So I adopted an 8 month old papered lab yesterday (owners had to move out of state). She is still a little bit of a puppy, but decent sized. Growing up we always had dogs (though never a pure bred). I am new to it a bit, especially with her being young. She is housebroken, But had an accident on the bed. I am trying to get her okay being at home alone. I am a single mom, and when I go to work there is nobody home. I come home on my breaks, but I tried today to leave her for 5-10 minutes to run to the store and when I came home she was howling and whining. A crate/kennel is on the to do list, but I dont have one yet. Any advice on how to get her okay with being alone? I give her as much attention as I can when I am home, but I need to get her okay being alone. I contemplated getting her a companion to spend the day with, but I feel like one dog suits us better than two would, and I am not sure if that would help? Any advise, I've never had a lab or a lab cross before, so any and all tips would be appreciated.
Samantha (and sookie)
Get a crate right away. Then start playing games with the crate. Start by tossing a treat(pea or smaller piece hotdog usually works great) and not closing the door at all. Repeat a couple times and then stop. Do this like ever 30 minutes to an hour. After you dog get comfortable, start closing the door just for a moment. Do not keep your dog in longer than it is fun for them. Repeat all of this increasing the time you have the door closed. Then start closing the door and stepping out of the room for just a moment. Increase the time you are out of the room slowly. Make sure your dog doesn't freak out. If you do it right you will condition your dog to like his crate. Make it fun for you dog!
Hello and welcome to the forum! My 7 month old pup, Todd, at 7 months, is the most active and difficult, he has been since I got him at 8 weeks. I absolutely second the crate advice. It is vital for your peace of mind and your pup's. When I say difficult, I mean he is always into something or jumping up for attention. I have to keep up with constant training during this stage and make sure he gets activity. In addition to what slackercodemonkey advised, I would also make sure your pup gets a good workout with some fetch time or play time before you leave her alone. Todd is the best dog in the world...but when I can't get him out to run in the field, have a romp with his dog friends, or do outdoor training, he can be the worst. I still love him!!
Todd, Yellow Lab, 1/4/13
Mr. Utley, Welsh Corgi, 2/20/02
Get a crate - it needs to be on today's to-do list.
The dog is still in the middle of a big change, things will take time.
But don't do the bolded section above. Do not doll over and constantly give attention to hte pup when at home, it will make your departure that much harder. I am not saying to IGNORE her all the time but affectionate shoudl be given on your terms.
google crate games, tehre are videos to make it better.
don't make a big deal of leaving, calmly crate and leave without fanfair. do not make a big deal of your arrival. come home quietly, remove your jacket and place your keys before going to the crate. Non-chalantly open it and walk away without saying anything and without lavashing attention. Then a few minutes after you can doll over her.
Absolutely DO NOT get a second dog for her, you will have lots of work to train and bond with her. And another dog may not make her feel ANY better about you being gone and you may end up with TWO dogs stressed.
Sign up for an obedience class ASAP - it helps bond and set the working relationship.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Today was the first day leaving her alone. Luckily I work close enough to home, and am able to come home on my breaks. I am torn between leaving her inside or outside while I am gone. I get suggestions of both, but to me, I took her in and plan to treat her almost as a child. She is part of the family, not an accessory like some people seem to think I should treat her. It was hard. She doesnt like to be home alone. She is apparently already attached to me and took my slippers, and a pillow of mine and drug them up on the couch and napped with them. I expected it, but she was a little destructive. Laptop on the ground, laundry basket turned over (guess I have to baby proof all over again). I adore her oodles already, but I want to make sure she learns early how to behave and be obedient. I have already taught her to sleep, and although it isnt a kennel, She has her own area of the living room that is only HERS and if I tell her to "sleep" she goes and lays down on her blankets. I live in such an isolated area (55 minutes from a city). obedience classes might be hard. I will be looking up videos tonight! lol. Thanks for all the advice and tips guys!!!