Dachshunds make wonderful companions. These social dogs want your attention and they want it NOW! This can be problematic if you have a day job, like most of us do, and this begs the question: Can Dachshunds be left alone?
Today we’ll answer this question and give you some information that you’ll need just in case a little alone time is unavoidable for your Dachshund. With a little preparation, you should be able to find a workaround that is acceptable for the both of you, there are just a few things that you need to know first!
Is It Okay To Leave My Dachshund Alone For The Day?
No, it is not. First off, your Dachshund needs a lot of exercise. These dogs are bundles of energy and they can get quite antsy if they are left alone for more than 4 hours at a time. They also need a potty break every 4 hours if they are adults and more frequently if they are puppies!
We’ll talk about the recommended frequency for those potty breaks but first, in case you are already leaving your Dachshund alone, we should address the possibility of separation anxiety.
Signs Of Separation Anxiety
If your dog spends the day howling and ripping up everything that they can get their paws on, then you might have a dog with separation anxiety. There are ways to treat this, which generally amount to leaving your dog sitting alone for small periods of time which you slowly extend.
Crate training is a great option for this and should really be considered if you need to leave the house for extended periods of time. Dachshunds are very social dogs, so crate training might take a while but it’s a very good idea if you must spend a lot of time away from home.
Not All Dachshunds Are The Same
Some Dachshunds can actually spend around 6+ hours home alone on their own, it really depends on your specific dog. There are a few things that you can do to help to encourage a little doggy independence and you should consider beginning such training right away.
The first and most important thing to consider is going to be your dog’s age because this is going to determine their potty schedule and might require that you get a little help in the form of a family member or a hired ‘dogsitter’ who can visit and ensure that your dog’s potty schedule is being met.
This also provides some brief social interaction during the day that can really go a long way.
Your Dachshunds Potty Schedule
A lot of folks don’t realize it, but the Dachshund potty schedule is a bit strict when they are young. This actually applies to all dogs, as they have smaller bladders when they are pups and so you need to accommodate them if you want to avoid messy ‘mistakes’.
The general rule is going to be this. For every month that your dog has lived, they can hold off going to the potty for about an hour. So, if your dog is only 2 months old, then this means that every 2 hours they are going to need to go potty.
They also need to go out 10 or 15 minutes after every meal. Put these times together and you have a fairly reliable schedule of how often your dog needs to go outside.
While this is difficult to maintain when your dog is young (especially the nighttime walks that are required), by enlisting the help of family members, setting reminder alarms, and maybe even employing assistance through a dog sitter you can work through this difficult time until things get a little easier.
An Interactive ‘Pet Cam’ Can Help With Some Dogs
Once you’ve got the potty schedule down, how do you determine if your dog is ‘freaking out’ when you aren’t there? This is tricky because once you get home your dog is happy to see you so you won’t really know if they’ve been driving the neighbor crazy all day with barking unless your neighbor is vocal about it.
This is where an interactive pet cam can come in handy. By installing a pet cam that allows you to watch and interact with your dog throughout the day, you can get a better idea of how they are behaving once you are gone.
Being able to talk to your dog can help you to calm them a little but if you see that they are barking and being destructive then crate training is a good next step.
Other Things You Can Do If You Need Your Dachshund Alone
Sometimes when your dog is chewing things, they aren’t simply being destructive – they are just bored. Dachshunds have a high level of energy, after all, and as such, they are prone to getting bored quite easily. This is definitely something that you can work with.
First off, before you go anywhere, we recommend that you get up a little early so that you can take your dog on a long walk. Tiring your Dachshund out a little before you leave is a good idea, as your dog might just curl up and relax a little and maybe even nap off a few hours. This doesn’t seem like much, but that is time that they won’t be running around and looking for things to chew.
Speaking of things to chew, you should also stock up on toys. This gives your dog something that they can chew which isn’t your furniture and it also gives them something to play with in order to pass the time. Keeping your Dachshund entertained is going to be one of the keys to keeping them well-behaved, so don’t skimp on the toys.
While you are at home, if you see them chewing on something that they shouldn’t be, tell them ‘no’ and provide them with a toy to reinforce that ‘these things are okay to chew, these things are not and over time your Dachshund will understand what you are telling them.
Some Final Words On Leaving Your Dachshund Alone
Dachshunds do not do well alone so if at all possible, consider getting a little help in the form of a dog sitter if you cannot avoid leaving the house for long periods of time. If this is impractical for you, be sure to try the tips that we have recommended so that you can tire your dog out a little and leave them some toys to keep their minds occupied.
Above all, be patient. Your dog wants to make you happy; it just takes a little time for them to adjust to your daily routine and as your dog gets older it gets much easier. Hang in there and consider crate training if your dog keeps acting out.
Before you know it, your dog will be used to your schedule and everyone will be happy!