German Shepherd

How Long Should I Leave A German Shepherd Alone? See Here

Leaving your beloved German Shepherd alone is a common concern for dog owners. These loyal and intelligent companions thrive on human interaction. 

In this article, we will explore the ideal duration for leaving your German Shepherd alone and provide tips for ensuring their well-being during your absence.

All About Your German Shepherd’s Needs

How Long Should I Leave A German Shepherd Alone
A young, beautiful, black and tan German Shepherd Dog walking on the grass.

According to The American Kennel Club, German Shepherds are social animals that form strong bonds with their owners. They are not the type of dog that enjoys solitude for extended periods. 

Leaving them alone for too long can lead to anxiety, boredom, and even behavioural issues.

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Perfect Duration To Leave Your German Shepherd Alone

Puppy Phase (0-6 Months)
During the puppy phase, German Shepherds need the most attention. They should not be left alone for more than 2 hours at a time. Puppies require frequent bathroom breaks, playtime, and socialisation.

Adolescence (6-18 Months)
As they grow, German Shepherds can handle longer periods alone, but they still need interaction every 4-6 hours. Ensure they have toys and mental stimulation to keep them occupied.

Adulthood (18 Months and Older)
Adult German Shepherds can tolerate being alone for 6-8 hours, considering they have enough exercise and mental stimulation before and after your absence.

Tips for Leaving Your German Shepherd Alone

  • Exercise: Before leaving, engage in physical activities like a brisk walk or play fetch to tire them out.
  • Mental Stimulation: Provide puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys to keep their minds active.
  • Routine: Stick to a consistent schedule, so your dog knows when to expect your return.
  • Social Interaction: If possible, arrange for a friend or dog sitter to visit during the day.
  • Safe Space: Create a comfortable and safe space for your dog with water, toys, and a cosy bed.

Using Technology to Keep Your German Shepherd Company

In today’s digital age, technology offers solutions to alleviate your German Shepherd’s loneliness. Consider investing in pet cameras and interactive devices. 

Pet cameras allow you to check on your dog remotely and even dispense treats or engage in two-way audio communication. 

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Interactive toys, like automatic ball launchers or puzzles, can provide mental stimulation during your absence. 

While these tools are helpful, remember that they can’t replace the value of physical presence and companionship.

Socialising Your German Shepherd for Independence

Proper socialisation plays a vital role in teaching your German Shepherd to be comfortable when alone. 

Introduce your puppy or young dog to various people, animals, and environments. Gradually increase the time spent apart, starting with short trips and progressively extending the duration. 

This process helps build their confidence and adaptability, making them more self-assured when left alone.

The Importance of Regular Exercise

One of the keys to a contented German Shepherd during your absence is ensuring they receive adequate exercise. 

A tired dog is often a well-behaved dog. Prioritise daily exercise to expend their energy, which can lead to a more relaxed demeanour when alone. 

Incorporate activities like running, fetch, and obedience training to engage both their body and mind.

Seeking Professional Help for Separation Anxiety

A top Dog Veterinarian at Pethouse says if your German Shepherd exhibits severe separation anxiety, consult with a professional dog trainer or a veterinary behaviourist. 

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They can provide guidance on behaviour modification techniques and strategies to alleviate your dog’s distress. In some cases, medication may be recommended to manage anxiety.

Preparing a Safe and Comfortable Space

Designate a specific area in your home where your German Shepherd can feel safe and secure when you’re not around. 

Ensure this space includes essentials like water, food (if applicable), comfortable bedding, and favourite toys. Creating a positive association with this area can help reduce anxiety during your absence.

Monitoring Your German Shepherd’s Well-Being

It’s crucial to stay attuned to your German Shepherd’s well-being when you’re away. Monitor their behaviour through pet cameras or video recording to ensure they remain calm and content. 

This way, you can address any issues promptly and make adjustments to your departure routine if necessary.

Gradual Departures and Arrivals

When leaving or returning home, adopt a low-key approach. Avoid making departures and arrivals overly emotional or dramatic. 

By keeping these moments calm and uneventful, you can help reduce your German Shepherd’s anxiety associated with your comings and goings.

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Common FAQs about leaving your German Shepherd Alone.

Can I leave my German Shepherd alone all day?

While adult German Shepherds can handle up to 8 hours alone, it’s essential to provide exercise and mental stimulation before and after work.

Will my German Shepherd get separation anxiety?

German Shepherds are prone to separation anxiety. To prevent it, gradually increase their alone time and provide distractions.

Should I crate my German Shepherd when I’m gone?

Crating can be an option, but it should not exceed the recommended time for your dog’s age.

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Can I leave my German Shepherd alone with other pets?

If your German Shepherd gets along with other pets, companionship can help ease their loneliness.

What signs indicate my German Shepherd is stressed when alone?

Signs of stress include excessive barking, destructive behaviour, pacing, and house soiling.


Leaving your German Shepherd alone requires thoughtful planning and consideration of their individual needs.

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By gradually acclimating them to periods of solitude, providing mental and physical stimulation, and utilising technology and professional guidance when necessary, you can ensure your loyal companion remains content and secure when you’re not by their side. 

Remember that each dog is unique, so tailor your approach to meet your German Shepherd’s specific requirements.


Eshiet is a Professional Pet writer with over 20 years of experience as Dog foster, Dog trainer, Dog Behaviorist and Dog owner. As a dog lover who has worked with the American Kennel Club, I will keep posting more important contents and guides about dogs in general on my Website for all of you. Please give your support and love. I love you.

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