Top ten ways to successfully work from home & have a puppy

black, white & tan corgi puppy, working from home with a dog

Let’s face it, puppies are a lot of work. Often more than people think.

But how can you make it as stress-free as possible when you have a puppy, and you also work from home? Qualified Pro Dog Trainer Niki French has the following top ten solutions to make life as stress free as possible and your pet as happy as can be:

Mental & Physical Stimulation

One of the easiest ways to have a calm and happy puppy is to make sure they have had some mental and physical stimulation before you expect them to settle down so that you can work. A pleasant walk with lots of opportunity for sniffing can be great if your puppy is ready to be out and about. But playing training games in the home and garden can be equally effective.

Motivate them

Using your puppy’s daily food allowance is a great way to keep them motivated to play games that help them develop into a confident and happy dog. Conversely, too much excitement means they get over-excited or over-tired (much like children). Both states can make it difficult for your puppy to settle down afterwards. Look for a balance of having some fun and exercise but not going crazy!

It can help to have their bed or crate in the same space that you are working in

Especially if they are very young, or they struggle to be in a different room to you. That way you can drop the odd piece of food into their crate or bed from time to time, to reward them for being calm and settled. The old fashioned advice of ‘letting them cry it out’ isn’t very kind or teaching them that they can feel secure and happy at home. Just being near you can make it easier for them to settle down.


If your pup is happy settling in another room to you, having some music on in the background can be comforting and help reduce the likelihood of ‘alert barking’ at noises they might hear outside.

Quality rest time

Puppies are often not that good at knowing when they need to rest. You can encourage quality rest time by using a crate (some pups prefer it cosier with a light covering over them) or their bed in a quiet area of the home. You can use calming foods, like natural long-lasting chews, and tools, like lick mats in this space to help them transition into a state ready to settle down for a sleep. Grow their love of being in a crate with positive rewards. Please don’t just shut them in there if they find it punishing.

Toilet breaks

Make sure you schedule in enough toilet training breaks. Young puppies can need to go every one to two hours (and after eating, drinking, playing, waking etc.). The more focused you can be on toilet training early on; the quicker toilet training will be nailed. If your working day doesn’t allow for this, do get some help where you can.


You can help your day go more smoothly by having some calming distractions ready before you start work. Think of it like preparing a packed lunch. Then you’re ready when, mid important telephone call, your puppy starts yipping or whining loudly!

Play games during your breaks

Play a couple of games with your puppy every time you take a quick break, like putting the kettle on. This is the perfect way to train. Short bursts mean training stays fun for both of you. And helps them settle back down again ready for your next Zoom meeting. There’s the added benefit of you getting to move around for a few minutes, meaning you’re probably more focussed and productive when you sit back down to work.

Ask for help

If you really need to be ‘in work’ without any interruptions, can you organise some help? A friend or family member, puppy drop-in service, puppy walker or good quality doggy day care could be the answer. Expecting any dog to have no interaction from us for more than 3-4 hours a day is tough for many dogs. They are sociable creatures, that’s normally why we want them in our lives in the first place.

Be patient

Above all, be patient with them and be kind to yourself. Not all days will go smoothly. Get support from like-minded people and advice from a dog trainer or behaviourist where you need it. A little professional help can go a long way.

Niki FrenchAbout the author

Niki French is a Professional Dog Trainer, running Twickenham Dog Services and her new book Stop Walking Your Dog is out now on Amazon. For more tips and games, you can find Pup Talk at

Stop Walking Your Dog: A Guide to Training Your Nervous, Reactive, or Over-Excited Pup | Niki French

Are you struggling to walk your dog or puppy? Do you feel stressed or overwhelmed with your dog right now? Is your puppy struggling with walks? Do you have a scared, nervous or reactive dog? Does your dog get over-excited when you go for a walk? Have you got a dog that can’t go for a walk due to surgery or illness or old age?

It might come as a surprise, but traditional ‘walks’ are a human invention and aren’t helpful for many of our dogs.

  • Understand why your dog reacts in the way that they do.
  • Learn how to train your dog or puppy at home to grow the skills they need in life. Whatever their age, breed or background.
  • Find out why you shouldn’t feel pressured to take your pup for a walk.
  • And what you can do instead for a calm and happy dog.
Stop Walking Your Dog: A Guide to Training Your Nervous, Reactive, or Over-Excited Pup - Niki French

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