How Long Can You Leave A Golden Retrievers Alone

How long can you leave your golden retriever alone? 

6 Hours. Now this is not a golden rule and you cannot expect a 4 week old golden retriever puppy to stay alone for 6 hours. That’s not practical or wise and it’s very irresponsible as pet owners to leave a young pet alone at home for even a few hours. Before you leave a pet alone for a period of 6 hours, it requires a lot of training. They need to feel comfortable with their environment, Food to eat, water to drink and activity of some form to keep them occupied. 

  • Training your dog To obey
  • Address all issues from stress, anxiety and a lot more
  • Improve Dogs health and Temperament.

About the golden retriever and their socializing needs

Golden retrievers are family pets. They have a high need for people and pack around them. They love exercises. They are always eager to learn. Attention keeps them going. They are intelligent and caring but if you don’t train them to be left alone, they become aggressive, destructive and prone to behavioral problems related to anxiety and separation disorder. Excessive barking, chewing and destruction follows. When the golden retriever does not know how to keep itself occupied, it creates ways to be occupied. Chewing is the best thing dogs do and they love to do it. Barking is a way to show out their frustration. It’s also one of the few ways they communicate. Training your dog to be left alone is a time consuming process but important nevertheless.

Golden retrievers are social dogs. They are intelligent and most importantly they are working dogs. They need to be around people and doing things. They want to help and they love to do whatever it is they can to please their owners. Being without their owner around is a punishment in itself and punishing a dog for reasons it doesn’t know is bad for both you and the dog. 

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Training your golden retriever to be alone

  • Month one – three.
    Your pup needs as much attention as it gets. Even if you feel that you are educated and well versed in puppy care, no one can care for the pup better than its mother itself. Professionals will tell you that a pup should not be separated from its litter before 8 weeks. 12 weeks is the right time for the pup to be separated from its mother. By this time, most pups can feed and groom on their own. They are happy and with enough attention will not suffer from the anxiety of being away from its mother.
  • Week 9 to 12.
    The Fourth month is usually the starting point for a lot of training. Potty training, Small tricks like sit and stay and even training them to be alone for a short span of time. Most dog owners find it hard to keep their pet alone for even a short span of time unless they are in a crate or caged. This is not a practice recommended for training dogs to be alone. They need to be out of the crate and in a comfortable zone to begin with. Use their bed as a space for them to be comfortable , safe and the go to zone. Encourage them to be on their bed for a few minutes. Move away . It may be hard the first few times but eventually. They will stay for a minute, then a bit more. This will continue up to 5 – 10 minutes. This is a good beginning. Don’t expect your dog to stay away for more than 10 minutes for the first month.
  • Month 5 -6
    Leave your dog alone in one room with the doors closed for a few minutes. When they start barking , command them to ensure that you are around, But let them out a minute later. Continue the practice, increasing the time a little more for a month or two. After a few weeks of practice, leave your home for 5-6 minutes with the dog in its usual spot. They will come out with the door open and not find you. Ensure that you are back and treat them. Increase the time by 5 minutes every second day. The dog will be assured that you will return soon and will expect you. 
  • Month 10-1 year
    Most dogs will be used to being left alone for 3-4 hours without a problem. Ensure that you pet your dog when you enter. Treat them well and feed them immediately. Take them for a walk and exercise them as much as you can immediately after you return. They always look forward to your getting back and this is the small treat for them.

Also ensure that you exercise them before you leave home. Draining their energy as much as you can ensures that they will be encouraged to rest. Leave them enough water and food for the next few hours. 

Be warned that dogs will occasionally chew on things they find interesting. Remote controls are often the enemy for my dog but it varies from dog to dog. If they can’t find something to entertain themselves with , they will entertain themselves with whatever comes in their way.

What happens if a dog is left alone for more than 6 hours?

