How Long Can a Dog Be Left Alone? Easily Explained!

Would you like to fulfill your dream of having your own dog, but you are not sure whether this fits into your everyday work?

Of course, the question now arises, how long can you leave an adult dog or puppy alone because of your work?

The good news is that if you set it up properly, you can train your dog to stay quiet in your home for a few hours without barking or even tearing up your sofa.

However, being alone for hours every day should not become a habit.

In this article you will find a training plan on how to build up staying alone step by step.

In a nutshell: How long can a dog stay alone?

With good preparation, your dog can easily be left alone for a few hours a day. If you want to leave your dog alone for longer than 8 hours, you should make sure that someone takes him out to untie him or that he has safe access to the garden.

At best, training should begin as early as puppies and is gradually built up. If your dog is able to exercise when left alone, he will most likely sleep while you are away.

Why is a slow build-up of aloneness important?

Every dog ​​is individual, every dog ​​perceives its environment differently. For some, being alone without prior training may not mean any stress, while other dogs and puppies without training may be completely overwhelmed or even develop anxiety and fear of loss.

If you have to leave your puppy alone because of work, it is important that you can provide care. Puppies can’t stay that long and need a lot of attention.

How long can a dog be left alone?

Dogs are social animals. Therefore, it should not happen that your dog regularly has to stay alone in the apartment for 10 hours.

Of course, it can always happen that something unforeseen occurs. You don’t have to have a guilty conscience, but treat your dog to an extra large, exciting round afterwards.

If you have to leave your dog alone at night, it will probably be easier for him because he has developed the habit of sleeping at night.

My tip: exercise before and after

If you know that your dog will have to be left alone for a long time today, make sure that he is properly exhausted. When his body and mind are busy, he finds it much easier to be alone.

How can you practice staying alone?

So that your dog, regardless of whether it is a puppy or young dog, does not get into a stressful situation, it is important to build up being alone slowly and positively. Here by positive I don’t mean the confirmation, but that he perceives being alone as a positive situation.

This means nothing other than that he does not feel panic or discomfort while being alone, but simply feels comfortable and safe.

This training is applicable for puppies as well as adult dogs.

Step 1

Before staying alone, you should offer your dog enough exercise. If your dog is more of the active type, you are welcome to bring in a little brain work.

Step 2

Your dog is in the apartment. You ignore him, get dressed and leave the apartment for a very short time. In the beginning, 1 minute is enough! Into the laundry room…

Step 3

Go calmly back into the apartment, don’t greet the dog effusively. Otherwise you trigger expectations. Just carry on like you haven’t been away.

Step 4

Extend the absence time continuously. Be consistent and calm. Of course you don’t have to renew every minute. You’ll tell your dog when you’re going too fast, and then you’ll take a step back.

You are welcome to offer your dog his favorite toy during the time he is left alone. Your dog can occupy himself with this when he is alone.

Warning: suffocation and alone

Never give your dog a chew or toy that it can choke on.

If your dog is alone and you cannot intervene, this can be fatal!


The question of how long a dog can be left alone cannot be answered individually. It depends not only on the age of the dog, but also on its upbringing.

However, staying alone is relatively easy to learn.

The good thing is: You don’t even need any special accessories, just a little time and patience.

Always remember: Dogs like to spend most of their time with their pack. Therefore, the time he is alone should not be too long.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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