Are you wondering about how your Labradoodle might react if you have to leave for 8 hours of work, and the only option is that your Labradoodle has to stay at home by itself?
Labradoodles are capable of being alone for some hours, but they are also very social dogs, so there are a few precautions you will have to take if you have to leave your Labradoodle alone for several hours.
Leaving your Labradoodle alone by itself is something that takes not only a bunch of amazing toys, but also a bit of special consideration.
Hopefully, this is something you have thought about before you brought your puppy home. If you already have a dog, there are a few things you could do to make the day a lot more pleasant for your doodle.
What Could Go Wrong Letting a Labradoodle be Left Alone?
This is usually the first question people think of when they ask if a Labradoodle can be left alone, and I can quickly think of at least a handful of potential disasters you could end up returning to when you get home after a long day of work.
- Destroyed furniture
- Your whole house has become a doggy-toilet
- Shoes or other clothing turned into good snacks
- Items buried in the cushion of your couch
These are some of the more common issues, but there might be a few things you haven’t thought about.
For example, if your dog struggles with anxiety in the form of separation or isolation anxiety like many dogs do (I will look more into this point in the next section).
Any kind of anxiety will probably lead to some kind of destructive behavior if your Labradoodle is left alone.
Another quite important thing to consider is if your dog is properly house trained.
If you have a rescue dog from a local shelter may, they may come with the benefit of being potty-trained already. This is a really good situation if your lifestyle requires that you have to leave your dog at home alone for extended periods of time.
- READ MORE: BEST FOOD FOR LABRADOODLES
Anxiety-Based Behaviors in Dogs Left Alone
When we’re talking about destructive behavior in a dog that is left alone, we need to look at the difference between destruction that is boredom-based and that which is based on anxiety.
If your house ends up looking like the trenches in World War 1 after you leave, there are a few questions you should consider:
Does my Labradoodle show any signs of anxiety when I’m about to leave the house (or even when the dog thinks I am leaving)?
Look for the usual signs like tucking its’ tail, hiding, trembling, uncontrollable bowels, or pacing.
Some dogs might act perfectly normal when you are about to leave for the day, and then it just gets progressively worse all throughout the day. This is the kind of behavior that suggests that what the dog is experiencing is just boredom and not a case of anxiety.
If you are interested in more information about anxiety in Labradoodles, check out this article on how to address some of the more common issues related to anxiety in dogs.
Remember that some anxiety isn’t something you can fix yourself and that you may end up having to seek a professional for the help that is needed.
However, if you read on I will suggest some tips that I usually give when someone describes to me that they have a dog with anxiety issues.
Don’t Leave it in a Crate the Entire Day
One of the solutions that I hear some doodle owners turn to as the first method is using the crate.
If you are going to be away for a longer period of time, then a crate is not the perfect solution to the problem.
Your dog usually loves sitting in his crate because, to him, his crate is like your favorite chair or spot on the couch.
Even if you have bought one of the best crates on the market, leaving your dog alone in it all day is not the answer to any problems.
There are quite a few really serious issues that can develop if you leave your dog in a crate for too long periods of time.
First of all, dogs have to go to the bathroom regularly. And if you leave your Labradoodle in a crate for too long, he will eventually have to go to the bathroom.
This obviously means that you are left with a mess to clean up when you get home, but you are now interfering with the dog’s subconscious that has taught it to always keep his own space clean.
There is also the possibility that you introduce serious health concerns in your dog if you leave it in a crate all day.
Doodles are already susceptible to elbow and hip dysplasia. And while this disease is due to genetics, a few studies have shown that the disorder can be developed in other ways.
What causes hip dysplasia in Labradoodles? The first reason is bad genes from either mom or dad. But also environmental factors can increase the probability of a dog getting hip or elbow dysplasia including a lack of exercise, obesity, and also poor nutrition.
How Long is Too Long to Leave a Labradoodle?
So, if you can’t avoid having to leave your Labradoodle home alone, then you should want to know how long you can actually leave him.
And that is something that will depend on the setup you have.
