Labradoodles are a highly social dog breed. They tend to form strong bonds with their owners and they love getting attention all the time.
Due to their nature, some Labradoodle owners might find it difficult to leave their dogs alone for a long time, but it’s often necessary.
So, can Labradoodles be left alone? Labradoodles can be left alone for 2 hours when they’re puppies and for 4 to 6 hours when they’re adults. If they were left alone for too long, they might develop separation anxiety and display some destructive behaviors. You need to take some measures to keep them comfortable when they’re left alone at home.
Keep reading to learn more about how long you can leave your Labradoodle alone, how to help it stay alone at home without causing trouble, how to tell if it has developed separation anxiety and some alternatives options to leaving it alone at home.
Can You Leave Your Labradoodle Alone at Home?
Some dog owners might need to leave their dogs alone at home for some time to go to work or to run some errands.
You can usually leave your Labradoodle alone at home for a short amount of time as long as you take some measures to keep the dog comfortable while you’re gone.
However, if you leave your dog alone at home for too long, it will start to develop separation anxiety and display various destructive behaviors including:
- Barking and whining excessively
- Chewing on household objects like shoes, curtains, or furniture
- Knocking down objects
- Scratching and pawing at the carpets or the floor
- Peeing and popping inside the house despite being potty-trained
Can Labradoodles Be Left Alone in Their Crates?
Some Labradoodle owners will shut the dogs in their crate before leaving which can be very effective in preventing the dog from becoming destructive or causing too much trouble when they’re alone at home.
However, it’s usually recommended not to leave Labradoodles alone in their crates for too long.
That is because they need to have enough space to move freely and being shut in the crate might cause them to develop confinement anxiety which is a condition that’s very similar to claustrophobia in humans.
Many people will also consider leaving the dogs in their crates for hours to be a sort of imprisonment or abuse that dogs should never be put through.
Can Labradoodles Be Left Alone Outside?
Some Labradoodle owners will leave their Labradoodles alone outside which might be effective in preventing the dog from becoming destructive or causing trouble inside the house.
However, there are still some risks to leaving your Labradoodle alone outside the house for too long without taking proper measures.
Your dog might get sick due to cold weather. It might also accidentally injure itself or start developing separation anxiety.
If your backyard is not secure enough, your dog might get stolen or it might get into a fight with other dogs in the area.
There is also the risk of predators, like wolves or coyotes, and since Labradoodles are not exactly the strongest-looking or the most aggressive dogs out there, they can be looked at as easy prey by such predators.
In short, no, you should not leave your Labradoodle outside for long, it’s too risky for them and they are not built for it.
How Long Can Labradoodles Be Left Alone for?
On average, Labradoodle can be left alone for no longer than 2 hours when they’re puppies, and for no longer than 4 to 6 hours when they become adults.
However, keep in mind that the exact amount of time you can leave your dog alone will vary depending on several factors. So, let’s break them down in more detail.
Factors That Affect the Amount of Time You Can leave Your Labradoodle Alone
- How often does your dog need to pee during the day and whether it needs to be taken outside for potty breaks.
- How often does your dog need to eat or drink during the day and it can access its food and water on its own.
- Whether it’s possible to leave your dog roaming the house or does it need to be shut in its crate.
- Whether your dog can occupy itself with any activities while it’s alone.
What Happens If You Leave Your Labradoodle Alone for Too Long?
Labradoodles are highly social. They tend to form strong bonds with their owners and they love getting attention.
So, if they’re left alone without their owners for too long or if they don’t get as much attention as they want, they will begin to develop separation anxiety and display various destructive behaviors that might even escalate into aggression.
They will also feel neglected and will become less responsive to your training and will start to lose their recall of the commands they have learned earlier.
How to Help Your Labradoodle Stay Alone at Home?
Sometimes, leaving your Labradoodle alone at home is unavoidable. So, you need to take some measures to make sure that your dog will be comfortable during the amount of time that you’re not around.
Let’s take a look at some of the measures you can take to help your Labradoodle stay alone at home:
- Create a safe space for your dog inside the house where it can comfortably rest or sleep. It’s recommended to place the dog’s bed or crate in that area and leave some of their favorite toys nearby to keep them occupied.
