Leaving our dogs home alone is a necessity that can’t be avoided, but there are some things we can do to help make it easier on them. This article will explain how boxers cope when left alone, how long they can stay alone, and ways to keep them happy while you’re gone.
Most boxers only tolerate being left alone for around 4-5 hours. Boxers are highly social dogs and quickly suffer from anxiety, stress, and behavioral issues if constantly alone.
Can You Leave a Boxer Dog Home Alone?
Although boxers can of course be left alone, it’s crucial for owners to realize that they do cope very well with isolation.
They are a breed that craves interaction much more than others, so the time spent alone should always be kept to a minimum.
Unfortunately, the reality is that nearly everyone has to leave their dogs home alone for at least part of every day. But there are things you can do to help prevent the negative side effects that often develop through being left alone. More on that later
Why Boxers Shouldn’t Be Left Alone Too Long
So far I’ve mentioned how boxers don’t cope well when left alone, but what actually happens to them?
Let’s take a look at the common negative health issues that may arise in dogs that are left alone too often.
● Destructive behavior
● Anxiety (separation anxiety)
● Isolation distress
● Temperament changes (more aggressive, disobedient)
They are all pretty serious health issues that can be very difficult to overcome once developed.
Not only that, but it’s just incredibly sad for any of those issues to happen to your own dog. A dog that’s suffering from any of the above, is not a happy dog.
Separation anxiety is probably the hardest condition to overcome once developed.
Separation anxiety isn’t exactly when your Boxer is left alone, but more so when a specific person from the house leaves them alone (often the main owner).
Generic anxiety can be triggered by being left alone but may transition with time into separation anxiety of just one person, this has many detrimental side effects to the mental health of a dog, and it’s really hard to cure.
How Long Can Boxers Be Left Alone?
Naturally, the next question most owners ask is how long can their boxer be left alone.
It varies greatly. In general, no boxer should be left alone for more than 4-5 hours at a time. But remember that all dogs have their own tolerance, your boxer might not be okay for this long.
All boxers will have their own tolerance, some might freak out after 1 hour, and others may be fine for 6 hours.
The only way to know is to carefully observe your boxer after you come home from having been out. You’ll need to analyze how he responds, watch his body language, and check your home.
Signs you’ve been gone too long and your boxer couldn’t handle that amount of time:
● Destructive behavior, chewing items he shouldn’t have been. Scratches on the walls, doors, and windows count too
● Overly erratic with nervous energy, cowering or trembling when you arrive
● Tail between his legs when you arrive
● As you approach the house you hear whining, crying, or barking
● Urine on the floor despite being let out for potty before leaving the house
If you come home to see your boxer looking very calm, relaxed, happy, or even still sleeping, then that indicates he was fine for that duration of time.
It would also be worth noting in this scenario, exactly what you did beforehand to achieve such a calm boxer. Perhaps you took him out for an extra-long walk before leaving him alone? Or you spent an extra 30 minutes playing with him before leaving? All of these things count.
5 Ways To Keep Your Boxer Happy While Alone
Let’s run through 5 ways you can help to keep your Boxer happy and stress-free when home alone.
1. Hire a dog sitter or ask friends and family
At the end of the day, the only true way to keep your Boxer from experiencing any of the dreaded health issues from being left alone… is to not be left alone!
If your Boxer is fine for 2 hours, but you know you’re out of the house for more than 2 hours, you can take action and hire a dog sitter or ask a friend or family member to visit him. This will break up the time he spends alone and will prevent him from stressing out.
Dog sitting is really growing in popularity and a simple Google search will probably bring up many results for your local area. Most dog sitting services will have reviews of each dog sitter and will be fully vetted.
2. Ensure he’s had plenty of exercise!
Boxers are one of the most highly energetic breeds there is. They need a minimum of 2 hours of exercise per day and without it, will likely be destructive, bored, under-stimulated, or disobedient.
With that being said, it’s crucial that your Boxer is well exercised before you attempt to leave him alone.
Exercise will leave him feeling calm, tired, and anxiety-free… exactly the state that you should leave him in before taking off to work.
