How can I get my dog used to being alone?
The easiest way to start is to teach a puppy to stay alone. A puppy adjusts his inner clock to the family rhythm. You should take advantage of this to integrate a routine into your everyday life. The best example to start with a puppy, is to play with it extensively or to walk it a little longer so that it gets sleepy. You could also distract him by giving him a chewing bone. Then leave the room or your appartment quietly and close the door. Your puppy will most likely be so distracted and tired that he will hardly notice your absence. After being alone for a few minutes, come back and reward him with a treat.
Even adult dogs used to staying alone. Patience plays a very important role here. Especially if you own a dog from a shelter. Dogs from the shelter often suffer from fear of loss. It is therefore important to establish a routine in everyday life before you leave your dog alone. Puppies and adult dogs need certain rituals to get used to being alone. For example, you can go to the kitchen before you leave and put on your shoes. You should repeat this every time you want to leave the house, so that your dog will remember this process.
Leave your dog alone for only a few minutes and increase the distance with time. Always make sure that your dog is busy and distracted before you go, so being alone becomes his own little ritual. You should combine the reunion with something positive, e.g. caresses or treats. This suggests to him that you always return to him and that he does not remain alone.
Even if your dog doesn't get used to the new rituals immediately - you have to stay consistent! In the beginning you will need a lot of patience and you have to be tough. Even if your puppy or adult dog cries and howls, you must not give in. In these cases, wait until your dog calms down and then give him a reward. Patience pays off in these cases.
Of course you should not leave your dog alone the whole day, but only for a few hours. With rituals, rewards and above all patience, your dog will learn over time that you won't leave him.