How To Train Independent Dogs

Give your dog a secure, loving environment free from mistreatment and bad behaviors. Dogs must earn our respect just like we must earn ours.


The Beagle is one of the most well-liked dog breeds in the USA but also one of the most challenging to train. This vintage scent dog is now the household pet. Although intelligent, this breed is nevertheless regarded as being difficult to teach. The Beagle enjoys digging, barking, and following their noses, just like some of the other dogs on this list.

For the sake of their owners and neighbors, they require a strong, committed trainer. They are loving and vivacious people who need regular exercise and family time. For those who are prepared to invest the time and effort necessary to teach them, these four-legged family members make excellent pets.


These happy lap dogs have a reputation for being clowns. They are perceptive, devoted, and receptive to human company. They are generally very amusing puppies, but they can be challenging to train. Despite having a calm disposition by nature, they can become bothersome barkers if not entertained and socialized with.

These lovely companions require continuous obedience instruction because they are independent and naughty. Although you might want to pick up this little puppy to stop it from acting inappropriately, correct it instead to prevent “little dog syndrome.” This will only serve to to the list of factors making the Pug one of the hardest dogs to teach.


This breed was later scaled down and developed into a lap dog after being first employed for collecting mice and rats. This small yappy dog is also known as the Monkey Terrier of the Mustachioed Devil.

Despite his height, he is fearless and confident, which makes him a fantastic watch dog, but it also means that obedience training must begin right away and be constant. These dogs are intelligent and independent. They prefer to handle things their way. However, this breed makes a good companion dog for anyone who is ready to put in the effort.


You might be shocked to learn that this breed is among the most challenging to train because it presents numerous challenges to a trainer. These puppies are intelligent, yet they firmly believe that they are in charge. They require a rigorous but not overbearing trainer. Training based on rewards is more effective for Pekingese.

This small dog will grow irritable and even bite if training is overly hard. They typically dislike children and other animals, preferring to have just one or two owners and be the only pet. Having said that, a trainer willing to work hard and learn can have a terrific time with these royal, self-assured creatures.


called a “This breed of canine still has certain learning curves to get over. These canines, who are also ratters and have their origins in Africa, are employed to purge villages of vermin and other pests. For the appropriate family, they make loving and knowledgeable family pets.

This furry child needs a lot of exercise and entertainment due to his excessive activity. They need a strong trainer who can be as obstinate as they are since they are independent and stubborn. These dogs possess a powerful “prey drive, and to prevent them from chasing and catching everything in sight, they need a solid fence and regular training.

How can I teach my dog to be more self-sufficient?

At every stage of a dog’s life, independence training is crucial to help them become more self-assured and at ease when left alone. This is more crucial than ever when people start to go back to work in the new year.

As a dog behaviorist, I encounter numerous owners who are experiencing issues with their puppies and even older dogs as a result of anxiety and improper socialization during confinement.

Independence training can aid in a seamless transition because many adopted pets have only known life with their new family working from home or missing out on puppy school and other necessary socialization during the vital period of growth.

Starting independence training now is essential because separation anxiety is a significant issue that many dog owners deal with and can be challenging to overcome if it is not addressed in the early stages. This is true even for dogs who have not previously displayed any signs of anxiety. Being at home with the family every day to suddenly only mornings and nights is likely to take an emotional toll on any pet.

Be on the lookout for behaviors like chewing, digging, excessive barking, and other destructive behaviors as well as trembling, licking of the lips, pacing, increased drooling or salivation, shaking, or a reduction in appetite.

It is beneficial to have your dog’s own personal space where they can feel safe and comfortable and where only pleasant things occur when you are teaching them to be independent.

In an ideal world, they would have a place to call their own inside the house with their bed and favorite toys in addition to access to a place to call their own outside in the yard, such as a sturdy, secure, and comfortable kennel or shed, where they are protected from the elements and enjoy spending time.

Crate training your dog is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, and if done correctly, your dog is likely to regularly enter their crate when they need some time alone, need to sleep, or are feeling a little anxious.

Establish frequent separations from your dog, even if you spend the entire day at home. For the majority of dogs, 3-5 times alone each day can be sufficient to reduce separation anxiety.

Put it on cue by saying things like, “Go to your crate,” or “Go to your spot,” and send the dog there with a treat, toy, or long-lasting chew. This is called positive reinforcement behavior training.

It’s also beneficial to let your dog enjoy some alone time in the yard. Giving them a safe bone or interactive toy can keep them occupied.

Start establishing a more consistent walking schedule with your dog now, ideally first thing in the morning and once more at the end of the workday if you haven’t already.

When you go back to work, it is imperative that your dog continue to exercise in the same manner since dogs need to be outside and explore their surroundings in order to maintain their mental health.

A vet behaviorist or dog trainer should be consulted if your rescue dog is particularly scared or reactive in order to identify the best course of action, as in some circumstances, exposing them to too many of the things they are afraid of may exacerbate their condition.

However, consistent walks and attending to each dog’s specific exercise requirements can generally not only aid with anxiety and boredom but also keep your fitness levels high. When left alone, a worn-out dog is less likely to engage in physical or mental mischief!

Consider hiring a dog walker if you are unable to provide your pet the appropriate amount of exercise for their size, breed, and age.

