We’d all love to sit at home and be with our dogs all day long, but life is sadly not set up for that! We must go to work, to the store, to see family and friends, and do everything else that needs doing.
So, can we leave our Rottweiler alone, and how long for?
If they’re fully toilet trained, a well-behaved Rottweiler can be left alone for up to six hours a day. Any longer than that, and your Rottweiler will become restless as they need to be taken out for a walk. They will also be bored if they’re left for a long time, which can lead to destructive behaviors.
Aren’t Rottweilers Guard Dogs?
Some do choose to have Rottweilers as guard dogs, either at their homes or their businesses. This isn’t a cruel choice for an owner to make: many of us love to see our dogs as family members whereas others see them as working animals who serve a purpose.
A Rottweiler who is outside as a guard dog for most of the day should still be looked after. They should always have access to food, freshwater, shade, and shelter. They should always be given exercise time, too, rather than spending all day in the yard without a walk.
But for those of us who see our Rottweilers as lovable pets, we might feel guilty for leaving our Rottweilers alone even when it’s necessary.
Your Rottweiler Loved the Pandemic
The best thing that happened to a lot of pets over the last 18 months was the global pandemic. It has had many of us working from home, so your Rottweiler will have been thrilled to have you there all day.
Among lovers of the breed, Rottweilers are known as Velcro dogs because they spend so much time stuck to their humans! And that’s what makes it so difficult to have to leave them when we leave the house.
As time’s gone on, though, most of us are going back to the office, perhaps on a part-time basis to start with. And leaving your Rottweiler all over again could be hard work. But there are ways to make that move less stressful. Here’s how.
Start Off by Leaving for Just a Few Minutes at a Time
Much of Rottweiler’s anxiety is built around the fear that you won’t come back. The good thing is that dogs don’t really have a concept of time, so they don’t know if it’s been ten minutes or an hour.
Leave the house for a few minutes as though you’re going to work, then sit in your car or even drive to the next street (so they can’t smell you) before returning.
It can be tempting to make a huge fuss of them as you open the door, but this should be discouraged, as it can encourage further anxiety about you leaving. Instead, give your dog a quick greeting and enter the house.
If your Rottweiler jumps up and gets too excited when you return home, then don’t engage until they’re calm.
This reinforces the knowledge that leaving and coming back is no big deal and that your Rottweiler has nothing to fear.
Don’t Make a Fuss When You Leave
In the same way, you don’t make a song and dance about returning, don’t make a big deal out of leaving. Collect your things, say goodbye quickly, and then leave.
Don’t return if they whine, or scratch, or bark. They’ll soon work out that this behavior doesn’t result in your returning any faster.
Keep Your Rottweiler’s Mind Busy
Boredom is what will cause your Rottweiler the most trouble. When they’re bored and missing you, they could begin to find ways to occupy their minds, including chewing.
Give them something else to focus on, instead. A puzzle feeder like this one is a great way to keep their brains occupied and fight boredom.
Other ways to keep you and your Rottweiler happy while you’re out of the house to include:
- Leaving the radio on
- Leaving the TV on
- Setting up cameras you can view at work to check all is OK
- Get a remote treat dispenser
One of the most effective ways to be sure your Rottweiler will be fine when you leave the house is to take them for a long walk before you go.
This will give them the exercise they need daily, but it will also tire them out so well that once they return home all they’ll want to do is sleep and they’ll barely notice your absence.
Remember that Rottweilers are Sociable Dogs
Even with the best intentions, it could be that your job or other task keeps you away from home for several hours a day. Even though a Rottweiler will be OK during this time, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t better alternatives.
If you have a friendly neighbor who’s willing to come in and take your Rottweiler for a walk or put down freshwater or food, take them up on their offer! Alternatively, find local dog walking businesses in your area.
If you can afford it, consider taking your Rottweiler to doggy day-care. This way they’ll be with people and other dogs for those hours they’d otherwise be spent cooped up inside the house. It’s also a vital way to continue the socialization training you began when your dog was still a puppy.
Don’t be tempted to buy another animal to keep your Rottweiler happy. They may not respond well to a second dog or even a cat that is introduced when your Rottweiler is already fully grown, and this can cause even more trouble, including for you the owner, who now must worry about two unhappy pets.
If there is already another pet in the house when your Rottweiler arrives as a puppy, however, this can be a great thing as both pets keep each other company. Much depends on how early and effective the socialization between the animals occurs, and how well it goes.
How do You Know if Your Rottweiler’s Unhappy Alone?
Your dog will soon tell you that it’s unhappy with you leaving them alone. Separation anxiety can be real trouble for some owners.
Symptoms of separation anxiety include:
- Barking the whole time that you’re out
- Scratching the doors
- Marking the home, either by urinating or defecating
- Coprophagia (ingesting their own feces)
- Excessive lethargy
Not all dogs will struggle when you’re not there, but it’s something to be aware of with Rottweilers, who can be particularly clingy. Retrain them with the steps above, and if this doesn’t work, consult a vet, or dog training specialist.
Consider Your Schedule Before Committing to a Dog
It sounds obvious, but the time to think about potential problems with leaving your dog alone begins long before committing to having a dog.
If you work full-time and are going to be out of the house for long periods, then having a dog isn’t a great idea and could simply cause more stress for both parties.
You’ll Soon Be Home Again
Once your Rottweiler knows you’ll always come home, then you’ll find that they do quite well alone for short periods of time.
Just bear in mind that to truly look after your Rottweiler, involves finding ways to keep them happy, even when they’re waiting for the return of their favorite thing in the world: you!