to learn it is OK to be alone as part of their socialisation training. They need to learn how to pass the time while you are gone. Take a look at these 4 tips for positive puppy training for successful learning.

Start by teaching your puppy to play alone while you are present. A chew toy, stuffed with food or treats, can be a great option! Reward your puppy when they settle down and plays quietly with you around.

When your pup is comfortable playing on their own, left them alone in this room for just a few minutes, while they are still playing with their toy.

From here you can build up to longer periods when they are in the room on their own. Keep an eye on their progression - if they start to become worried then stop and reassess the amount of time they are on their own. Here's 10 separation anxiety solutions to calm your new puppy that may help.

You might also consider using a crate. This helps some puppies feel more secure. Teach them the crate is a safe and fun place with lots of treats and toys, as it's important they don't form negative associations with the crate. Other things to remember when crate training a puppy are here.

How long can a puppy be left alone?

The length of time you can leave your puppy depends on the individual, but it is advised that young puppies under 6 months are left no longer than 2 hours. This time should be gradually be reached. Read our advice on when you can start leaving my dog home alone too.

So what can you do when leaving your puppy home alone?

Dog trainers and Behaviourists recommend making your departure and return as uneventful as possible. This means waiting until your puppy has calmed down before saying 'hello' or making a fuss of them. However, this does not mean you should ignore them completely, as this could be upsetting or frustrating for them. Try using a simple cue they know, such as 'sit' followed by a treat to help them settle before making a fuss of them. Always reward the behaviour you want to see rather than punishing your pup for unwanted behaviour.

There are many different training techniques for this, so ask advice during your puppy training classes. Using ADAPTIL Junior helps your puppy to feel reassured and relaxed when they are spending time on their own. It helps them keep calm as you teach them that time alone is not something for them to worry about.