Q&A: How Do I Teach My Puppy To Be Independant?


I have been trying to teach my puppy to become a little independent, as he always jumps on me or sits between my legs. I’ve been walking away from him every time he sits between my legs, but now he’s not coming when I call his name, and seems less happy and affectionate.  I’ve had him for about 5 days. Is there anything I can or should be doing to teach him to be a little more independent?



Hi Jonathon

Good question. We all want our puppies to be independent, and it can sometimes be confusing where to draw the line. The first few weeks you have with a young puppy are really about you bonding with him, and him
gaining confidence in his new environment. If he wants to sit with you or be cuddled, at this stage I would view it as a positive thing.

There is a fine line though, as you don’t want him to be so attached he gets separation anxiety, or that he gets scared if he is away from you. So in saying that, leave him frequently for short periods of time, encouraging him to be confident on his own. Also if he is shy around other people, gently encourage him to approach. As you begin to take him out in new environments and around other dogs, encourage him to explore. You want your puppy to be attached and loving with you, but don’t feel obligated to always have him sitting on you. If you want to get up, certainly do so. Maybe put a bed close by and encourage him to sit on that near you, but not on you!

Remember it has only been days since he has been taken out of an environment with all his litter mates living in close proximity. He is probably just craving some warmth and love!


Beth Jefferey

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Beth Jeffery

Beth Jeffery is a Dog Trainer and Behaviorist with over 15 years experience in the field. She spent years in the Service Dog field, training both Guide Dogs for the Blind and Assistance Dogs for the Disabled, as well as many years working with pet dogs. Beth current runs her Dog Training business in San Diego, working with dogs of all breeds, all ages, and with all issues, from puppy training through to aggressive dogs.

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