How Long Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone?

Want to know how long a German shepherd can be left alone?

You’ve come to the right place!

Leaving your dog alone for too long can lead to destructive behavior, separation anxiety, or depression.

image of German shepherd puppy posing on a brown background

In this guide, you will learn:

  • Factors that affect the duration of which you can leave your GSD alone
  • Tips for leaving your dog alone
  • Guilt-free solutions when leaving your GSD for work

And much more!

What's In This Guide?

      How Long Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone?

      While an adult German Shepherd can be left alone, the amount of time you can safely leave your pooch will depend upon age, prior history, and the presence of other pets.

      Below is a guide with the ages and times of how long you can safely leave your dog alone.

      German Shepherd Puppies

      Age Max. Time Left Alone
      8 – 10 weeks1 hour
      2 – 3 months2 hours
      3 – 4 months3 hours
      5 months +4 hours


      German Shepherds over 18 months can be left alone for up to eight hours, provided that you have prepared for the comfort, safety, and basic needs of your dog.

      Age Max. Time Left Alone
      18 Months 4 hours
      3 Years 6 hours
      5 years 8 hours
      7 years 8 hours


      Elderly GSDs can be left alone anywhere between two to six hours. The duration will depend upon the health condition of your pooch.

      Age Max. Time Left Alone
      8 Years 6 hours
      9 years 4 hours
      10 Years 2 hours

      What Should You know about Leaving A german Shepherd alone?

      A German Shepherd left home alone can be the worst nightmare of any intruder or an unexpected guest.

      German Shepherds are naturally protective and territorial. Instinctively, your GSD will defend himself and by extension, his pack and den.

      Your home is your shepherd’s den and thereby, you can take advantage of his instincts to increase the security of your home.

      Therefore, having a friend walk into your house unexpectedly might not be a smart idea. But is certainly good when planned to help with potty breaks and mental stimulation.

      A highly, protective canine is a danger to everyone, especially when he is left alone to fend for his territory.

      What are the Signs that Your German Shepherd Cannot be left alone?

      A German Shepherd with separation anxiety should not be left alone. In canines, it manifests through symptoms such as:

      • Soiling the house
      • Coprophagia
      • Barking and howling
      • Chewing and digging
      • Extreme attempts of escaping

      While these problems may often indicate that your canine needs to be taught some manners, these can also be symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

      Canines with PTSD often suffer separation anxiety when their owners prepare to leave. Some dogs would even try to prevent their owners from leaving.

      If you suspect your GSD may be suffering from this disorder, then you should seek professional help immediately.

      Only a veterinary behaviorist can provide the appropriate treatment plan as this involves behavioral therapy and medication.

      Read Also: >> How much do german Shepherds cost to maintain?

      What affects The length of time you can leave a German Shepherd?


      German Shepherds have different bladder capacities and these are mostly based on their age and medical conditions.

      It is no secret that puppies cannot hold their bladder for too long. Pups have enough control of their bladder and bowel movements by the time they reach 12-weeks-old.

      During this age, you start potty training right away to prevent problems down the road.

      Prior History

      Sometimes, raising a GSD pup right from the litter is more straightforward than rescuing an adult canine.

      Your adopted pooch will have you thinking about what he has gone through before he came into your life.

      Truth be told, many of the German Shepherds dumped in shelters manifest signs of behavioral problems.

      For one, your pooch might have post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is often observed in dogs that have the following history:

      • Military or police work
      • Being a bait or fighting dog
      • Being raised in a puppy mill
      • Severe abuse from previous owners
      • Living as a stray after abandonment
      • Trauma from a natural disaster

      The prior history of a dog trumps age as the determining variable in how long you can leave Doggo alone at home.

      The good news is that it is always possible to train your new furry family member to become the goodest boy!

      However, it will take a humongous amount of dedication and effort. Here at Dig Doggy, we always have high regard for pet owners who are brave enough to go down that path!

      Presence Of Other Dogs

      Having other canines at home should not be a problem as long as your furry pals enjoy each other’s company.

      While nothing can replace your presence, Doggo’s siblings can serve as a fantastic reliever to ensure boredom will not rear its ugly head.

      🐶💭 Tip: Monitor your pets’ safety and know what shenanigans they are up to with the help of the Furbo Dog Camera and Treat Tosser. It offers 1080p Full HD live stream video that you can view on your phone, plus a two-way audio and barking alert. The only downside is that it shoots small treats, not pizza slices that dogs prefer.

      Read Also: >> How long can a German Shepherd Jump?

      How Does Leaving A german Shepherd Alone Compare with leaving other breeds alone?

      German Shepherds can tolerate being left alone a lot longer than most canine breeds.

      An excellent guard dog and loyal family protector, you can take advantage of their territorial behavior and potential aggression to increase the security of your home.

      BreedMax. Time Left Alone (hours)
      Border Collie10
      German Shepherd8
      Shiba Inu8
      English bulldog8
      Great Dane8
      Siberian Husky8
      Doberman Pinscher8
      Shih Tzu8
      Boston Terrier6
      Cane Corso6
      Golden Retriever4
      Staffordshire Bull Terrier2
      image of German shepherd dog lying

      Final thoughts on leaving a german shepherd alone

      if you have to leave the house for 8 years every day for work… Then, ideally, you would take one or two weeks off work to help your GSD puppy get settled in and give you time to bond with them.

      to avoid making this traumatic, you can arrange for family members to come over and help with potty training and t provide interaction once or twice per day.

      You can keep this up for around 2 months, then gradually reduce the frequency y of which they attend.

      No family members? Then hire a dog sitter to help.

      You should always teach your dog to be left alone, but no longer than in my own opinion 6 hours at a time.

      Lara Writes

      Lara Writes

      Lara, a.k.a Alpha Mama, is a great dancer and belter singer, although the world tells her otherwise. However, her greatest pleasure is working with animals. If the Alpha Mama is not being delusional, she manages to create informative articles and clear-cut buying guides. She also likes to share her personal experiences that may ignite your soul or possibly change your life!

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      Lara Writes

      Lara Writes

      Lara, a.k.a Alpha Mama, is a great dancer and belter singer, although the world tells her otherwise. However, her greatest pleasure is working with animals. If the Alpha Mama is not being delusional, she manages to create informative articles and clear-cut buying guides. She also likes to share her personal experiences that may ignite your soul or possibly change your life!

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