Home alone time
You must train your puppy to cope with time alone as this will be part of his daily life at some point. He must understand that when you do leave him alone you will come back, otherwise he is likely to become anxious and destructive. Build up your puppy’s familiarity and comfort with being left alone over an increasing the period of time by:
- Leaving him alone for short periods where he is in one part of the home environment and you are in another.
- Going outside leaving him in the house alone for a few minutes.
- Gradually extending this over a period of time, establishing you puppy’s confidence that you will return.
Protecting his bowl - food guarding
To prevent your puppy perceiving your presence as a threat to his food at feeding time it is important you accustom him to being in your presence when eating.
Start by standing beside him while he is eating, then gradually add a little food to his bowl by dropping it from your hand while standing beside him.
When he is relaxed you can lift the bowl and add some more food or a treat.
Try walking a short distance away from him and his bowl and then walk towards him and add some more food to his bowl.
Repeat these steps regularly and this will reassure him that his food is safe and that he shouldn’t fear people approaching his bowl. This will help avoid unpredictable and aggressive behaviour in the future.
You must be confident that he will:
- Obey your instructions, respond to his name and return to you when you call.
- You should introduce this to him in the home where there are fewer distractions from other dogs and smells.
When you do start walking off the lead call him to you at random times rather than just waiting until the end of the walk as your puppy will associate you calling him with the end of his fun. Don’t forget to positively reward him with a treat of verbal praise when he returns to you to help reinforce the behaviour.