Most dog owners are working parents. Our dogs need to be at home for more than 8 hours, sometimes longer. Is it even practical to own a dog when your responsibilities and time takes so much of a toll? Dog owners are like parents and we need to make the same kind of sacrifices and preparations that we take for children

Sometimes it’s important to have a pet sitter. Maybe we could ask the neighbour to help with looking after the dog when you are gone for the day or maybe just feed the dog and take it for a walk when you are away. If you cannot make arrangements for someone to take care of your dog when you are gone for a longer period of time, expect accidents. It’s not the dog’s mistake . It’s yours.

Dogs are social creatures. They need to be around other dogs and humans to fulfil their emotional needs. Golden retrievers are working dogs. They need to be active and around humans. The more the better. When you deprive them of their socializing needs, they will tend to show signs of anxiety. Incessant barking is the beginning of the problem. If your neighbours complain about barking when you are not around, just take note. This is the beginning of the problem and it’s time to take measures of correction. It’s not late yet and it will be sooner than you know. Don’t be angry or frustrated when you find part of your furniture missing or your favourite pillow opened up and shredded. 

Dogs left for 8 hours or more will start experiencing anxiety and separation disorders. Whining, barking and chewing are all signs of the same and if not corrected immediately it will become a practice which cannot be controlled. 

Use of crates while you are away

Using crates to train your dog to be alone is not a good option. Though pets can be trained to like their crates and feel safe in them, its bad for pets to stay in crates for extended period of time. Crates restrict movement. With lack of movement for extended period of time, your pets will face health issues including arthritis and other movement related problems. Dogs are active animals. They walk, run and play around the entire day and restricting them to a crate is like restricting someone in a small space 8 waking hours a day. Its more or less what most prisoners get when they are in isolation. That would be disastrous. We have a possibility of heart diseases, arthritis, joint problems and even depression if we would spend 8 hours in a space so small. For a dog this is a lot worse. 

Crate training should be limited and surely not used for keeping your pets alone while you are working. 

Hiring a Pet sitter or a dog walker

Pet sitters and dog walkers are available in certain areas. Find someone who can walk your dog 2 times a day or even once when you are gone. If you can find a pet sitter who can take your pet for a walk and care for him while you are away, its a great help for both you and your pet. You may never know, there are people who would love a dog but cant have them at home always for several reasons. They would Take care of your pet for an additional money and they may simply love it.

Find a home where there are kids (if your dog is trained to be with kids and is safe). Kids are usually full time partners for your dogs. Both , your dog and the child will find company in each other. Your dog sitter too will be forced to keep the dog longer at their place because it helps their child in several ways. Apart from having the child occupied, the dog feels happy around children. 

Dog walkers are not easy to come by and it requires someone you trust to leave your home keys with. Apart from the home keys, you need to trust the person with the dog too. Teenagers may be willing to take your dog for a walk for that extra money but they may not be good with dogs and lack the training to care for your pet. They may also be a bit careless. A dog walker needs to be responsible whatever age they are.

Day care for dogs

If you cannot find a dog walker or a dog sitter, find a day care for dogs. There are day care for pets which may feed and walk your dog while you are away. Your pets will have their entire day with other dogs and socialize. They will be taken care of and fed. Exercise is often abundant in most day cares for dogs and your dog will be eager every day to go to the dog day care. 

Some day cares are disney world for dogs. Plenty of toys. A lot of friends and food when they are hungry. Dogs love it and they are eager to meet you every evening when you return. 

Dog day cares will add up to your cost, but its a wonderful option for pet owners who cannot be at home for an extended period of time every day.

Are Golden Retrievers Hypoallergenic & Tips For People With Allergies

If you love dogs but find it difficult to pet them or be with them due to your allergies you may not be all out of luck but if your choice is a golden retriever, you may need to reconsider. Golden retrievers are not hypoallergenic. As a matter of fact, no dog is actually 100% hypoallergenic. If you are allergic to dogs, you are allergic to dogs. You will not be allergic to one breed and not the other. But the degree of allergic reaction will be a lot different from breed to breed. 

  • Training your dog To obey
  • Address all issues from stress, anxiety and a lot more
  • Improve Dogs health and Temperament.

