Labradoodles are an extremely social and friendly dog breed. So much so that they have emerged as one of the most popular family pets in the world.
But what if you need to work or go to school. Can Labradoodles be left alone?
However, because they are so reliant on human interaction, it leads many people to wonder how good this breed is when left by themselves. Being a mix between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle means that you are getting a designer breed low-shedding dog that loves the outdoors, loves to play, and loves people.
Many a Labradoodle puppy finds work as a therapy, and guide-dogs. They excel at dog training. This is why this mixed breed is one of the most popular pets amongst families.
Labradoodles are very social dogs, and so while they can at times be left alone for hours, you will have to take some precautions beforehand in order to ensure a safe, and stress-free environment.
Are Labradoodles Good When Left Alone?
When it comes down to it, fully grown Labradoodles are fine to be left alone occasionally for anywhere up to 8 hours. As long as you make the environment around them suitable to sustain a full day’s worth of activities, and necessities.
Labradoodles are however easily one of most people-friendly breeds. People fret about separation anxiety. Some believe that due to their dependency on humans, they cannot be left alone. To a certain degree this is true, because they are very reliant on their social interactions with humans, and fun activities to keep them occupied.
However, an older dog Poodle mix can be left alone someitmes. We overcome the social part of the Labradoodle temperament by taking the proper steps to making sure they are entertained, comfortable, and properly nourished throughout the day.
How to Leave a Labradoodle Alone [Steps for Comfort]
A good step one should take when trying to make life more comfortable for their pooch when left alone, would be to come up with a list of strategies. To give you an idea of where to start, we have come up with some helpful tips.
- Create a safe space – This could be a part of the house like the living room sofa, or the bed in the master bedroom, or even their own crate.
- Crates are good as a safe place for your dog, but leaving them confined for too long is when it becomes an issue.
- However, by leaving an open crate in the house, it allows the dog to always have a place that they know is their own, and they know is safe.
- Keep in mind that adult Labradoodles are harder to crate-train than puppies, but it can be done.
- Leave the TV/Radio on – This has become a proven strategy to keep your pup entertained for hours.
- There are even scientifically designed videos on YouTube to create an engaging, and calm environment for dogs that are left alone.
- Certain frequencies, or vibrations coming from music can be very soothing for animals as well, just make sure to match the vibe of the music, to the mood you want your dog to be in when you’re not home (relaxed).
- Pet Calming Diffuser – Many companies offer pheromone diffusers that are made with all natural ingredients, forming an odorless, and petsafe environment. Built to create fast, and long-lasting effects that help to reduce stress, anxiety, and even aggression (works for dogs and cats).
- Don’t make a big deal about leaving– Potentially the most undervalued point here, but by you leaving with that feeling of guilt, and showing your emotions to your dog, you are only creating more anxiety for the both of you. When you leave you want the dog to be as calm as possible. Dogs pick up on moods quick, so you need to be just as relaxed about leaving, as you want them to be.,
- Don’t make a big deal about returning – It works the other way around as well, as happy as you are when you first see your furry friend, it’s important you try to not make a big deal of it. Once again, dogs pick up on human emotions, and he can easily begin to associate that overjoyed feeling when you return, to feeling fearful or isolated when he’s left alone.
- Keep them busy – You want your dog to enjoy being left alone, this meaning adding in rewards like treats, and food, but most importantly adding in fun and engaging toys as well. Amazingly, you can combine these two things with toys that can contain food/treats (KONG) as a way to keep them busy for hours.
- Tire them out before leaving – This can be accomplished by taking them for a walk, or playing fun games with them before you leave.
- This way they will spend most of their time sleeping, as opposed to exerting their energy in other, more destructive fashions. Always remember, a tired dog is a relaxed dog
- Never punish the dog – Sometimes even if you go through endless amounts of training sessions with your doggo, there may be times where they act out, and have destructive tendencies. No matter the situation, you should never get angry, and lash out at your dog. This is a guaranteed way to make them even more fearful, insecure, and anxious about being left alone.
The Rules of Leaving a Social Labradoodle Alone for 8 Hours
An even more simple way of looking at it, is to break it down and just think about the 3 T’s to leaving a social Labradoodle alone: Toilet, Toys, & Tired.
TOILET – Making sure that your doggo has access to go to the bathroom whenever they need to is a good way to ease the stress on both you, and your furry friend. Take the time to make sure they go before, and after you come home (assuming they can’t throughout the day).
In an ideal world, a system should be created for the dog to handle their business whenever necessary, but this may not always be the case.
TOYS – If you are planning on leaving them alone for a portion of the day, you are going to want to make sure they have enough toys, or activities to keep them stimulated enough to not seek destructive behavior. This includes interactive videos, or puzzles to keep them mentally stimulated for extended periods of time.
TIRED – Another recommendation is to take the time to tire your pooch out before leaving them alone for hours. Chances are if you take them on an exhausting walk that morning, they are going to want to spend the majority of the day catching up on some sleep.
What to Watch Out For When Leaving a Labradoodle Alone
ANXIETY-BASED BEHAVIORS – Be sure to be aware of any shift in behavior, as dogs who are left alone for too long can start to display anxiety-based tendencies which could lead to more serious issues.
Signs of a dog that may have anxiety-based behavior could be a destroyed environment (chewed up couch, pillows ripped apart), or excessive whining, skittishness, or general fear of their surroundings.
If you begin to notice a sense of separation anxiety, look to return home for lunch, or hire someone else to do so.
See more Labradoodle videos on our YouTube channel.
THE DOG HAS ACCESS TO THE OUTDOORS (IF POSSIBLE) – In an ideal world, you should seek to have some sort of way for the dog to go outside whenever they need to.
