How long do you leave your dog?

poiuytrewq

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 April 2008
Messages
12,129
Location
Cotswolds
I’m really struggling with this! As in feeling huge guilt.
Old lady dog is fine, she loves us going out and leaving her in peace! I don’t leave her in the same room as the others.
I used to take my old dog and then Cecil to work with me. Since starting a new job that’s a bit difficult. There are no other dogs at the yard and I’m riding (was just yard based at the old job and other dogs in the tack room)
So I am allowed to take him but I’m not sure he’d be happy shut in alone in a tack room while I ride (he can be pretty vocal, I don’t want to piss anyone off) . I’m working on this, he comes with me if I’m popping in to feed or hay but not actually working so he gets to know the place.
Otherwise he stays home. Not as awful as it sounds! Daughter mostly works from home and has Basil her (smelly!) puppy so they play all morning. If basil isn’t there OH leaves his dog home to babysit!
OH pops in and out so they get let out even if she’s not home.
I only do 4 hours.
Then I spend time in the afternoons doing my horses, I try to have him out with me as much as possible but I’ve stopped riding and doing normal stuff, we have no food ever! I don’t go shopping or see friends (unless he can come too!)
He is always so happy to see me and is glued to my side every second I’m home, even if OH’s lab is here who he adores he wants to be with me.
I’m being stupid aren’t I?!
He’s actually never ever been left alone but the leaving him to work is awful :(
Am I being a new baby mum maybe 🤦‍♀️😂
 

CorvusCorax

I'm Dill Dandon
Joined
15 January 2008
Messages
49,871
Location
The shadows, apparently.
The lads can do a full working day if I don't have time to pop home at lunchtime (when they usually look annoyed that I have woken them up), they are in adjacent kennels but can't see each other. Which is fine as they hate each other.
My youngster came home in September, she came to work with me but I was also careful to pop her in a crate or in one of the boxes in the car for short periods. Started getting her used to kennel at about six months, I wouldn't leave her any longer than four or five hours, with one of the boys in the next kennel. My neighbours have my number and know to call me if they hear any nonsense barking.
You can create a lot of problems by never teaching them to be OK on their own. If there is ever an emergency or a situation where they need to be alone for whatever reason, it will be really stressful and that's really unfair on them if they are not prepared/have never learned to cope.
 
Joined
1 April 2018
Messages
2,617
I agree that it's important for them to learn to be alone. My Lab was not pleased and vocal about this as a pup, but it only lasted a week or two. I started slowly. I'd leave her while I went to the gym for an hour. Then maybe for another hour later when I went food shopping.

I'd also go the yard an hour before OH got home and slowly expanded this. She learned to adapt quickly.

The most I leave her alone for is 4 to 5 hours, but that's just because I think it's not right to leave an animal for many hours without them being able to take a wee.

Maybe start building slowly. I also don't make a huge fuss when I come home.
 

kathantoinette

Well-Known Member
Joined
21 November 2011
Messages
721
Location
East Yorkshire
Our spaniel spends time in the house during the day and the labrador is outside with access to the garage! At the most they're alone for 8 hours but that's maybe one day a week and then anything up to 5 hours for the other days. I get in from work, feed and walk them and then they are left again whilst I ride and do any horse jobs. We don't have the dogs roaming on the farm (too many vehicles etc.) The spaniel spends time on the sofa with us on an evening and then sleeps in the garage with the labrador.
 

