In one word? Yes, but, Cockapoos, and most other dogs for that matter suffer from cockapoo separation anxiety, which means they won’t react too well to being left on their own all day. That being said, there is nothing wrong with leaving your Cockapoo for probably a maximum of 4 to 5 hours.
There are ways of telling if your pooch stresses when you’re gone by his behaviour. Whining, barking, or howling are typical signs. Scratching doors and windows, chewing the furniture, and even urinating or defecting are also signs that your cockapoo has separation anxiety.
Does your Cockapoo Have Separation Anxiety?
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Does your dog’s behaviour change when you leave the house? When you’re home with him does he follow you around like a shadow from room to room? Do you get a frantic hello when you arrive home from work or come back from the shop? Do you notice he acts differently when you grab your car keys, put your coat on or grab your bag?
If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these, there’s a good chance your pup suffers from separation anxiety and the Cockapoo does not like being left home alone.
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Cockapoo Separation Anxiety?
This is a tough one, because we don’t completely understand what causes it, why some dogs experience it and others don’t. Like people, every dog is different, with different personalities and different emotional triggers. If your pup doesn’t like being left alone, it’s important for you to understand his destructive behaviour is a panicked response to his anxiety; he’s not doing it to punish you for leaving him on his own.
How To Deal With It
You can manage minor separation anxiety by playing it down. For example, when you get home from work, don’t immediately make a fuss, even though you’ve missed your pup just as much. Leave an item of clothing that smells like you. He won’t feel as alone if there’s something familiar. You could even buy a calming product that reduces anxiety in dogs. or maybe take a look at some products from HonestPaws.com who have a great range of solutions.
As with all things, handling anxiety is going to take a while but there are some short-term solutions. For one, you can talk to your vet about anti-anxiety medications. There are loads of natural remedies that will calm him down, and can also be used in any situations where he gets stressed. You could try calming drops or a calming collar.
As long as your pup hasn’t been traumatized in the past by being left at a kennel, this is an option if you’re away going away for a few days or for an extended period of time. There are also kennels that offer day-care options so that your furry friend isn’t home alone during the day. Another option is using a sitter service that takes care of your dog, should you be going away on holiday.
What Not To Do
We’ve told you what you can do to help your cockapoo with separation anxiety, now here’s what you shouldn’t do.
Run out and get a second dog
Separation anxiety is about you for your pet, it’s not necessarily about canine companionship. The worst thing you can do is get a second dog, as this could make the entire situation worse.
Punish your pup
Whatever you do don’t punish your dog. His destructive behaviour isn’t deliberate and he isn’t doing it to ‘get back at you’.
Taking your dog for obedience training is always a good idea, but not when it’s in response to his separation anxiety. He isn’t being naughty so training won’t help in this instance.
While your intentions might be in the right place to keep some background noise going when you leave the house, your cockapoo is smart enough to know when you’re there and when you’re not.
Can Puppies Be Left Alone for 8 Hours?
The short answer to this question is, no. Dogs are generally social creatures and therefore need fuss, love and company to make sure they remain happy and content. Therefore, it is never a good idea to leave them on their own, especially when you consider the reasons above regarding separation anxiety.
We know that it’s not always possible, though, to be there every waking minute of the day with your pup. So, that leads us to the question of how long is too long? As well as the loneliness aspect, you also need to take into consideration a dog’s toiletry needs.
Most experts, breeders and owners suggest as a rule of thumb that puppies are only able to ‘hold it in’ for around an hour for every month of their age. Therefore, a puppy that’s one month old would only be able to hold it in for one hour. So, it follows that for puppies aged:
- 8 to 10 weeks, it would be one hour or less
- 10 to 12 weeks, 2 hours tops.
- 3 to 6 months, follow the above one hour/one-month rule
- 6 months and onwards – a maximum of 6 hours.
On the subject of how long you should leave a dog alone though, most adhere to Dog’s Trust’s rule of no longer than 4 hours.
Tips for When You Need to Leave Your Puppy Alone for a Long Time
If you really must leave your puppy alone for a long time, you should take necessary precautions such as:
- Break up the time into smaller sessions
- Ask a neighbour, relative or a trusted friend to pop in and check on your pup/spend some time with them
- Try and arrange your plans so that someone will be home before too long – if you have children, when will they be back home from school?
- Consider putting your dog into day-care or hiring a dog walker
Separation anxiety Cockapoo – As hard as you try, there are going to be instances when you and your dog are going to be apart. If you’re unable to alleviate his anxiety with our suggestions, it might be worth consulting with someone who specialises in cockapoo separation anxiety.