Am I a Bad Pet Owner If I Leave My Dog Alone for 10 Hours a Day? That’s not to say you shouldn’t get a dog if you work — far from it. We all need a friendly face to come home to at the end of the day. A dog is a friend who is always there to greet you, play with you and exercise you. First, teach your dog that being home alone is.
Leaving your dog home alone: Things to do beforehand
My 9 month old can make it 4 hours in the crate, but anything after that and she pees in there and goes hysterical. You can tell she even tries to break out. She already destroyed the plastic liner on the bottom. I'm almost sure that if we leave her out of the crate, she will destroy the house.
She's already on Prozac for separation anxiety. I would maybe start by sectioning off a small part of a room where there's not much for her to destroy. If you're not comfortable with taking that step just yet, maybe try to make your dog more comfortable with her crate when you're at home? My pup loved her crate.. She did destroy some bedding in there though, especially if left alone for longer than usual. We crated her for short periods of time when we were home, fed her in the crate and gave her lots of treats every time she went in.
When we started leaving her out, I would always make sure she had a kong full of something to entertain her or, even better, I would try to get her to the park early so she'd be tuckered out while I was gone.
That being said, in the beginning of the transition, things definitely still got destroyed I have an area rug that looks like Jaws took a bite out of it and I've learned that my flip flops definitely get locked up n the bedroom.
Also, if you have a crate that you can section off, make sure that she's cozy! If there's too much room she'll be more inclined to go the bathroom in her crate.
I made that mistake at first and I would come home to a puppy covered in her own poo. It was very frustrating and I felt horrible. I moved the divider up to make the space she was in a bit smaller and we had no more accidents! When I first got my dog, I was allowed more relaxed lunch breaks for a couple weeks given I'd work a little extra into the evening to come home in the middle of the day and let him out and take him on a short walk.
The second week I did it for just 2 days, and he was completely fine after that. I'd recommend getting an adult dog or an older puppy that's been fostered so you know their temperament. My dog was about 9 months but an incredibly calm dog and an old soul, so he was totally fine after a bit.
State of mind is everything. Breed doesn't contain behavior experience in the environment shapes that. Does a dog experience exess bladder demands, stress, separation anxiety when left alone or does dog experience calm relaxation. If the dog feels trapped in that space and is unsure of how to get out or ask to get out I wouldn't leave him any length of time.
If the dog predicts that is a space that is calm and safe I would leave him as long as a work day. And the same dog can be a different dog day by day. One day you tell him to go into the pen and he calmly goes and lays down and the next he's too willfull about something he thinks he must do that the cage will prevent and wont enter.
We were catastrophically wrong to think that way as humans on humans in the 40s and are also wrong to think that way on dogs. On the other hand you are correct that sometimes the genes play a role, sometimes neuro science, sometimes ethology, sometimes molecular biology as professor Sapolsky points out in the Stanford course on Behavioral evolutionary biology online free I recommend for all behaviorists , all schools of thought on which mechanism triggered the behavior will have a complex role to play in the behavior but what triggered the behavior can easily come down to what happened the moment before the behavior.
If dog freaks out when put in cage all that matters is that being put in cage triggered a freak out and no matter the breed you have you can have a dog that is triggered by being put in there and you can teach the dog not to be triggered by being put in there. We don't have to argue at all that genetics has a role to play we know that but it doesn't matter because that role is insignificant to what causes the behavior, the dogs state of mind. An adult dog who has already settled in with you, who is already consistently house trained and not destructive indoors, and who is comfortable being alone in general should be okay alone for 8 hours, provided extra physical and mental exercise while you are home.
With a young dog, or a new dog, or a dog that still has to be crated when alone, or a dog that gets anxious alone, not a good idea. Get a dog walker to stop in midday for a lunchtime walk to break the day into two 4hour stretches instead. You may be able to wean off of the midday walks later, but start out with it in the beginning. You may also not want to wean off of it entirely because that midday break means you can work slightly late sometimes or go out to eat with coworkers instead of rushing home exactly at the 8 hour mark.
Plan for a walker as one of the required expenses of dog ownership, and then if you don't need it later, extra money for you. Like everyone has said, it depends on the dog. My hound is super lazy. She stays home for 10 hours, 3 days a week, and I'm pretty sure she sleeps the whole time. I thought about setting up a camera to watch her, but knowing me, I'd forget to turn it off and accidentally become a cam girl. I take her to daycare the other 2 days, so she can socialize, but she pretty much just lays around there too.
Look for an older puppy or adult dog and a breed with low exercise requirements. My 11yr old BC mix is fine with walks twice a day and weekend hikes now, not as a puppy or young dog. Just do your research and you should be fine. My setter and my brother's pit bull both got labeled as lab mixes! Not sure if its the same situation as your shelter, but I know my local ones don't put "pit bull" on paperwork or like to tell people cause it scares them away from the dog for no reason other than breed prejudice.
