We love our pets, but we also need to go to work to pay the bills, so we often need to leave them home alone. Since it’s common to employ the Doberman Pinscher as a watchdog or guard dog, many people wonder if they like to be alone at home. While every dog, even those in the same species, will have a different tolerance to being alone, most Dobermans don’t like it and will usually start to get upset after about 8 hours. However, keep reading as we discuss exceptions, how to tell if your dog tolerates being left alone, and what you can do to help them feel more comfortable.
Can I Leave My Doberman Home Alone?
Knowing if you can leave your Doberman home alone will be based on several factors, like age, training, health, and personality. Here are some of them:
The age of your Doberman is a critical factor when determining whether they can stay home alone. For instance, puppies need to use the bathroom more frequently than adult dogs, and they will also need to eat more often, so it’s not a good idea to leave them alone any longer than 4 hours. It’s also important to spend as much time with the dog as possible when they’re still a puppy because that’s when they form the strongest bonds. If all conditions are ideal, an adult Doberman can usually stay home for about 8–10 hours.
Training can make a big difference when leaving your dog home alone. Without training, your Doberman can quickly suffer from separation anxiety when you leave because they don’t know what to do, so they will often start misbehaving and chew pillows or cushions or even relieve themselves on the floor. Some dogs can even hurt themselves, so you should be mindful of how upset your dog gets when you leave. Proper training can help give the dog a sense of purpose and help them feel more stable when you leave, so they can remain alone longer.
You know how different an animal’s personality can be if you have had a few dogs or cats over the years. Some dogs will hardly notice that you’re there, while others will constantly need to sit on your lap or under your chair. The more your dog hangs on you while you are home, the more upset they will be when you leave.
As your dog ages, they will not be able to spend as much time at home alone. They will need to use the bathroom more frequently and will be less able to control natural functions. They may also suffer from a health condition that requires timed medication or more frequent eating. If their eyesight or hearing begins to fail, they may also become frightened or lonely more quickly.
A Word on Confinement
One thing that can dramatically impact the amount of time that your dog can spend at home alone is whether they’re confined or not.
While many people use a crate as a sleeping area for their dog, you shouldn’t confine an adult Doberman inside for long periods. That said, it works well as a space that helps a puppy feel safe, so it’s usually okay to confine them inside for an hour or two while you run to the store or go out for dinner.
A playpen is only suitable for puppies, as an adult Doberman will likely have no problem getting out. It usually has much more space than a crate for a puppy to run around and play but still provides the safety that the puppy will enjoy, so you can leave them in for several hours. However, don’t miss the chance to bond with your pet during this important time.
Single Room Confinement
If you have a large spare room, you can usually use it to confine an adult Doberman for a few hours while you run to the store or for dinner, but they will usually get anxious sooner than if they had more space.
The garage or basement usually have the most open space, which can help your pet feel less confined and more likely to endure longer alone times. Just remove any hazards that they can get into while you’re away.
The outdoors is likely your pet’s favorite spot, as it provides the most space for them to run and play. However, there are many problems with confining your dog to the yard when you are away. Weather can change quickly, leaving your dog in extreme heat or cold, and it might even rain or snow. Visitors like the mail person can stress out the dog, making them more anxious and less likely to want to be alone. The dog might also dig under or jump over the fence while you’re gone, and there is a danger that someone might even try to steal or harm your pets in your absence.
How Can I Help My Doberman Feel More Comfortable When I Go Out?
How Do I Train My Doberman to Stay Home Alone?
Once your Doberman is an adult, you can begin training them to stay home alone. Confine your pet in a large room or basement for about 30 minutes daily, gradually increasing the time to about an hour. Make sure the dog has plenty of food, water, and toys, but don’t pay attention to them until the time is up. Then, give them plenty of treats and praise to let them know that they did a good job, and they will eventually learn how to cope with being alone.
Unfortunately, Dobermans usually do not like to be home alone for long and will struggle to deal with your 8-hour workday, especially if you will be adding commute time. Puppies are the toughest because they can only be alone for about 4 hours, so you will need to run home during your lunch break or get someone to check in on them. The training technique presented here will help your dog become more accustomed to being alone. Providing a comfortable space, shelter, and plenty of food and water will help make their time alone more manageable.
Featured Image Credit: Aysun Kahraman Öktem, Pexels