Leaving a Golden Retriever at Home – What You Need to Know

February 23, 2023
As a dog owner with over 25 years of experience, I can attest that having a dog is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life. The companionship and joy they bring is incomparable.

The potential dangers of leaving a Golden Retriever alone at home can be mitigated with careful consideration of the dog's needs. For example, it's important not to give a young dog free reign of the house until they have been thoroughly housetrained and have learned what is and is not appropriate to chew. Loose items such as shoes and knickknacks should be picked up to avoid temptation, and items that cannot be removed, such as power cords, should be covered or hidden.

It's also crucial to ensure that the dog has access to plenty of fresh, clean water and appropriate chew toys. However, one issue that should not be overlooked is separation anxiety, which can cause a dog to become overly anxious when they are away from their owners. While this isn't a common issue in Golden Retrievers, it can still occur.

Some of the ways in which humans can inadvertently contribute to separation anxiety include making a big deal out of leaving for work, leaving through the same door at the same time every day, and providing no amusement for the dog while they are gone. Additionally, if the dog is given no outside access during the owner's time away and the owner makes a big deal out of returning home, such as immediately petting, feeding, giving treats, and having lengthy conversations, this can also contribute to the development of separation anxiety.

If these factors creep into the owner's routine, it's important to be on the lookout for the gradual progression of separation anxiety in the dog. This can include whining, barking, scratching and chewing at the front door, depositing urine or feces near the door, shredding newspapers or books, and even more serious damage to furniture and curtains. In some cases, extremely anxious dogs may resort to chewing on themselves or licking an area obsessively until they develop a bald patch.

To avoid these potential dangers, it's important to carefully consider the needs of your Golden Retriever and take steps to prevent separation anxiety from developing. By providing appropriate training, plenty of water and chew toys, and ensuring that the dog is not overly dependent on the owner, you can help ensure that your Golden Retriever stays healthy and happy when left alone at home.

To help ensure that your Golden Retriever stays safe and happy when left alone at home, it's important to take certain precautions. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Properly housetrain your dog before giving them free reign of the house
  • Remove or cover any items that could be tempting for the dog to chew on
  • Provide access to fresh water and appropriate chew toys
  • Take steps to prevent separation anxiety, such as avoiding lengthy goodbyes and providing entertainment for the dog when you're away

Coping with Separation Anxiety in Golden Retriever

If your furry friend experiences separation anxiety, there are a few corrective measures you can take to help them cope. Here are some tips:

Vary your routine: Try to avoid making a big deal out of leaving. Instead, give your dog some toys and a treat one day, but not the next. If possible, try to leave by a different door each day.

Stagger your departures: If your schedule allows, try leaving early one day and late the next. Alternatively, you could break your absence into two shorter periods. If you can't be there for your dog, consider hiring a dog walker or asking a friend or neighbor to check on them.

Install a doggy door: This option can give your furry friend the freedom to come and go as they please. However, it's important to have a secure fence to prevent them from wandering off.

Leave interactive toys: Give your dog a large toy filled with kibble to keep them occupied while you're away.

Ignore your dog upon arrival: This may be the most challenging part, but it's crucial to avoid making a big fuss over your dog when you return home. Take some time to settle in, tidy up, and change clothes before taking your dog for a walk.

These corrective procedures will help minimize the impact of your departure and arrival on your dog, allowing them to adjust to your absence more easily. While it may be difficult to ignore your furry friend, the results will be worth it.

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