YouTube and some television shows often air videos that pet owners have submitted showing various antics of their pets when left home alone.
Most are hilarious, and some show dogs snoozing away the day, while others show utter destruction. If you are contemplating adding a springer spaniel to your family you may be wondering, can springer spaniels be left alone? The answer is yes and following are some tips to help with the process.
Can Springer Spaniels Be Left Alone?
Springer spaniels can be left alone, but understanding the breed is key to a smooth transition when leaving your pup at home.
Springer spaniels are an energetic and active dog that requires a lot of physical and mental stimulation. Lack of this physical and mental exercise can lead to many problems with any dog, but due to a springer spaniels energy, they do not do so well couped up for long hours at a time.
Pent-up energy is the number one cause of a destructive dog, so if you are planning to leave your springer spaniel alone while you go to work for the day for six hours, a springer may not be the dog for you.
i personally don’t like to leave my two springers for more than four hours at a time, and if im home i tend to let them out at least every two hours for a toilet break, to be sure there are no mishaps
Leaving Your Springer Spaniel Puppy Alone.
If you are planning on getting a springer spaniel puppy, make sure you wait until the puppy is completely and adequately weaned from its mother. Being taken from their mother can create anxiety.
Getting your pup use to being alone as soon as you can is a good thing if you know you will need to leave him as he gets older, if he learns it’s ok now it will prevent problems later on.
Leave your puppy for short amounts of time and don’t make a big fuss when leaving or coming home. This way, they won’t equate huge displays of excitement with coming and going. Save the enthusiasm for playtime.
Use treats and toys to keep them occupied when you are away. Puppies tend to sleep a lot, so they may just fall into your routine.
Crate training is another option, especially if in the future, you are away for long hours.
Leaving Your Older Springer Spaniel Alone.
” You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” This is an entirely false saying. If you adopt an adult or older spaniel, there is absolutely no reason you can’t leave them alone.
Use the same methods as you would for puppies by not leaving them alone for large chunks of time in the beginning.
With some patience, an older dog is just as easily trained as a puppy.
Springer Spaniel Separation Anxiety.
Separation anxiety in dogs is a stress reaction where they exhibit behavior problems when separated from their family and are left alone.
Unfortunately, springer spaniels are prone to separation anxiety because they form such a tight bond with their pack.
Separation anxiety can cause a whole host of symptoms. When their owner leaves the house, they may whine a little but will soon settle and calm down.
Other times their feelings will escalate, making anxiety increase throughout the day. This will then become an everyday occurrence.
Symptoms can be some or all of the following:
- trying to follow the owner
- destructive behavior ( chewing, shredding, scratching, etc. )
- urination or defecation
- attempts to escape, which can result in injury
With a springer spaniel suffering from separation anxiety, these symptoms may happen every time you leave.
They are not just isolated incidents where your pup gets into mischief from boredom or has an occasional accident.
No one knows why separation anxiety occurs. It may be genetics and can come about in puppies as well as older dogs.
Puppies or older dogs may be doing great, and when something changes in the dynamics of the household, a death, a move, someone goes away to college, this can upset the apple cart.
Separation Anxiety Solutions.
Springer spaniels, being the active dog that they are, need plenty of exercise.
Giving your pup exercise will diminish all of that pent-up energy. Exercising for at least an hour before leaving for work, either by walking or letting your spaniel run in the yard or local park, will do wonders for keeping that energy down and tiring them out.
They may return and just flop down for a nap. It will also set them up for a routine. If you are able to get away on lunch break to walk them, that’s another plus.
Another outing after work will do both pet and owner a world of good, allowing both to release energy that couldn’t be discharged during the day.
When leaving your house, as mentioned above, you can say goodbye to your springer, but there is no need to make a huge fuss.
Dogs can usually sense when you’re leaving. If they begin to act stressed, give them a treat, perhaps a different one than usual.
Leaving treats around the house for your spaniel to discover during the day is a great way to keep them occupied.
Make sure your springer has its own safe space, complete with a bed, blanket, and toys. Don’t forget water.