Karran

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 April 2011
Messages
1,300
Location
London
I leave home at 8. Get home at 6-6.20. My brother does shifts and will let them out into the garden either at 11 or 3 depending on his pattern that week but other than that they're on their own until I get home! Gotta admit to a litle wobble at the thought of leaving them now i'm back in the office!
 

scats

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 September 2007
Messages
6,869
Ours aren’t left much anymore as there’s generally someone always in, but they are fine if we are all out for the day. We’ve always got them used to being left.
 

splashgirl45

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 March 2010
Messages
11,140
Location
suffolk
mine have always been fine but my new terrier had a phantom pregnancy and she got very clingy. i also lost my collie who was very calm when at home alone and the 2 terriers were always fine...she has now been spayed and is slowly getting better but she does bark . i went back to basics and left the 2 terriers for 5 mins then worked my way up. i live on my own and need to go out sometimes so they have to get on with it. i have bought a tapo camera so i can check in to see what she is doing rather than relying on neighbours to monitor.i also ignore both of them when i come in so its no big deal when i get home...its a work in progress
 

ellieb

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 September 2018
Messages
95
On 'office' days mine does 4 hours alone in the morning and then 4 or 5 in the afternoon - but he has a walk first thing, a walk at lunch time and a walk after work, so does pretty well. And he's not even that bothered about the middle walk! I would love to not have to leave him so long, but gotta pay the bills (for him, mostly!). After COVID I'm now working from home three days so it's only two days of that pattern now, which is great.
 

Widgeon

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2017
Messages
1,602
Location
N Yorks
On 'office' days mine does 4 hours alone in the morning and then 4 or 5 in the afternoon - but he has a walk first thing, a walk at lunch time and a walk after work, so does pretty well. And he's not even that bothered about the middle walk! I would love to not have to leave him so long, but gotta pay the bills (for him, mostly!). After COVID I'm now working from home three days so it's only two days of that pattern now, which is great.
When I was working in the office we left ours for a similar amount of time, with the same walk schedule. We started training him to be left when he was tiny (12 weeks-ish) and then as he got bigger obviously we could drastically reduce the number of visits he needed. It did mean a couple of months of large dog walker bills and lots of driving to and from my office (which was close to our house at the time, or it wouldn't have worked), but it worked well and our dog never seemed to mind. He's happy with his toys and choice of beds to sleep on. At a push we have ocassionally left him for up to about 6 hours if some sort of unforseen problem occurs. Some days though, I'll get back and he doesn't even bother to get off the sofa to greet me!
 

ellieb

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 September 2018
Messages
95
At a push we have ocassionally left him for up to about 6 hours if some sort of unforseen problem occurs. Some days though, I'll get back and he doesn't even bother to get off the sofa to greet me!
That sounds familiar :D Joe's eight now and a greyhound (though an unusually energetic one!) so I think I might stop the middle walk soon - my mum lives nearby and she loves him so has offered to just spend some time keeping him company, which I think he'd prefer!
 

Sprout

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 March 2007
Messages
13,401
Location
New Forest
I used to leave mine for a max of about 4 hours.
Things are different now though, as one has developed Epilepsy and needs emergency meds during a seizure or cluster, so they dont get left.
I am sure a lot of dogs snooze, then put us on a guilt trip when we return!😀
 

Lou27

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 December 2020
Messages
45
I felt the same and could never truly relax and enjoy time away from my dogs left at home. If you’ve got a compatible phone, have a look at dog cams. My best recent purchase was Furbo, it’s fantastic as I can check in on them anytime and see that they’re perfectly content and sleeping soundly to the YouTube meditation I’ve left on for them!
 

vallin

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 April 2009
Messages
5,012
Location
Cambridge
Occasionally (maybe once every two weeks when husband has to go into the office and it's not a dog walker day) from 8 to 4ish. Usually no more than 4 or 5 hours. Having watched her on the camera all she does is have a sneaky sleep on the sofa she knows she's not allowed on, go have a drink, and go back to the sofa 😂 She gets walked first thing in the morning, as soon as we're home if it's a long day, and then again before bed and seems very happy to have a quiet house!
 

meleeka

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 September 2001
Messages
6,679
Location
Hants, England
I love my dogs as much as anyone, but I just can’t rule my life around them to the point they’d never get left. I have an extremely clingy GSD who I’m trying to get used to being alone. I know she doesn’t like it when she’s left, but sometimes it’s necessary and I always keep it as brief as I can. I just try and make sure she’s walked beforehand and has things to do if she chooses. My other dog couldn’t care less if she’s left.
 

maisie06

Well-Known Member
Joined
31 March 2009
Messages
3,811
mine have 2 days where i work from 8.30 til 5, i pop home at lunch to let them out for a wee and often wake them up, they do walks/training morning and evening. they have a good life doing what spaniels were bred to do so i have given up feeling guilty, it is what it is and they are happy and healthy. p.s my caps lock is broken!
 