A few questions that you should consider before you try to figure out for how long your doodle is okay with being left alone are:
- Is it possible for you to leave your dog roaming the house or do you have to confine him to a smaller area?
- Is it possible for your dog to relieve himself during the day or does he need to be let outside for potty breaks?
- Will your Labradoodle get bored during the course of the day or have you prepared any kind of mental stimulation throughout the day?
- Does your doodle have access to plenty of water and food or do you have to be there to serve out the rations?
- Is the temperature controlled, or can your dog risk be stuck outside in the case of a sudden weather-change (colder or hotter)?
While these are not the only things you should think about, let’s try and use these questions as a guideline and see if we can get a general idea of the question of how long can a Labradoodle be left alone.
1. Is Your Dog Going to Have Room to Roam?
If it is possible for your dog to get up and wander around without a problem, or even better run around a bit, then your doodle can stay home alone for a while.
But what if there is no other option besides your dog being confined to his properly-sized crate? Then you can’t leave him in there for more than a couple of hours every once in a while.
And if a crate is truly your only option, then you certainly shouldn’t leave your Labradoodle alone while you are at work for an entire day.
2. Are Potty Breaks Possibly While You Are Gone?
If your doodle has the option of going to an appropriate bathroom place completely on his own, then this will be a very positive factor.
But on the other hand, if it’s a requirement from your dog that you are able to let him out or back in, then you cannot leave him alone for very long.
You or somebody able to help you will have to visit your dog, depending on his age, at least every 4 to 5 hours.
If you have a puppy, it will have to get out a lot more often than that, at least every 2 hours.
3. What Will Your Labradoodle Be Able to do For Fun While Being Left Alone?
There are several different solutions to keeping your dog mentally stimulated throughout the day. For example, take a KONG toy and fill it with water-soaked dog food.
The more of these kinds of things you have placed around your house, the longer your Doodle will be able to be left on his own.
4. Does Your Dog Have Access to Plenty of Water?
Water is by far the most important factor for your dog’s overall health and basic body functions.
Unlike food where you can decide how often your dog eats, that could be once or twice a day for older a Labradoodle, your dog should always have access to plenty of water throughout the day. Especially in a warm summer.
This is pretty easy to manage thou. If you need to, you can just buy an extra water bowl.
Or do what I’ve done a buy a PetSafe Drinkwell which is a fantastic product regardless if you have to be gone for 2 or 8 hours a day.
5. Will Your Dog be Able to Handle a Sudden Change in Weather?
While the weatherman might never be wrong in where you live, the same can’t be said for the weathermen in my area, and predicting the weather exactly can be quite hard.
If you then take a look at your doodles situation. What will he do if the weather suddenly turns cold? Perhaps it starts raining. Is there a place where your dog can go to get out of these unforeseen weather changes?
What could be the solution for your dog might be an insulated dog house or perhaps a doggy door into your home or garage. That way, if there is a sudden change in the weather where it takes a turn for the worse while your dog is alone, you don’t have to drop everything to get home.
No matter if the weather gets either too hot or too cold, it can be very dangerous for your dog if you haven’t made proper preparations.
How Long Can Labradoodle Puppies Be Left Alone?
If you have a puppy, that’s quite a different story. Puppies are very high maintenance and have to get outside a lot more often than an adult dog.
A Labradoodle puppy under 6 months shouldn’t be left alone for more than 2 hours.
When we’re dealing with puppies you must establish and stick to a serious crate and feeding schedule. It’s the only way for your puppy to get the important nutrition it needs to feed its ever-growing body.
If you start slacking with your puppy’s crate schedule, you will almost certainly end up adding months to the crate training process.
Check out this post for more information on crate training a Labradoodle puppy if you want to do it the best way possible.
Ways to Successfully Leave a Labradoodle Home Alone
There are many things you can do to successfully leave a Labradoodle home alone.
Some of these ideas are the ones I’ve mentioned above.
But here are some more specific ideas that will help make your dog’s day a lot more interesting and has the added bonus that they help with decreasing your doodles anxiety about being alone.
