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For those with just one dog - how long can you leave them home alone?

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Michele83, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. Michele83

    Michele83 Active Member Registered

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    Hi all

    For owners of single dogs - I was wondering, how long are you able to leave yours alone in the house for?

    When I say 'you' I mean you specifically i.e. what is your own experience with this (not asking for opinions on what the general rules should be :) )

    Many thanks
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I have left Jasper for up to 4 hours, but that's only been once or twice. I feel safe leaving him for 2 hours, but much longer and I worry he's going to start fretting and howling. But he did have separation anxiety when young and it took a long time to get to this point.

    As I have fibromyalgia, when I'm walking him twice a day I don't often have the energy to go out for long in between walks anyway!
     
  3. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    With Murphy I have left him for 3 hours. Hes ok although when people come to the door or into the drive he howls..Actually he is better being left for an hour than for 15 minutes because its the first 15 minutes that are the ones that he uses to call or pace up and down looking for us. Once he has established that we are gone gone, he settles except as I say when someone comes to the house.

    I should say although Murphy is an only dog we do have a parrot and quite often when we go out he lies next to or in front of the parrot cage and looks first to the parrot before howling the alarm almost as if asking permission..Now if I could just train the parrot to give him the command to stop barking !!!! :D
     
  4. Shalista

    Shalista Member Registered

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    bax gets left up to 10 hours. i work full time and occasionally have long days. he snoozes on my bed all day. ive asked my downstairs neighbor and she says she NEVER hears him bark (unlike when I'M home and hes out and about). hes confined to the room we sleep in so its kidna like his... crate? he has puppy pads but hes prolly only used them once in the past few months. is it ideal? no. but he doesn't really seem to mind and he gets 1-2 mile walks every day so its not liek hes neglected when im home.
     
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  5. Michele83

    Michele83 Active Member Registered

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    This is good to hear, thanks!
     
  6. Nanny71

    Nanny71 Well-Known Member Registered

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    I visit a collie whose owners work. I visiting the morning and another friend visits in the afternoon. So he is never left for longer than three hours. At the very least he needs a wee.
    The maximum I have leftnDudley is an hour and a half when we do our weekly shop.
    I have a dog CAM and leave him a stuffed Kong. He empties the Kong then sleeps until we get back.
    They are all different.
     
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  7. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm really lucky with Rox because we've got a house full, therefore there is always someone home during the day to let her out while I'm working.
    However, she's really good if we do have to leave her alone, she just sleeps, and I usually leave her a kong or something. I think she would be good for about 7 or 8 hours at a push, I wouldn't say more than that because she's used to someone being home. She wouldn't chew anything, she's good in that respect but I don't think her bladder would hold for much longer as she's only little! Although it doesn't matter if she does have an accident (which has happened occasionally) because we leave her in the tiled kitchen, easy to clean!
    When me and partner do move out in the future and if we're both out for long periods I think I would look at getting a neighbour/friend/dog sitter to go and let her out in the middle of the day maybe, or take her for a short walk to break up her day. Because although I know she's a good girl, I worry when she's left alone and feel bad!
    As @Nanny71 said they are all different, some can cope with being left, others can stuggle with it, whether it's accidents or getting bored and finding something to chew...or even both!!
    I'm guessing you're asking because you're concerned about how long you leave your dog for?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2018
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  8. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    I've only left him for up to 4 hours during the day but it's been longer in the evening. He's walked beforehand and fed and if we were home he'd be napping anyway so I'm happy leaving him for as long as we need too. Whatever time we get back we're greeted by a yawning stretching dog who's clearly been fast asleep until he heard the key in the lock
     
  9. Shalista

    Shalista Member Registered

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    i would add though, this is what hes used to. i got him at 8 months and while he had littermates as a puppy they were all outside dogs and he didnt have much contact with humans. when he moved in with me i lived with my parents and sister. all of whom worked or went ot school. i was a full time college student and he again had his "room" where he was confined for 8+ hours a day right from the start ( I was in an extremely rigorous program that required plenty of after class practice.) Bax has never been crated but hes ALWAYS been left alone. because of his puppy hood bax didnt especially care for humans and i can hypothesis thats why it was easy for him to be left alone when he was young. he didnt WANT us around, i imagine he was more than happy to not have the big scary hoomans around..... ALL THIS TO SAY.... im not sure if you get a puppy raised tenderly by attentive breeders that just LOVES mom and dad if your going to have the same willingness to be left alone
     
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  10. Michele83

    Michele83 Active Member Registered

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    Thanks everyone. My puppy is only 6 months at the moment. She's got the usual puppy separation anxiety, a teensy bit of howling etc, but she's showed signs of getting over this recently, when I employ the methods of 1) exercising her beforehand, 2) leaving the radio on, 3) giving her high-value treats in a Kong. When I've gotten home recently she seems to have been fast asleep. So I'm not particularly worried. I was asking more out of curiosity and to get a range of experiences so I can see what potential there is when she's older. I haven't been leaving her for longer than 2 hours so far, because she's only young, however I live alone and so since day one I've been doing this relatively often (about once per day) as I have to run errands etc. She is also left alone for about 4 hours in the morning after her walk (but I am just upstairs in the house working, and I take her out for 30 mins in the middle when I have coffee!) She just wants to sleep all morning anyway, she goes straight in the crate by herself after breakfast and I don't hear a peep out of her. Most of the time she doesn't want to come out!
     
