Teaching your dog not to cry when left alone

Becky is Not Crying Anymore!

bycky the dogLast week I saw Corine at a birthday party. She looked a lot more happier than before!
With a lot of enthousiasm she told me how she was learning Becky not to cry as soon as she left her house for what ever. Corine learned that dogs are group animals that enjoy being with their leader.

So when you leave without taking your dog, one look at his sad eyes will tell you he is not happy with that. Most dogs will accept your leaving with a sigh and lie down in their basket, other dogs will not understand why you will be there one moment and next moment you are not. He can feel insecure, thinking you will never come back. It is this fear that will make him bark, cry or even destroy things in the house (shoes, papers, your children’s toys!).

Corine enumerated what was told her to avoid Becky from barking:

  1. See the dog out for half an hour and let him run, if possible, otherwise make him tired by playing with him. This is not just tiring him, it also confirms your position as a leader.
  2. Close the dog in a kennel/bench with your jacket still on and say ‘I have to go for some shopping.’ In the kennel he will feel safer and will relax more.
  3. Turn the radio on – he will not hear all noises from the street or the neighbours.
  4. Do not sneak away. He has to see you putting your jacket on and will get used to that when you leave the house
  5. In the beginning, just stay away for a short time and do not pay a lot of attention to him; your absence is something very normal. When your dog behaved during your absence, praise him after a few minutes in a quiet way.
  6. Practise this by leaving longer each time.

For Corine it was already working. Becky just cried one small little cry when she left the house now!

More tricks:

‘Lie down’ is one of the most wonderful commands you can teach your dog. It can get him to calm down and relax after playtime. If visiting friends want to pet your dog, they might feel more comfortable when he is lying down.

Teaching your dog to lie down:

  • Have your dog in a sit or stand position. Let your dog sniff a treat you are holding, but don’t let him have it.
  • Lower the treat to the floor, and as you are doing that, your dog should follow it down.
  • Say ‘lie down’ as your dog begins to lower himself. Your dog should lower himself all the way to the floor. Now you hold the treat between his front paws.
  • Only give him the treat once he is on the floor. Repeat the words ‘Lie Down, good boy/girl, lie down.’

Practice this several times during the day an over several days.

When you teach your dog a command, it’s important that he hears the same word over and over so he can learn what it means.

‘Come here!’

Everyone wants their dog to come when they call them and they want them to arrive quickly.

Coming when called is simple if it is fun and rewarding for your dog. It’s also one of the most important commands for your dog to learn. You can use ‘come’ or ‘come here’. It doesn’t matter which word you choose. But always use the same word so that your dog is not confused.

Young dogs learn quickly. It’s best to start teaching your dog to come when he’s a puppy or as soon as you get your adult dog. Calling your dog to you should always be a pleasurable, happy experience. Always use your dog’s name, and reward him generously (lots of hugs, kisses, treats) when he gets to you. You are his favourite person!

But when I’m in the park with Boomer and he sees his favourite playmates, it takes several commands until he comes to me!

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