One of the greatest challenges when raising a dog is balancing their needs with your own, and for most people work will keep you out of the house for a big part of the day. You want to be sure that your dog is happy when you’re not around, so you might be wondering, can Boxers be left alone?
Boxers develop strong relationships with their owners and can be quite dependent on companionship, so they often find it difficult to spend long periods of time alone. Most adult Boxers can be left alone for around 4 or 5 hours at a time if they have been well trained, but they can suffer from separation anxiety and develop behavioral problems if they are by themselves for too long.
Due to the demands of work commitments and hectic lifestyles, far too many dogs are left alone for a lot longer than they are happy with. This article will go into detail about how much alone time Boxers can handle and what you need to know as an owner to make sure that your dog is happy and comfortable when you’re out of the house.
Can Boxers Be Left Alone During the Day?
For the vast majority of dog owners, it’s simply not possible to be with your pet 24/7. It can be difficult to figure out a balance that suits both you and your Boxer, but you have to make sure that your pet’s needs are being met and they are not becoming anxious or distressed.
Some dog breeds tend to be more independent and comfortable by themselves than others, but Boxers are quite reliant on companionship and can suffer a lot with the idea of being alone. This doesn’t mean that you can never leave the house without them, it just means that you have to be considerate and practical about how they spend their days.
You can leave a Boxer alone if you know that they are going to be comfortable, they have access to everything they might need while you are gone, and you know that they can handle that length of time.
If you cannot pop in and see your dog every 4 or 5 hours, you need to make alternative arrangements so that somebody will. You could ask a neighbor to drop by, hire a walker or sitter, or check them into a doggy day-care for longer days.
How Long Can Boxers Be Left Alone For?
Once they are fully grown, Boxers can usually tolerate about 4 or 5 hours of alone time before they start to feel stressed or anxious. To make sure that your dog is ready to spend this kind of time by themselves, you need to make sure that they are well trained and comfortable with you not being around.
When they are still very young, you will want to be around your Boxer as much as possible so that you know they are safe. The amount of time that your dog can be by themselves will increase as they get older but as puppies, they shouldn’t be alone for more than 1-2 hours.
The actual length of time that your dog will be comfortable will depend on their individual personality as well as the training that you have done to allow them to feel safe and happy. Some Boxers will struggle with even very short periods of time alone if they haven’t been properly prepared for it.
How Do You Prepare a Boxer for Being Left Alone?
Before leaving your dog by themselves, you need to know that they are ready for it.
- Start from a young age. Boxers need to learn how to be confident and feel secure on their own while they are still young, or they can develop separation anxiety. Allowing your puppy to have some time on their own, in a different room or private space, is really important for their development.
- Practice gradually. Start with very short amounts of time and work up to longer periods. Give your Boxer just 15 minutes alone in the house at first and see how they cope. Only increase the time when you are sure that they are comfortable.
- Give them lots of exercises. Tiring out your dog before you leave is a great way to make sure that they won’t be bored and restless while you are gone. A brisk walk or a vigorous outdoor game in the morning can leave your Boxer snoozing for much of the day.
- Stay calm. One of the biggest mistakes that owners make is being too dramatic about entering or exiting the house. It is obviously sad to leave your dog and exciting to see them again, but you need to remain calm and casual. Don’t stress them out or overexcite them, don’t reward them for frenzied behavior, and don’t make the process into a big performance.
- Observe their behavior. You can pay attention to how your dog is feeling when you leave and when you come back to get some idea of what the experience was like for them, but it is better if you can actually observe them while you’re away. A webcam or a helpful neighbor can let you know if your dog is distressed, barking, or misbehaving when you leave.
What Do Boxers Need When They Are Alone?
The most important thing about leaving your dog by themselves is preparation. You need to prepare the space to make sure that your dog won’t get thirsty or hurt themselves. There are a few key things that you need to have in place for your dog.
Food and Water
First and foremost, your dog needs to have access to food and water while you are away. This may seem obvious, but your pet can’t tell you that they are hungry or thirsty when you aren’t around. If your Boxer has difficulty self-regulating with their food, you could invest in a timed dispenser to make sure they are getting sustenance when they need it.
No matter how well behaved and comfortable your Boxer is, they are going to need to use the bathroom throughout the day. 2-month-old puppies can’t usually hold it in for more than 2 hours, and even a well-trained, fully grown adult cannot be expected to wait for 8 hours before using the bathroom.
If your dog can’t have access to the yard while you’re away, a pee pad could be the answer, but they will need to be trained on how to use it if you don’t want to come home to a mess on the floor.
Your house should be dog-proofed for safety whether your Boxer is going to be alone or not, but you would be surprised at the places a dog can reach while you’re not looking. Make sure that they are not going to be able to get inside your bins, eat toxic plants or medications, or injure themselves on sharp surfaces.
You might want to limit the space that your dog has access to while you’re away by closing doors or using doggy gates and fences. You may think that your Boxer is well trained enough to only go where you let them, but they might get bold and mischievous when you’re not watching.
Boredom is one of the biggest problems for a Boxer that is by themselves and is likely to cause your dog to become distressed or poorly behaved. Make sure that they have some toys to play with which they enjoy, preferably some that are interactive enough to keep them occupied throughout the day.
Another good way to give your dog some mental stimulation when you aren’t around is to give them access to a window so they can watch the world outside. A good view can provide hours of entertainment for a solitary Boxer.
What Issues Can Be Caused by Leaving a Boxer Alone?
Unfortunately, a lot of owners leave their dogs by themselves for large parts of the day without considering the implications this can have for their pets. Boxers are such loving dogs that alone time can make them very stressed and anxious. If you Boxer is left by themselves for too long without enough preparation, it might cause:
- Barking, howling or excessive noise.
- Destructive behavior like digging or chewing indoors.
- Bathroom accidents.
- Nervousness and fear.
- Stress or anxiety.
Any one of these issues will have a very negative impact on your dog’s well-being and can greatly influence their temperament, behavior, and general demeanor.
How Can I Make My Boxer Feel Less Lonely?
There are a few things that you can do to reduce the amount of distress that your Boxer might feel when they are by themselves. Arranging a visit from a neighbor, a friend, or a dog walker is ideal but you can give your Boxer other forms of companionship as well.
Companion toys are great for Boxers, and some even come with a simulated heartbeat to make your dog feel even more like they have a friend with them. Ensuring that there is some background noise can also be very helpful and calming music or a noise generator can do a lot to soothe your pet.
The Verdict: Can Boxers Be Left Alone?
So, can Boxers be left alone? They can be left by themselves for a few hours at a time if they are well-trained and have everything that they need, but Boxers aren’t big fans of being alone.
It is important that your dog feels safe and secure when you aren’t around, so good training and preparation are key. Leaving your dog at home is an unfortunate reality for most owners, so you have to ensure that their needs are being met at all times. 4 or 5 hours is usually okay for most Boxers, but they are unlikely to be happy with any longer than that.
It is always sad to walk away from your beloved Boxer but, with the right things in place, you can make sure that they will be safe and comfortable until you get