Can Labradors be left alone? If yes, HOW?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

Labradors – a perfect addition to your family photo.

This handsome bread of dog is an ideal pet for an active family. It plays around, gives the best cuddles, and adds immense joy to your life.

But, the question is, can Labradors be left alone?

The answer to your question is, no. Labradors are known to extremely social and energetic. Hence, leaving them alone for long hours is not a good idea. They prefer being around their owners and engaging in physical activities with them.

However, there is still hope. You can leave your Labrador alone while you are at home IF you fulfill some conditions. Keep reading to find out ‘how’.

How to leave your Labrador alone (Video)

Can Labradors be left alone? If yes, how?

Labradors do not prefer being alone for long hours. But, let’s face it, no matter how much we love our pets, it is impossible to stay with them 24/7. We have work, and social life to tackle as well.

Let’s learn more about this breed to understand why they can’t be left at home, to find the perfect solution to this dilemma.

  • Labradors and dogs, in general, are pack animals. If you look at stray dogs, they always like to stay in packs whether they are relaxing under a tree, playing around, or entertaining the locality with their barking skills. They are never alone.
  • These large dogs are a bundle of joy and energy. During their years as a puppy, they are very hyperactive but, as they grow old, they simmer down. So, if you leave them alone, for a long time, they will land in trouble.
  • They cannot sit around and do nothing. Labradors are an active breed that not only requires physical action but, mental stimulation as well.
  • They are escape artists and can quickly learn how to open doors and windows.
  • They love to eat. EVERYTHING.

What are the consequences of leaving my Labrador alone?

Leaving them alone for long hours will have similar consequences to when Kevin McCallister was left home alone by his parents. Throughout the home alone series, he landed in trouble because he could not sit around. In the end, he dropped a huge bomb when his family came back in the form of a very expensive hotel bill. You can expect your carpets to be peed and pooped on, sofas = brutally scratched, chewed, and bleeding cotton, and plants to be tipped over. Then you will find your sweet little Labrador covered in mud and cotton, with a guilty face that you can’t be mad at.

How can I leave my Labrador alone at home?

Even though this breed is hyperactive and social but, they are also very adjustable pets. Labradors are one of those animals that can live with what life throws at them, and still find joy in it. So, there is hope for you even if you have to be away from home for long hours every day. Make sure to follow the tips provided below so, it is easy for your Labrador to adjust to being left alone at home without causing mischief.

Tip Number 1: Tire them out.

Labradors are hard workers who love to engage in outdoor activities and sports. They are a pure field dog which is why they come with immense energy which needs to be burned off. If you fail to do so, they will either get very restless or cause a commotion.

The best way to stop them from going ballistic behind your back is to tire them out.  Make sure you exercise so, while you are gone, they can rest and chill. Take them with you for a morning walk, play with them, leave them in your garden to play while you get ready for the day.

Wake up 30 to 45 minutes earlier, and take your Labrador for a run, or play fetch with it. With a good 30 minutes of intense exercise, it is likely that your pet Lab will spend the rest of the day sleeping.

Tip Number 2: Leave them with food.

Question: What is Labrador’s favourite instrument?

Answer: The dinner call!

Yes, they are huge foodies. If you do not leave them with ample food, they will chew your sofas, pillows, eat mud, or whatever comes in their sight.

So, fill up their bowls with water and food before you leave. You can also choose to invest in automatic food dispensers for dogs that fill up their bowl at set intervals.

Tip Number 3: Access to the bathroom!

Ensure that your Labrador has access to the washroom or else you will come home to pee and poop stains on your floor and carpet.

Tip Number 4: Mentally stimulation is necessary.

Labradors are intelligent dogs. They need to be mentally stimulated as much as they need their daily dose of physical exercise. For this purpose, get them toys that keep them occupied for a long period of time.

KONG toys are a great option. They keep the pets occupied while making them work for something. To use, a KONG toy, hang it up where your Labrador can reach with ease. But, before hanging the toy, soak some dog treats and fill the KONG toy with it. Your Lab is guaranteed to spend the playing and exploring that toy, and once its tongue reaches inside the toy, a tasty surprise will greet it.

Another great option is to purchase a maze dog bowl. It will not only keep your Labrador occupied but, will also slow down its eating speed and will tire it out.

Tip Number 5: Crate them.

Now, this depends on your opinion if you think crating pets is a good idea or not.  I would suggest if you are crate training your dog, then it is best if you leave it in its crate while you are at work. However, you must make sure that you make use of the tips provided above as well. Moreover, if your dog is crate trained, then leave them open as the tips provided above are enough to tame an older Labrador.

Labradors are fond of cozy spaces so, leaving them inside their crate is not a bad idea. Besides, after an exhausting morning workout, they will need to rejuvenate. If you do not agree to leave your dog inside a crate, then putting him in a room with all the essentials that your Lab will need, is a great option. However, make sure that the room is not too big because, then your pet will not feel secure as, Labradors like cozy places and feel secure in them.

Tip Number 6: Get a dog walker.

A dog walker is someone who takes dogs on walks in exchange for money. Moreover, if you live in the States, then you will find plenty dog walking apps where you also have the option of leaving your dog with someone for the whole time that you are out for work.

What to avoid when leaving your Labrador alone at home?

Given below are some things that you should avoid doing when leaving your Labradors alone at home for long hours.

  1.  Do not leave their crate doors closed. Granted that dogs love to stay in their dens but, dens are not locked.
  2.  Do not leave a limited amount of food and water. Make sure that you leave an ample supply at different spots of your place.
  3.  Do not leave the doors and windows open except, your bathroom door. Labradors are good at escaping.

Other Related Questions

Here are some FAQs regarding this topic.

How long can I leave my Labrador alone at home? It is suggested that you do not leave your Labrador alone at home for more than 8 hours.

Are Labradors a hyper breed? No, Labradors can’t be exactly described as a hyper dog breed. They are very active, and a little hyper when they are puppies but, they simmer down as they grow up. However, during their early years, it is normal for a Labrador to be bouncy, and high-spirited.

How important is it to exercise a Labrador? It can’t be stressed enough as to how important exercise is for a breed like Labradors. If the owner does not indulge in their Lab in daily exercise, then he must get ready for an extremely destructive and unmanageable dog.

What activities does a Labrador enjoy? Labradors love to work hard, run around, hunt, search, swim and use their intellect.

Are Labradors escape artist? Yes, they are smart creatures and can learn to open doors, windows, and jump fences. An unexercised and bored Labrador is most likely to work hard, use their brain, and escape.

To conclude, just make sure that all the mental and physical needs of your Labrador are met, and you are good to go for 8 hours. Be compassionate to your pets, and take care of their needs how you would treat your child.

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