Goldendoodles are all the rage right now and for good reason. These are extremely affectionate and loving dogs, a great fit for just about any family’s lifestyle. However, many pets suffer from separation anxiety and get nervous if left alone for extended periods of time. So you might ask, can you leave your Goldendoodle alone at home?
Separation anxiety occurs in Goldendoodles when these dogs become overly attached or dependant on their owners. Nervous dogs often manifest their anxiety by vocalizing, being destructive, or peeing in the house. Most often, Separation Anxiety can be curbed with proper training and positive reinforcement.
To feel good about leaving your Goldendoodle home alone, here’s some info to get you prepped and ready!
Can Goldendoodles be Left Alone?
Goldendoodles are a family-friendly, laid-back kind of breed.
They are known to be happy, cheerful dogs with sweet dispositions. Goldendoodles are lovable and love to be loved. Truly, they are an affectionate and attached breed. It’s well established that these companion dogs love companionship. but can Goldendoodles be left alone?
Goldendoodles can be left alone until they need to go to the bathroom. Adult Goldendoodles can last 8-9 hours without a bathroom break while puppies can hold their needs for 1 hour per month of age. Although toys can help minimize anxiety, leaving the television on often causes dogs to feel less lonely,
Goldendoodles grow very close to their owners, and as a result, things can get a little tough when their owners leave them (for vacations, or even trips to the grocery store), so be warned Goldendoodles can get a bit anxious when left alone.
Providing toys for your dog is a good way to keep your pet’s mind occupied while you’re gone.
Additionally, leaving the T.V. on is comforting to many dogs as human voices often put them at ease, resulting in your dog feeling as if he is not alone in your home.
That being said, Goldendoodles are very trainable and can learn techniques (as can their owners) on how to deal with anxiety and react better when they get some alone time.
If you need some help training your Goldendoodle, there are plenty of online courses that can assist you as you teach your dog new things.
I found the Brain Training for Dogs online training program to be extremely helpful when potty training my dog, Angus. I really liked the private member’s area where I was able to connect with other dog owners to get solutions to issues I had with his training. I would highly recommend this course and I know it can help you too! Check out their website here to see if this course is right for you.
The breed is also adaptable and a “go with the flow” kind of dog, so after some training, any Goldendoodle can learn to be content at home without you around.
Bathroom Needs: Goldendoodle Adults Vs Puppies
Though you can use your best judgment, it is common not to allow puppies to stay by themselves for long.
Generally, Goldendoodle puppies can last 1 hour per month of age without needing to go to the bathroom. Consequently, 2-month-old puppies should be able to last 2 hours without needing to relieve themselves.
Adults tend to handle themselves a bit better and know their surroundings more than a puppy might, and so most agree that any dog (Goldendoodles included) should be 6 months or older before they can be trusted to hold down the fort while you’re away. Generally, an adult Goldendoodle can go 8-9 hours without a bathroom break.
Does Your Goldendoodle Suffer From Separation Anxiety?
If you’re seeing a consistent negative pattern in your Goldendoodle’s behavior and every time you come home you see mess and destruction, your dog may have separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety is common in Goldendoodles. So let’s take a second and talk anxiety. This breed is known for its loving nature, for its constant contact with loved ones, and because of this, when that constant contact is taken away, Goldendoodles get confused.
More than feeling frustrated, they feel deflated, and more than likely, they will lash out.
Separation Anxiety can cause Goldendoodles to lash out using:
- Excessive noise
- Anxiety and stress
So, though treatable, you may want to ask yourself some questions to gauge where your Goldendoodle fits on the separation anxiety spectrum.
It’s all about taking a deeper look into how comfortable your dog is with him/herself in the given household, and if they can keep themselves busy (not thinking about you and taking it out on your furniture), while you’re gone.
Goldendoodle Personality and Separation Anxiety
Your Goldenddole’s personality and temperament can play a crucial role in determining whether your dog is prone to Separation Anxiety. Asking yourself the questions below can help you be more proactive help you stop many anxious behaviors before they even start.
Ask These Questions to discover if your Goldendoodle is prone to separation anxiety:
- Does my goldendoodle get bored easily?
- How curious does he/she get?
