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Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone

Golden Retrievers are active, lively and social dogs—making them one of the best family dogs you can ever get. They’re always attached to their family and will always get lonely anytime you’re away from them.  So is it appropriate to leave your Golden Retriever alone at home? 

Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone? 

Yes, Golden Retrievers can be left alone if proper measures are observed. For instance, your pooch should have access to water throughout the day, even if they are indoors. Also, dogs need to pee every 3-5 hours, so for comfort’s sake, you can have someone check in on them to give them a bathroom break. 

However, leaving them alone for long periods can potentially harm their mental health, mainly if your dog isn’t used to being left alone. As such, you need to make the long day more friendly for your Golden buddy by teaching them how to stay alone. 

That said, this post will walk you through some of the stay-alone practices to make sure your furry friend doesn’t suffer any form of separation anxiety. So, keep reading to learn more about these special considerations for complete effectiveness. 

How Long Can You Leave a Golden Retriever Alone For?

Your Golden Retriever can stay alone for up to 8 hours if it’s used to being left alone and doesn’t suffer any form of separation anxiety. However, it would help if you made their stay more comfortable by granting them access to the bathroom to prevent urinary tract infections or unnecessary accidents in the house.                   

Usually, dogs will need bathroom breaks every 3-5 hours at a minimum, and as mentioned before, you can have someone check in for them to provide pee breaks or book a reliable sitter to keep your dog company as well as administer bathroom breaks. That way, you don’t have to worry about the safety and comfort of your dear Fido while you’re away. 

If you’re not comfortable having someone staying at your place, you can also let your dog board at the sitter’s home. But before then, make sure to inquire about the sitter’s indoor and outdoor environment as this can significantly impact the behaviour of your Golden buddy.  

You can decide to meet and talk before a stay so that you’re comfortable working with that specific sitter. And hey, don’t hesitate to reach out to other sitters to compare services and rates. Think of it as a babysitteryou wouldn’t want to leave your furry friend with someone you know nothing about. 

Below is a breakdown of how long your golden retriever can stay alone based on their age: 

  • 8 to 10 weeks: Dogs ranging between 8 to 10 weeks shouldn’t stay alone for more than an hour every day due to their tiny bladders, which can’t hold urine for longer. 
  • 2 to 3 months: Puppies between 2 to 3 months can be left alone for up to two hours every day – more prolonged than that could harm their mental health or cause separation anxiety. 
  • Four months and older: At this age, your golden retriever should be able to hold urine for up to 4 hours. Also, it would be best if you used them to being left alone for longer but not more than six hours. 
  • Eighteen months and more: Your golden buddies are now adults, and you can leave them for up to 8 hours. Just make sure to have someone check in them to provide pee breaks and keep them company. It’s also worth noting that leaving them alone for more than 8 hours every day could lead to separation anxiety, as discussed later in this article. 

Is It Ok to Leave a Golden Retriever Alone?

Yes, it’s fine to leave adult dogs for about 6 to 8 hours every day. However, this depends on many factors, such as the dog’s age, breed, medical needs, and more. More often, leaving a dog alone for more than 8 hours can lead to behavioural issues such as stress, anxiety, and problem barking. 

Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone
Treat your dear fido with care.

How Do I Teach My Golden Retriever to Stay Alone? 

These simple steps will help you teach your dog to stay alone and slowly increase the time they can be left alone without worrying about it. 

Step 1: Encourage Your Dear Fido to Go to Bed 

The first step is to encourage your furry friend to go to bed and stay there for a short period while you’re in the same room. If your dog remains calm in the same position for some time, reward them. 

Similarly, ask your dog to stay in their bed while leaving the room. Again, reward them if they remain quiet while you move away. This will go a long way to train your golden buddy to stay alone, and before you know it, they will be accustomed to being left alone.

Step 2: Increase Distance and Time 

The next step is to increase the distance and time you leave them alone gradually. Again, if they stay calm in their bed, reward them when you return. You can do this by praising them or offering them treats

However, as you introduce this process, take note of behavioural issues. If your dog starts growling or whining when you leave the room, go a step back and reduce the time and distance. 