False assumptions

  1. Dog Hair and shedding is the cause for allergies : No. Not really. ITs not the hair which causes the allergy but the dander. Dander is more or less the dead skin which calls off the dogs body along with the hair. This is a natural occurrence in all dogs. Even if the dog does not shed a lot, there is a good chance that the dander will cause allergies to some degree.

    How do you rectify : Rectification of this problem requires a two pronged approach. Don’t blame the dog for your allergies, though its the reason for it. Keep your home clean, and air it out well. The best option for closed rooms are an air purifier. Try a hepa air purifier for your home to get the dog dander out and clean the air at home. This itself should control your allergies to a great extent. Think of every thing you can keep the dander out and your home clean. Avoid carpets and furnitures that trap dander and dust. IF you cannot remove the carpets, ensure that they are shampooed frequently. Do not allow your pets on the furniture, specially those which are poros and can trap dander and dust.

    Now to the dog. Shampoo and bathe the dog at least once a week. Twice is better but at least once a week is important. This ensures that the dander leaves the body of the dog and it does not shed it all over your house increasing the symptoms of allergy
  2. The second false assumption is that some dogs are hypoallergenic and others are not. The fact is that all dogs are a problem if you are allergic to them. Its just the degree of allergy which differs. Smaller dogs usually shed little dander than larger breeds. A Golden retriever is a medium sized dog and sheds quite a lot. Chances are you will have more spells of allergic symptoms with a Golden retriever as compared to a pug. So if you are allergic to dogs, choose a smaller breed. Smaller breeds like Shih Tzu with lots of hair are actually less allergic to people than short coated breeds like rottweiler or a Labrador or even the Golden retriever. Think Small if you are allergic to dogs. Its much safer and less allergic to own a smaller dog. The smaller the dog does not mean that the affection it gives you is smaller. They are always a bundle of joy, no matter how big or small they are.
  • Train Your Pet like a Pro
  • Obiedience, Potty Training and more
  • Address behavioral Issues.
  • Expert vets and Professionals For support

Puppy vs Adult Golden retriever allergy

A lot of dog owners who were perfectly well with their dogs when they were young find it hard to be with them when they are adult dogs. Golden retriever owners and other big dog owners find this situation confusing and blame the breed for their allergies. They are also not sure why the allergy started off suddenly while they had no allergies a year ago when the pet was a puppy!

The reason for the allergy is the same as that of why people find smaller dogs more tolerable than larger breeds when it comes to allergies. Larger the dog, the more they shed. We are not talking about the hair that they shed but the dander. Puppies don’t shed a lot at all. They are growing, have wonderful skin and coat and rarely have problems. As they grow older, they start to shed hair and dander is common. So the golden retriever which was an adorable pup just a few months ago is now a cause for allergies.

Also Women may have symptoms of allergies if they are pregnant with dogs. This is not particular to any dog but is clearly related to the dander which is shed by the dogs. While these allergies are bad for the time being, it also helps build antibodies which may result in the baby being resistant to dander in the future. 

Can you own a Golden Retriever if you are allergic to dogs?

The answer is almost and always a yes but… but with some effort and lifestyle changes and may be a bit of interior decoration.  Owning a dog is more or less like bringing a baby home. You need to make the home baby safe. Ensure the electric sockets are covered, the hard edges are blunted out or covered with protective layers and a whole slew of measures. The same applies when you bring in a dog and especially if you are allergic to them.

You need to follow a procedure to ensure that your allergies are in control. The dog will eventually produce dander and shed hair at some point of time. Golden retrievers are known to shed and they shed a lot. Its not the hair you should be worried about, but the dander, the small specks of skin which is not visible to the eye. 

If you intend to own a golden retriever and if you are allergic to dog, prepare yourself for a daily and a weekly schedule, dedicated to the attention of your dog and your home.