- Have there been past incidents with he/she getting desturctive?
- How about agressive? Or on edge?
- How does my goldendoodle cope when someone leaves the room?
If a dog gets bored easily (from lack of mental and/or physical exercise), they tend to follow their owners around the house, hoping that this will lead them to something exciting.
*The same can be said about curious dogs.
So, after reading this list, if the answer to a majority of these questions was “yes”, your Goldendoodle may suffer from separation anxiety.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Your Goldendoodle
Though Goldendoodles do tend to be pretty well-behaved dogs, when separation anxiety strikes, it has the possibility of being catastrophic. So it’s best to know what you’re up against, (just in case). When you get home after hours of leaving your dog alone, you can look around the house for some of these signs of anxiety.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Goldendoodles include:
- Peeing or pooping out of spite
- Excessive barking and/or howling
- Chewing up furniture
- Digging holes
- Trying to escape
As far as the peeing/pooping inside goes, Goldendoodles are pretty good about holding it for large amounts of time (any pup older than 6 months can go for 6 hours without having to use the bathroom).
So if you see he’s gone potty all over the rug, even though you let him out before you left, that’s most likely a sign pointing to separation anxiety.
And though these are some of the more extreme cases, it’s good to be on the lookout for specific behaviors. That way, if you see consistent negative behaviors (like digging or whining, etc.), you can research those specifically and learn how to help your Goldendoodle more effectively.
How to Prevent Seperation Anxiety in Your Goldendoodle
Conditioning your pet may be a good way to get them less anxious over time.
Meaning, with specific repeated actions before you leave the house, your pet can learn to associate good things (look at the list below for some ideas), with being alone, and will hopefully become more accustomed to staying home without you.
You can help prevent separation anxiety in Goldendoodles by:
- Giving Treats
- Providing Positive reinforcement (“I love you”, “you’re the best goldendoodle to ever walk this earth”)
- Obiedience Training
As far as the snuggling and treats go, most owners have come up with a system to help calm their pets before they leave.
For example, before leaving to go to the office or school, owners may approach their Goldendoodle at the same time every morning with affectionate snuggling (for the same amount of time each time), and as they gather their things to go, they leave their doggo a few treats.
Snuggling and giving ample treats before you leave can help your Goldendoodle believe your absence isn’t such a bad thing.
You can also try positive reinforcement: Leaving the house for five minutes, then coming back with a treat. Leaving the house for ten minutes, then coming back with a treat. The next outing is twenty minutes and the next even longer. This goes on until you’ve reached the desired time out.
Every case is different because every dog is different, but this routine has helped many owners build healthier habits in their dogs and has helped avoid unwanted destruction and anxiety.
Something else Goldendoodle owners should employ is obedience training. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, obedience training is meant to help animals- dogs mostly- learn basic commands like “sit”, or “stay”, but can be extended to learning social skills.
Skills Learned in obedience training can help your dog find his place in:
- Your family
- Your home
- With Your Friend Groups
Learning how to interact in these different environments is what can help your Goldendoodle steady its hold on anxiety and feel more comfortable when things go “awry” (when you leave them alone). You want your dog to lean on this training when the going gets tough.
Helpful Tips to Stop Separation Anxiety in Your Goldendoodle
If your Goldendoodle is really struggling, there are ways to help calm your pup down.
Though these are just some ideas, many owners have tested these and counted them as successes. Some are preventive measures where some are after the facts, but all techniques I have personally tried and feel would be helpful to you.
Some helpful tips to calm your Goldendoodle include:
- Exercise your dog thoughly
- Use physical contact to show your love
- Massages can relieve pain (physically and mentally)
- Music therapy can relieve stress
- Time outs can help your dog to calm down
- Blankets calm frazzled nerves
- Therapy + supplements can be prescribed by your vet
1. Exercise Your Dog Thoughly
Exercise releases endorphins which make you and your dog happy. Happy dogs don’t usually get anxious or destroy your favorite couch cushions.
Honestly, other than the chemical side of things, exercising can tucker your pup out to the point where they’re just too tired to do anything but lay back and relax while you’re out.
2. Use Physical Contact to Show Your Love
Cuddling, snuggling, holding, and petting. All these can be considered the right kind of physical contact when your dog is trembling. This kind of love shows you’re there and still as in love with them as you were before your errands.