- If your dog is used to staying in its crate when alone at home, make sure to leave the crate open to avoid confining the dog for too long.
- Leave your TV or radio while you’re gone to keep your dog entertained and to make it feel like it has company. There are many videos online that are specifically made to create an engaging and soothing environment for dogs that are left alone.
- Make sure to feed your dog a nutritious meal that will keep it full for the amount of time you’re gone. Also, make sure your dog has access to enough food and water in case it gets hungry or thirsty again.
- Make sure to take your dog out for a potty break before you leave, so it wouldn’t have to go again for the amount of time you’re gone.
- Try to exercise your dog or play with it for some time to tire out and make it more relaxed. This way it will spend most of the time you’re gone sleeping or resting.
What Is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a condition where dogs become extremely attached to or dependent on their owners.
They will follow their owners around the house and refuse to be separated from them for any amount of time. They will also become very distressed when they notice that their owners are leaving.
Separation anxiety is a serious behavioral issue that often needs professional help to resolve, and the earlier you catch the signs of your dog developing separation anxiety, the higher your chances will be of helping them overcome it quickly.
What’s the Difference Between Separation Anxiety and Isolation Distress?
Isolation distress is a condition where dogs hate to be left alone for a period of time and need to have another creature to keep them company whether it’s their owners, other family members, or another pet.
This condition is different from separation anxiety because the dogs will be able to cope if it has any creature around to keep them company. Meanwhile, with separation anxiety, the dogs need to have the individual they’re most attached to or depended on around.
Can Labradoodles Develop Separation Anxiety?
Labradoodles can easily develop separation anxiety if they’re left alone without their owners for too long or if they don’t get as much attention as they want.
That is because these dogs tend to form strong bonds with their owners which might develop into unhealthy attachment and dependency. They emotionally depend on their people being around them, so if they are alone for too long, they start to become more anxious the next time their owner gets up to leave or shows signs of leaving.
So, your Labradoodle will start to do everything they can to not get you out of their sight for even a second.
How to Tell If Your Labradoodle Has Developed Separation Anxiety?
There are various signs you can look out for to help you tell if your Labradoodle has developed separation anxiety.
Let’s take a closer look at these signs:
- Your dog will constantly follow you around the house and refuse to be separated from you for any amount of time, even when it’s about to sleep
- Your dog will start barking and whining loudly whenever it notices you leaving or if it’s left alone for some time
- Your dog will often try to escape or follow you outside if it notices you leaving
- Your dog will start panting or drooling if it’s left alone for some time
- Your dog will start displaying some destructive behaviors if it’s left alone for some time like chewing furniture and shoes, scratching harshly at the floor, and having accidents inside the house despite being potty-trained.
- Your dog will start running fast at you and jumping on top of you once you come back after leaving it for some time.
How to Prevent Your Labradoodle from Developing Separation Anxiety?
You can’t really prevent your Labradoodle from forming a strong bond with you, however, you might be able to prevent it from developing separation anxiety.
Through proper training and discipline, you can teach the dog some boundaries and help adapt to being left alone which will prevent it from becoming unhealthily attached or dependent.
So, let’s take a closer look at what you can do to prevent your Labradoodle from developing separation anxiety:
Socialization involves exposing your dog to new environments and allowing it to interact with all kinds of scents, sounds, animals, and humans.
This will help your dog be more open to interacting and bonding with others, so its sole focus won’t be on you which will make it easier to have someone keep your dog company when you’re not around.
It will also teach your dog to adapt better so it won’t feel threatened when it’s faced with any changes in its environment.
To effectively socialize your dog, you need to start when it’s young by taking it on walks in busy parks or to pet socialization events held by shelters.
Crate training will help your Labradoodle understand that it can have its own space inside the house where it can feel safe and comfortable, especially if it was left alone for some time.
When crate training your dog, you need to make sure that the crate is big enough to fit your dog comfortably and avoid locking the crate’s door for too long, so it wouldn’t feel too confined or isolated when it stays inside
You also need to place the crate in an area that your dog feels comfortable with and make sure to put enough bedding and some of the dog’s favorite toys inside to make it more inviting and encourage the dog to spend more time inside.
Establishing A Specific Time for Bonding
You need to spend some time bonding with your Labradoodle and giving it all the attention it needs.
