When considering getting a Doberman breed as a pet, one of the questions people ask is whether or not they can leave their Doberman alone for extended periods.
Before we can answer the question, it would be best to take a closer look at Dobermans and their characteristics.
Dobermans are among the most popular dog breeds in America, but they are also one of the most misunderstood.
This is mostly due to their aggressive reputation, which was established in the early 1900s when Doberman Pinschers were used as guard dogs for businesses and families.
Unfortunately, this has led to Doberman Pinschers being one of the least desired dog breeds by individuals looking for a loving and relaxed pet.
What most people don’t know is that breeders have been working hard to improve the temperament of Dobermans, leaving them with a better ability to interact with humans and other animals.
It’s also important to note that many Dobermans suffer from separation anxiety and stress when left alone.
This is where most misconceptions about this breed come from, but we will discuss more on this later.
So, if you’re wondering whether or not Dobermans can be left alone, keep reading to learn more.
Can Dobermans Be Left Alone?
It is not recommended to leave a Doberman alone for extended periods. They are much happier when they have human interaction, but here’s the good news: Dobermans can be easily trained to spend hours alone without experiencing any undue stress.
Dobermans are intelligent dogs, so they can understand when you need to be away from home. However, this doesn’t mean they will not miss you while you’re gone. You can help your canine friend cope with being alone by preparing a few things before you leave.
The Doberman is a very energetic breed of dog. This is why many individuals who have experienced separation anxiety in their Doberman recommend leaving them outside when you’re away from home.
This way, there’s no risk of your dog breaking out of the house or destroying your furniture while they are waiting for you to return.
It’s also important to note that some Dobermans are more prone to separation anxiety than others, so it’s important to consider this when you’re looking for a pet.
How Long Can You Leave a Doberman Alone?
The average Doberman can spend between 3 to 8 hours alone before they start to experience separation anxiety. However, this is just an average, and it can vary from one Doberman to another.
An adult Doberman can spend up to 12 hours before experiencing separation anxiety, but it’s recommended not to leave them alone for over 8 hours. Dobermans that are still puppies can only cope with being alone for between 1 to 3 hours.
If you consider leaving a Doberman alone for longer periods, there are some factors you should consider first.
Factors to Consider Before Leaving Your Doberman at Home
Here are some of the factors you should take into consideration before leaving your Doberman alone for extended periods:
The Age of Your Doberman
This is one of the most important factors you need to consider before leaving your Doberman alone. Puppies and older Dobermans can experience stress more than younger ones.
Puppies between 3 to 12 months old will need several bathroom breaks, so leaving them alone for over an hour can lead to accidents that could damage your home or even hurt them.
Older Dobermans who are 8 years and more senior should not be left alone for more than 4 hours because they will need bathroom breaks too. If you cannot take them outside, leave water available to avoid dehydration.
An Adult Doberman between 1 to 3 years old can experience stress when left alone for more than 5 hours, but this will vary from one individual to another.
The Temperament of Your Doberman
Dog breeds have distinct personalities, and this is something you need to keep in mind before leaving your Doberman alone for too long.
If your Doberman is shy, chances are they will experience separation anxiety even if you leave them alone for a few hours. If they have been neglected or abused in the past, they will likely show signs of stress when left alone with nothing to do.
On the other hand, a Doberman that has a naturally good temperament is less likely to experience any form of stress while you’re gone.
How Often You Leave Your Doberman Alone for Long Periods
If you leave a Doberman alone every day, they will get used to being left on their own. This means that they will have more days off from experiencing separation anxiety.
However, it’s important to consider that the more you leave them alone, the harder it will be for you to leave them if something comes up.
This is because they will already have adapted to being on their own, and this might lead to a difficult adjustment period if ever you need to leave them for several hours at a time.
Since most individuals have a set schedule of when they go to work, they will feed their dogs at the same time each day. This way, their stomachs are not grumbling and growling while they are gone.
If your Doberman’s feeding time changes around while you are gone, this will lead to stress. It’s important to note that eating alone can still cause them stress.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dobermans
It’s important to be familiar with the separation anxiety signs in Dobes so you can tell when something is wrong. This way, you can provide the best care possible for your pet.
Some of the most common signs that your Doberman is experiencing separation anxiety include:
Howling or Whining
Your Dobe might howl or whine when you leave them alone. Although it might not be very loud, they will still make noises to demand your attention. They do this because they are calling for their pack leader and feel the need to be close to you.
Chewing or Digging
Dobermans are escape artists, which means they will do anything necessary to get out of your house if they feel trapped inside with no way out.
Chewing on doors, windows, cabinets, and furniture is a way for them to express their stress, and they will destroy anything in sight, so be careful.