3. Massages Can Relieve Pain (Physically And Mentally)
Like physical contact, massages are helpful. Gently rubbing out tense muscles can help alleviate some pain (mentally and physically), for your dog.
4. Music Therapy Can Relieve Stress
Anything instrumental with harps should do the trick. Just like we humans have soft music to prevent awkward silences in elevators, Goldendoodles can be calmed with the sound of harps or something subtle to bring down their heart rates.
5. Time Outs Can Help Calm Your Dog
Just like if a child were to have a tantrum, if your dog rips up a pillow in anger, time-outs can be a good way for him to both get discipline and a moment to gather his thoughts.
6. Blankets Calm Frazzled Nerves
Blankets or T-shirts can be a comfort to dogs in distress. Like having a literal security blanket, this can calm their frazzled nerves.
7. Therapy + Supplements Can be Prescribed by Your Vet
If things at home aren’t working, there is such a thing as therapy for dogs. Supplements can even be prescribed by your vet to help if other suggestions fail.
Leaving Your Goldendoodle Home Alone the Right Way
So, there’s that concert with friends or date night you’ve been waiting for, but you’re scared to leave Fido by himself. Will he tear up the rug in your absence? Or miss you too much?
All these are valid concerns, but if you leave your house prepped for the worst, you should come home to both a happy pup and no damage to your home. *(If this is not the case, read on about separation anxiety in Goldendoodles).
Crating Vs Non-Crating Your Goldendoodle
Crating can be an adjustment, but it can help your dog see the boundaries you’ve set in the home when you’re not around to enforce the rules.
If you’re going to crate though, keep in mind that if said dog is new to your home, gradually getting him used to the crate is going to be best when trying to avoid disaster. Meaning, before leaving your dog alone in a crate for the first time, don’t do it without any warning.
Help your pup get comfortable with being in the crate, and the idea of the crate, by putting him in the thing when you’re home, or when you’re on the backyard patio. This will help him to calm any fears of the crate and won’t make the gated box feel like a punishment when you eventually do leave him home alone, crated.
Most people who leave their Goldendoodles home alone will leave them in a crate, but that doesn’t mean it’s the norm for this breed.
If you feel comfortable that your dog won’t get into trouble, let him/her roam free.
Here are the recommended time ranges for leaving a Goldendoodle home alone:
- Crated = 8 hours tops
- Non- crated = 12 hours tops.
Owners can avoid issues when creating their Goldendoodles by:
- Not leaving trash lying around
- Making sure furniture is safe and secure (no glass fixures on the floor, put breakables out of reach)
- Regulating temperatures to be comfortable (not too hot, not too cold)
- Making sure food and water bowls are filled
- Leaving toys out
- Leaving the T.V. on for background light and noise
- Phoning a friend if you’re worried
Leaving trash around can be dangerous because your dog may think it is food and mistakenly eat something not-so-edible. This can also lead your Goldendoodleto to think messy is “good” and he may try and replicate the behavior.
Leaving toys out can help distract your pet from his/her anxiety, and leaving the television on may make them feel less alone. If worse comes to worst though, asking a friend or family member (someone the Goldendoodle knows would be best), to stop by and check on your pup may be a good move.
Goldendoodles love affection and can’t get enough, so if anyone were to give them attention in your absence, anxiety levels would likely drop.
Doggy Daycare Can Help Goldendoodles With Separation Anxiety
If you are routinely out of the house for most of the day, maybe for work, you may want to look into Doggy Daycare. Honestly, many owners swear by it, especially if their dogs are anxious in any way.
At most Doggy Daycares, Goldendoodles receive:
- Access to a full range of socialization
- Opportunities to exercise for hours at a time
- Mental stimulation
- Consistency in the schedule.
Because of these aspects, dogs with anxiety see their stress decrease.
Solid schedules and constant attention help affection-seeking dogs like Goldendoodles thrive. Goldendoodles aren’t too focused on their separation from loved ones and are instead distracted by good things like new friends, environments, and experiences. It’s a soothing thing for anxious dogs like Goldendoodles and it can give owners some free time as well!