Nonetheless I agree, I wouldn't put too much trust in their breed claims. I understand its nothing more than educated guesses: Don't forget it's more than just about exercise, if your dog isn't house trained or potty trained, you'll come back to a house full of poop and destroyed possessions.
So on top of what everyone here says about getting a breed that doesn't need a lot of exercise, you also need to be on top of your house training, which doesn't happen overnight. We have two Staffordshire bullterriers, we gt them both as rescues, they have a walk in the morning and a hike in the evening. They are left for 4 hours together as we work close enough to pop back at lunchtimes. We do leave them once a week, just to make sure that if we ever need to they are ok with it.
There has never been an issue and what has been key to this is routine! Most mornings when we start putting shoes on they have already got into their beds and are ready for their treats and sleep. When we have days off it feels like we are invading their nap time. My mutt is home for about 8 hours a day by herself.
She does just fine. It's been going on for years. What can be done..???? Thank you for the article. I have had 3 dogs now in my adult life and I do work full time away from home and all three adjusted with no issue and I found that my two labs were perfectly happy being only dogs that slept while I was gone. I got the first one at 8 weeks and kept her in the kitchen so she'd have room to move around and look out the window and free run of the house once trained and she was perfectly happy.
I have always made sure to devote my away from work time to my dogs so it has worked for me. I recently posted on a Tibetan Terrier forum on Facebook this very question and you are right I was attacked and accused of cruelty and being selfish for wanting a dog in since I work.
Thank you for your article and for reminding me I can make this work again after losing my beloved Lab recently. I love this article so much, thank you! As someone who works full time and is getting a puppy in the future, I read about so many forums instantly bashing anyone with the idea of combining those two things, and I feel like these people are out of touch with reality.
The reality is, most people work full time, and most do not have the luxury of being home all day every day. Does that mean those people do not deserve the companionship of a dog? Naturally, it is important to exercise and spend quality time with your dog before and after work.
I think it's also important to remember that being home or available to your dog all day does not automatically mean that someone will be a great dog owner and the dog will be happy.
Someone who works at home could easily neglect and ignore a dog. What is important is ensuring quality time while you ARE home. Dogs are adaptable and will learn the schedule. As long as I provide my dog with love, training, exercise, and fun, who cares at what time of day I provide it? It's refreshing to hear a much more sensible take on this topic.
I know the author is trying to provide useful information. This is why we work so hard but still have to watch so many dogs die in streets or shelters.
For the ones who are not sure if they should get a dog. I suggest to foster a few and you will know what you want. Second, come on, people, adopt some underdogs, stop the breeding business. It's bad for the species lowers the genetic pool and leads to A LOT of genetic anomalies in the shape of diseases.
And be prepared to give up a lot more stuff in order to give the poor dog some REAL atention. Me and my partner recently got a French bulldog puppy, got it when he was 4 months and now he is 9 months. Doing my research and reading all the forums about how bad it is for a dog to be on its own for a full working day, I was quite worried knowing our schedule.
But now as a proud frenchie owner I totally disagree, that a dog can not be left on its own for more than 4 hrs. In the first 2 months we had someone coming and walking Rocky in the middle of the day, but now he is left for hours for 4 days a week and he does well. He has plenty of toys, water, and food, I also hide some treats around and leave the radio on. I think he sleeps most of the day and he plays with his toys as I find them all over the flat.
I give him the whole run of the flat and I have never crated him. He gets a walk in the morning and when we come home in the evening, also we spend all day in the park in the weekend. He is a very happy pup, very well socialised and behaved and well adapted to our lifestyle, we still use training pads at home, because we are aware that he can not hold for the whole day. So whoever says you can not have a dog and work full time, you are totally wrong, I get that it's not the perfect situation, but dogs are smart and can adapt to any life style.
I must say, this article is perfect timing, I'm a para-transit driver working hour shifts, six days a week. My furkid was rescued out of a snow bank at only 3 weeks old ditched middle of the night in a crate. Living in an apartment complex, not exactly the best situation for a hyper-vocal pooch.
Not sure if this info will apply though since they're supposedly needy. My husband and I just separated and our dog stayed with me. Due to the circumstances I had to start working full time instead of only part time. My dog is good at staying by herself because she does not bark or whine but it took some time for her to get used to the new schedule.
I really want a dog because I love dogs so much and feel that a dog would help me a lot with my anxiety. I do work full time But I'm just so scared it would be unfair to the dog. I want them to be happy too, of course. Thank you for your article, I work at a school and which although it seems like we get lots of holiday I still have to be there alot in summer and Easter.
We really want a dog but there is no way we could afford to take time out of work to train as some might be able to. We are in love with a Springer Spaniel which does worry me but I want it to be used to lunchtimes, evenings and weekends full of exercise and attention.
After reading articles about puppy training it has left us feeling like we should not get a dog or that we are being cruel to it.
