How long is it okay to leave a dog alone during the day? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How long is it okay to leave a dog alone during the day?
Not at all 0 0%
1-2 Hours 0 0%
3-4 Hours 2 8.70%
5-6 Hours 6 26.09%
7-8 Hours 8 34.78%
9 Hours 2 8.70%
10 Hours 5 21.74%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 10 Old 04-06-2011, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Assuming that a single dog is left in the house, or in a weather-secure location outdoors, how long do you feel it is okay to leave the dog alone during the day in a single stretch?

Assume the dog is uncrated, non-destructive, and does not have bad separation anxiety.
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#2 of 10 Old 04-06-2011, 04:34 PM
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my dog unfortunately has to be crated due to major destructive tendencies induced by anxiety, we only leave her for 3 hours at most. what you described though I'd be comfortable for 6 hours or on occasion maybe up to 7 or 8 if it was necessary

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#3 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 05:45 PM
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Well the longest I have left Oscar alone is a couple of hours, and he just lies low and sleeps. If I go out I always put him in his crate and the longest I have left him in his crate during the day is four hours, but I am sure he could go longer, but I wouldn't want to do it. I would be okay leaving a mature dog for 6 - 7 hours with free roam, but I feel Oscar is too young at 9 months for free roam yet.

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#4 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 06:01 PM
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Depends on the dog. I used to work a 10 hour span 5 days a week and I felt bad that she was home alone ( wandering freely). Now that I SAHM, I realize that she's the same wether we are there or not. I think a compatible dog would be good for her to play with though.

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#5 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 06:14 PM
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I would say it depends on the dog and family. We don't leave our jack russell Burton home more than a few house by himself. He's almost 5 so when I first got him I was finishing up college and he would have to stay home while I was in class for a few hours at a time. I've been really lucky to have a few jobs where I could bring him along- he lived with me in a sleeping bag in a tent while I taught for an outward bound type program. He is totally fine home alone and we don't have to crate him or anything like that and I know he would be just fine for longer stretches of time but it's mostly me who hates to leave him alone : P  When we leave for an extended period of time/ overnight and we're going somewhere that he can join us we bring him and if not we usually drop him off at friends/ relatives. 

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#6 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 07:04 PM
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i think a reg. work day is okay as long as they have a place to stretch their legs and go potty (not crate imo). and if they have another dog then i would say longer. 2cents.gif

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#7 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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The reason I ask is that I will be starting another part-time job soon and I have been unsure about whether to leave Merlow alone at home or to have her in daycare (almost half of my pay for the day!). Up until recently I only worked one day a week during daytime whn my husband is also a work, and I also volunteer in my daughter's classroom. At the most our pup (9 months old right now) was alone for 3.5-4 hours twice a week, and my husband could come home at lunch to let her out of her crate and give her a quick romp in the yard. Then I'd be home an hour and a half later.

We just got rid of our second car and now my husband will not be able to come home at lunch. I am away from home a maximum of 6 hours, and my new job starts in a month. I'll probably have 3 days a week where I am away from home for 6 hours. I wasn't sure how comfortable I'd feel leaving my pup home alone that long, especially in her crate.

Over the last month I've been experimenting with leaving her at home with free access to the house. She is not a chewer, so I thought I'd see. We started with one hour, and increased the time in 1/2 hour incriments over the month. Everytime she has been fine: the house is unscathed, she is calm and relaxed when we get home. So on Friday I tried a 5.5 hour day, and she did fine! I was so suprised.

So now I am trying to decide if I should leave her at home for 6 hours a day three days a week or so. She gets lots of exercise before and after her time at home alone. Hmmmmm.

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#8 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 08:06 PM
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I don't think I'd leave a pup that young with free rein to the whole house.  It might work well for a while, but could lead to destructive tendancies.  I would fix up a room for her so she couldn't be overally destructive or leave a mess, but still have room to move about and such.

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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#9 of 10 Old 04-09-2011, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, that was my initial thought, too. Unfortunatly our house is on the smaller side and we don't have a room that we could block off for her. We do keep the bedrooms and bathroom shut, and she has access to the livingroom and kitchen only (and laundry area, though that is more of a small hallway). She feels the most confortble in the livingroom, as that is where she's spent the most time. I've found that if I try to put her in a different room she gets more anxious.
She really is an anomaly as far as chewing goes: I've never, ever had a puppy that has chewed this little. Even in the middle of teething she never once chewed up anything that wasn't her own toy. Crazy!

When we do leave her alone I get out all of her favorite chew toys: the rope, the everlasting treat, and the frozen stuffed kong. I also make her sit-stay right before I leave as I hide treats in the livingroom and dining room. The treat hunt keeps her from getting anxious when we leave and takes a good 15 minutes at least. The frozen kong takes her a good hour to eat. And after that she pretty much naps the day away, I assume. At least, that is what she does when i am being a dud at home and we are not activly playing. redface.gif
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#10 of 10 Old 04-12-2011, 08:26 AM
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It sounds like it is working out well for you and your pup.  If you are worried about her getting lonely or bored, maybe you could put her in daycare once a week or have a friend stop in on occasion.


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