Poodles are a great family breed that comes in three different sizes; standard, miniature, and the toy. They are fun, energetic, smart and easy to train. Poodles prefer to be with people most of the time and are not good kennel dogs. Socialization should begin early and include people and other pets.
Can poodles be left alone? Poodles are able to be left alone for the amount of time they can go without needing to go to the bathroom. The general rule of thumb is 1 hour per month of age. So, 2 months would be 2 hours, 3 months for 3 hours. 1-year-old puppies can hold their needs for 8-9 hours.
Although poodles can go quite some time alone without needing to go to the bathroom, they are a breed that enjoys companionship from other people. With that being said, it is possible for poodles to feel lonely if left alone for too long. Here is what you should know.
Do Poodles Get Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a term used when a dog has trouble coping with being left alone. This could happen after only one hour of being alone or for ten hours. With a poodle, it is the behavioral and emotional state of the dog when left alone for too long. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Excessive barking
- Destructive behavior
- An increase in housebreaking accidents
- Wild behavior when the owner is leaving
- Over excitement when the owner returns
I recently wrote this article on how to stop separation anxiety in poodles. In it, you’ll learn how to identify this anxious behavior and fifteen ways to help fix it.
Helping Your Poodle With Separation Anxiety
Poodles would rather have companionship from humans than from other dogs and poodles. It is possible for a puppy poodle to develop separation anxiety but then outgrow it as they get older.
When leaving your poodle alone, keep in mind their age and how long they can handle not having a bathroom break. One hour per month of age alive. So, a three-month-old puppy can be alone for three hours, and four hours for a four-month-old puppy. A one-year-old poodle can hold their needs for eight to nine hours.
A great behavioral training course can really help your poodle deal with separation anxiety. I found a fantastic video training system called Brain Training for Dogs. With this training, I was able to discover my dog’s fears and use the training system to help eliminate the triggers that caused his anxiety. This is an awesome program and crazy inexpensive! Check it out here to see more detailed information.
Proper Environment for Poodles
The most important thing to help your poodle with separation anxiety is giving them the proper environment during the day. Many people turn to using a crate during the day, but long periods of time can count as borderline neglect.
Poodles should be house trained before they are left alone and given a space to roam around. Some good guidelines for keeping your poodle home alone are:
- Leave the TV on for background noise, to comfort and entertain them
- Leave music playing for them
- Leave some light on. A dark home feels lonelier
- Keep the window blinds open, so they can watch the outside world
While it is preferable not to keep a poodle in a crate for several hours, if you do need to do this, make sure the crate is large enough for them to move around in. If it is not tall enough for them to stand comfortably, they will be forced to lie down for hours. This is not acceptable and is highly discouraged by veterinarians.
Here are some other guidelines to keep poodles comfortable in your absence.
- Fresh, clean water, as well as food if you are going to be gone during mealtime
- Different dog toys to keep the dog occupied
- Comfortable sleeping area
Crate training can really help your poodle deal with separation anxiety. Check out this article to learn more about how to crate train and comforts that can be added to his crate to help keep your poodle busy when left alone.
When You Leave Your Poodle Alone
Pet owners don’t realize they are making a big mistake when they make a big deal about leaving. When a big loving goodbye with hugs and kisses take place, it draws attention to what is about to happen.
For all we know, it makes your poodle think that it is goodbye forever and that you don’t know when you will be back. This can increase anxiety and stress in your poodle.
The best thing you can do for your dog is to act as if nothing is going on. During the last few moments you are home, you should put them in the area where they will be spending most of the time and then get ready as if nothing was happening.
Make sure your poodle has all its needs and then slip out of the door while they are distracted.
Watch this video for some great tips to help your poodle relax when you are away:
Are Some Types of Poodles Better at Being Alone Than Others?
Poodles are very energetic dogs that are known for their intelligence and ability to be easily trained. They thrive on constant attention and can develop bad habits, like excessive barking, if not given the attention they crave.
Poodles come in three sizes, standard, miniature, and toy. The smaller size poodle, toy, can become aggressive towards people or other animals out of the family if they are not introduced to socialization as a puppy.
Poodle Sizes and Their Behavior Traits
The standard poodle is the largest of the breed. Standing at over 15 inches tall and 45-70 pounds. They are alert, brave, and protective of their owners, so these traits make them good guard dogs. They are medium-to-large in size, very sociable, lively, and playful. They are easy to train and tend to handle being alone than smaller poodles.
The miniature is a mid-sized poodle standing at 11-15 inches tall and weighing 14-18 pounds. These poodles are full of personality making them a great family pet. They are usually very sociable with other animals and very attentive to their owners. They may get a little more anxious than a standard poodle when the owner is away.
The toy is the smallest of the breed, standing at 8-10 inches tall and weighing 6-9 pounds. This perfectly pint-sized poodle is great to have as a lap dog to always keep you company. Like their larger relatives, they are lively, playful and fun. They are very good companions and tend to really like spending time with their owners.
Can Toy Poodles Be Left Alone?
Toy poodles are very affectionate and develop a strong bond with their owners. This breed is known for being a “thinking” breed who always craves attention and stimulation. In order to be happy, they always need some sort of stimulation, and can’t just sit alone.
With that being said, toy poodles are a breed that suffers from loneliness and separation anxiety if left alone for too long. If they are not given enough attention, they can become timid and stressed.
When toy poodles become stressed, they can become sick to their stomachs, have digestive upsets, and erratic behavior. It is a good idea to be away from your toy poodle as little as possible.
Helping Your Toy Poodle With Separation Anxiety
With poodles being a dog that is easily trainable, it is possible to help train your toy poodle to be less anxious. Here are some things to do to help with separation anxiety:
- Take them for a walk. Toy poodles are so energetic, so taking them for a walk before you are planning on leaving is a good way to tire them out for a little while.
- Leave for a short amount of time. When training your toy poodle to adapt to being alone, start leaving in short amounts of time. Starting with 5 minutes, and then 10 minutes and so on. Toy poodles adjust very easily to new patterns, so the gradual increase in time will help them understand that you will come back.
- Leave a bone or treat. This helps your toy poodle associate you leaving with something they enjoy and helps keep their mind off of you for a while.
If these ideas don’t help with your toy poodle’s separation anxiety, it is a good idea to introduce them to a dog sitter to keep them company or get the company of other dogs at a doggie daycare.