Leaving My Dog At Home

I have a 9 month old male blue merle Mini Aussie. I have to go back to work after being on medical leave. I'm so stressed because I'm not sure what to do with Zip. My husband works overseas so he's not going to be around either. Zip is very good when I leave the house for a few hours at a time but I'm not sure about 8 plus. We've never been away from him that long. I don't crate him when I go out and he's done very well. No accidents and we still have our furniture!!! He's very active though so I worry that he'll get bored while I'm at work. Any suggestions as to what would be best for him?

Comments for Leaving My Dog At Home

Click here to add your own comments

Leaving my dog at home
by: Anne

Please Please Please for your dog's safety...Crate him while he is alone in the house and you are gone that long.
I say this because I am an Aussie breeder and the very 1st litter I bred, there was a vibrant beautiful black tri boy in the litter. I sold him to a young lady and her intentions were good, but I asked her to get a crate for him. She did not and left him running loose in her apartment while she went to work. He was 6 months old. She came home from work to find her puppy dead from suffocating in a cereal box. The plastic bag had molded to his face and she told me he struggled. She accidentally left it on the kitchen counter. So I repeat Please Please crate your dog for safety reasons. Do you have something against crates? They are just like a den that wolves use for a home. Dogs come from wolves. Your dog will feel comfortable in it as it his own personal space (house/den).
I have raised and bred Aussies for over 16 years, Please crate your dog.

Anne Calmes
Gold Ring Aussies
Louisiana, USA

Leaving My Dog at Home
by: jcrply

Just a couple of thoughts:
-Can you come home at lunchtime? Just a few minutes playing with your dog may help.
-Kongs or other toys stuffed with his food so that it takes a long time to get it out.
-Special toys that he gets only while you are gone.
-Leave the radio on... a station like NPR is good because a lot of different people will be talking.
-If you can afford "doggy daycare" one or more days a week that might help. Check places where you live. The charges seem to vary a lot, and you may be able to find an affordable one. The ones where I live offer half day or whole day. They get to play with the other dogs the whole time they are there.

its ok
by: Anonymous

We leave our boy alone sometimes for 10 hours, not everyday,(we never crate) but a few times a week, and he's fine, but we did it gradually. giving him treats before and after, with lots of praise. of course we take him out in the mornings before we leave, and unfortunately, we leave no water, nor food; when we return he gets all the water he needs, food, treats (just a few small ones) and lots of love attention. of course we have to take him out at least twice before bedtime. its very hard, I know, but if you have to... at least he's has a home, food, and water, and is loved. better than giving him up, not knowing whose getting him, and what's happening.
hope it works out for you both.

Leaving My Dog At Home
by: Beth

Anne....Thank you so much for your advice. Your concerns are the same as mine. Like I said he does well for small increments of time but I worry what he will do long term. I absolutely have nothing against crating him. We actually have a crate for him now but he has outgrown it some. He is around 18-20 lbs and approx 13-14' inches tall. What size crate would you recommend in order for him to stay in it for 7-8 hours? I appreciate your input and value your opinion. Thank You!!!

That's a lot of time in a crate
by: jcrply

I like crates and have used them for my Aussies, but I must say that I wouldn't want to crate a dog for 8 hours every day. I have not had any problem leaving any adult Aussie alone in the house. When we have gone on vacations that could not include the dog, the dog stayed alone in the house and a neighbor would come by to feed and take her out 3 times a day. We never even thought of confining her to her crate while we were gone. I think you can tell when a dog is mature enough to be trusted to know and abide by the rules. Honestly, I feel like I am leaving our house in the dog's capable hands (paws?) to guard while we are gone. And my Aussies have always taken that job very conscientiously.

Leaving My Dog at Home
by: Beth

I so appreciate and welcome opinions & advice but after an emergency when I had to be away from the house for approx 7 hrs, Zip (my aussie) pretty sealed his own fate. He will be crated/kenneled whenever I have to be away. I can home to find a piece of custom made wooden trim chewed beyond repair but the scariest was to find the plug off of lamp chewed off. Thank God is wasn't plugged in at the time. It usually is though. His safety is more important than ever now. I truely think that once he gets used to the schedule and structure of me working, he will adjust and after maturing he may be trusted to leave uncrated/kenneled. For now I think this is best. It would kill me if anything happened to him. I went out & got him a bigger crate so he has plenty of room. We've used it a couple of days now and he's doing very well. He's a very intelligent dog but still, at 9 months, just a puppy.

Leaving my dog at home
by: Anonymous

What about care.com. you can find a dog walker in your area. Search under pet care. Also what about a pet day care, I think they even give your dog a bath. What about a college student? Maybe not just a complete stranger, but a college age responsible adult who could stop by and look after your baby.
Hope that helps!

Leaving Aussies at home
by: Anonymous

I have two kids that have school from 8:45 to 3:35 and we don't get home until about 4:20or somewhere around 4:00 would a Aussie be ok alone for that long we could leave him at my moms sometimes PLEASE HELP!!

Leaving him alone
by: Shirley Bullock

I just want to thank you so much. We love our puppy and been having trouble leaving the house. I read your article on the crate. We used one when he was a baby but really wanted to let him lose. I am so thankful I found your storey. And I am going to train him. We had a sheltie once and I trained him and had a wonderful time with him. He was almost 15 years old when we lost him. Again thanks so much for your help.
Shirley Bullock
Chipley, Florida

Leaving your shepherd home
by: Ozzie lover

I'm planning to get an Australian Shepherd but I have school and is planning to get a job to pay for it. I already know that an Aussie has to have allot of exercise and attention. What should I do?

by: Amy

Any good ideas for a crate for a new Aussie puppy?

Note from Anton: The MidWest iCrate is a popular folding metal dog crate that is available on Amazon. It includes a divider panel so you can adjust the size as your puppy grows. It comes in multiple sizes but the recommended size by the manufacturer for Australian Shepherds is the Large 42 inch model.

You'll find some more information about this crate here.

Another good thing about this crate as it also has a matching cover and bed.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Australian Shepherd Q & A.

Australian-Shepherd-Lovers.com icon

Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Have Dog Training Questions?

Check out these introductory dog training videos...

I want some help training my new puppy.

I want my dog to stop barking at everything.

I want my dog to walk nicely and calmly on the leash.

I want my dog to listen and come every time I call!

I want my dog to stop being aggressive.