Can shelties be left alone

Can shelties be left alone? [Veterinary advice]

When adopting a sheltie, whether they can be left alone is a question that will certainly pop up in your mind. Can shelties be left alone? This detailed explanatory guide contains everything you need to know about it.

Can shelties be left alone? Shelties shouldn’t be left alone for a long time because they’re prone to separation anxiety and other psychological issues than other breeds. In general, an adult sheltie can be left alone for about 6-8 hours. However, puppies shouldn’t be alone for more than 4 hours.

But with proper training and an appropriate routine to meet their physical, mental, and other requirements, this time can be increased. So, let’s jump into the article.

Can shelties be left alone? In-depth answer.

Many people love to have shelties as pets because shelties are smart, sensitive, active, and of course, extremely good looking. So, as a responsible canine owner, you will wonder whether you can have left him alone at home or not.

Leaving an adult sheltie at home is entirely different from leaving a sheltie puppy at home alone. So, we will discuss those two aspects separately.

Leaving a sheltie puppy at home alone.

Leaving a newborn sheltie puppy for too long is not only dangerous but also definitely an inhuman act.

If you are staying away from the home, you must find someone who can take care of him as they are at a huge risk to accidents due to their poor eyesight and a high level of curiosity.

Sheltie puppies sleep for about 18-20 hours per day. But during the little time they are awake, they are bursting with energy and suffer from constant hunger.

Also, they cannot hold their bladders for too long. They nibble at anything they encounter at home, especially when you are not around.

So you must not leave your Sheltie puppy for too long when compared with an adult. They should be trained to stay alone with a proper routine to fulfill their physical, mental, and other requirements.

You must not leave your Sheltie puppy for too long when compared with an adult. They should be trained to stay alone with a proper routine to fulfill their physical, mental, and other requirements.

Ms. Pavithra (Veterinary undergraduate)

Leaving an adult sheltie at home alone.

Leaving a well-trained and socialized older sheltie is easier than leaving a sheltie puppy. A well-trained sheltie can hold their bladder for a long time compared with puppies.

But as a responsible dog owner, you must arrange alternatives to fulfill his basic requirements when you are away. 

Now let us look at how long a sheltie can be left alone according to their age.

Recommended reading: 11 Reasons Why does my dog drool in the crate

How long can a sheltie be left alone?

How long can a sheltie be left alone? This mainly depends on your sheltie. Every individual dog comes with different personalities and experiences.

So, the table below indicates the average periods that you can leave your sheltie alone.

The stage in the life cycleAverage time 
The puppy stage: Birth-6 (6-8) monthsNot more than 2 hours
The adolescent stage: 6-18 monthsNot more than 4 hours
The adulthood stage: From 18 monthsNot more than 6 hours
The senior stage: 7- 10 yearsNot more than 4 hours

How to left your sheltie alone?

Sheltie is a breed that craves human company. Also, they are sensitive. These reasons make him vulnerable to separation anxiety and isolation stress.

So, what are the solutions for this human company problem of your sheltie?

The first thing you can do is try to adjust your working hours. It will be a great help for your sheltie if you can visit him at least during the lunch hour.

If it did not work out, you could ask one of your neighbors or your friends to look after your sheltie when you are away.

If it is also not possible, you can try doggy daycare or a dog sitter in your area. Now it’s time to find out how you can train your sheltie to be left alone.

By the way, Here is the best Chew toy for Shelties that will help your dog to stay alone for a long time!

How to train your sheltie to be left alone?

Your confidence, patience, and consistency in training play a significant role here. Let us learn it step by step.

  • Step 1: At first, encourage your sheltie to go to his bed and stay there while you are around. Reward him and praise him verbally and physically if he remains in his bed quietly. Repeat this until your sheltie responds positively, and do not proceed to the next step until he responds positively to the command.
  • Step 2:Next, ask your sheltie to stay in his/her bed for a short while when you are away. Reward him and praise him if he obeys. Repeat the process.
  • Step 3: Then while continuing the above step, gradually increase the time you are staying away. You can increase the distance and time duration you are away, and it will mainly depend on your dog. Reward and praise him at each time when he acts positively. If he is responding negatively, do not reward him and, most importantly, NEVER PUNISH HIM! Go back to the previous steps.
  • Step 4: Next, go out and shut the door. (make sure he/she hears the sound). Starting from short periods gradually increases the time you are staying out.
  • Step 5: Repeat the above steps until your sheltie gets used to staying without you for about an hour. After your sheltie successfully reached this stage, he will stay without you for about 4-6 hours if his basic requirements like food and water are fulfilled.

In order to left your sheltie alone, you must make sure that he has enough food and water in his bowls, an alternative to his potty problem (you can use a pee pad), ways to occupy him, and most importantly to his exercise problem when you are away.

So, now let us dive in to find some proven tactics that will help to keep your sheltie entertained and less bored when you are away.

Tactics that help to left your sheltie alone

Here are the 9 proven tactics that will help you to leave your sheltie alone.

  1. Exercise them before you are going to work.
  2. Play soothing or calming music.
  3. Make departures and returns unexcited.
  4. Use a crate with an X pen.
  5. Give your sheltie enough toys.
  6. Leave your TV or radio on.
  7. Ask your friends and family to stop by.
  8. Getting him a companion.
  9. Use a doggie cam.
  1. Exercise them before you are going to work.