If you aren’t able to exercise your Boxer before you leave to work in the morning, once again you have the option of hiring a dog sitter or dog walker to do it for you.
Exercise is a powerful preventative measure and antidote to stress and anxiety in energetic dogs. So it’s seriously something to consider.
3. Create a dedicated space for your Boxer
Creating a dedicated space for your Boxer is an easy way to help him feel safe, secure, and comfortable when left alone.
This space should be as far away from external noise as possible. Outside noises, building works, cars driving past and people walking by will keep your Boxer on high alert and prevent him from relaxing.
The dedicated space can include his crate, water, comfort blanket, and interactive toys. If your Boxer has an issue with ripping up his toys then you should choose an appropriate toy.
A good tip to get your Boxer accustomed to a certain space is to play with him often in that spot only. By doing this, you will help your Boxer associate that spot with good memories and it will help him to feel comfortable when he’s there in the future.
4. Leave the radio on, TV or play a recording of your voice
Keeping background noise like the TV or radio will help to drown out external noises such as people, cars, and other animals. The goal isn’t to leave the radio turned right up, but just a little will go a long way.
It will help to turn the radio or TV on well before you leave the house, that way your Boxer will get used to the sound while you are in.
If you have the equipment to record your own voice and play it back on a loop. You’ve got a golden ticket! This is a powerful technique that’s known to cure separation anxiety.
Record yourself having a random conversation (to yourself) and play it back on a loop when you leave the house. As silly as it may sound, this will eventually lead your Boxer to believe you are still in the house, even though you are out.
5. Provide interactive toys
Interactive toys or otherwise known as puzzle toys, are awesome at keeping dogs entertained and mentally stimulated for prolonged periods of time.
The StarMark Bob-A-Lot is an interactive toy that also acts as a slow feeder, it’s a large ball that allows you to fill it with kibble or treats. The small adjustable door allows you to make it easy or hard for the treats to fall out.
I’ve used the StarMark before with one of my labs and it kept him busy for around 1 hour.
Interactive toys also provide valuable mental stimulation which plays a key part in preventing boredom and frustration. Something that Boxers are known to develop quickly.
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Getting Another Dog Won’t Solve The Issue
One of the most common questions I hear is “will a second dog keep the first dog company” Let’s explain why this won’t solve the issue.
It’s true, dogs are happier in pairs, and that’s been proven. So there is that benefit to having more than one dog in the house, but when it comes to leaving them alone, nothing takes your place.
The reality is that a second dog will not replace you, so before long, all you will have is two dogs that are longing for their owner to come back. Your problem has just doubled!
So there you have it, it’s pretty certain that getting a second dog is not the answer, so you’ll need to solve this issue beforehand.
Getting a second dog is a huge responsibility and deserves as much time, care, and attention as the first dog.
Can boxers be left alone?
Yes, boxer dogs can be left home alone, but just keep in mind how long you are gone. Boxers are highly social and many negative effects can result from spending too much time alone.
How long can boxers be left alone?
Most boxers will be okay for 4-5 hours alone, and some even longer. Keep in mind, however, all boxers are different and some may not tolerate this long. Always consider how your own boxer handles spending time alone.
Why shouldn’t boxers be left alone?
Boxer dogs are highly social and crave having company, without it, they can become stressed, anxious, destructive, and develop many kinds of behavioral issues that are usually hard to resolve.
Can boxers be left home all day while I work?
Although you may be doing this already, it’s not advised. The average workday with the commute is around 8-9 hours if not longer, which is way too long for any dog to be on its own. It’s advised to hire a dog sitter or get help from friends and family.
How can I keep my boxer happy when alone?
Exercising your boxer before you leave is a good way to expend some of their energy. In addition to this, providing puzzle toys, leaving the radio on, and making them as comfortable as possible are all good ways to keep them calm while alone.
So there you have it! Boxers can’t be left alone for many hours at a time. They have strong social needs and crave human and canine interaction.
It’s likely that your Boxer will experience a range of negative health issues from being left alone too long, too often.
As a responsible dog owner, it’s important that you find a solution to this problem whether it’s hiring a dog sitter, asking friends and family, or adjusting your own schedule.
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