Cockapoos are highly sociable animals, like many other dog breeds and crossbreeds. They love being around you and when you are home. When you and anyone else in your household aren’t at home therefore, it can leave them feeling a little upset. Some cockapoos don’t handle being left alone as well as others.
Obviously, if you know you are always going to be leaving your dog alone, you should ask yourself some serious questions about whether your home lifestyle is really compatible with having a dog. Having said that, there will be times you can’t avoid leaving your cockapoo alone.
There is a lot of debate about how long you can leave your dog alone, and we’ve discussed the subject in greater detail here, particularly focusing during the puppy years. The general rule we tend to follow here at CockapooHQ is the Dog’s Trust’s suggestion of no more than 4 hours.
For those times, then, when you really can’t avoid leaving your dog alone, how can you stop it from stressing your dog out? To give you a helping hand in this area, we have put together our top 10 tips for leaving your dog alone.
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Contents and Quick Navigation
- 1 Ten Tips
- 1.1 Build Up The Time
- 1.2 Leave Some Background Sounds On (TV, radio etc.)
- 1.3 Install a Camera
- 1.4 Will They Have Free Roam? If They Will, Take Appropriate Precautions
- 1.5 Do You Have a Routine In Place? If Not, You Should
- 1.6 Answer The Call of Nature Before You Go
- 1.7 Fill a Robust and Durable Toy (like a Kong) Full of Their Favourite Treats
- 1.8 Hide Their Favourite Treats Around The House/Room
- 1.9 Leave Them Their Favourite Toy
- 1.10 Make Sure They Have Access to Fresh Water
Build Up The Time
The worst thing you could do is throw your cockapoo into the deep end by leaving them for a long time on their own. If they are not used to it, it could have devastating affects on their mental health and they might howl the place down which would be unpleasant for any neighbours you have.
It is best to build up the time, starting with just leaving your dog alone for a relatively short time. Even 10 minutes.
With each time, reward him and give him lots of love when you come back, to show that there’s a positive side to it all. As you slowly and gradually extend the time, they will be able to better adjust to it.
As we’ve already discussed, we wouldn’t extend the time you leave your dog alone any longer than 4 hours, though some people do for 6 hours.
Leave Some Background Sounds On (TV, radio etc.)
When you do leave your cockapoo alone, don’t leave them in quietness. Cockapoos, remember, are very sociable animals and will feel more secure in a home alone that doesn’t feel like it’s empty. Leave the television or the radio on in the background. It will give them something to focus their attention on.
If you have neighbours directly next door at either or both sides of your property and the walls are not especially thick, will their noises bother your dog? If they do, leaving the television or radio will also help in that scenario.
Install a Camera
The moment you leave your house, you can never really tell what your dog gets up to when they are alone. You can make guesses and predictions, but why not find out for yourself if you are really concerned about their welfare? You can do that by installing a camera and setting it to record.
While in the past you would have to wait until you got home to watch back the footage, it is now very easy to setup a camera so that it records and streams the footage in real-time. There are apps you can use to access and watch the footage wherever you are.
That way you can identify if there are any problems when you leave your cockapoo alone.
Will They Have Free Roam? If They Will, Take Appropriate Precautions
Different cockapoo and dog owners have different approaches to this aspect of leaving their furry friend home alone. While some restrict their pooch’s access to their house, to say the kitchen or a small section of the home, other owners prefer to allow the freedom to roam around the house, in the hope it will give them greater choice for places to sit and nap.
If you are going to take the latter approach to leaving your dog alone and want him or her to not feel restricted or trapped, you need to take the appropriate safety measures. That includes:
Making sure all wires and cables are tidied away and can’t be accessed, to avoid your dog chewing them
Putting other items, like clothes, shoes, bags, gadgets away for the same reason
Do You Have a Routine In Place? If Not, You Should
Dogs are creatures of habit and respond well to training, boundaries and having a good, solid routine in place. Therefore, it is a good idea to try and stick to doing the same things each time you go out and leave your dog alone. Perhaps you could have them sit on a chair or their bed and give them a treat on the provision that they stay sitting as you walk out the door.
You will have to spend some time training them to do that, obviously, but the effort will pay off when they feel less stressed when you leave the house.
Dogs who do not have a strict routine are more likely to be jittery and restless while you are out if left alone.
Answer The Call of Nature Before You Go
This is a pretty basic tip and something you should already know to do, but it is worth highlighting, nonetheless. Not only will it reduce the chances of your cockapoo having ‘accidents’ while they are home alone, but by making sure they go to the toilet before you leave, you could actually help ease and settle them. Like humans, animals don’t handle needing the toilet and not being able to go. So do your bit to help lower the chances of that. Make it part of the routine of leaving the house, before you use the tip outlined above, let them out for the toilet.
Fill a Robust and Durable Toy (like a Kong) Full of Their Favourite Treats
One way to keep their mind occupied while you are not there to give your cockapoo attention is by getting a Kong or their favourite sturdy and durable toy and filing it with their favourite treats and snacks. They’ll be too busy trying to get the tasty goodies kept inside to notice you gone and are less likely to feel stressed and anxious.
Hide Their Favourite Treats Around The House/Room
Whether they have free roam of the place or a restricted area, you should also think about laying treats for your dog to find. Obviously, be careful not to hide them anywhere you don’t want their paws, claws and teeth ripping or damaging as they try to rummage for the goodies. This, like the above tip, will help keep them so preoccupied with their mission to follow their nose that they’ll barely notice you are gone.
Leave Them Their Favourite Toy
Does your cockapoo have a favourite toy? You know, a special one that they snuggle up to or like to fight with and tussle? Make sure you leave that out where they can get to as the familiarity of the toy will help them deal better with the unfamiliarity of you not being there in the house.
- Mentally stimulating toy, offering enrichment by helping satisfy dogs’ instinctual needs
- KONG classic red rubber formula for average chewers
- Unpredictable bounce for games of fetch
Make Sure They Have Access to Fresh Water
This is more about their physical health and wellbeing than your dog’s mental health, but you should always make sure they have access to fresh and clean water. Even if it’s not a particularly hot day, it is important for your dog to have the opportunity to keep him or herself hydrated. You wouldn’t want to be left alone for the day without access to any drinks, would you?
There you have it folks, some great tips for when you need to leave your cockapoo alone. There’s no guarantee that all of the above will work with your dog, as it will depend a lot on their personality and the dynamic you have with them. However, we hope that one or two at least calm your dog or take the edge off their nerves enough that you don’t feel you can have a life outside of your home without your dog in tow.