This will likely come after some level of training, but once your dog is comfortable with the property lines, and being left alone, it is paramount that they have the freedom to roam (and use the bathroom) whenever necessary.
This can save you the hassle of having to rush home to let them out, and save you the money required to hire someone to do so.
MAKE SURE THE DOG IS COMFORTABLE, AND WARM – Also make sure that before you leave the house that your dog has all of the warmth, food, and comfort needed.
You want to make an environment that your dog can not only tolerate, but enjoy. This means warm blankets, a bed for them to lay in, access to their crate when necessary, and (of course) make sure they have enough food to keep them satisfied.
What could go wrong letting a Labradoodle be left alone?
While Labradoodles can be left alone for short periods of time, this leads many people to wonder what could go wrong from leaving your dog home alone?
It turns out quite a bit actually.
By leaving a fun-loving, sociable, and attention-friendly dog like a Labradoodle at home by themselves, you create a plethora of potentially destructive scenarios. Dogs can develop serious separation or isolation anxiety when left alone too often, which can lead to destructive behavior.
The last thing you want to come home to is a house filled with destroyed furniture, with shoes, clothing, and couch cushions becoming snacks.
How long is too long to leave a Labradoodle puppy? What age is better?
If you are stuck in a situation where you absolutely have to leave your Labradoodle at home for an extended period of time, be sure to know how long your pup is able to last by themselves..
The amount of time the dog will be able to be left alone for will depend entirely on the setup you have in place for them. You should consider things like whether or not you will have to confine them, or will they be ok to roam free?
Will your dog be able to still take potty breaks? Will the dog get bored during the day? Do they have access to food, and water? Is the temperature comfortable for the dog?. These are all questions that should be thought of when considering how long you should leave your Labradoodle alone for.
When it comes to PUPPIES, this is a slightly different story, as they are far more high maintenance, and will have to get outside far more often than older dogs. Therefore, a
Labradoodle puppy under 6 months shouldn’t be left alone for more than 2 hours. When it comes down to adult dogs, a grown labradoodle can be left alone for 8 hours, as long as the proper measures are taken.
What will your Labradoodle be able to do for fun while being left alone?
If you must leave your dog alone during the day, you are going to have to make sure that they have enough around them to stay busy.
There are a plethora of tremendous toys on the market which are built to keep your dog occupied for hours, one of which is the classic KONG toy.
You simply add food inside, and let your dog work at it for hours. Other fun “puzzle-like” games are great too because they will stimulate the dog mentally, enough to keep them busy all day. Also, many pet-owners opt to leave the TV on for their furry companions when they leave for work.
Believe it or not, leaving a certain TV show or channel on for your pup can go a long way in keeping their brains occupied, and calming their senses. YouTube for example has a multitude of fun videos which are specifically built to help stimulate your dog’s senses.
Some channels even have assigned pet experts, and scientists which help to design their programming to keep the dog stimulated, relaxed, and stress-free.
Are Labradoodles comfortable in apartments?
Another common question which pops up is whether or not Labradoodles would do well in an apartment, or a smaller, more confined space.
Contrary to popular belief, Labradoodles can actually make for great apartment dogs.
This is as long as they are receiving the adequate amount of exercise when they are outside. People are often hesitant about placing a Labradoodle in an apartment, as they imagine the dog only receiving exercise from inside the apartment.
However, if you give them daily walks, and playtime, they will exert most of their energy exercising at the local park, or hiking trail.
At the end of the day, Labradoodles favorite spot is right next to you, so it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a 6,000-square-foot property for your dog to be happy. As long as you take the time to give them adequate exercise, they will be more than content.
Can I leave them in a crate? How long can a Labradoodle hold its bladder for?
A lot of pet owners may feel the need to simply leave their dog in its respective crate for the time they are at work, however this should be avoided generally.
While having an open crate in the house is a tremendous way to create a safe space for your dog, if you confine them in a small space like this for too long there can be some serious consequences. Unless the dog is a puppy (6 months or younger), by leaving them confined in a small space like a crate, it can lead to some pretty serious behavioral problems.
Generally, it is fine to leave them in a crate for a couple of hours, but if you are going to be gone all day, this could become problematic.
Dogs (especially Labradoodles) are extremely social beings, they rely heavily on exercise, socialization, and companionship. If you attempt to remove these aspects for an extended period of time, it could lead to the dog becoming very irritable, and potentially even lashing out due to frustration.
Keep in mind that if you have an adult dog, they will have more control over their bladders than puppies, but you still can’t lock them up for more than 8 hours of the day and expect them to simply “hold it”.
For puppies, their bladders can typically be held for 3-4 hours, whereas adult dogs can technically hold their bladders for up to 8 hours. While this length of time should ideally be avoided, if left with no other options, an adult Labradoodle can hold their bladder for up to 8 hours relatively comfortably.
However, while adult Labradoodles can hold their bladder for this long, the social ramifications of leaving them in a crate all day could be severe.
Crating your dog is typically only recommended for puppies, as once they reach adulthood they will need far more space to roam, and be comfortable. In the case that you NEED to leave them in a crate, try to have someone like a family friend, or neighbor come in and check up on the pup every 3-4 hours for the time you are away.
At the end of the day, there is a lot of confusion surrounding the idea of Labradoodles being able to handle being left alone all day.
Between the social, financial, and logistic considerations, there are a plethora of things to think about before leaving them by themselves.
For the most part, any adult-sized Labradoodle can be left home alone, you just have to make sure that you are aware of your role in the matter. Make sure they have the ability to enjoy their environment, and can step away from feeling confined, or unsafe about their surroundings.
So long as you follow some of the simple steps laid out for you in this article, you should have no problem creating such an environment for your furry friend.