German Shepherd resting on the ground outside a house

Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone?

As an Amazon affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase I earn a commission. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.


As a German Shepherd owner, you may have asked yourself the question ‘Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone?’ The answer is YES!  But, there are some really important things to consider. 

You need to realize that German Shepherds are very social dogs that need attention and stimulation to be happy and healthy. But, by proper socialization and training, you ought to be able to leave your German Shepherd by itself at least for short periods of time.

How long German Shepherds can be left alone actually varies. It depends on several factors, including the dog’s age. Without a doubt, puppies need more supervision.  At best, pups can only be left alone for a couple of hours. Adult German Shepherds may usually be left alone for up to 8 hours, as long as their needs are met. 

The individual dog’s disposition is very important too. Disposition or temperament matters because leaving your dog by itself too long or too often leads to anxiety, boredom, and destructive behaviour.  It’s critical that your dog has plenty of toys, chew bones, and other kinds of good stimulation to keep it busy when it is by itself.

Tips for Leaving Your Dog Home Alone

German Shepherd Training

Training your German Shepherd well is necessary so they won’t do any damage or harm to themselves and your property. Obedience training is really important for this breed because without it they can get bored, out of control, and destructive.  Luckily, they are very tuned into obeying owner commands. They are also very eager and willing to learn new things.

Interactive toys can be a great way to mentally stimulate your German Shepherd while you are away. These toys can help to keep them calmly occupied and prevent destructive behaviours. 

Additionally, crate training is often used as a useful and humane way of managing your dog’s behaviour when you are not home.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

German Shepherd Socialization

Socialization is another important way for you to rest assured that your German Shepherd can be left alone without being a problem child. Effective socialization will keep your dog from suffering separation anxiety and other behavioural problems.

It’s very important to begin socialization of your German Shepherd at a young age. By exposing your dog to various people, pets, and places you help it become a more confident and well-adjusted dog.

Teenage German Shepherds can be particularly clingy so they need lots of attention and socialization. It is necessary to keep socializing your German Shepherd throughout its life. This will assure that your dog is always well-behaved and comfortable in all kinds of situations.

To be sure, training and socialization are key elements to ensuring that your German Shepherd can be left alone without any problems. Obedience training, interactive toys, and crate training are all useful ways for managing your dog’s behaviour. Socialization from a young age and throughout their life can help to prevent separation anxiety and other behavioural problems.

German Shepherd puppy walking across the grass

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

You know that your German Shepherd is a high-energy dog that needs plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to be healthy and obedient. In this section, you’ll get some tips and tricks you can use to make sure your German Shepherd gets enough physical activity and mental stimulation.

Physical Exercise for German Shepherds

German Shepherds are super active dogs that need lots of exercise. It’s so critical that these dogs burn off excess energy each day. 

Here are some tips to keep your German Shepherd active:

  • Take your dog for a walk or run at least twice a day. 
  • Play fetch with your dog.
  • Take your German Shepherd to a dog park. 
  • Enrol your dog in agility training or other dog competitions.

These things will help your dog burn off excess energy and stay in shape. Fetching and other play is a good way to get your dog up and moving. Running around and playing with other dogs is good for the dog’s socialization and exercise needs. These activities give your dog a great workout and will be a lot of fun for both of you

Mental Stimulation for German Shepherds

Along with a lot of exercise, German Shepherds need lots of mental stimulation too.  

Here are five tips to keep your German Shepherd mentally stimulated:

  • Give your dog lots of toys. 
  • Consider puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys
  • Teach your dog new tricks or commands. 
  • Consider enrolling your dog in obedience or agility classes. 
  • Don’t leave your dog home alone without toys, puzzles, and chews. 

German Shepherds are smart dogs that love to play, so be sure they have plenty of interactive toys to keep them occupied. These interactive toys should be stuffed with a favourite dog treat, like peanut butter. This will give your dog some happy stimulation as it figures out how to get the treat reward out of the toy. 

German Shepherds are highly trainable dogs, so teaching them new lessons can be a stimulating reward for them.  Training gives the dog mental stimulation as well as physical exercise. 

Have to leave your dog home alone for a good part of the day?

Then be sure to leave some interactive toys, dog puzzles, and safe dog chews to keep your pooch busy while you’re gone. By providing your German Shepherd with enough physical exercise, mental stimulation, and rewards you can ensure that they stay healthy and happy, even when you’re not around.

Interactive Puzzle Toys for Dogs

This puzzle toy promotes pet brain development, improves intelligence, stabilizes mood, and slows eating speed. It has a centralized food supply, adjustable dispensing speed, and 4 difficulty levels. Made of safe, anti-slip material, it supports most dog food sizes.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

How Long Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone?

Leaving a dog of any breed home alone is certainly a cause of anxiety for many dog owners. German Shepherd owners are no exception.  But, with a little preparation, you assure that your best friend will be safe and content while you’re away.

How long your German Shepherd can be home alone depends on its age and energy level. Rule of Thumb — Adult German Shepherds can be left alone for up to 8 hours at a time. Puppies, on the other hand, should not be left alone for more than one hour for each month of age.  So, a 6-month-old teenage pup should not be alone for more than 6 hours a day.

Leaving your dog alone for longer periods will result in boredom and anxiety. To keep your German Shepherd happy and out of trouble be sure to leave plenty of toys, chews, and treats. You might also hire a dog walker, pet sitter, or a pet daycare.

Other Solutions

Here are some other options if you need to leave your German Shepherd alone:

  • Companion: Get another dog so your German Shepherd has a friend while you’re away.
  • Neighbour: Ask a trusted neighbour to check in on your dog.
  • Dog walker: Hire a dog walker or sitter to provide some activities while you’re away.
  • Pet sitter: Hire a pet sitter to check on your dog, play, and give food and water.
  • Doggy daycare: Enroll your German Shepherd in a doggy daycare program. 
  • Inside or outside: Know if your dog is better off inside or outside while you’re away.

So the answer to the question ‘Can German Shepherds Be Left Alone?’ is that you should be able to leave your German Shepherd by itself with confidence at least for short periods if you do the right things.

Remember to give your German Shepherd plenty to do while you’re away. This includes toys, puzzles, and even leaving the TV or radio on. You can leave your German Shepherd home alone without a big problem if you properly socialize and train. 

Stay organized and keep track of your pet’s health, grooming, and care with our easy-to-use German Shepherd Planner.

German Shepherd Planner available on Etsy

Similar Posts