Joined
16 February 2009
Messages
9,987
Location
Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
I have a spare loose-box here at home which I've used in the past for shoving the dogs in when I can't for whatever reason take them along with me, including work.

I work part-time at a local college for one full day and one half day a week. On the full day, dogs have been in the loose-box for about nine hours a day. Tell me I'm a bad doggy-mummy if you like but they have an arrangement of straw bales they can burrow into and make their beds in if they feel they need to or if they're cold and there's also a clear area with straw put down everywhere so they can poo or wee if they need. There's drinking water available too and the door is planked over so they can't jump out! I keep the door firmly padlocked and the outside yard gates are all locked.

I start back at college this week. During the hols, we lost little-dog (terrierist), he had to be PTS as had a spleen tumour. So now ginger-dog is on her own and I'm hoping she'll cope with a full day without another dog with her. I have been putting her in the stable for about 4hr periods, and I have noticed some scratch-marks on the door which weren't there before. So I'm hoping she will be OK for the longer period. She hasn't visibly missed Terrierist in any other way, not really.

When I had both dogs, I'd shove them in at the beginning of the day and come home later and out they'd tumble all sleepy and chilled. So I never worried about them.

Other people do take their dogs on-campus, there's lots of shade so they wouldn't be in a hot car, but I work in learning support and break-times can be unpredictable (or perhaps I should say non-existent if a student kicks off and supervision is needed!!). So I wouldn't really want to take ginger-dog with me to work. There IS a kennels there (dog-care is one of the subjects we offer) but as she's a rescue I don't think it would provide a supportive place for her as you can hear the resident dogs barking all the time and as a rescue I think this might remind her of when she was in the rescue centre.
 

GSD Woman

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 December 2018
Messages
852
When Freddie was a baby I arranged to come home at lunch at let everyone outside. When I worked overnights I would sometimes bring them with me, especially if someone was in heat. Either the bitch stayed home or my intact male. Now I work long shifts and I leave them at home. If someone is having issues like diarrhea I can bring them with me but they don't like being at my work. I work 4 long shifts a week and they do just fine. If needed, I will hire a pet sitter to come in mid-day and let them outside and play with them. Many of us in USA don't have the luxury of leaving our dogs outside or coming home at lunch. In the big cities it is easy to find dog walkers if one can afford it. I spend most of my time outside of work with my dogs. Right now they're both sleeping. We did a lot of playing as well as full grooming today.
 

poiuytrewq

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 April 2008
Messages
12,129
Location
Cotswolds
I do leave him, I just feel guilty. In fact I know he’s very good once I’m out of sight, he just does a great guilt trip 😂
I’ve sneaked back the other way and checked in through the window and he’s always asleep in the patch of sun that shines through the door!
Thanks, I feel less bad now anyway reading through these replies.
 

P3LH

Well-Known Member
Joined
12 January 2017
Messages
472
None of mine, of any breed - have ever cared. At all. Sometimes, due to my job, if im flying back and forth to local authority meetings I pop home (not often) and they always seem almost put out.

They also take a significant period of time to then readjust to us both being at home, albeit usually working at home, during school holiday time.

I set cameras up once - they just slept. Mooched around and irritated each other. Then slept some more.

Sometimes Mum will go round to do toilet breaks, they are asleep when she gets there and a good 7/10 times don’t bother to go outside when the opportunity is there. Or in the corgis case she goes out just to patrol the perimeters and see if our borders have been infiltrated, and if so - who she must kill.

