Separation Training for Puppies and Adult Dogs

Puppies Video Information:

This tutorial is on separation training or in other words teaching your dog to feel calm and relaxed when left home alone. The way I approach separation training for dogs and puppies is setting the dog up for success by training him what I do want him to do and how I do want him to feel and leaving little room for error.

It really depends on the puppy or dog and their previous training and experiences as to how fast you can progress through the steps as well as how quickly you can add duration. With my own puppy Halo the breeder had already worked with Separation from people and dogs before I got him, so I could on day one already give him alone time a few times a day when he was feeling like a nap. Tug my terrier came to me with separation anxiety, where I could not leave him alone at all. So for a month I build up the amount of time he could be left slowly and carefully to the point where I could leave for a couple of hours. By working on the settle you can tell when criteria is too high because the dog do will get up to follow you or get up and approach the barrier they are behind. It is a good visual signal for someone who is not good at reading dog body language to lower criteria without a set back in training.

Teach go to the bed:

Teach go in the crate:

The steps:
1 Reinforce a settle and calmness around food
2 Teach your dog to go to his bed and go in his crate or pen
3 Add duration while next to the crate or pen
4 Add movement away from the enclosure
5 Alone time

Information on spending too much time in a crate or pen:

Information on housetraining and setting up the pen with a litterbox:

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Separation Training for Puppies and Adult Dogs

10 thoughts on “Separation Training for Puppies and Adult Dogs

  1. Very enjoyable and informative. It was rather nice how fast crate training got my collie to be calm while in there. Now at night when its bed time as soon as I start to pick her up she immediately gets up on her own accord and walks right in and lays down.

  2. Question: love the method to avoid barrier frustration but realistically how are you concurrently house training (crate training) a new 8-10 week old puppy? It’s one thing for us as professionals to take time off and spend a week acclimating our dog or puppy to being behind a gate or crate but as I’m sure you’re aware most “regular“ puppy owners can’t take that sort of time off and need to begin using the crate immediately. What do you do when you are thus training to antithetical scenarios at the same time? I ask this genuinely because I am old and there are likely new techniques that pop up that I may not know. I think the sign of any good trainer is to always know that we don’t know it all!

  3. Thank you for this! I have a 10 month old pup that hates being alone and I will definitely try this! Better slow and steady than to force anything

  4. i trained my dog just like this when she was a little puppy. it was a relatively fast process and there was no difficulty. great tutorial!

    edit: some dogs like to have blankets over their crate and generally to have their crate in a corner where they feel safe and are not going to be bothered by people walking by etc. my dog fell asleep faster and went to her crate more often when i put a blanket over it. it was like a little cave, and it's still her favorite spot in the house, we just never close the crate now

  5. Thanks for posting another fantastic tutorial. Your commitment, time, dedication, enthusiasm is very much appreciated & exceedingly valuable. I think it’s wonderful to see a growing number of thumbs up on your dog welfare tutorials.

    My next step is to try to learn how I can cope with separation from my beautiful Cavalier Queen Charles!!!

    Absolutely love all what you do. Thank you so much.

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