Can Lurchers Be Left Alone?

by Stuart | Last Updated:   October 29, 2020
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Have you ever found yourself coping with the separation anxiety in Lurchers? If yes, then you just landed in the right place.

Lurchers are the first designer cross-breeds and are primarily found in Great Britain.

These dogs are a cross between one or more sighthounds including Greyhound, Whippet, Saluki, or Deerhound and pastoral working dog breed including Border Collier or a Terrier.

Can Lurchers be left alone? Lurchers are more prone to becoming destructive when left alone as they are a very sensitive breed. It is ideal for your Lurcher’s well-being to train them gradually to be left alone.

Lurchers vary in size and coat type and come in an array of colours. These variations depend upon their particular “cross”.

The Lurcher is an independent dog but intelligent and highly trainable. They can learn the basics of good behaviour and how to stay “home alone.”

Long-haired lurcher bitch

How To Leave Your Lurcher Alone

Owning a Lurcher is exciting for the whole family but comes with a lot of challenges. They are highly sensitive and become bored and destructive when left alone by their owners. 

Lurchers need training to gradually learn to be left alone. Here are what you should do to prepare your Lurcher to be left alone:

  • Establish a predictable routine for your Lurcher.  This includes mealtime, potty time, exercise time, training time, and playtime. Your Lurcher will understand when they will spend time with their owners and when not. This will help them to spend the remaining time for rest and playing around.
  • Feed your Lurcher before you leave. 
  • Provide plenty of exercises and social interaction. Lurchers tend to be most active at dawn and dusk, so ideally you should provide some exercise before going to work in the morning and when you return home in the evening. 
  • Give your Lurcher chew toys and other activities. This will distract them and keep them busy while they are alone.
  • Keep the dangerous things out of the reach of your Lurcher.
  • Establish a positive reinforcement protocol and reward your Lurcher with treats, playtime, and chew toys. Never punish him for undesirable behaviour.

Teaching Alone Time For Lurchers

Learning to be left alone is an important part of your Lurcher’s training. You should provide training to be left alone in the house and to deal with separation anxiety.

It will save them from ever becoming anxious when by themselves. 

Follow the simple steps below and gradually increase the time you leave your Lurcher alone. 

  • Begin by encouraging your pup to stay in the confinement area with a chew toy or other constructive activity. 
  • Ask them to stay there and then quietly walk out of the room. 
  • Return immediately and reward them with praise and a treat. 
  • Repeat the process, slowly increasing how long you’re away each time. 
  • Progress at a speed that suits your dog’s temperament and personality.
  • Once you reach the stage where your dog is happy to be left for up to an hour there should be no problems leaving them for longer periods. 

However, even if their basic needs are met, you should never leave your Lurcher alone and unsupervised for more than 8 hours a day.

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Do Dogs Feel Sad When Left Alone?

It is important to remember that dogs are pack animals. Generally, they are social and  consequently really don’t like being alone. 

Dogs are capable of feeling a lot of emotions including loneliness and separation anxiety.

Even if you leave them entertaining toys, treats, and a safe area to retreat to, they will still need their human parent to feel happy and comfortable. 

Symptoms when your dog is feeling lonely

Your dog may show the following signs when feeling lonely:

  • Show aggressive behaviour at the parent’s departure
  • Excessive or non-stop barking or whining 
  • Destructive chewing or biting of household objects and furniture
  • Uncontrolled peeing and potty accidents in an otherwise house-trained dog 
  • A loss of interest in activities that they usually enjoy
  • Unusual drooling in some breeds
  • Digging and scratching at doors
  • Escape attempts
  • Coprophagia (eating their feces)

As a responsible dog parent, you can do many things for your furry children before leaving them alone in the house.

The goal is to have a dog that is relaxed, self-assured, and can be left alone for a few hours. Here is how you can ease your dog’s loneliness:

Make them feel safe

Try swaddle jackets or a crate. Even though your dog might resist both ideas in the beginning, these pet accessories can be lifesavers.

Some canine psychology experts believe they might offer your dog a sense of safety and security.

Provide entertainment

Your dog may become sad and heartbroken when you are away. Give your pooch a challenging and fun toy that might make them feel better in your absence.

Leave them with stimulating puzzle toys, favourite plushies, or chew toys to keep them engaged and entertained. 

Stay in touch

Stay in touch with your dog when you are away by arming yourself with the right technology equipment. Technological advancements enable us to communicate with our dogs even when we are not with them.

Pet cameras offer not only the possibility to soothe your furry friend with your voice, but also track their behaviour and minimize their loneliness.

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Provide a workout before you leave

This is the best and easiest way to manage your do g’s stress when left alone. You need to provide some physical exercise and creative mental stimulation so that your furry friend doesn’t feel bored and anxious.

The daily walk helps them socialize and stimulate their mind with the sights, sounds, and smells they come across. 

Consider a dog walker

If you find that your dog doesn’t do well when left alone, consider having a dog walker.

He can come mid-day to take your dog out for 20-30 minutes. It’s a small price to pay for a happy and stress-free dog.

Remember that a happy dog is a good dog!

Pet Lurcher puppy dog bitch playing on beach

Which dog breeds are happy to be left alone?

Even though every dog has their own personality, some dog breeds are known to manage their loneliness much better than others.

Dog breeds that can be left alone for 8 hours while you’re working are usually intelligent and trained dogs that can entertain themselves in your absence.

Dogs breeds that do well alone are mostly those with dominant traits like sleepy, less active, quiet, easy-going, eager-learners, independent and less energetic.

They don’t rely on their owner to keep them company throughout the day. 

How long your dog can stay home alone completely depends on your dog breed, age, personality, and their physical and emotional needs.

If you work all day but want to choose the right dog, you need to choose the breed carefully and must be willing to make some sacrifices.

There are certain dog breeds that can be left alone for several hours without having anxiety or showing destructive behaviour. 

The dog breeds are happy to be left alone include:

  • Basset Hound
  • French Bulldog
  • Chihuahua
  • Shar Pei
  • Pugs
  • Bull terrier
  • Chow Chow
  • Akita Inu
  • Boston Terrier

Most working and hunting dogs like Labrador, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Border Collies are not suitable for someone who works all day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can senior dogs be left alone?

Senior dogs are generally better at spending time alone.

They generally do well with less activity and more nap time. Senior dogs are already housebroken and need less exercise than puppies or young adults. 

Can puppies be left alone?

Puppies need socialization and regular activities so that they become well-rounded and socially healthy dogs.

Remember that a puppy should never be left alone for long periods of time.

Final Thoughts

Dogs bring an incredible amount of joy to our lives. For many people, wanting a dog and working a full-time job can seem like two incompatible ideas. 

Remember, when you bring home a pooch, you are committing to a long-term relationship. It is important to dedicate quality time to your new furry member and ensure that their needs are being met.

Hope you enjoyed reading this article! Did you find it helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts with us. 

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Stuart loves blogging about his hobbies and passions. Sir Doggie is a place for him to share what he learns while being a pet parent. Click here to read more.