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Whether it’s for a walk, a drive around the block or even just to sit on your porch, your dog or puppy needs to spend time away from you. Observe your normal routine for your dog when you leave the house. If your dog normally spends time in a crate or gated-off space when you leave the house, maintain that habit. If you usually give your dog a stuffed Kong or chewy treat when you leave, maintain that habit too. Start with short absences and gradually make them longer.

This is especially important if you have a puppy. Try to maintain your normal daily routine as much as possible. Packing up book bags, picking up keys, etc., are usually good predictors for leaving the house. Let your dog see and hear these activities, even if you have to pretend, so this doesn’t come as a surprise later, when you really need to get out the door. If you have not already developed a routine for your dog, start right away.

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