  11. Shalista

    Shalista Member Registered

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    ditto ing the kong and white noise. Bax has a white noise machine on 24/7 (it helps me sleep) and he always gets fed as im walking out the door so he doesnt notice im gone. he does tend to bark if i dont treat/feed him before i go​
     
  12. Rhythmpig

    Rhythmpig Member Registered

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    I'm lucky because I can take my dog to work with me,but there's many times when she can't be bothered . She's quite happy to stay at home just lounging around.
     
  13. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Wow, sounds like you have a really good pup there. It's good that she's getting used to being left now, she'll probably end up like @Shalista's Bax and become really good at being left for hours and just sleep like she is now! :)
     
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  14. Pip-n-Stan

    Pip-n-Stan New Member Registered

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    We had Pippin from 7 weeks and apart from the very first day when she escaped from her pen and pooped and peed everywhere (lol), she's always had a bladder of steel. We made very little use of puppy pads, even though she used to be on her own the whole day.
    She's never suffered with separation anxiety, never had any accidents (apart from when she was really tiny) and, ever since she grew out of her puppy chewing phase, has never once been destructive. She was always allowed free range of the entire house, until we got Stanley, and now when they're alone he is in the kitchen and she has the rest of the house. My mum was told they adapt and get used to whatever routine, and her routine was always being at home from 8am to 6pm.
     
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  15. MrCW

    MrCW New Member Registered

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    I have always stuck with of up to 4hrs.
    Sorry but it had to said 10hrs is an unacceptable amount of time, especially alone and 1-2miles a day should be 1-2hrs walk, at least 1hr before work.
    No offense those are my general rules.
     
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  16. Shalista

    Shalista Member Registered

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    Bax is a strong independent terrier that doesnt give a fig for me whether im there or not. Some dogs might cling to their owners and need constant assurances of their presence every four hours but Bax isn't like that. he ignores me. He sleeps in the other room when im home. if bax were a needy dog id reconsider but he frankly doesn't care about me. i feed him, i walk him, i change his puppy pads if necessary but we mostly just coexist.

    as to the walk i said distance, not time. you may power walk your dogs but for bax a 1-2 mile walk IS an hr or two as he stops to investigate (and pee) on every shrub, bush, and blade of grass.

    your "general rules" do not apply to all dogs and all situations.
     
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  17. MrCW

    MrCW New Member Registered

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    I did not say my rules apply to all dogs, they are my rules for my dogs.
    I cannot imagine any dog liking to be shut in a room for up to 10hrs, especially a terrier.
    The questions are why does he ignore you? does he not show any affection? why do you want a dog?
    I don't want to sound offensive, i like to get more from having a dog, part of the family and a companion.
     
  18. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I hope @Shalista doesn't mind me saying this, but I've known her on another forum for some time and she has put in an incredible amount of time, effort and heartache with Bax over the years, in challenging circumstances, that the fact that Bax now seems peaceful, settled and relaxed and is able to cope in situations that she never ever thought he could given what he had been like, is a real achievement. To say he's not been an easy dog is putting it mildly.

    Normally I would 100% agree with you that being left for 10 hours a day is just plain wrong, and I'm sure she'd love to be able to work less, spend more time with him, and take him on road trips, but I believe she's doing the best she can and, finally, it seems to be working for Bax.
     
  19. Shalista

    Shalista Member Registered

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    <3 thanks judy and yeah all that. i'd love to be able to just go off adventuring and roadtriping with bax as much as id like but i have bills to pay.

    Sorry if i seemed abrupt MrCW but you dont know bax. calmly snoozing on a bed in another room is 100% an improvement and it took long years of blood, sweat, and tears to get him there. i always raised bax with the intent of him being an independent dog, happy to keep to himself and keep himself content. the fact that he actually does this now is a feature not a bug.

    i think what your losing sight of is that bax is happy this way. he doesn't have any neurotic behaviors, his socialization has improved even more since i started working here, hes just content and happy to be left alone without me hovering over him. again, if this was any other dog with any other temperament that was indicating to me that he absolutely needed me every four hours, id somehow make it work. but bax isn't. and thats what matters to ME more than an arbitrary number of hours. Bax is happy.
     
  20. Peegee

    Peegee Active Member Registered

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    We very occasionally leave Evie for 4 hours but prefer no more than 3. We spent a long time when she was a puppy gradually building up the time she was left from 5 minutes to about 3 hours by the time she was 18 months, always with a full frozen Kong.She's now two and a half and shows no signs of anxiety when left.
     

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