Dobermans also like to dig when they are pent up inside your home, another common sign of separation anxiety.
When you’re not looking, your Dobe might start digging underneath the fence or create underground dens in the yard where they can feel safe.
When you take your Doberman out for a walk, they might start pacing if you take too long to come back home.
This is due to their excellent memory and ability to remember how long it takes before you return from work or other errands around the house. They will pace inside your home until you come back.
This doesn’t mean that you should suddenly drop everything to go home the moment they start pacing. However, if you know that your schedule is tight today and you might not make it home on time, try leaving them with an article of clothing with your scent to keep them calm until you arrive.
Dogs are very clean animals by nature. They don’t usually pee or poop inside your home because they know it’s unacceptable behaviour.
However, when your Doberman is experiencing separation anxiety, they might defecate or urinate inside even if you have never trained them to do so in the past. This happens because their body is working on overdrive, and they are trying to release all that pent-up anxiety.
On the other hand, if your Doberman has never urinated in the house before but is experiencing separation anxiety, this could be a sign of urinary incontinence. When dogs get very anxious, their bladder might release even when there’s no physical trigger.
How to Stop Separation Anxiety in Dobermans
Again, separation anxiety is not something that you should ignore. It’s your responsibility as a pet owner to properly care for your dog and make sure they are physically and emotionally healthy at all times.
The good thing is that there are several things you can do to stop this problem from happening in the future.
Here’s the list of some of the most effective ways to stop separation anxiety in Dobermans:
Create a Routine
Dobermans are very routine-oriented animals. If they know what to expect every day, they will be less likely to get anxious. Try adding some new things to your Dobe’s daily schedule, but make sure you take them out before they can cause too much stress.
Spend Lots of Time with Your Doberman
Dogs are social animals, and they usually require a lot of attention. If you work all day, it’s best to get yourself another Doberman so they can keep each other company while their owners are away.
If that’s not possible, try to spend as much time with your dog as possible every day. This will help them feel less anxious when you’re not around.
Give Your Doberman Extra Strenuous Workouts
Dobermans are very active dogs, and they love to stay busy with any activity that stimulates their mind. Take your doggy to the park or let them run free in the yard for at least one hour every day to burn off all that excess energy.
Give Your Doberman Extra Treats
Dobermans are very intelligent dogs, and they love to be rewarded for their good behaviour. Give your Dobe some extra treats every time you come home or leave the house so they can see why it’s worth being patient during these periods.
Crate Train Your Dog
Crate training is a very effective way to stop separation anxiety in Dobermans. You can put your doggy in a crate with some food and their favourite toy if you need to leave the house for a few hours.
When they’re inside, praise them profusely and give them a treat. This method aims to help them associate being in a crate with positive rewards.
Once they get used to this method, you can try switching the food and toys, so they start going inside independently.
Eventually, your Doberman will learn that a crate is a comfortable place where they should go whenever you leave or arrive at home.
Tips for Leaving Your Doberman at Home
If you want to leave your Doberman at home, here are some tips that might help:
Make Sure There’s No Way for Them to Escape
It’s not uncommon for Dobermans to break loose and roam the neighbourhood in search of their owners when they’re feeling anxious. Make sure they can’t get out and stay in a safe, enclosed area when you’re not at home.
Get a Dog Walker
Hiring a dog walker might be the best option if you can’t take your Doberman with you everywhere. Dog walkers will come to your house at specific times during the day and spend some quality time with your doggy. They’ll also make sure there are no accidents inside while you’re gone.
Spend Time Training Your Doberman
You might be able to leave your doggy alone if you’ve successfully trained them not to make a mess when you’re gone. Create some distance training pads around the house and teach your dog where they can go to relieve themselves. This way, you’ll know that everything will be OK as long as they do their business before you leave the house.
Try CBD Oil Products
There are several CBD oil products available on the market today that might help with stress and anxiety in dogs. You can try giving your Doberman some CBD oil before you leave the house, so they calm down faster.
CBD oil is also available in tinctures, edibles, and capsules. Try experimenting with different products to see which ones work the best for your Doberman.
Give Your Dog a Massage
Dogs love being caressed just as much as humans do. Try giving your Doberman a massage every time you leave the house to calm them down and show them that everything will be OK while they’re home alone.
The Bottom Line
Dobermans can be left alone if they’re trained well enough. If you have no time to train them, bring them with you everywhere or hire a dog walker to care for their needs while you work during the day.
If you can’t take your doggy with you, make sure they’re safe and don’t have access to any dangerous objects or areas in the house when you leave.
Also, make sure to praise them when they do well and give them some treats for their good behaviour. This way, they’ll know that patience is always rewarded with good stuff.
Use these tips to stop separation anxiety in Dobermans today!