Goldendoodles love being around people and we love being around them too!
But sometimes, life gets in the way and we have to leave them alone for a little while. So, how long can Goldendoodles be left alone?
The answer to that question depends on a few different things, like your dog's age, energy level, whether or not they're crate-trained and do they suffer from separation anxiety.
If you just recently got your Goldendoodle puppy, you should spend as much time as with them in the first week as possible.
They are in a new place which is frightening, they need to get used to you and their new home.
After the first week, you can practice leaving them alone for 2 minutes, then 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and so on. If they are doing well, you can start to leave them for longer periods of time like 30 minutes to an hour.
But always make sure to come back before they get too restless or anxious.
For young, active Goldendoodles, we recommend not leaving them alone for more than four hours at a time.
Adult and Senior Goldendoodles
For adult Goldendoodles, six hours is usually the max.
And for seniors, eight hours is typically the outside limit.
Read on how you can ensure your Goldendoodle is happy and safe while away.
Most Goldendoodles enjoy some independence and do just fine when left alone. If your dog is properly trained and is used to you leaving them alone, then they will likely have no problems.
But some dogs may suffer from separation anxiety, which can manifest itself in destructive chewing, barking, howling, whining, or going to the bathroom inside the house. Fortunately, my dog, Bailey never did this.
If you are sure your Goldendoodle is suffering from separation anxiety, you should seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviourist.
Don't try to fix the problem yourself with outdated methods such as "letting them cry it out", as you could make it worse.
Can a Goldendoodle Puppy Be Left Alone?
Yes, your Goldendoodle puppy can be left alone, but depending how old it is, will determine how long you can leave it.
A good rule of thumb is the 1 hour = 1 month rule.
So, if your Goldendoodle puppy is 2 months old, it can be left alone for up to 2 hours. If it is 3 months old, it can be left alone for 3 hours and so on.
But keep in mind, this is just a guideline and your puppy might not tolerate being left alone for that long.
It also depends on if your puppy uses pads or is already potty trained. If they are not potty trained, you will need to come home more frequently to let them out to go to the bathroom.
What I did with Bailey when I got him as a 15-week-old puppy, was I started leaving him alone for 1 minute, then 2 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes and so on. If he was doing well, I would start to leave him for 30 minutes to an hour.
Building up this independence gradually will help your puppy become more comfortable with being left alone and reduce the chances of developing separation anxiety.
Separation Anxiety in Goldendoodles
Separation Anxiety is when a dog experiences anxiety or stress when left alone. It doesn't matter if there are other people or animals in the house, as long as you're not there, they get anxious and can even show destructive behaviors.
One time I was talking with Bailey's vet and he mentioned there has been a rise in COVID puppies.
COVID puppies are dogs that were adopted during the pandemic when everyone was forced to stay home. And since their Goldendoodle owners were home all day, the puppy never learned how to be independent and develop confidence by themselves.
Now that things are slowly returning back to normal and people are going back to work, these COVID puppies are having a hard time being left alone and are developing separation anxiety.
So, if you adopted your Goldendoodle during the pandemic, make sure to give them plenty of time to get used to being by themselves before leaving them for long periods of time.
Isolation Distress in Goldendoodles
Isolation distress is different from separation anxiety in that your dog is fine as long as there is someone in the house, it doesn't matter who.
But as soon as everyone leaves, they start to feel anxious.
This is common in puppies and young dogs that have never been left alone before and need time to adjust.
How Long Can a Goldendoodle Puppy Be Left Alone?
How long you can leave your Goldendoodle puppy alone matters on its age (months) and where you are in the process of giving it alone time.
Puppies 8 weeks and younger shouldn't be left alone for more than 30 minutes. Goldendoodle Puppies 3 to 6 months old can be left alone for 1 to 3 hours.
And puppies 6 to 12 months old can be left for 4 to 6 hours.
Keep in mind, these are just guidelines and your puppy might not be able to tolerate being left alone for that long and might need more frequent potty breaks.
It's important to start with shorter periods of time (15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour) and gradually increase it as your puppy gets more comfortable.
Should You Leave a Goldendoodle Alone Outdoors?
No, you shouldn't leave your Goldendoodle alone outdoors. Goldendoodles are not the types of dogs that can be left outside by themselves for long periods of time.
Dogs are social creatures and need companionship. They need to be around people to feel comfortable and secure. When you leave them alone outdoors, they feel isolated and anxious. Unless you have a big yard for them to run around in for an hour or two, it's best to keep them indoors.
No dogs should really be left outside all day, regardless of the breed. Usually, lazy people who don't want to take care of their dogs will do this.
Should You Leave a Goldendoodle Alone in a Crate?
If your Goldendoodle is correctly crate trained, you can leave them alone there for a few (5-6) hours.
However, just like anything, this should be done gradually. Start with 1 hour and work up to 5 or 6 hours as your puppy gets more comfortable being in the crate.
The crate shouldn't be a way to punish them. It is a confined space where they can feel safe and can go on their own too. It's also a way to keep them safe when you can't watch them.
