For How Long Can German Shepherds be Left Alone? Super Guide

how long can german shepherd be left alone

German shepherds’ fill your life with glee, laughter, and love. Their sense of playfulness, quick-witted spirit, loyalty, and genuine care make them a one-of-a-kind beloved breed. Whether this adorable dog is part of your life or you’re considering adding a sprinkle of joy to it, there must have been a time when your mind wandered around this peculiar question “Can you have German Shepherd if you work full time?”

Every dog is different, and their individual needs will vary. Some may be fine if they have access to a daily walk or run around the block, while others may need more physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. Some will thrive on being indoors, while others will appreciate a walk or two outside each day.

However, there are some general guidelines you can follow to ensure your German shepherd has a happy and healthy life even when left alone. In this helpful guide, learn the truth about how long can German Shepherds be left alone, guilt-free solutions, and everything related to this topic. Keep reading to unravel the truth and learn important information and care tips so that you can meet your lovely companion’s needs.

How Long Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone?

German Shepherds are social animals and need interaction with their humans. They can be left alone for short periods, but anything more than a few hours will start to stress them out. An adult German Shepherd can be left for up to 4 hours maximum, a puppy, on the other hand, can’t be left alone for more than one hour per month of age.

However, you don’t have to be completely worried when you are away from your German Shepherd. They will enjoy playing fetch and running around in a safely fenced-in area. You can also make sure to leave your dog with humane commands, lots of toys, and water for up to four hours at a time. You can also consider scheduling playdates with other pets and people regularly to keep the balance.

German Shepherd Puppies

So, how long can a puppy be left alone? Well, according to the German Shepherd Dog Club of America, German Shepherd Puppies can be left alone for short periods, as long as they are not left alone for more than four hours at a time. German Shepherd Puppies need to be socialized and should not be left alone for extended periods, as this can lead to behavioral problems.

Adolescent German Shepherds (from 6 to 18 months)

Adolescent German Shepherds can be left alone for up to four hours at a time. After that, they will need to be let out for a potty break and to stretch their legs. German Shepherds are working dogs and need to have a job to do, so it is important to keep them mentally stimulated with interactive toys and puzzles.

Adult German Shepherds

Adult German Shepherds can be left alone for up to 8 hours at a time. They are relatively low-maintenance dogs and do not require a lot of attention. However, they do need to be exercised regularly, so it is important to take them for a walk or run at least once a day.

Senior German Shepherds

Senior German Shepherds can be left alone for relatively long periods, provided they have plenty of food and water and a comfortable place to rest. They are generally not as active as younger dogs, so they do not require as much exercise. However, it is still important to check on them regularly to make sure they are doing well.

Guilt-Free Solutions if You Leave Your GSD Alone

Some of the best things in life are free, but if you have a German Shepherd Dog (GSD) who needs walks or runs, that can quickly become an expensive proposition. While it may not seem like it, you will be spending money if you are leaving your dog alone to walk or run. The key is to find a solution that is convenient for you and your dog.

If you work away from home, consider renting a pet-friendly apartment that includes access to a dog walker. To keep your dog busy and stimulated, plan playdates with other pet parents. You can also schedule regular visits to your local dog park, where your dog can burn off some energy.

Alternatively, consider getting a decent dog puzzle toy to keep them entertained. To keep an eye on your dog while you are away from home, think about investing in a dog webcam. In this manner, you can enjoy puppy cuteness all the time!

Here are a few additional guilt-free options if you leave your lovely German Shepherd Dog buddy at home alone.

Make sure they are empty before leaving

If you’re leaving your German shepherd at home alone, make sure he’s emptied his bowels first. Otherwise, he may have an accident in the house.

Pick a safe location

Before you leave your German shepherd alone at home, choose a safe place for him to stay. Choose a room that is well-ventilated and has plenty of space for your dog to wander around. Avoid leaving your dog in a kitchen or laundry room, as these are potentially unsafe environments for your pup.

Hire a Sitter

Hiring a sitter is a great idea if you leave your adorable shepherd alone at home. it’s best to hire a sitter. This way, you can rest assured that your furry friend will be well taken care of and won’t be left alone for too long. Alternatively, you can also schedule an appointment with a dog walker to make sure that your dog’s exercise and socialization needs are being met. Or, consider signing him up for local doggy daycare.

Walk them Before and After Work

Make sure to walk your pooch before and after work, if you intend to leave him alone at home. This will help him stay active and avoid boredom and avoid any distracting behaviors or anxiety.

Dog Toys

Give your puppy lots of toys to keep him entertained and happy. Otherwise, he may become bored and destructive. Some good toy options include chew toys, puzzle toys, and Kongs stuffed with treats.

Get a Neighbor To Help

Ask a trusted neighbor to help out by keeping an eye on your beloved Shepherd. They can come over to let the dog out, feed him, and provide some much-needed companionship. This way, your furry friend won’t be left alone for too long and will be well-cared for in your absence.

Lunchtime Visits

If you’re leaving your dog at home alone, be sure to visit them during lunchtime. This will help them feel less isolated and give them some much-needed attention.

Leave His Cozy Bed in Sight So He Lays on It Whenever

If you leave your dog at home alone, be sure to leave his cozy bed in sight so he can lay on it whenever he wants. This will help him feel more comfortable and secure while you’re away.

Leave the Window Curtain Open So Your Dog Can See Outside

leave the window curtain open so that your dog can see outside. This will help him feel less isolated and more connected to the world around them. Even just a small sneak peek from your adorable pooch could brighten someone else’s day.

Put on His Favorite TV Show for Him to Watch

Play your puppy’s preferred TV show for him to watch; this will keep him occupied and diverted from any separation anxiety he may be feeling.