An excellent way to comfort your pup is to leave a t-shirt or sweatshirt that you have worn in their safe spot. This is excellent because it smells just like you, their favorite person, and is very calming.
Crating is suitable for puppies as well as older dogs. You can begin to familiarise them by leaving the door to the crate open when you are home, including their favorite, comforting items inside.
Crates often become their haven or safe spot, and you will probably find them going in naturally, even to snooze.
Giving your springer a special treat as you leave for work or set in hidden places, as mentioned above, may help with separation anxiety.
Having toys available to occupy them and keep them from becoming bored can also be a help. An especially awesome toy is the dog Kong toy, which is available in a wide variety of sizes. It has a great bounce for retrieving games and is fabulous if your spaniel is a chewer.
It adds hours of mental stimulation because it can be stuffed with snacks and even peanut butter. This will keep them very busy trying to get the “prize” inside.
- Companion Dog
If you have the stamina for two dogs, this could be the solution to your pup’s separation anxiety.
Make sure the two get acclimated to one another before getting another dog. Now, you don’t want two spaniels getting into mischief, but they will keep each other company and hopefully become two happy and content siblings.
If the new springer is older than yours, this may help as the younger one may follow the older one’s lead to calmness.
Medication should be the last resort for your springer spaniel. Discussing it in-depth with your veterinarian should be the first move before giving any medication to your dog. However, medication can be highly effective in treating separation anxiety, even with just a small dose.
If you would rather not see your spaniel on prescription meds, a holistic way to go would be a CBD product. These have been proven to help dogs feel less anxious by using more natural methods. Make sure to discuss this with your veterinarian.
CBD comes in many forms and dosages. There can be side effects from CBD as well as prescription medications. Speak with a professional and do some research on these.
- Doggie Day Care
If all else fails when dealing with separation anxiety, sending your springer to doggie daycare may be the answer.
Since springer spaniels are such people dogs, yours may be much more comfortable with human interaction all day. They will benefit from having some new canine friends also.
How long can I leave my Springer Spaniel alone?
While every dog is different, it is generally recommended not to leave adult Springer Spaniels alone for more than 4-6 hours at a time. Puppies and younger dogs have higher energy levels and should not be left alone for more than 2-3 hours.
What happens if I leave my Springer Spaniel alone for too long?
Leaving your Springer Spaniel alone for extended periods can lead to separation anxiety, boredom, and destructive behaviors. They may become anxious, exhibit excessive barking, chewing, or digging, and their overall well-being can be negatively affected.
Can I leave my Springer Spaniel alone all day while I’m at work?
Leaving your Springer Spaniel alone all day while you’re at work is not recommended. They are social dogs that thrive on human companionship, and being alone for such long periods can lead to loneliness and behavioral issues. If you work full-time, consider arranging for a dog walker, daycare, or having someone check on and spend time with your dog during the day.
How can I help my Springer Spaniel adjust to being left alone?
Gradual desensitization and training can help your Springer Spaniel adjust to being left alone. Start by leaving them alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration over time. Provide them with engaging toys, puzzle feeders, and safe spaces to keep them mentally stimulated and comfortable while you’re away.
Should I crate my Springer Spaniel when I leave them alone?
Crating can be a safe and effective option for some dogs if you only plan to be away for a shot period of time (max 1H),However, it should not be used as a long-term solution, and crate training should be done properly and positively to ensure the dog sees the crate as a comfortable and secure space.
Are there alternatives to leaving my Springer Spaniel alone?
Yes, there are alternatives to leaving your Springer Spaniel alone. Consider options such as hiring a dog walker, enlisting the help of a trusted friend or family member, or exploring doggy daycare services. These alternatives provide social interaction and stimulation for your dog while you are away.
One warning about separation anxiety is that if your springer spaniel has always been just fine being home alone and suddenly develops any of the symptoms listed above, contact your veterinarian. Something may have upset their routine, or they could be ill.
You can leave your springer spaniel alone, and it usually is a snap. Just follow the tips above, and with love and patience, your pup will have no problem with their alone time in the little sanctuary they call home.