This will make him tired, and due to this, most likely, your sheltie will stay calm for the rest of the day. Make sure to give vigorous exercises as Shelties are energetic, acrobatic, and athletic dog breeds who need a high amount of exercise daily.

Playing with a Frisbee is a good option. If you are too busy for this best option is a dog walker as he or she will be able to give the adequate exercises needed for your sheltie.

  1. Play soothing or calming music.

There are specially composed dog relaxing music to play in these types of situations. This music will help your sheltie if he is suffering from separation anxiety.

  1. Make departures and returns unexcited.

Make your departures and returns unnoticed to your sheltie as much as possible. It will help to minimize the mental conditions associated with left alone.

  1. Use a crate with an X pen.

Crate training is a good option if you are a person who has to leave your sheltie at home due to your working hours. But you must never use it as a punishment for your sheltie.

You can make the crate a much comfortable one by placing soft washable bedding inside. It is better to use positive reinforcement techniques in crate training. Eventually, your sheltie will consider it as his/her own territory.

You can invest in a crate+ X pen set, which will provide your sheltie a more space for his movements. Also, you can allow him to play with his toys inside the X pen.

I have seen some dog owners use a comforter such as their old unwashed clothes in their crates when they are away, which is also a good option. 

  1. Give your sheltie enough toys.

Place a sufficient amount of his/her favorite toys within your sheltie’s reach. There are some special toys designed for dogs that can stuff treats in them so your dog can work out how to get them out.

  1. Leave your TV or radio on.

There are channels specially designed for dogs. You can try one of those.

  1. Ask your friends and family to stop by.

If one of your family or friends at least can give 15 minutes of their time to your sheltie, it also will be a huge comfort for your sheltie.

  1. Getting him a companion.

Getting a suitable companion largely depends on your sheltie’s temperament.  It is better if you can wait until your sheltie gets a bit matured to accept a companion.

  1. Use a doggie cam.

You can fix your doggie cam near your sheltie’s crate or somewhere safe that you can monitor him. You will be able to talk with your sheltie and even shoot out treats all from your phone or tab.

By the way, Here is the best Chew toy for Shelties that will help your dog to stay alone for a long time!

What will happen if you leave your sheltie alone for too long?

Suppose you are already leaving your sheltie alone for too many hours. In that case, you will definitely tend to find a solution for it after reading the below problems that will occur if you leave your sheltie alone for too long.

They can develop serious mental disorders like isolation, distress, and separation anxiety.

Isolation distress.

This occurs due to a lack of company of humans or any other pet. They become anxious and stressed when no one is around.

This is a less serious condition when compared with separation anxiety. But it will have a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of your sheltie.

Separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety occurs when your dog is extremely attached to one person. As I mentioned above, shelties are more prone to separation anxiety as they are known for their extreme bonding with their owners as well as due to their high sensitivity.

This is more serious as it can lead to destructive behaviors like chewing your furniture, carpet, or any other things that shouldn’t chew, digging, and urinating later. In this condition, prevention is always better than cure.

As shelties are a vocal breed, he will show his aggression by barking excessively.

Long term neglect can later lead to disease conditions too!

  • Heart diseases and High blood pressure due to the long-term stress level.
  • Problems in the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Infections in the urinary system due to being unable to relieve themselves for too long.

As a veterinary undergraduate, I would like to advise you to consider this left alone problem seriously. I have seen many dogs suffering from the above conditions due to long term neglect.

Should you leave your sheltie inside or outside?

Should you leave your sheltie inside or outside? Before going straight to the answer first, we will focus on what are the pros and cons of leaving your sheltie outside vs. inside.

Pros and cons of leaving your sheltie inside.

ProsCons
Your sheltie is safe and protected while you are away.Damage to furniture, carpets and other items.
Digging up will be minimized.Noise complaints from neighbors. ( When you live in an apartment with a sheltie)
Less harm to the neighbors or to their pets.Mental issues like separation anxiety occur.
Serious disease conditions can develop later.

Pros and cons of leaving your sheltie outside.

Suppose you have facilities to leave your sheltie outside when you are going to work. In that case, it will provide ample space for those active furry balls to play around and get some good exercises.

Also, a sensitive dog breed like shelties should stay outside as constant indoors will feel him stuck.

ProsCons
Ample space to get enough exercise.Damage to your garden by digging.
Protection from intruders to your home.Threats to the neighbors and to their pets.
Better for their mental health.
You don’t wanna worry about their potty problems.

You can invest in an agility kit to place in your backyard, which will provide your sheltie proper exercises.

So, these two aspects come with their own pros and cons. You must select which is the best option by considering where you live (apartment, home), Age of your sheltie, your sheltie’s temperament, etc.

It doesn’t matter where you left your sheltie alone. But more importantly, your sheltie is a member of your family. So, Do not leave him for too long!

Things to be aware of

Never punish your sheltie for showing signs of distress caused by separation anxiety.

Your sheltie is not doing this out of disobedience. He is trying to cope up with his anxiety issues.

Adopting is better.

Consider adopting a sheltie rather than purchasing one if you want to left your sheltie alone. Also, a young adult sheltie or a retired show dog from a reputable breeder are good options. You can choose a dog ideal for your requirements after a temperament testing.

Conclusion

Now you know the fact that shelties are not the best breed to be left alone. So, finally, I would like to suggest you consider all the facts mentioned in this article before you left your sheltie alone.