How Long Can Your Goldendoodle Hold Its Bladder?
A Goldendoodle puppy can hold its bladder for 1 hour for every month old they are. So, a 3-month-old puppy can go for 3 hours without going to the bathroom.
When Bailey was about 5 months old, he could easily keep it in for the whole night while we were sleeping and didn't need a potty break at all.
An adult Goldendoodle can hold its bladder for 8 hours.
It really depends on how you potty trained them and how often they go outside to relieve themselves.
Tips and Guidance for Leaving Your Goldendoodle Alone
There are a few things that you can do to make leaving your Goldendoodle alone a little easier for both of you:
1.Practice Leaving Your Goldendoodle Alone
The most important thing you must do is to practice leaving your Goldendoodle alone. As I mentioned in this article before, there are a lot of COVID puppies who haven't had a chance to experience being left alone yet.
Start with short periods of time while you're home. First, just go to another room and come back. Then go to another room, close the door, make some noise and come back.
Work up the time to the first 1 minute, then 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, 20 minutes and so on.
When your puppy is comfortable with you being in another room and doesn't whine, start leaving the house for short periods of time.
First, just step outside and come back in. Then step outside, close the door and come back in.
Desensitize them to the sound of the door closing. You want to make it as uneventful as possible. Don't say goodbye to your puppy or make a big deal out of it when you arrive back.
Work up the time you're gone to first 1 minute, then 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and so on.
Once you reach the 30-minute threshold, you can step it up to an hour and then a few hours.
It's important that you do this daily so your puppy gets used to it and knows that you will always come back.
2.Tire Your Dog Out
A tired dog is a good dog. This is especially true for puppies.
You want to make sure that your puppy is tuckered out before you leave them alone. This way, they're more likely to take a nap while you're gone.
Dogs need to tire out physically and mentally before you leave the house to make sure they don't get too anxious.
For the physical part, take them on a long walk or run.
For the mental part, you can do training with a clicker that makes them think.
For example, place two bottles on the floor and only give them a treat and a click once they touched the right one. You can easily tire out a dog mentally in 5-10 mins with this kind of exercise.
3.Don’t Act Hyped When You Leave or when you Arrive Back
When you're leaving, don't make a big scene or get too excited. Just act like it's any other day and you're going to work or run errands.
The same goes for when you come back home. Don't greet your puppy right away or make too much of a fuss about it. Just simply walk in, put your things down, wait a few minutes until they calm down and then you can greet them.
What happens when you make a big scene when you leave is like you are winding up a toy. Your dog gets more and more excited and anxious and the second you leave, that is when they blow up.
Just think about it, in their natural environment, would their mother make a big scene when she leaves them? No, she would just leave.
Do the same! I know it's hard, I always want to cuddle Bailey when I leave, but it's better for him to just stay calm.
4.Create a Calm and Safe Environment
When you're leaving your puppy alone, you want to make sure that they're in a calm and safe environment.
One good trick I do is turn on the radio and the TV so there's some noise in the background. This way, it doesn't feel so quiet and empty for Bailey when I leave.
Also, make sure their cage is open so they can go in and out if you don't want them to stay there while you are gone. Also, leave a few toys around for them that they can chew on.
5.Try Puzzle Toys or a Frozen Kong
To keep your puppy entertained while you're gone, try giving them a puzzle toy or filling up a Kong with some dog food and freezing it.
This way, they have to work for their food and it keeps them occupied for a little bit.
There are a ton of Kong Toys out there, that you can stuff with treats, kibble or even peanut butter.
6.Consider Doggy Daycare or a Dog Sitter
If you're going to be gone for a long time or if you just don't feel comfortable leaving your puppy alone yet, consider a doggy daycare or hiring a dog sitter.
Doggy daycare is a great option for them to socialize, but it shouldn't be the first time they encounter other dogs as it can be overwhelming.
A dog sitter is a great option if you want someone to come over and check on your puppy, take them on walks or just play with them.
You can find a reputable dog sitter or dog walker on websites like Rover.com.
7.Make Sure You Feed Your Dog
It's very important if you leave your Goldendoodle at home that you make sure they're well-fed.
Just think about how it would feel for you if you're hungry and someone locks you in a room for hours. Not fun, right?
The same goes for your puppy. They need to have a full stomach so they're not too anxious while you're gone.
You also want to make sure that they have access to fresh water at all times.
Can Goldendoodle Puppies be Left Alone?
Yes, goldendoodle puppies can be left alone, depending on how old they are.
The simple formula is if your puppy is for example 3 months old, they can be left alone for 3 hours.
However, all puppies are different so make sure your puppy is comfortable with being left alone.
Leaving your Goldendoodle home alone doesn't have to be a stressful experience for you or your puppy.
By following the tips above, you can make sure that your puppy is safe, entertained and well-fed while you're gone.
Do you have any other tips on how to leave a Goldendoodle home alone? Share them in the comments below!