Exhaust Your Dog Both Physically And Mentally
Before leaving your Labradoodle alone for several hours, you should ensure that they’ve been well exercised. This breed is a very active and energetic dog, so you should give them a fitting stroll through the neighborhood or some fetch in your backyard before you leave.
While most of us are actually very good at making sure our dogs’ have been properly exercised and walked, many people have a tendency to neglect a just as important part, and that is mental stimulation.
A Labradoodle is one of the most intelligent breeds you can get, so you should play some different mental games with your Doodle before leaving.
You can find a lot of different games that your dog will adore, but if you want some inspiration to get going, I can strongly recommend that you take a look at the training program called Brain Training for Dogs by Adrienne Farricelli, which is packed with highly entertaining exercises you can play with your dog.
Leave Your Doodle With Some Puzzles With Hidden Surprises.
I’ve previously mentioned the KONG toy with added food to give your dog something to work with.
Amazon.com has another treat that I’m sure your doodle will enjoy, especially if the dog is a bit older and less into destroying everything it sees.
This is the Outward Hounds Puzzle Brick (affiliate link). Your dog has to move the different pieces to get the hidden treats. I’ve had one for several years, and my dog absolutely loves it.
Another great toy is the Pet Zone IQ Treat Ball (affiliate link). This toy is supposed to be filled with treats before you leave. And then while you are gone, your dog will have to push it around the floor to get his reward.
Turning the TV to DOGTV While You Are Gone
The TV has become a go-to babysitter of the current generation. So, why not let your puppy in on this action.
Your doodle may find a favorite movie or TV show that will keep it occupied for a couple of hours.
No reason that your Labradoodle cannot take part in binging a Netflix show on their own every once in a while.
YouTube also has a long list of channels dedicated to this form of entertainment, try searching and see if you can find a favorite for your dog.
If you have to leave your Labradoodle at home alone, some of these channels and shows might help with keeping your dog calm and relieve any anxiety it otherwise would’ve experienced.
Some channels have assigned pet experts and scientists to design their programming to do one of three specific things: stimulation, relaxing, and exposing.
Return Home for Lunch
If it in any way is a possibility for you to come home for lunch, even once in a while, it will give your dog the option for an extended break outside.
If perhaps you live close enough to work or might be able to take a bit longer of a lunch break, then you could give your dog enough exercise and mental stimulation in the middle of the day to last until you return for the evening.
Get Someone Else to Let Your Dog Outside
Depending on whatever your relationship might be with your neighbors, try asking one of them if they could be interested in helping you get your dog outside once or twice during the day.
If this is something you will only have to do once or twice, it will typically not be a problem.
But if you are planning to leave your dog for extended periods of time on a regular basis you should probably start looking for a solution that does not mean you will end up depleting your “favor” account with neighbors, friends, or family.
Hire a Dog Walker
If you are interested in a long-term solution, then you should consider trying a local dog-walking service.
Depending on what the options in your area might be, you can typically arrange for someone to come by your house every day at an agreed-upon time, and have them feed, walk, and supply water for your dog.
It can, of course, get a bit expensive, but it is a near-optimal solution for those that can’t afford something like doggy daycare.
This is the Roll Royce of options for leaving your Labradoodle during the day.
This is also without question the most expensive option on my list.
Prices will typically vary depending on the services that you get your Doodle but expect to be spending between $15 and $35 dollars per day on average.
Getting a monthly package means you might save on the average per day cost, but expect to still be paying anywhere from around $200 to $500 per month.
Take Your Dog With You to Work
But perhaps all of the above-mentioned ideas don’t work for you or simply isn’t an option, then what might else be a solution?
For me, every now and then, I take my dog in the back of my car and bring him with me to work.
There are a few things that you have to be certain of before you get carried away though.
For example, if you have a doodle that tends to barks a lot, then don’t expect that your co-workers will appreciate you bringing your dog to work with you.
Or if you have a schedule that is packed with meetings during the day so you won’t be able to look after it anyway.
The only time I take my Labradoodle with me is if I know that I will be able to leave the office about every two hours so that my dog can get outside for some fresh air and exercise.
Can a Labradoodle Be Left Alone For 8 Hours?
