behavior Management & Training

Can A Golden Retriever Be Left Alone?

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Numerous families in America adore having dogs as their best companions. Golden Retriever is a kind of intelligent, loyal dog, loved and cared for by countless Americans. It has a precious smile and gentle nature, making it one of the most popular dog breeds out there.

Golden Retrievers are incredibly friendly and tolerant. They are intelligent, capable, medium-sized dogs whose life is expected to last for 10-12 years. Families having young children can consider having a Golden Retriever as their child’s companion. What is unquestionably loveable about Goldens is that they usually maintain their gorgeous attitudes and signature smiles even into their adulthood.

Apart from all these beauties, there is one question that haunts the minds of almost every Golden owner: can we leave them alone at home? If yes, for how long? What are the risks to do so? In this article, we are aiming to go through all these questions. If you have a Retriever, read on.

Can I leave my Golden Retriever alone?

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Yes. You can leave your Golden Retriever home alone only if you take the necessary precautions beforehand. They are possible to be left alone for almost 2 to 8 hours, depending on their age, health, and training. In other words, if a Retriever is a puppy, you may leave it for a shorter time in comparison with a healthy, adult Retriever.

If you are planning to leave your dog unexpectedly, keep in mind that:

  • Goldens need bathroom breaks every 3 to 5 hours.
  • They should access freshwater.
  • They need enough food.
  • A cosy place should be prepared for their rest time.
  • Their place should be safe not to let them injure themselves or break things.
  • There should be toys there so they can play with them for entertainment.

What Are the Risks of Leaving Golden Retrievers Alone?

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The risks are already evident. If you are reading about whether you can leave a Golden alone or not, you are almost certainly aware of the hazards and concerns. Not only can a Golden Retriever probably injure itself when left alone, but it might also damage and destroy many things in a house.

It would not be so odd to return back home after a couple of hours and see your furniture destroyed, shoes and clothes damaged, and things thrown all over the house if you left your Golden home. These are only the consequences of a dog experiencing boredom, leading it to make destructive actions.

The bad news is that it is not only about your house furniture and your dog getting bored a little. There are strange versions of isolation and separation anxiety your dog may struggle with. This anxiety may eventually make your dog commit more severe destructive actions. You can look for the signs the Golden shows to distinguish between boredom and anxiety. In such cases, you may need some professionals to help you.

Leaving the Golden Retriever for Longer Than 8 Hours?

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If you are going to leave your Golden Retriever for longer than 8 hours, then the best solution is to have someone check on them occasionally to see if they are fine. As time passes and your separation gets longer, the possibility of Goldens getting into trouble — or making some — increases. Also, they may get bored or injure themselves as mentioned earlier. In addition to that, they may run out of food and water in too long separations.

So, what if you have no one to check on your pet? Still, there are solutions. With the continuous progression of technology these days, you can install cameras in your house and see the online status of your pet whenever you want. Even more, you can talk to your dog over the microphone if your cameras and equipment support it.

Although these alternatives may help you out in emergencies, they can never replace a lovely, touching hand of a human for a dog. The care you provide for your pet in person is nothing comparable to talking to them over the camera or even having someone else check on them.

Leaving the Golden Retriever in A Crate for the Whole Day?

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Some owners may count on this as a solution too; leaving the poor dog in its crate for the whole day is probably the worst solution to find if you are going to leave the house for a long time. Although dogs love their crates, it does not mean they like to sit there forever.

There are some serious issues that might happen if you leave your Retriever for a too long time in its crate. For example, it is needless to say that they should regularly go to the bathroom; if you leave them in their crate, they might inevitably dirty their place. Then, not only are you left with a messed-up crate and pet, but you have also harmed the dog’s subconscious that taught it to keep its place clean and tidy. The disaster may happen again then.

The consequences are not limited to only tidiness. There are some serious health concerns your dog may go through, including hip and elbow dysplasia. Although this disease is considered to be genetic, scientists believe that the disorder may develop by other causes too. For example, some environmental factors can increase the possibility of a dog getting hip dysplasia, such as inadequate exercise, obesity, and poor nutrition.

How Are the Golden Retrievers’ Emotions When You Leave Them Alone?

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Golden Retrievers are extremely lovely and gentle, and they are always in need of continuous care and compassion. You should always keep in mind that Goldens also have deep feelings, and you should treat them just as if they are your children. Although they may sometimes chew on something or pee in your house, despite all the training, you should still bear in your mind that they did not do it on purpose.

Golden Retrievers make a strong, close connection with their owner, just like almost any other dog. It can be highly frightening for them to be left alone. You can reduce the challenge for them by providing them with some toys or snacks when you are gone, but in fact, they will miss you desperately when you are absent. It is out of their control to act normally on these occasions.

When left alone, Goldens are normal to get scared and think wrongly that you will never get back to them. They are going to miss you so much and get bored increasingly as they feel like they have not received your love and care for a long time. Whatever the case, they need constant love and respect to maintain their health emotionally.

Some Ideas to Successfully Leave Your Retriever at Home

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There are several ideas to provide your pet with the comfort and care they need when you are not home. We already mentioned some ideas earlier. However, there are still more creative ideas you can try out.

Let us see some options then:

They Love TV Shows

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These days, not only are human babies in love with TV shows of their favourites, but the pets also may love one. So, why not try out this option to see if it works?

Your Goldie may have a favourite TV show you already do not know about. A favourite show can make the pet entertained for a couple of hours easily. One of the best options for a dog to watch is DogTV. Apart from that, you can have your pet sit beside you and watch some shows to find out which one it loves the most.

Lunchtime Break

If your workplace is close to your house, you can manage to quickly get back home at your lunchtime and pay your dog a visit. You can extend your lunchtime, if possible, to cheer your dog up with some lovely touches. This simple visit can energize your Goldie as much as it can remain healthy and happy until you get back home from work.

Puzzles and Games

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If you do simple research, you can find many puzzle games on the Internet designed specifically for dogs. This case works for older pets much better than puppies. Some puzzle games in this regard include moving different pieces to reveal the hidden treats. Your dog may play with them to get a reward. Also, there are different toys you can buy to keep your dog entertained enough during a long separation.

Dog Walkers

If you are constantly going to leave your house for long hours, then you are going to need some permanent solutions. Local dog walking services are found everywhere these days. You can visit one, and have someone check on your dog on a regular daily basis. They can walk, feed, and water your dog efficiently as you are not home. Although it might get a little expensive for you, it is probably worth it if you usually have to leave your Retriever alone for long hours.

Final Thoughts

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As we discussed in detail, you “can” leave your Golden Retriever at home only if you have considered enough precautions. If your property is big enough for a dog to roam freely and get back inside in case of bad weather, then you can certainly leave it alone. Otherwise, you have to prepare your house completely for a long absence, such that your dog may never get bored, damage anything, or make any other troubles.

Golden Retrievers are sensible, lovely dogs whose emotions must not be neglected. You should provide them with enough amusements, safety precautions, and entertainment ideas, and if possible, have someone check on them while you are not home to maintain their mental and physical health.