Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone?

Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone

Golden Retrievers are a popular breed because they are brilliant and energetic dogs. However, this also means they can get bored quickly and need constant interaction, so they don’t become destructive. 

The ideal situation would be spending an entire day with your dog, taking them on walks, and playing with them. But like most dog owners, you need to work or run errands, so this may be impossible. 

So, can you leave your Golden Retriever alone at home?

Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone?

In short, yes, golden retrievers can be left alone at home. However, successfully leaving your dog alone depends on their training, age, and changes you will need to make to your routine and lifestyle. 

Whether you plan on getting a golden retriever or want to leave yours alone for a couple of hours, you need to do proper research to ensure their safety and calm your anxiety. 

Although you can’t say a simple yes or no, you can leave your Golden Retriever alone for some time with certain conditions. To do this,  you will need to make specific changes to your routine with your dog. 

How Long Can You Leave A Golden Retriever Alone?

If you already have a Golden Retriever, you know how fast they can get lonely. Being affectionate and social dogs, they love being with their owners and don’t like spending long periods alone. They can suffer from separation anxiety and become destructive when alone. 

You can leave your Golden Retriever alone at home for between four to six hours. You should make sure not to exceed eight hours. The period depends on factors like the age of your golden retriever and habits like potty breaks. 

Factors You Should Consider Before Leaving Your Golden Retriever Alone


The age of your dog will determine whether or not they can be by themselves without supervision. How old is your golden retriever? If your puppy is tiny or between 8 to 10 years old, you shouldn’t leave them alone for over an hour. Such a long period is not the best because they have a hard time holding their bladder. 

Goldies over 18 months can be left alone for up to six hours a day. Leaving them alone for longer depends on how also depends on their training and feeding times. Senior golden retrievers may need more bathroom breaks so they can’t be left alone for too long. 

Feeding times

Whether you leave your dog inside or outside, you need to ensure they have food to eat. Leave out some water and food, so your pup won’t be hungry while you are away. Golden retrievers are big and beautiful dogs that love to eat. 

With their ravenous appetite, they need to have food, or they’ll be barking all day.  If your golden retriever makes a mess when eating, you can use automatic food dispensers to give the right amount of food depending on their feeding times. 

Separation Anxiety

Does your golden retriever have separation anxiety? If the answer is yes, you will have to do certain activities before leaving your dog alone for long periods. Your dog also has emotional needs, especially if they are golden retrievers because they love being around their owner. 

Golden retrievers are clingy when it comes to their owners. With separation anxiety, you will have to spend more time with your goldie before going to work, like taking them for morning runs/walks. You might also have to check back in during lunchtime for some one-on-one time.

Training and Behaviour

Depending on how you train your dog, they might have specific times they need to go on a  potty break. Just like you, the age of hydration of your golden retriever will determine how many times they need to relieve themselves. 

Your dog’s behaviour also affects how long they can stay home alone. Can your pup stay home without destroying items around the house? If they can’t, you need to consider getting a pet sitter or having friends you trust to check in while you are away. 

Training will take some time, so you should be patient when getting your dog comfortable being away from you for long hours.  

Signs of Separation Anxiety in Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are one of the many breeds prone to separation anxiety. It is in their sweet nature to form strong bonds with their owners and family because they are gentle and compassionate. 

When this bond is tampered with for long periods, it can lead to separation anxiety. They can display this through barking and other destructive behaviours. If you are wondering whether your golden retriever has separation anxiety, here are some signs you can keep an eye out for:

Barking and Urinating

Dogs with separation anxiety will persistently bark and howl when left alone. Other dogs may also defecate or urinate when away from their guardians. Urine around the house can also indicate their anxiety when you are away. 

If your neighbours complain about your dog barking too much when you leave, it might be a sign of separation anxiety. Although Golden Retrievers bark all the time, this can signify that your dog doesn’t like being alone. 


It is easy for dogs with separation anxiety to escape from home or the room you left them in when leaving. When separated from their guardian, your Golden Retriever can claw at the door or windows to try and escape. 

Golden retrievers trying to escape is dangerous because they can harm themselves by breaking their nails or teeth. If your Golden Retriever is too anxious, they might end up running away from home.


Some dogs will pace around the room when left alone for long hours. They end up walking in patterns or a straight line while waiting for their owner to return. If this only happens when their owners are away, it could be a sign of separation anxiety.


Golden retrievers can get destructive when by themselves. They can chew up and rip household items, leaving a mess you will have to clean up later. This habit is dangerous because they can ingest harmful things that can get both of you at the vet. 

Some golden retrievers can move over objects and throw pillows around the house to feel more comfortable with their surroundings. 

While there are other ways of finding out if your dog has separation anxiety, It’s great to remember that your dog has very few ways to communicate what they need. Paying close attention to your Golden retriever can let you know if these are signs of separation anxiety or if it’s something else causing them distress. 

Tips For Leaving Your Golden Retriever At Home

Although you can have a golden retriever and work full time, you will need to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. Aside from training your dog to stay alone at home, here are some other tips for leaving your dog at home:

1. Consider Hiring a Pet Sitter

If it is within your budget, you should consider hiring a pet sitter or dog walker. If you get a person with great reviews, they can help you take care of your dog while you go out or to work. You can also ask for help from your friends and family to dog sit your golden retriever.

 Golden retrievers are social, and a friendly face will keep them busy before you return. They can check-in during the day when you plan to leave. Be careful to do your due diligence when hiring pet sitters for the safety of your dog. 

2. Going Home During Your Lunch Break

Can you make it home for lunch? If so, it will be great for your dog to see you. Going home to check in on your golden retriever reduces the time they are alone. Shorter periods are more manageable for your dog and lessen any anxious feelings they might have. 

Going home regularly for lunch will show your pup that you won’t always be gone too long. You can spend those minutes playing with them, feeding them, and reassuring them that you will be back shortly. 

3. Tire Them Out Before Leaving

There are many activities you can do to wear out your golden retriever before you leave. Take them for a walk or run in the morning so they can spend more time with you before you go to work. This way, they can sleep most of the time before you return. They might be too tired to bark for too long or cause a mess at home. 

4. Consider Trying CBD Oils And Other Products

For a long time now, CBD products for dogs have become popular among dog owners. CBD oils can help calm your dog when you are away, together with other health benefits. Some of which include helping with nausea, inflammation, and pain. After checking with your vet, you can get the right CBD products to help your golden retriever with separation anxiety. 

5. Interactive Dog Toys

To help soothe your golden retriever’s separation anxiety, you can leave them with toys to play with while you’re gone. Depending on what your goldie likes to keep busy with, you can get dog toys like chewy toys, nighttime toys,  balls, or treat-dispensing toys. 

Getting interactive treat toys will help your dog burn some energy and eat while alone. These toys come with treats to feed your dog according to certain intervals while you are at work.  With separation anxiety, you will have to keep your cool and be patient with your golden retriever while they learn. 

The Bottom Line

Golden retrievers are fun dogs to own. If you own one, you know what a joy it can be to have them around your family and friends. They can be left alone for hours only if you make specific changes to keep them comfortable. If they have toys, food, and water, they can be occupied for a couple of hours before you return.

 Other tips like tiring them out and hiring a pet sitter are great ways to ensure your golden retriever is alright when you run errands or go to work. If you use some of these tips, you don’t have to feel anxious anymore when leaving your goldie at home alone.