Leaving a Puppy Loose in the House

Dear Adam: ¬†Kava is a good dog, very smart, and basically obedient. Thank you for the wonderful puppy training information. Kava will soon be a good doggie citizen. In the last two weeks, he has displayed behavior that relates to “Separation Anxiety”.

He is chewing on books, pulling covers off the bed, digging, and taking items off counters, etc. while I’m away at work. He does not display these behaviors when I am home with him, so I haven’t been able to catch him in the act and correct. He has been loose in the house for about two months, and only started this behavior recently.

Do you have any ideas on how to deal with this problem? I can crate him if necessary, but I work 8+ hours a day, and I think it would be inhumane to crate him for that long when I go to work. Unfortunately I can’t afford a dog walker, or I would consider that option. I do attempt to “puppy proof” the house. Please let me know if you have any idease. Thank you in advance and best regards,

Trisha Dear Trisha: Thank you for your question. My book says that you must keep the dog confined until he’s a year to a year and a half. Get a kennel run, or keep him in the crate. Hire a neighborhood kid to stop by in the afternoon, if you have to. But if you leave him out, he’ll destroy your house and possibly hurt himself. You wouldn’t go out for the evening and leave a 7 year old child alone. You’d get him a sitter or put him in day care, right? It’s no different with your dog.