Can Australian Shepherd be Left Alone?

Bringing your new puppy at home is just as exciting as bringing a new baby home. And as his new owner, you want to give him a lot of attention and love, just to make sure he feels good and get used to his new home. However, there will be situations where you will have to leave your Australian Shepherd home alone.

The reasons can be varied, probably because in some places dogs are not allowed, and you can‘t take your best friend with you. For the most part, you will face this situation if no one from your family is working at home. And it could be a really hard time to leave your dog every morning while he watches with sad eyes as you leave. Fortunately, we can prepare for such situations and teach our dogs to stay at home without fear.

How Long Can You Leave an Australian Shepherd Home Alone?

While each dog personality is different and every dog is really individual, we know that Australian Shepherds tend to be very attached to their owners. So even adult aussie shouldn‘t stay alone for more than standard work shift of their owners, which in most case is 8-10 hours. Puppy Australian Shepherd may need more attention, especially at the beginning. While your dog is under 6 months of age, he should not stay alone for more than 4 hours, simply because of his natural needs. Of course, it depends on your dog, their physical and emotional needs.

Leaving an Adult Australian Shepherd Home Alone

If you‘re raising a dog from an early age, he probably already knows what the rules of this house are. Therefore, if your dog is over three years old, he can already be considered as an adult and should stay home alone for 8-10 hours without any problems. An adult Australian Shepherd should be trusted to be outside his crate and it is the best to leave him in one room all the time, which should have as little furniture, pillows or other temptation as possible.

Here are 3 tips for adult Australian Shepherd to spend his time alone:

  1. Try to get used to a daily routine, which could be a morning walk or some other active way of spending time. Running with a dog can be a great activity. By doing this we should try to tire dog as much as possible, so he could spend his time alone more passively with some chew toys or simply sleeping.
  2. Leave at least two water bowls, just to make sure he has enough water if he accidentally stumble upon one bowl and pour out all water.
  3. If your work schedule allows you to come home during the day, it is always good to take him for a quick walk during a mid-day visit. Otherwise, if you came back after 8 hours of work, first thing should be to take a walk with your dog, or if you live in a private house, which has high enough fence, let him run a little on his own.

Leaving a Puppy Aussie Home Alone

First months raising a puppy, while you are working a full time job might seem like a really difficult task, but with some preparation, it can be done. If you got yourself a very young puppy, lets say 10 weeks or younger, you should not leave him for more than one hour, whereas at this age they cannot fully control over their body.

Puppies are tend to get into something they should not, in example – tear up things around them, accidentally flip their water bowls, as well as injure themselves if they‘re not left in a safe space. Therefore you should leave a puppy in appropriate care, which should be large enough to feel comfortably.

4 tips on how to leave your puppy Aussie home alone:

  1. Tire your puppy by giving him a lot of love and attention in the morning. This could be morning exercises, 20 minutes of walking outside or playing with some toys. During this time, try to empty them out as much as possible, so he could stay comfortably until next potty break. Next step would be to give your dog food and water. And after active start of the day, when he is tired and deliciously eaten, he most probably will fall asleep again.
  2. Before leaving, put your dog in the crate and leave some chew toys inside, just to keep him busy, while he is not sleeping. If you see that your dog starts panicking, starts to whine or spread some strange noise, try to ignore this, so they get used to it.
  3. Come home and check on your puppy after some time. If this is not possible, ask for help from your family members or friends. As well, good option would be to hire a pet sitter, because professional can see your dog‘s needs and give the best advice and care for your puppy. During this break, let your dog out for a potty break, try to tire him again by doing some activities, give him water and then put your puppy back to crate. Make sure he has some toys inside to occupy his time.
  4. Once your‘re back home from work, try to be calm as possible, because too much emotions after return can increase your dogs separation anxiety while you are away. Calmly let him out of the crate, go for a walk, give him some attention and then spend your evenings as usual.

When Is It Okay to Leave Your Australian Shepherd For The First Time?

Before leaving your Aussie home alone, you should consider about his age, health condition, separation anxiety, potty breaks and activity. In example, if your dog suffer from anxiety when he is home alone, he could start behave really strange when you are together, become aggressive. Also, if your dog is old enough or too young to stay alone, he may need more potty breaks during the day.

Changes in behavior and Signs That Your Australian Shepherd Might be Suffering From Separation Anxiety

Australian Shepherds are social dogs and needs human contact. If you leave your Aussie alone too often and you have very inconsistent routine, you dog might get separation anxiety which may look like this:

  • Peeing at home, when potty break was not that long ago
  • Constant barking
  • Destructive behavior like gnawing on various objects, they shouldn‘t be
  • Avoidance at your command

In this case you should try to get to know your dog better and try to improve their time while you‘re not around.

Ways to Improve Your Dog Alone Time

Try to teach your Aussie that it could be fun without necessarily having you around. Make sure he have plenty of toys to keep him occupied. As every dog is individual, they all have different things that will interest them and will calm them. There are dogs who like to watch TV, so if you noticed that your dog is one of them, you can put on their favorite channel before you leave or turn the radio on. It is always a smart move to give your dog plenty of options that he would like his time alone.

Dealing with Separation Anxiety

If you noticed that your Australian Shepherd behavior has changed and he might suffer anxiety when he is alone, try to leave him alone for shorter periods until he starts to feel good. Even when you are at home, try to avoid getting overly-attached with your dog, because this might make it even harder when you need to leave him home alone.

When you‘re trying to teach your dog to stay alone without fear, you need to avoid making long farewells or overexciting come back from wherever you have been. Aussies are very intelligent dogs and are able to read human emotions, so if you‘re leaving him with negative and sad emotions, this could have negative impact on him.

Leaving Your Australian Shepherd Alone Outside

Australian Shepherd dogs are very attached to their owners, so they should not live outdoors alone, cause living outside on his own would be a lonely existence.

Aussies are social and intelligent dogs, they get bored easily and bored dog can become really problematic. He can start bark constantly, damage property or try to escape.

How To Stay in Touch With Your Aussie While You‘re at Work?

If you noticed that you‘re always thinking about your pet while you‘re working – this could be solved with dog camera left in his room. Most of these cameras monitor every dogs move, so you can watch him whenever you want on your mobile phone. This would give you a peace of mind knowing that your Australian Shepherd is doing well.


Separation anxiety is a fairly common problem in today‘s world, where most people spend most of their day at home. It is very important to know your dog and as soon as some signs appears – take actions. Remember, that it should be solved not by being strict and demanding, but it should be consistent work. And it is always wise to consult with your veterinarian or professional trainer.

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