Suddenly we find ourselves in a position where my daughter and I will be at work all day. We rescued her about 6 years ago and believe she must be about 9.
Probably selfish but we couldn't bear to part with her but are thinking about another friend to keep her company. She limps sometimes while walking. Unfortunately I could not find her a home so I have decided to adopt her.
While surfing I came across your post. My only concern is I Work 10 hours a day and i Live alone. I will have to leave her alone. With regards to bathroom training I am thinking to train her to do it outside while i take her for small walk and use the toilet a separate toilet tat I have at home during her alone time.
Please help me with few others tips to make her comfortable. Thanks for sharing your experience with Tractive. It seems you really are a dog-lover! I imagine you have gained a lot of experience about dogs just by living with your Labrador.
Either way, I suggest that you proceed with care and that you allow your dog some time before adjusting to new situations. Thanks for your comment and keep reading the Tractive Blog! Hey I currently have two dogs who keep each other company. They are trained to use the pads and we walk them three- four times a day morning, afternoon, evening. We are thinking about getting rescuing another puppy, maybe a larger dog right now we have two bichons.
The bichons currently are left together between max hours a day. Would this arrangement work if we get another dog like a corgi or a husky assuming they get along with our two current dogs?
This arrangement could work. Nevertheless, a corgi and a husky are not the same kind of dog. A corgi would work better for you and would get along easier with your two bichons. It may not be a matter of personality, but of energy levels.
The husky needs to move a lot more than a corgi and would not feel happy if he has to stay in for hours. I hope this works. In the meantime I send you lots of luck with your decision.
Thanks for your comments, keep reading the Tractive Blog. She is a friendly loving well behaved dog. Never any accidents unless she gets overly excited , and only chews her toys really. But I do have plants in my apartment and I fear leaving her uncrated, even though she has never showed interest in eating them. I have left her for like hours before and she was a great girl.
My question is since I live alone, would she be okay if I left her alone from say 7: This is when I come home for lunch and take her for a walk and play with her for about 20 minutes combined. I then return to work until about 5: I then spend the rest of the night taking her for walks, playing with her and cuddling.
I just worry that she could somehow find a way to get in trouble ie chewing a rope toy and gagging on it Any insight would be awesome!! I think that leaving your dog alone for this long period could be too much.
The best idea would be to find a pet-sitter who could look after your Pointer Mix. Another suggestion is to remove all the toxic plants and maybe you should think about a Tractive GPS Tracker, which can help you to give you a better feeling of safety. Keeping dog busy and house training will be a great for dog.
It is not ease to drop dog at home. Also dog owner can feel insecure while they are going out. These tips will help them surely. Thanks for the great content. I am thinking of getting a cavachon puppy. It is going to be my 15 year old boys dog. I am going to get it hopefully in the summer so that my son is home to train the pup and I will have some holiday so we will give about 8 weeks fully there to train. After that pup will have to be left alone for 7 hours 4 days per week.
Was thinking of crating but pup going to sleep in sons room at night. Does this sound reasonable? Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience with Tractive. However, I would not recommend to leave your dog alone at home for 7 hours. This is definitely too much. Keep regarding the Tractive Blog. My husband and I found our dog in the middle of the street on June. We took her in. My husband and I work all day. My dog is home alone. Sometime we will have someone to come and walk her.
My husband and I are thinking to find a new home for her because of that and we live in a small apartment. On what to do. Great idea which you shared with us. The tips that you shared are excellent and easy to follow. I need buy some toys for me. It is great helpful for us…!!!
People work 8 hours a day. And its just fine. Ideally, you should never leave your dog alone. So just do what you have to do to make money and gdt back to your dog first chance you have.
Unfortunately, we have longer work hours and only some of us are lucky enough to have a workplace where dogs are allowed. Wish you and your furry friend all the best! Leaving Your Dog Home Alone: How long is too long?
For the well-being of your dog, you should not leave him alone too long. House Training Dogs that are left home alone may develop bad behaviors such as: Leaving your dog home alone: Things to do beforehand When you leave the house for work or leisure without your dog, you should: Especially in the beginning, try to leave your dog in an area where he is comfortable.
How to Help a Sad Dog Feel Comfortable Alone
Leaving your dog home alone while at work is absolutely safe. Learn what breads are comfortable staying alone or in crate and how to make them feel secure. How To Leave Your Dog Home Alone. Angela Vuckovic 10 February shares Facebook Pinterest Twitter Google+. More often than not, we can be as anxious as our four-legged friends . Having a dog means having a schedule. You arrange work hours, social outings, and errands based on when you can get home. If you’re anything like me, you sometimes skip a night out because you feel guilty leaving your dog home alone. Dogs enjoy the company of their humans, but that doesn’t. Then take your dog’s entire breakfast ration of dry food and scatter it on the floor as you leave the house. Successful foraging is most dogs’ idea of a good time. Do test-drive chew toys when you’re home and can supervise.