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How long can your GSD stay inside?

5992 Views 10 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Lauri & The Gang
I recently read a series of posts about people GSDs barking and how one should leave them inside if not able to correct. I learnt a lot from all those posts, and will modify my dog's habits accordingly as he barks too.
However, my hb and I like on occasion to go for day hikes, and can't take him as we go into a national park. But I've felt so bad leaving him more than 5 hours alone, that we haven't done those hikes the past 3 years. I also hesitate to leave him longer outside as I don't know how he behaves. Now I read that if not at home, you should leave him inside. So I wonder how long can you leave your GSD inside. I've read that some people leave theirs 8 or 10 hours at times, and I am shocked. In my mind, longer than 5, even outside seems unfair.
Comments please? (as a note, I hate to leave him alone, period, and he gets daily exercise with walks, ob training, play etc).
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I just love your dogs picture, he is so cute. I am no expert and new to this site. I have never left my dogs kenneled for more than 5 hours. Even when I used to work, I would come hm on lunch and let them out. My GSD is not alone, There are other dogs with him. I think this helps. I never leave him outside unattained at all. He is a pup though, and I have only had him 4 months. I have had dogs my whole life. Was not raised the kennel way, but believe in it now. I guess kenneling would not work for watch dogs. So, agree 5 hours, inside. Hope this helps.
Most of us work, so we have to leave our dogs during the day. We have a chainlink garage pen for them when we're not home, with a dog door to an outside run. So they're not exactly inside, but they're not stuck outside either. They have comfy beds and are in out of the weather.

We've left them alone overnight before, although if we're gone more than one night we'll usually board them. The exception was when we had our hardwood floors refinished. We stayed in a hotel here in town for 4 days and nights, and left the dogs at home. We came by to feed them twice a day, and one evening took them out for an off leash hike at a regional park. There were workers in the house all day, and I'm sure they missed us and not being able to sleep in the house like they usually do, but they did just fine. I'm sure if you want to have the occasional day hike your dog will adjust.
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My older female (she was 10 in May) has been alone for 3 days. When I have to go out of town. (Usually only once a year but sometimes twice.) With 2 "bathroom" breaks a day, which also includes her being outside while my horses are fed. (this takes anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.) when she is home she has the run of the house. She is not necessarily "typical" as far as a lot of GSDs go. She has never been one to do "bad things" in the house even as a little puppy. She also doesn't require outside exercise to keep her calmed down.
My dog is also very "talkative." I'll generally leave her inside for up to five hours (that seems to be the magic number). I try to get at least a short walk in before I leave her just because it settles her down. If no one is going to be home for longer than five hours, I'll leave her outside with her bark collar on. I don't even have to put the battery in it. At this point, if the collar is on, she'll be quiet.

A few times, I miscalculated on how long we'd be gone, and she ended up in the house for about eight hours. But she didn't have any "accidents." And although I worry a lot that she'll be lonely or bored, I think that she just naps till somebody gets home. You didn't mention how old your dog is. Mine is three now and has calmed down a lot. If I'd left her alone for eight hours when she was one, I would have come home to all kinds of destruction!!
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I've worked full time outside the home forever. My dogs would stay inside roughly 10 hours, by the time the kids would get back from school activities, and such. NO accidents, nothing. Only recently do I get accidents at NIGHT. *sigh* My dogs never destroyed anything ... well, there was one thing (several times) the drywall next to the garage door (by Troy -- not to mention the door too) during a severe thunderstorm. Troy is HORRIFIED of storms.
I'm not sure the significance between inside vs. outside....often the weather here is so extreme that outside is not appropriate or safe. I have plenty of things for my dogs to do both inside and out. Outside, we have a huge yard with Kenya's agility setup, their outside toys, and we go to parks to play or on looooong walks. Often we will drive somewhere to walk in a new environment. Inside, the space is smaller, but they have a box of inside toys and the dogs are allowed to play and roughhouse inside. I also do a lot of training indoors.

Maybe I'm paranoid, but the only circumstances under which I would leave my dogs outdoors unsupervised would be if I had a 6+ foot privacy fence around a locked yard that also had some sort of cover so animals could not climb in/out.

My GSD is not a dog that will entertain herself, so there's no point in shutting her outdoors. She will lay by the back door. She wants to be with me and she wants to be DOING something, she doesn't care whether it's indoors or out.

While I'm at work, my dogs are inside. I have noticed this when I'm home sick and my husband tells me the same thing - they sleep ALL day and then as soon as I get home they know we are all going to do things together.

To the OP, if you want to go on day trips, I would not be leaving the dog outside either. Again, maybe I'm paranoid, but too many bad things could happen (dig out, someone come in and steal him, a rabid animal get in the yard and start a fight, chew a stick and get a piece stuck in his stomach...). I would leave him inside or kenneled (whichever works for you), and if you think it's too long, give someone $10 to come over and let him out once or twice.
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All very helpful info, and I think I really need to get over the guilt of leaving him inside, and leaving him period. And if we leave for the day, I like the suggestion of paying someone to give him a break.
Thanks for all the posts, and I'll take all of them into consideration.
I'm a SAHM and Morgan does a lot of activities with us, we live in a very dog friendly area. She's used to being left for 2 or 4 hours at a time while we go to the YMCA or shopping.

Occasionally, we take a day road trip. She's fine for 10 or 12 hours by herself in the house. I try to give her extra exercise the day before, a longer walk in the park or take her to the beach for the day.

Yes she's loopy and happy to see her family when we get home but she has never done anything bad in the house since she was a puppy.
I have had at least one GSD for 11 years now, and considering how much my dogs and I like shelter, food, light and many other "luxuries" I have to work. I also live in the Chicagoland area where distance is not measured by miles, but by time. At one point I had a 1.5 hour commute to my office one way. The end result is that on weekdays my dogs spend anywhere from 9 to 11 hours in the house while I am gone. Once old enough, none of them are crated. Currently I have two "high drive" working line dogs that I train in Schutzhund. Luckily, neither of them are destructive and I split the house in half and each gets a half. I'm not worried in the least bit about my dogs barking. If someone is close to my home Diesel will absolutely bark - which I like. In fact I like it a lot. Now, I'm not in an apartment, so I have no worries about neighbors especially since my neighbors like the fact that Diesel is watching the corner.
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Our dogs are home from about 6:30 in the morning until 5:30 or so at night during the week.

We are working on changing the basement into the dog room so they have more room while still being confined (for safety).
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