  1. Bathe the dog : Ensure that your dog is bathed and shampooed at least once a week. Bathing removes all the dander in your dogs body and keeps it from shedding for the next few days. This will keep you without symptoms for at least 4-5 days
  2. Groom the dog : This is more or less a daily task. Spend 10-15 minutes a day to groom the dog. Brush the dog well, entangle the hair and ensure that the entire body gets the attention needed. Give special attention to the belly, ears and the tail. We often overlook some of these areas. 
  3. Restrict access : Ensure your dog has no access to certain areas of your home, specially those where you frequent more often. Ensure that they are not on rugs and carpets. Avoid access to the couch if they are made of cloth of any kind. Access to bedrooms should be restricted. 
  4. Invest in an Air purifier. Air purifiers are more common these days with increased pollution but its also great for people with allergies. IF you own a golden retriever or any large dog breed, an air purifier is an investment worth considering.
  5. Remove carpets or shampoo them frequently. If your home is carpeted, you may want to consider removing them altogether. If this is not a possibility, ensure that the carpets are shampooed once in a week, specially if your dog has access to the carpeted area. 

If you can maintain your home and your dog, provide a hygienic environment for both you and your pet, chances are you can still own a golden retriever and live quite well with it without a problem.

Diet considerations for dogs with allergic owners

If you are the one with the allergy, its the dog which needs the care and attention. Think of food which is good for skin. What really helps your dog have better skin and coat? These are the foods your dog needs to help YOU minimize allergic symptoms. Some of the common dog foods to improve skin and coat include 

  • Food with high omega 3. This includes Fish like Salmon
  • Coconut oil. Coconut oil is safe if ingested and also work great for topical application on dogs with dry skin. 
  • Avocado. Avocado is a great fruit not just for humans but for dogs too. Avocado is known to increase coat shine and leave the dogs skin moist and health.
  • Apple cider vinegar. For reasons unknown, apple cider vinegar is great for dogs overall health and even its skin. Adding a few drops of ACV to the dogs food or water can leave the dog skin and coat shining.

Certain unorthodox methods are also practiced once in a while to maintain overall health of the dog which benefits the coat and skin of the dog. Fasting the dog for 24 hours helps the dog clean out its bowel and detox efficiently. Fasting should only be done once a month and water should be provided at all times during fasting. Detoxing the dog can also help the dog maintain its skin and coat.

The most common dog breeds for allergic dog owners

Don’t Worry if you cannot own a golden retriever. There are plenty of other dogs which are less allergic to you than you would know. Some of these dogs are adorable. They may be as loving and caring as a golden retriever too. 

  • Bichon Frise : Bichon frise is a toy dog, small in size and a wonderful family dog. They get along well with children if trained to do so. They do not shed and are considered hypoallergenic.
  • Miniature Schnauzer : Miniature Schnauzer are small family dogs. Loyal, attention seeking and playful. They get along well with people and other pets. Though they look like lap dogs, they arent. 
  • Poodle : poodles are high energy dogs, need attention, constant care, exercise and socializing. Socializing is key to these dogs and should be done from the beginning. They are not kennel dogs.Proper grooming is mandatory. They are easy to train
  • Yorkshire Terrier : Yorkshire Terrier  are wonderful companion pets and work great with elders and those who are afraid to own a larger breed. They are devoted, loving and affectionate. They are great personal companions and family dogs.
  • Shih Tzu : If you have kids, the shih tzu is a great companion for them. They are great with children and great family pets. They have a docile personality. 
  • Maltese : The maltese is a big dog in a small package. They are small but has every quality of a dog thats big. They are alert, loving, caring affectionate, highly energetic and love to learn new tricks. Excellent family dog , barks with every unknown noise and always alert.
  • Portuguese Water Dog : the Portuguese water dogs are the introverts. They are affectionate to their own family and kids if they are introduced early in life. They are cautious with strangers but show no reservation when showing love to the members of its pack and family.
  • Scottish Terrier : the scottish terrier is yet another dog which requires little attention. Its also one of those few dogs which has a big dogs personality but a small body. They require a firm hand and a strong leader.