Boredom and anxiety can both be managed with nose exercises and scenting games that appeal to your dog’s innate hunting instincts.

For some independence training, try hiding your dog’s treats or kibble throughout the yard or living area so they may spend some time by themselves scavenging for food.

You can even do this when you are leaving the house to help develop a good association with your departure if you put it on cue, such as “find your snacks.”

Aussie Dog Home Alone, Kongs, and food puzzles are a few examples of enrichment toys that can help give pets the extra mental and physical stimulation and exercise that many dogs so sorely need. To keep things fresh, make sure you routinely replace their toys.

It also helps by giving many working dog breeds, including Border Collies and Kelpies, the necessary task of work.

If you always follow the same pattern when you go for work, dogs can become agitated before you have even left the house because they watch our every move.

There are a few ways to achieve this, including continually switching up the order of your departure routine and normalizing some of your departure sounds and gestures by rattling your keys and collecting your bag without really leaving the house so they are not connected to you leaving every time.

Be mindful of how you arrive and exit. Any exuberant jumping, barking, or other attention-seeking behavior should be ignored when you enter the house following each separation.

You can greet them as warmly and amusingly as you wish whenever they stop barking or have all four feet on the ground (if jumping is their thing). Likewise, don’t have a long departure ceremony with your dog.

If you have a puppy, start teaching it to be independent right away by not caving in to every whine. They won’t learn how to self-soothe and believe that you’ll come returning in your own time if we don’t let them experience the discomfort and give them repeated chances to do it.

They will instead discover that they may get rid of their agony by whimpering and calling you back.

Set certain restrictions on your dog’s access to certain areas of the house and be consistent with them. Dogs frequently become confused and lose their ability to be effective leaders because there aren’t clear, constant boundaries around the house and the same rules for all family members.

Train your dog to only do what you ask of them, such as jump up on the couch, enter the kitchen, or lie on the bed. Make sure you aren’t rewarding your puppy for the behavior you don’t want by using positive reinforcement training to assist them grasp the ideal behavior you want from them.

Rewarding attention-seeking behaviors, like as leaping up, barking, or whimpering at you, is also not appropriate. Avoid looking at, touching, or noticing it. To encourage the desired behavior, wait until they are calm before rewarding them. You determine the terms of attention, not others! Click here to learn more about that.

Some dogs’ nervousness can be compared to a panic episode that we people can have, leading them to act out and damage themselves. It’s critical to realize that dogs who experience genuine separation anxiety aren’t “acting out because their people are away;” rather, they are experiencing tremendous panic that they are powerless to manage.

Many of my clients have claimed that their dog started peeing inside the house on purpose in retaliation or because they appeared ashamed when they returned home and “knew” they had broken the law. This is all untrue.

Dogs may feel basic human emotions including happiness, melancholy, loneliness, enthusiasm, and delight because they have cognitive abilities comparable to those of children between the ages of two and two and a half, but they are unable to feel remorse or malice.

The science supports this.

Latent punishment, or punishing your dog for a behavior that is occurring because they are afraid, will only increase their dread and anxiety and make problem behaviors worse. Latent punishment is when you punish your dog for an action that occurred more than five seconds ago.

You must seek the opinion of a vet, ideally a vet behaviorist or expert dog trainer, if your dog experiences extreme separation anxiety and independence training is not alleviating it or it worsens. A vet can offer some remedies, which may involve natural or other drugs.

Visit our friends at PETstock to find out more about these and other soothing products as well as interactive toys to help anxious dogs. These goods include Adaptil, Feliway, Thundershirts, and even Dog TV.

How can I train my dog to be by himself?

Increase the amount of time you leave your dog alone by following the straightforward instructions below. Connect the experience to a nice memory (for example, treats and toys).

Keep in mind that every dog is unique. Never push your dog to the point of anguish; instead, move forward at a pace that suits their reaction.

For your dog’s learning, taking your time can lead to better and longer-lasting effects.

Step 2

While you walk away, ask your dog to remain. Payback and honor. Make sure your return isn’t overly thrilling or your dog might get eager in anticipation of your return.

Step 3

Continue doing this practice, increasing your distance and duration of time. Your dog will determine the increase in distance and duration. Never reward or reprimand your dog if they respond or move; instead, go return to the earlier stage. All throughout, we want them to be at ease and unconcerned by what you are doing.

Step 4

Advance the training and begin to leave the room before coming back. Go outdoors after that and close the door behind you before spending more time outside. At this stage, try varying the amount of time you spend outside.

Top Tip

Remember that you’re doing your best and that it’s alright if you find it difficult to put these measures into practice; separation-related anxiety is a complicated problem. When this is the case, we always suggest contacting a clinical behaviorist for assistance.

Is having an independent dog a good thing?

Even though a dog or puppy is independent, it can still be loving and make a great friend. It simply means they are really amused by themselves and don’t require continual entertainment from you.

Most people have close bonds with their partners and are devoted and affectionate. However, they value their alone time just like you do. Most of the time you spend together is special and of higher interactional quality.

Dogs that are independent come in many colors and sizes. Numerous other breeds are represented as well, such as West Highland Terriers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Akitas, German Pinschers, Bull Mastiffs, Shibas, Chow-Chows, Neapolitan Mastiffs, Irish Setters, and Japanese Chins.