Home GSD FAQ Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone?

Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone?

by David W.
Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone

Going to adopt or buy a puppy, you might choose the legendary breed. These dogs are beautiful, highly energetic, and intelligent. They defend your family and house from danger. But can German Shepherds dogs be left alone? Studying or working long hours, you would wonder if it’s safe, legal, and moral.

It depends on a few factors. Your pet’s age, behavior, and health condition matter. Its previous life experience, mood, and training are also important. Be sure your lovely canine is safe, comfortable, and well-fed. Let’s dive deeper into the topic to decide the point.

Do GS Dogs Like to Be Alone?

You should adore these friendly, intelligent dogs. GS was the fourth most widespread dog breed in the USA in 2021. According to the AKC, it’s affectionate with children and all family members. German Shepherds are loyal, courageous, and confident dogs. They are easily trainable and intelligent.

It’s an ideal breed for service and guard work. But leaving a GS home alone, don’t forget about your pet’s character. These lovely dogs are:

  • sociable;
  • active;
  • affectionate;
  • powerful;
  • protective.

Your beautiful furry friend becomes your loyal companion for years. GSDs bond closely with their owners. These lovely pets originate and look like wolves that live in packs in the wild. So, they don’t like being alone and need company all day long. They are commonly good with all family members, especially with kids. German Shepherds like playing together and defend your little tots. They also need to poop, pee, and exercise.

How Long Can GSDs Be Left Alone?

German Shepherd alone

It significantly depends on your lovely pet’s age. Newborn puppies need day and night watching. They can’t survive without their mother. The puppies can hardly adapt to room temperature. Breastfeeding every 2-3 hours is healthy. It’s better to separate them after they are 8-12 weeks old.

Can German Shepherds be left alone while they get older? In a new environment, they need constant supervision. Young puppies pee more often than adult canines. They have small bladders, requiring training to control them. When your pet is getting older, it becomes more independent.

GSD’s AgeMax Time, hours
1-2 months1
2-3 months2
3-4 months3
5-7 months4
8 months – 7 years4-8
7-13 years4-6

An elderly dog might have serious diseases. Leaving GS home alone, be aware of their condition. The breed is prone to hip dysplasia. The OFA organization states it’s a typical disease for 20% of German Shepherds. It restricts their mobility, so they need help. The bladder control function is also decreasing with the pet’s age.

Would You Leave a GS Dog Safe at Home While at Work?

You might have to work long hours. Your four-legged friend would remain at home. Long commutes, dates, or family holidays also take your cherished time. GSDs are social and sensitive pets. Your friendly canine would be boring, often suffering from anxiety.

Your friendly dog may easily become destructive. It could start barking, chewing stuff at home, or digging the soil outdoors. Can your German Shepherd be left alone for long hours? Yes, if you follow some tips. 

  1. Make your cozy house dog-proof.
  2. Leave your GSD with a family member.
  3. Hire a diligent dog sitter.
  4. Ask your neighbors to visit your pet during the daytime.
  5. Use a top-quality dog camera.
  6. Buy cute chewing and stimulating toys.
  7. Turn the dog’s favorite music on.

Keep cables and wire out of your pet’s reach. Install gates or use a large, safe crate. Your canine should be safe and calm at home.

How Do I Train My German Shepherd to Stay Home Alone?

GSD alone at home

If you work far from your house, you won’t come home during your lunch break. Never mind. An adult, socialized GS dog can stand long waiting hours. At least, my neighbor’s pet Britta tolerates it. Now she is 2 years old and she is a calm and obedient pet.

Quite naturally, he doesn’t leave Britta alone on a regular basis. But if it happens, she doesn’t panic. She doesn’t make noise, bark, or yawl. How to come to it? I started training her when she was 10 weeks old to help my neighbor. I advised him to leave her for 5 minutes at first, the next day for 15 minutes. He did it calmly, paying no attention to Britta’s barking or whining.

Additionally, leaving German Shepherd home alone, he always knows Britta is:

  • tired;
  • healthy;
  • not hungry;
  • safe and entertained.

The dog needs at least 1-2 hours of healthy exercise a day. My neighbor walks her twice per day, playing with his active pet. We train her to sit and stand and perform some tricks and commands. We talk to her and explain, as Britta is a very intelligent dog.


How Long Could You Leave a GSD Home Alone?

It depends on many factors. Your dog’s age, life experience in another family and socialization matter. 6-8 hours is the maximum for an adult, healthy and obedient pet. Elderly GS dogs and young puppies need more help and potty breaks.

Can German Shepherds Be Alone for 8 Hours?

It’s possible if your pet is healthy, adult and obedient. Train your puppy, adding the time by short increments every day. Leave your GS dog in a safe enclosure that is a dog-proof room, a garage or outdoors, in a large kennel. Leave a few chewing toys and watch your pet through a camera, making sure it’s safe.

Is It Legal to Leave a GSD Home Alone?

Yes, as no federal laws specify it. The AWA (1966) includes only the space requirements. It specifies that the crate or kennel is to be at least 6 inches higher than your dog’s head. Feeding, veterinary and ventilation standards are also available.

Is It Illegal to Leave Your German Shepherd Unattended in a Car?

Yes. Leaving your lovely pet confined, under dangerous conditions, is a crime. 31 US states, including New York and California, have strict laws.

Bottom Line

Our world is not ideal. People work hard and long hours. What about your loyal and intelligent dog? Leaving your GSD at home for up to 8 hours, don’t worry. If your pet is well-trained, healthy, and adult, it’s tolerable. Pay enough attention to your GS Dog while you are free, at home. Train, feed, walk, and entertain it properly. Talk to your dog, ensuring your lovely pet is safe and happy. In this case, your pooch won’t take offense at you and waits patiently for you.

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