Can Australian Shepherds Be Left Alone?

Can Australian Shepherds Be Left Alone?

One of the best things about owning a dog is that they are extremely friendly and loyal to their owners. Australian Shepherds aren’t an exception. In fact, they are one of the most faithful dog breeds. However, do they accept to be alone for a long time?

Australian Shepherds do not manage well being alone for too much. They are incredibly devoted to their owners and will be far from happy if they spend long hours without your company. You should return the love your friend gives you and be as close as possible to him.

I know it’s hard to be on his side every time. However, this should not be a reason for him to be left alone. To help you with this situation, I will share with you some tips on what you can do to prevent any harm to your Australian Shepherd.

Why You Should Not Leave Your Australian Shepherd Alone?

Australian Shepherds are born to live with their owners. They are a working breed, originally meant to help farmers herding animals. This proves they always needed to be connected with their leader and were always ready to help them out.

Until now, this mindset continues. Even though you may not find yourself in a countryside situation, your dog still expects you to be his alpha and to be always on his side.

If you leave your pet alone for a long time, he will miss you and feel very sad. If you have to go outside for long periods for some reason, like work or studies, you should find alternatives. Later, I will show you detailed information on how you can do this.

How Long Can You Leave Your Australian Shepherd Alone?

Obviously, you can allow your furry friend to stay with no company for a reasonable amount of time. Now it’s time to see what exactly is this number.

Your Australian Shepherd’s age will determine what he is capable of coping with. If he is still a puppy, up to 10 weeks old, he must not be left alone for more than an hour. At this age, he doesn’t have much control over his body and might not even be fully potty trained.

As he ages, the time allowed increases. When he reaches two months of age, he may be able to hold his bladder up to 2 hours. Four months after his birth date, he probably will have few problems being 4 hours alone.

At this age, I suppose that your Aussie is fully or almost fully trained to identify where the washroom is. Dogs in this period of their life are capable of holding their bladder for approximately 4 hours.

However, emergencies may occur. Due to that, make sure he is able to deal with this situation without problems.

Two and a half years after your dog was born, he may be able to survive more extended periods. At this age, five hours is the maximum time I recommend you to leave him alone. He just achieved adulthood. However, remember, he is still very dependent on you.

Other dog breeds can stay more time without human presence. Australian Shepherds, on the other hand, can’t handle much more than that.

If you need a bit more time alone, I advise you not to pass the six-hour mark. This is usually the maximum toleration of Aussies. Leaving your furry friend on his own for longer periods will cause severe problems for him.

First of all, as you may have imagined, he will get sorrowful. He will believe you don’t care about him anymore, thus becoming disoriented in life. You are his master, and if you don’t show up, it’s his worst nightmare.

Health problems, such as anxiety and stress, can be generated. When you realize how bad the situation is, you will need to bring him to a veterinarian and try to resolve the issue. It will also be painful for you to see his suffering.

And not to say that you’re going to lack good life experiences with your Australian Shepherd. If this turns into a routine, he will soon get sick and the few times you will spend with him are going to be monotonous.

If you really can’t be next to him the necessary amount of time, you need to seek a solution like asking your friends to take care of him.

How to Avoid Leaving Your Australian Shepherd Alone?

As I said before, inevitably, that you sometimes need to go out for important duties. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should leave him unattended. There are some solutions to your lack of time, such as:

  • Hiring a pet sitter
  • Asking for a friend’s help
  • Asking for someone in your household to look after him
  • Bringing him on your activities

Hiring a pet sitter: The first option you should consider is to call a pet sitter for help. Just like a babysitter, these professionals supervise your loved ones while you’re not available.

There are dog sitters that take also take care of babies and vice-versa. That’s a good option if you have a child and an Australian Shepherd in your home. Taking care of a dog or a human has some similarities. Therefore, it isn’t too hard to specialize in both at the same time.

I say that’s the first option to consider because it’s the best one. Pet sitters are professionals and understand each dog’s needs individually. This person will take care of your friend the best way. Their services include brushing, giving water and food, walking and giving remedies.

Ask your friends for help: Another right way of maintaining your Aussie happy is by asking your friends to spend some time with him. The best part is that you have reliability on them and you don’t need to pay.

Although this can be a fantastic choice, you may lack people to do this. I’m not saying that you are friendless, but that your mates probably also don’t have much free time. If most of your friends are adults, they likely have duties similar to yours.

Get help from your family members: The easiest way to prevent your Australian Shepherd from being alone is to let someone living with you take care of him.

If you’re currently living with your family, they’re probably going to accept it. They are also your friend’s owner. If you have children, they are the best people to take care of him. Kids generally have more free time and match the Aussie’s profile better, since they have plenty of energy.

On the other hand, you also need to make sure your dog doesn’t try to herd the kids. There are some reports of Australian Shepherds showing this unwanted behavior towards small children. This is due to their origins. If both of them get along well, then no problem!

Elderly people commonly also have a lot of spare time. That’s another option of someone to take care of your dog. However, you need caution here. Like I mentioned earlier, Aussies are agitated and may cause problems for older people.

If you can, bring him wherever you go: If you want to avoid harming your people’s schedule with your pet, try to go with him to the most places you can.

Of course, you don’t want to go to work with him. Your boss might not let you do so, you won’t concentrate on your tasks, and it can create a cringy situation.

However, do other normal activities with him. Try to go to the supermarket, shopping center or even a friend meeting with your Aussie. It is essential to check if he is allowed in these situations before starting it all.

It is also possible to train your Australian Shepherd to get used to your absence. For that, you need to accustom him to lone situations gradually. Inside your home, confine him in an area with a toy and go away for some minutes. If he stays calm, praise him. Then, you can increase the time as he gets used to being alone.

My Final Thoughts

I recommend you to train your dog and leave him alone as the last option. Being with your furry friend is extremely important for both of you.

If you aren’t able to stay with him for the most part of your day, definitely consider asking someone to help you. Since pet sitters are specialized in this role, they should appear first in your possibilities list. 

If, in any case, you note that your Australian Shepherd is suffering being without you, it’s time to change your considerations!

Related Questions

Are Mini Australian Shepherds also dependent? 

Yes. As the name suggests, Australian Shepherds and Min Australian Shepherds are basically the same breeds. Due to that, they share a massive amount of similar characteristics. One of them is that they will always require you to be close to them.

If I have two dogs at home, will they be less sad? 

Obviously, they will be a company for one another. Especially if they interact very well and love to play together. However, this never compares to the love they feel for you. Don’t think their relationship will be enough not to need you anymore.

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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