Step 3: Start Shutting the Door Behind You  

Once your dog is used to being left alone, you may begin to shut the door and gradually increase the time you leave them alone. That way, your dog can keep calm for longer without suffering any form of separation anxiety. You can start by leaving them for an hour and slowly increase the time. That said, make sure you learn these simple tricks before bringing a puppy home for complete effectiveness. 

5 Tips to Help You Train Your Golden Retriever To Stay Alone 

1. Train Them Early

Like toddlers, puppies have a short attention span, but you can start training them once they are two months old. That’s the perfect age to introduce basic skills such as obedience commands. Also, it’s the right age to teach them to stay alone. 

should I leave my dog alone
Start training your dogs early.

Socialisation should also begin within this period because the earlier you start socialising with them, the better behaved they will be when they are older. The more stable their personalities will become. 

Golden retrievers are well known for their stable personalities, and early training goes a long way to stabilise their personalities and temperament earlier in life. 

2. Gradually Increase the Time They Spend Alone

Once your dog is accustomed to being left alone, let’s say half an hour, you can start increasing the time they spend alone in the house. If you notice any behavioural issues, go a step back and shorten the time. 

A good rule of thumb is to increase the time by 10 minutes every day, and before you know it, they should be able to stay alone for an hour or so. However, this depends on the age of your furry friend—dogs between 2 to 3 months can be left alone for up to 4 hours. 

Your golden buddy should be able to stay alone for 4 hours once they are four months old or older. You can extend the time they are alone to 6 hours as long as you have someone check in on them to provide bathroom breaks. Dogs over 18 months can be left alone for 8 hours because they are mature enough. 

3. Make Them Sleep Before You Leave

Always keep things calm while leaving so that your dog is encouraged to go to bed. This works a lot better when your dog already has a good exercise session and is exhausted and needs rest. Also, you should avoid getting the dog excited with anything as they are likely to get emotional while you leave. 

The best way to encourage your dog to sleep is by making their bed when leaving the room. That way, they will know that it’s time they go to bed. This is worth training and plays a significant role in helping your golden retriever stay alone without causing any form of distraction. 

More importantly, you should provide pee breaks and feed them something before leaving for safety and comfort’s sake. You can come up with a feeding schedule that includes feeding them at a particular time, so they don’t need bathroom breaks a few hours after you leave to enable them to have a good sleep. 

4. Find a Dog Monitor

An excellent way to ensure your golden buddy doesn’t get bored is to have a conversation with them from time to time. Thanks to technology, we don’t have to hop in every couple of hours to check in on our dogs anymore. An interactive monitor helps you watch your dog from afar, talk to them, and even dispense treats in the comfort of your zone.  

There are various types of interactive monitors, such as the Furbo Dog Monitor and WoPet Dog Monitor. The latter is relatively affordable and works perfectly fine with any dog. However, if durability is your primary concern, you should go with the Furbo Dog Monitor. It’s sturdy and exhibits many features that come with a hefty price. 

Image: Furbo

5. Get Another Dog or Cat

Golden Retrievers can do exceptionally well with the company of another dog or cat. So the idea of getting a second dog or even a cat to stay behind with your dear fido can be the best. They’ll play together and keep each other company as they remain back at home. 

And you don’t need to wonder if cats will get along well with dogs—because they do. However, two dogs will always have more fun than when you have a cat keep your canine buddy company. In a nutshell, a cat is just an alternative if you don’t want to get a second dog. 

All the same, a cat will still have a significant impact on keeping your furry friend company when you’re away. If you can’t get another dog, a cat can be an immediate solution—making it convenient and cheaper than acquiring a second dog. 

Wrap Up 

Whether or not you’ll leave your Golden Retriever depends on the specific situation you’re in. If you live on a 30 acres piece of land where your dog can run around the whole day, then leaving your dear fido behind can be an excellent idea. In other words, there’s no satisfactory answer that fits the needs of everyone—decide depending on your situation. 

Canine Buddy

As a dog lover—who loves sharing new experiences, I decided to create the canine buddy blog to share what I’ve learned throughout the years managing my dear fidos. Of course, I went through several trials and errors before finding the best way to make a perfect match. Here, we are committed to only giving proven dog and puppy hacks—making you the best dog owner ever.

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