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I have a three-month puppy. When I leave home, he starts to cry. I've been trying to ignore him when he starts to cry, so I just go. However, that can disturb my neighbors. I don't know for how long he cries.

Yesterday, before leaving home, I gave him a dog-biscuit, so he got distracted and didn't see me leaving. I don't know if he cried after finishing the biscuit because I had already gone.

Is this a valid or good technique for leaving home?

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Yes, this is a good technique: You are teaching your dog that good things will happen as you leave, and he will look forward to that instead of being anxious when he realizes you are leaving. Dogs are very good at learning cues that you are planning to leave: picking up keys, putting on jackets, etc., will quickly alert them that you are leaving soon. If they associate that with an upcoming treat, they will be happier.

You can also give him something to keep him occupied longer: There are various dog toys that are meant to hold treats, and the dog has to work a bit to get it out. Kongs are one example.

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  • Will I have to give him treats forever? I mean, won't he cry when I stop give him treats before leaving? – Murilo Mar 13 '17 at 14:21
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    Dog training never stops. Yes, I give my dogs treats every morning when I leave for work and will be gone all day. If I am just going out for a quick errand, I sometimes skip it. It only takes a minute or two to get a treat ready and give it to them, and every day reinforces the idea that it is OK that I am leaving. – jalynn2 Mar 13 '17 at 15:00
  • I bought the treat holder toy. The dog liked and got occupied while I'm leaving. – Murilo Mar 17 '17 at 15:23
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Yes, this is a good routine for a puppy. You might also consider crate training. Whatever you do tho, establishing a routine and keeping a regular practice of feeding times, exercise/play times & bathroom times will do wonders to keep your puppy's anxiety at bay.

It is worth considering tho that you don't want to train your dog to act out when they simply want attention or a treat.

It might also help to reassure your puppy before you leave and help them "find their spot" or "go to your place". That said, by 18 months your dog should know the place and routine you've trained them to.

I have read that with adult dogs it is better to simply leave and not make a fuss. When you get home tho, reward them for a "good wait" with belly rubs. Remember too that it is not how much of a treat you give them but that you are giving them a treat (or affection) which is the reward.

Lastly, make sure they have something to do while you are gone. If you have the luxury of yard space, consider an automatic ball thrower. Hanging a chew toy or rope knot can also be something for them to play with while you gone.

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