However, it’s recommended to establish a specific time in the day to do bonding activities with your dog to teach it some boundaries.
Some of the bonding activities you can do with your dog during that time are playing games, exercising, learning new tricks. You can also just sit in silence as long as your dog knows that your attention is focused solely on it.
Engaging in Physical and Mental Activities
You need to engage your Labradoodle in various physical and mental activities to help it release any pent-up energy in a healthy manner and keep it sufficiently stimulated.
An adult Labradoodle needs about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise in a day on average.
The physical activities you can do with your dog include going on daily walks, climbing stairs, or playing any game that involves moving around a lot such as fetch or hide and seek. Meanwhile, the mental activities you can do with your dog include teaching it new tricks or giving it a puzzle toy to solve.
Alternatives to Leaving Your Labradoodle Alone at Home
Even if you take all the needed measures to help your dog, you might still have some concerns about leaving it alone at home, especially if it has developed conditions like separation anxiety or isolation distress.
So, here are some alternative options you can consider instead of leaving your dog alone at home:
Consider Asking Friends or Neighbors to Look After It
If your dog has been properly socialized, you can consider asking a close friend or neighbor to check in on the dog from time to time while you’re gone or, if possible, stay and look after it.
Make sure that the person you’re going to ask to look after your dog has some experience in dealing with pets so they will be able to properly handle your dog.
Consider Hiring a Dog-Sitter to Look After It
You can consider hiring a dog-sitter to stay with your dog and look after it while you’re gone.
Dog-sitters are professionals with enough experience in dealing with pets, so your dog will be in safe hands.
Keep in mind that the cost for dog sitting services can range from $10 to $15 per hour.
Consider Taking It to a Doggy Daycare
If you’re not comfortable with the idea of leaving a stranger at home to stay with your dog, you should consider taking it to a doggy daycare where it can stay with professionals as well as other dogs while you’re gone.
This option is relatively more expensive, as the cost for doggy daycares can range from $15 to $20 per hour.
Consider Leaving Your Dog Outside
If you want to avoid having your dog make a mess inside the house, you should consider leaving outside while you’re gone.
However, there are some measures you need to to ensure that your dog will be comfortable and safe while it’s outside including:
- You need to have a shelter or a dog house for your dog to stay in while it’s outside.
- It should be big enough to fit your dog comfortably and it should have bedding and blankets to keep the dog warm as well as some of its favorite toys to keep it occupied.
- You need to leave enough food and water for your dog while it’s outside and make sure its bowls are placed in a place that it can easily access.
- You need to dress your dog in warm clothes including a jacket and boots if you’re leaving it outside when the weather is cold.
- You need to install a secure fence around your entire property to prevent your dog from running away or getting into fights with other dogs while you’re gone as well as protect from intruders who might try to steal it.
- The fence should be significantly taller than your dog so it wouldn’t be able to jump over it. It should also be made from high-quality material that won’t be easy to bite or cut through.
When Do Labradoodles Become Adults?
Labradoodle become adults when they reach 9 to 12 months of age. Once they reach adulthood, their height will range from 21 to 24 inches, while their weight will range from 50 to 65 pounds. The size and rate of growth depend on several factors including the dog’s genetics as well as its diet and exercise routine.
Can Labradoodles Be Left Alone with Other Dogs?
Labradoodles can be left alone with other dogs as long as they are properly socialized and trained. If your dog is used to being around the other dogs from a young age, it will get along well with them as it gets older. However, if it was only introduced to the other dogs, it might feel threatened or territorial.
How to Tell When Your Labradoodle is Becoming Aggressive?
You can tell when your Labradoodle is becoming aggressive by looking out for signs like baring its teeth, barking and growling, avoiding direct eye contact, pulling back its ears, and raising its tail rigidly while moving it back and forth rapidly. Try to give your dog some space to calm down when you notice these signs.
Are Labradoodles Easy to Train?
Labradoodles are easy to train as they come from two highly intelligent dog breeds. They are very perceptive and they can quickly learn new commands as well as respond to old commands with little practice. Make sure to start training your dog when it’s young to make the process even easier.
Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources
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- Taking a walk? These are the best leashes, collars, and harnesses for the buck that you can find.
- Find my list of recommendations here.
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