Feed Them from a Far

When you’re not home, make sure your dog has plenty of food to keep him occupied. While it’s not ideal, if your dog is struggling with boredom and acting out, you can use throw a few treats around the house as an outlet for their energy.

Set your Dog up for Success

It’s important to set your dog up for success by training him properly so that he will be able to handle being alone while you are away. You should also get him used to being left alone in a safe place when you’re not around.

Should You Leave Your German Shepherd Inside or Outside?

Should You Leave German Shepherd alone Inside or Outside

It’s that time of the year again when you return to work and your dog will be left alone for a few hours, if not the entire day. Whether you live in a city or a small town, you might be asking yourself if it’s safe to leave your dog home alone while you’re away. Also, decide whether to leave him inside or outside. While these might seem like straightforward questions, it has a few layers to them.

With that in mind, here are the pros and cons of leaving your German Shepherd inside versus outside.

German shepherd in the house

when left alone can be detrimental to his health and wellbeing if you don’t provide him with the right space and designed activities to keep him entertained to stay mentally and physically healthy. The following are the pros and cons of letting your German Shepherd roam alone free inside the house.

Pros of Leaving Your German Shepherd Inside

There are a few pros to leaving your German Shepherd alone inside the house. One is that they are less likely to bark and disturb the neighbors. Additionally, if you have to leave for an extended period, they will be more comfortable in their own home than in a kennel and if you have a safe and secure home, your German Shepherd will be protected from the elements and other animals.

German Shepherds are also very independent and can entertain themselves with toys or by chewing on a bone. However, you’ll need to make sure that your dog has access to food and water, and that your home is escape-proof.

Cons of Leaving Your German Shepherd Inside

German Shepherds are very active dogs and need a lot of exercise. If they are left inside alone, this can lead to behavioral problems such as barking, chewing, and digging. They tend to become destructive out of boredom. Additionally, German Shepherds are bred as working dogs and love to have a job to do. If they are left alone inside, they may become anxious or stressed. They are not recommended to be left alone while they are sleeping.


Many people think it’s cruel to leave a German Shepherd outside the house, but that’s not always the case. The well-being of your German Shepherd can also be improved by letting him roam free outside. The following are some of the common benefits and drawbacks of leaving your dog outside while you’re away.

Pros of Leaving Your German Shepherd Outside

There are a few pros to leaving your German Shepherd outside alone. German Shepherds are bred to be working dogs, and as such, they are often happiest when they have a job to do. Being left outside can also help your dog burn off some pent-up energy and explore its surroundings.

Cons of Leaving Your German Shepherd Outside

Leaving your German Shepherd outside alone has some downsides. One is that they might bark excessively and disturb the peace among your neighborhood’s residents. German Shepherds can also get anxious and stressed without human interaction, which can result in negative behaviors. Last but not least, your German Shepherd can feel uncomfortable or even unsafe outside if you live in an area with extreme weather.

Issues with Leaving a German Shepherd Alone for Long Hours

Leaving a German Shepherd Alone is not good

German Shepherds are known for their intelligence and loyalty, making them wonderful pets for families. However, a key characteristic of this breed is that they can become bored if they are left alone for long periods and don’t get the attention they need. This can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing, digging, and barking. In addition, it may be stressful for the dog to be left alone, which could lead to health issues such as separation anxiety or behavioral issues.

Separation Anxiety

German shepherd with separation anxiety can be an issue when leaving him alone at home for long hours. This can result in the dog becoming destructive, barking excessively, or urinating inside the house. German shepherds are bred as working dogs and love companionship, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of attention and exercise. One important aspect to keep in mind is to ask the breeder if your dog has a history of separation anxiety.

Destructive Behavior

German shepherds are destructive when left alone for long periods. They may bark excessively, dig holes, destroy objects, chew on furniture, bite, whine and howl. This behavior can be frustrating for owners and may cause damage to your home. If you must leave your German shepherd alone for extended periods, be sure to provide them with plenty of toys and chew toys to keep them occupied.


If you leave your German shepherd dog alone for long hours at home, he may become restless. German shepherd dogs are active and need plenty of exercise. If they don’t get enough, they may become destructive. If you must leave your German shepherd dog alone for long periods, make sure to give him plenty of exercises before you go and when you return, or consider getting a dog walker or doggy daycare.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, leaving a German Shepherd alone for an extended period has both advantages and disadvantages. In the end, it comes down to your particular dog and how they react to being left alone. If you’re thinking of leaving your German Shepherd home alone for a long time, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure they emptied their bowels before you leave them.
  • Make a cozy and comfortable and safe space for them to wander around.
  • Hire a dog sitter if you can afford it, to give your dog the ultimate attention and care in your absence.
  • Walk them before and after you leave to meet their daily activity needs.
  • Provide them with plenty of toys to keep them entertained.
  • Ask for your neighbor to come to check on them or sit and play with them for a while.
  • Visit them during your lunch break, this can help them reconnect and fill the human bonding needs, and also it can be a therapeutic time for you away from the chaos of work.
  • Leave their cute comfy bed in their sight so that they can feel at home and more comfortable and warm in your absence.
  • Leave the windows and curtains open to keep their attention busy by watching, birds, the sky, and passengers.
  • Play their preferred TV program to keep them occupied and enjoy some TV time.

In summary, it is preferable to avoid leaving German Shepherds alone for periods longer than four hours. Consider some of the aforementioned recommendations if you must leave them alone for extended periods. Most importantly, when you return home, give them lots of love and care!

What do you think?

Written by Jack

Jack is the founder of Germanshepherdsfamily, a german shepherds specific website where you'll find everything you need to know if you are a true lover of the German Shepherd breed!

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