Other times they stay on their own and when we get home, aren’t manic or as if they’ve been abandoned and neglected. All our breeders have always known or set up and been happy.

A walk quite early, but not a particularly long one — and one around 5pm, keeps them sane. I honestly do think we’ve almost been force fed a narrative to think they are small furry humans and must never be left alone or without human interaction. Even when we are home, after the initial ‘hello - good to see you’re still alive’ from them, merriment around walk time and dinner, they tend to not really bother with us anyway half the time! They’re just asleep or pottering. They entertain themselves/each other. They aren’t Velcro dogs, none of them ever have been allowed to be. I don’t do well with being harassed constantly, I can’t stand clingy or in your face. Some people like that I know, not for me. So from very small they’re encouraged to do their own thing and that life won’t end if I’m not in sight. Corgis are very good at this, perhaps a little too good - but the rough collies were always perfect too, as were the terrier. Perhaps that’s why they’re content when we aren’t there, who knows. I honestly don’t think they even notice.
 

splashgirl45

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 March 2010
Messages
11,140
Location
suffolk
none of my dogs have been a problem to leave at home as they got used to it from day 1. my latest terrier was also fine until she was about 9 months when she had a phantom pregnancy, then she turned into a velcro dog and wouldnt settle downstairs at night with my others so, as i am in a terraced property , i had to let her sleep in my bedroom. i managed to get her back downstairs after a week and thought all was fine. WRONG!!! she then got hysterical if i went out and barked non stop the whole time according to my neighbours. she was speyed in june and has gradually got better. i have used the plug in calmer and have also used the collar to help her stay calm...i bought a camera so i can monitor rather than rely on neighbours which is very useful. in over 50 years of dog ownership this is the first i have had with phantom pregnancy or anxiety being left. it was quite a shock for me but we are getting there...
 

Penny Less

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 March 2009
Messages
6,712
I try not to leave for more than 5 hours, which s very rare. On the odd occasion I go to London or similar for a show I obsessively plan the train timetable, length of show, journey home, and if its longer than 5 hours I ask someone to come in to give her a walk. Im sure she would be perfectly fine being left for longer but I cant rest if Im late back ! Mind you, next doors dog is left for 11 hours every weekday and never gets out for a walk so mine is quids in.
 

pistolpete

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 July 2009
Messages
1,825
Mine is rarely left but if she is she’s fine and can manage up to five hours probably would cope with more. Seems to have a bladder of iron! I too feel guilty though. Know what you mean.
 

paisley

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 August 2005
Messages
760
I used to feel terrible guilt, no going out without the dog if not at work, speed shopping on the way home (turns out you can do a weeks worth in 10 mins, if you like random food), 2 holidays without him in 11 years etc
I know he's fine during the day, and he is left for a long time. He's only peeved if I go back to work after taking annual leave, and thats only some mardy kicking up his blankets on his multiple beds on the first day as I've the video evidence! All days after that are a snoring skinny dog.
I sort of thought that my guilt wasn't really making any positive difference to him, I still have to work/go out without him, and I've done my best - 5am starts for a first walk, then final toilet break before I leave that sort of thing, and he has a pretty decent life 🙂
 

pistolpete

Well-Known Member
Joined
29 July 2009
Messages
1,825
Set up a camera if you’re worried. You can make a fair assessment of stress then. Loads available but can be done with an old smart phone left on FaceTime.
 

GSD Woman

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 December 2018
Messages
852
paisley,
That is how a lot of dogs in the US have to live. Not all of us can afford a dog walker and our dogs adapt. Some people have neighbors that they trust to let the dogs outside but the last time I tried that, I was paying the teenager next door, he let my young dog get out the front door and the dog was hit by a car and killed instantly.
Like I mentioned before, I'm lucky in that I have had many jobs where my hours weren't longer than 8 hours or that I could bring my dogs with me on overnight shifts.
Healthy dogs adapt, if it is a puppy or a dog with incontinence, then it is dog walker or a dog school where they are cared for individually.
 
Top