How to encourage your dog to be more independent

It’s no secret that dogs are affectionate creatures. It’s one of the many reasons that so many households choose to welcome a dog into their home. They’re always happy to see you, they love you unconditionally, they are always there when you need them. But what if they’re always there, regardless. If you’d like to encourage your dog to be more independent, try some of these simple solutions. Teaching your dog to be more independent will be helpful if you are thinking of travelling with dogs in the future too.

Start small

If your dog doesn’t like you leaving the room, it’s important to build up your period of absence gradually. Start by leaving for just a minute or two every hour or so. You can then work to build this up bit by bit. Leaving for too long straight away might cause your dog unnecessary stress or overwhelm them.

Offer reassurance

Dogs are very sensitive and will require plenty of attention and affection to encourage their independence. If you are working on building up the amount of time you are apart, as mentioned in the point above, shower them with cuddles, or offer them a treat, each time they behave appropriately when you’re gone. This is also worth remembering if you are moving with a dog, as it can help them become more settled and comfortable in their new surroundings.

Practice being social

You may notice that your dog is extra clingy when you’re out and about. Maybe they’re scared of other dogs, or maybe they dislike unfamiliar humans. Find some patient dog-friendly human friends and other calm, well-behaved dogs and introduce them slowly. Keep your distance to start with and give your dog time to take in the situation. Once they seem more settled you can get closer, until, hopefully, they are relaxed enough that you can greet the other dogs or humans.

Fun distractions

Taking your pups favourite toys or belongings to a new place will help to ease any tension. Not only will they smell comforting and familiar, but they’ll also provide a fun distraction from whatever new situation you’re introducing. Laying out a blanket and using that as a ‘safe space’ for your dog to return to whenever they get anxious will help them to gradually build up the confidence to explore further from you.

Fri Jan 27 2023