Can a Doberman be left alone?
Every dog is an individual, even of the same breed. The ability to tolerate being left alone of each particular Dobermans will depend on their personality and character, age, health, and whether they are used to be left alone.
You can leave your Dobies home alone as long as he is well trained and has everything he needs. Although Dobermans are often referred to as a velcro breed, which particularly loves the human company and wants to be near you as much as possible, this breed is better at being left alone than many other dog breeds.
How long you can leave a Doberman home alone?
While each Doberman’s personality is different, in general, they don’t really enjoy being home alone. Ideally, you shouldn’t leave an adult Doberman home alone for more than 8 hours while a puppy shouldn’t be left alone for more than 4 hours.
A Doberman puppy will need to go to the toilet more often and require more meals in a day. He also needs additional attention and social contact. This is essential to form a bond and connection between him and you.
If you are using a crate to confine your Doberman puppy, the length of time will depend on their age, which is recommended:
- 8-10 weeks up to 1 hour
- 11-12 weeks up to 2 hours
- 13-16 weeks up to 3 hours
- Over 4 months up to 4 hours
Dobermans’ separate anxietyWhile most Dobermans can adapt to being home alone, some can suffer from anxiety and stress. They are intelligent dogs that thrive on close human contact, attach closely to their owners and like the company of people. Separate anxiety can be the case that Dobies are in a state of extreme panic and at high risk of hurting themselves. Leaving your dog alone too often or too long when he is not ready can lead to their separation anxiety in the form of:
- Howling or barking.
- Destructive behavior like chewing on things they shouldn’t be.
- Excessive crying.
- Swallowing things they shouldn’t (this is very dangerous)
To practice leaving, leave the house for 5 minutes and listen for any signs of anxiety. If there are none, go back in and reward your dog. Then do it for 10 minutes, then 20 minutes. Eventually, your Dobie will understand what’s expected of them and you may be able to work through the issue completely.
Leaving an adult Dobie home alone
In my opinion, you lucked out choosing this breed, because you couldn’t have picked a better dog to adapt to their living situation than a Doberman. Once they learn what the house rules are, you'll be able to leave him alone at home during your 8 to 10-hour workday with no problem.
Here are some basic tips of what your Dobie needs to get through a full day without you:
- Leave out at least two water bowls in case your dog accidentally knocks over one when you’re gone, which could be serious
- Provide plenty of chew toys: Popularly, Dobies do have their own separate anxiety. Any of their anxieties are usually expressed through chewing. So make sure your Doberman has plenty of chew toys around, especially toys that are mentally stimulating. Also, a shortage of chew toys can cause the case that they start to chew on something they shouldn’t.
- Tire out your dog before leaving: A walk or run before you leave can be not only good for Dobie’s health but it also reduces anxiety for him. Also, it’s more likely they’ll just sleep while you’re gone.
- Arrange for a mid-day visit if possible: If possible, pay your dog a mid-day visit during your lunch break. Take time to play with him, praise and reward him for his being a good boy while you were gone.
- Ensure you have adequate fencing in case your Dobie starts exploring the fencing when feeling anxious about you being gone. If there’s a way out, and an adventure to be had, your curious Dobie might just go for it.
Leaving Doberman puppy alone at home
A Doberman puppy who isn’t potty trained yet and doesn’t know the rules of the house is going to need a lot more attention.
Besides being more prone to intense separation anxiety, puppies also need frequent potty breaks, they’re more prone to flipping over their water bowls or getting into something they shouldn’t, and very often start off by being crate trained.
Let’s go through a crate training for Dobies while their owner is at work:
- Morning routine: Wake up, go for a walk and play ball for 15 mins. Target to tire him out, give him lots of affection and attention.
- Give food and water at least an hour before you leave for work.
- Potty Break: Bring them outside to “empty them out” (potty them) as much as possible.
- Put in an appropriate crate 15 minutes before leaving the house. The crate should be more like a den with three covered sides. It also should be large enough for your pup to comfortably turn around in, however, not too much larger than that.
- Provide lots of chew toys inside the crate so they can work out the anxiety. No overly stimulating ones though, this should be nap time, not playtime
- Check on your puppy after no more than 4 hours. Come home to let him out for a potty break, water, give him some attention then place back in the crate. If this isn’t possible due to your work situation, hire a dog walker to come by.
- Arrive home: After coming home, take your pup out calmly, potty, water, and praise him for a job well done while you were at work after a few minutes.
- Overly excited greetings immediately upon arrival can increase your pup’s separation anxiety while you’re gone.
- In general, you should not leave your puppy home alone more than the number of hours that they are old (in months). For example, if your Dobie is 3 months old you shouldn’t leave him in his crate for any more than 3 hours without a break. At 4 months it’s 4 hours, at 5 months it’s 5 hours, and so on.
- Never put your dog in their crate as a punishment. The crate should be a happy and relaxing place but not a place of punishment.
- Make sure that your Dobie doesn’t start peeing in his or her crate which will be detrimental to successful potty training. Try to find a way to give them more potty breaks during the day and may hire someone to come by if necessary.
- Don’t let your pup go on long runs on concrete until they are at least 18 months of age, because it can cause real damage to your developing Dobie’s body
Leaving a Dobie outside when home alone
The answer to the question “Can I leave my Doberman alone outside?” is “No”, “Obviously no”.
If your dog is old enough and able to let himself in and out of the house through a dog door, it’s ok that he has access to the outside. However, you should never lock your dog outside while no one is at home.
Below are some things to take into consideration:
- Dobermans have thin skin and a single-layer coat. They get cold easily and can even overheat fairly easily as well
- Leaving your dog outdoors increases the chances of kids coming by and teasing him which may cause him to develop aggressive behaviors.
- They can literally tie themselves up in the rope or inadvertently strangle themselves while being tie up outside
- Escape: A bored and frustrated dog can be very resourceful at finding ways to get himself out, such as jumping or climbing the fence, digging under the fence or even breaking the fence.
- Dog stealing
FinalExercise, both physical and mental is essential for a dog to burn off pent-up energy and to prevent boredom. This is also the opportunity to toilet before being shut up inside for the day. Therefore, try to take time for a walk with him before your leave.
Always remember that Dobermans love your attention and spending time together. If your Dobie does spend time home alone, make sure you give him lots of love, cuddles and play when with him.