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Thread: OK to leave dog alone all day?

  1. #1

    OK to leave dog alone all day?

    I recently heard dogs have very little sense of time. Therefore, leaving them alone for 10 minutes is like leaving them alone for hours, and vice versa.

    I found this interesting because the major reason I haven't gotten a dog yet is I live alone and work full time. I thought it was unfair to leave the dog alone all day.

    But if it doesn't really matter that could change things. I'm not sure I buy it...I briefly had a beagle that would trash my place if I left him alone all day, as if he was angry at me for leaving. (Sadly, I had to give the dog to a loving home for unrelated reasons.)

    What do you think? Is it okay to leave the dog alone at home all day?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Waltham, MA, USA
    Some dogs are okay with being left alone all day, as long as water and toys are available. I'd never try it with a puppy, but an older dog could be fine. You can also crate-train a dog, so he/she is in his/her "comfy cave" while you are out. It all depends on the dog and the breed.
    I've Been Frosted

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Northern California
    Yikes, who told you dogs have no sense of time? If anything, dogs have an amazingly acute sense of time. Dogs love schedules and easily adjust their internal "clocks" to your schedule. They then begin to anticipate your arrival, your departures, dinner, breakfast, the evening walk, etc. Heck, they have a better sense of time than I do

    IMO, it is not in a young dog or active dog's best interest to be left alone for the whole day. However, you can adopt an older, less active dog who can tolerate 7-8 hours alone. I must say, though, 8 hours would be my limit to how long a dog is alone. That's a long time to hold your bladder! Your beagle probably just trashed your place because he was bored. You know, retired racing greyhounds are called 45 mph couch potatoes for a reason

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    i agree.dogs like company,if not from other dogs,then their people.most dogs dont like being left alone for long periods of time.some dogs can turn destructive when they are bored and begin obsessively digging or barking or chewing things they arent meant to.bones and toys can help allieviate their boredom for a few hours,but dogs are generally not solitary animals and enjoy company.

  5. #5
    ours are left 7 hrs 3x a week but i never go over that as i don't like to leave them that long but have to work. They get plenty of chews, water, shelter , paddling pool (hard one)as in garden when i am at work, have high fencing too as siberians. Ours seem happy enough but are used to it now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    West Columbia, SC
    I have two dogs. I have always worked 8 hours a day and they have adapted very well. Of course, they are adult dogs that can hold it all day if necesary. However for their comfort, I have a doggy door and enclosed yard.

    When I've sneaked home in the middle of the day, I usually find them snoozing

    And they certainly know that 7PM means treat time! They'll remind me if I forget.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Bexhill, UK
    I would say that all day on its own is too long for a solitary dog. I have two and always go home at lunchtime to walk them if nobody is home with them.

    That 20 minute walk breaks up their day and mine. However, as others have said it depends entirely on the dog in question and how much attention it will get when you are at home
    Give 1 for a poundie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Markham, Canada
    I agree that you should only leave a mature dog alone for the day as they can "hold it" better.
    Having said that, in my experience it is really important that you give them a long walk before you leave so they are tired, pooped out LOL and their bladders are empty. It sometimes means getting up earlier but both you and the dog will benefit from it in the long run.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Sophia, NC (originally from SE OHIO)
    I think it just depends on the dog...

    Like other people said, you'd have better luck with an adult dog than a puppy... if the dog has to be alone for several hours a day.... but as long as you are able to give the dog enough time and exercise when your home, a adult dog should be able to adjust....

    when I first moved to North Carolina, I got a job at a vet clinic in Greensboro (about 45 minute drive one way from my house)... and on top of the drive time, this place has horrible working hours... typically I worked 7am-6pm... 2 nights a week they were open until 8pm and some of those nights I had to close.... and because of the drive I wasn't able to make it home and back on lunch breaks.... so my dogs were home alone almost 13-14 hrs a day.... while they seemed to be fine, I HATED it!.... because by the time I got home, took a shower, fed dogs... it was time to go to bed.. they didn't get a lot of time... thankfully I do not work up there anymore!.. and will never work hours like that again!!... it gave me no time for my own animals....

    Though 2 times when I worked those hours I had puppies.... talk about NO humanly possible way to crate train... would NEVER do it that way again, if I worked hours like that... but there wasn't much I could do at the time.. if the weather was decent I could leave the pups outside in a fenced area behind my house and have my neighbors come over a couple times a day to check on them and feed them.... and then they came inside at night to play, eat and be with the rest of the dogs (my adult dogs)...
    If you're gonna breed Collies, don't you forget to breed in the brains and common sense. Without that you won't have a Collie, you'll have just another dog.

    I've Been BOO'd!!

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