Where will he sleep, and if you have to go out to work full time, can a Labradoodle be left alone for 8 hours? It’s a dilemma for anyone who owns a Labradoodle but spends long hours away from the house.
A grown Labradoodle can be left alone for 8 hours as long as certain measures are taken. But you shouldn’t leave a puppy alone for that long.
Although it’s not really desirable to leave your labradoodle alone for that length of time, or any dog for that matter, there are circumstances where it’s unavoidable. Having said this, it’s never advisable to leave any Labradoodle under the age of six months alone for more than two hours.
Access to Outdoors
One of the main concerns about leaving your Labradoodle on his own for long hours would be the worry of coming back home to a mess. If your pooch doesn’t have access to the outside while you’re out, it’s safe to say you’re likely to be met with some sort of doggy mishap on your arrival back home. Of course, this is in no way the fault of your Labradoodle.
Compared to humans, Labradoodles have very small bladders and will need to visit the bathroom every four or five hours. It’s for this reason you should never leave your dog alone for more than five hours maximum if they don’t have any access to the outdoors for their toileting needs. Even if your Labradoodle does have access to outside, several other things need to be put into place before you leave him alone.
A Bit at a Time
If you have no other option than to leave your Labradoodle alone for a lengthy amount of time, make sure you do it gradually. Maybe start by leaving him for an hour at first and build up gradually until he feels okay about being left for longer periods. It would be a good idea to try and coincide your Labradoodle purchase with some leave from work. This way, you will at least have some time to toilet train them.
If you’re lucky, you may have a neighbor that is happy to take your Doodle for a walk while you’re at work, or you have to leave the house for long hours for any other reason. Or maybe a family member can drop in and relieve the dog’s boredom by taking him for a stroll. If your pooch has no access to the outside while you’re out, this type of arrangement would be more of a necessity than an option if he will be left for more than five hours.
Relieve the Boredom
Labradoodles need stimulation. If you’re not there to provide this, then other alternatives need to be put in place. This is especially true if you don’t wish to come home to destroyed furniture and half-eaten shoes. So, firstly, hide your shoes. Secondly, purchase some toys that will keep your dog busy while you’re out.
You can fill a Kong with some water-soaked dog food. Not only will this supply him with a snack, but it will also stimulate him as he tries to get the food out. Chewy toys are always a great choice, and leaving the radio or TV on is a good way of distracting your Doodle from other misadventures such as cushion destruction.
Comfort and Warmth
Crates are a fantastic way of training your Labradoodle but are not the answer when leaving him alone for long hours. A dog will look on his crate as you would your favorite armchair or couch. You’re unlikely to spend seven or eight hours sat in yours, so you shouldn’t expect your dog to spend that length of time in his.
Afford your Labradoodle the luxury of a comfortable bed. This will be more of an invitation to your dog to take a nap while you’re out. You will also need to take into account the changes in weather conditions. Make sure you have a fan on during hot, humid conditions.
Not only will this keep your Labradoodle cool, but the noise will also be a great distraction from any sounds from outside that may set your dog off barking. The cold conditions in winter will mean you will have to make sure your dog is kept warm by keeping the room comfortable by adjusting the heating.
Exercise and Hydration
It goes without saying, your Doodle should have access to water at all times. Leave more than one bowl of water, and make sure your pooch has easy access to them.
If you have to leave your Labradoodle alone for long periods, try to get into the habit of getting up an hour earlier in the morning and take your doggy companion for a brisk morning walk. A well-exercised dog in the morning is less likely to wreak havoc and befall to boredom in the daytime.
As with everything else when owning a dog, whether or not you can let your Labradoodle be left alone depends on whatever your specific situation is.
If you find yourself living on 30 acres of land and your dog has the option of running around outside all day, and also have a way to get inside if there’s a change of weather, then you can absolutely leave it home by itself. Your dog will most likely love that!
But in reality, there really isn’t a perfect answer to the question of can a Labradoodle be left alone, it all depends on so many variables.
But, if you have a Labradoodle or plan on getting one, there are a lot of different options for what you can do to make it as great as possible for the dog whenever you end up having to leave it alone for extended periods of time.
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