How long can I leave my Dachshund alone?

We are often asked by potential owners if it is OK to have a Dachshund and leave it alone while going out to work. Dogs are highly social creatures and there is lots of research evidence showing how badly some dogs can suffer from Separation Anxiety.

In general, we would suggest that the maximum length of time you should leave any dog alone 4 hours and that is for an adult dog. They should not, in any case, be left in a small cage (crate) for long periods and you may find that a foldaway pen might be more practical and allow your dog more space. Dogs must have access to fresh drinking water at all times.

Puppies, in particular, need socialisation before being left on their own, otherwise there is an increased risk of separation anxiety, destructive behaviour and excessive barking. Puppies also need to be able to go outside to relieve themselves more frequently than an adult dog (at least every hour if you want to get them house-trained). We do recommend that training your puppy to get used to being left alone in a cage is a good idea. A cage is a place where your puppy can go for some quiet time if she chooses. Being able to confine your dog to a cage is also useful for travelling your Dachshund in the car and, if the worst should happen, if she needs to be confined for medical reasons (such as after an IVDD incident).

Whilst there will always be success stories from those who DO successfully leave their dogs for long periods, there has recently been a HUGE upsurge in adverts from people selling young adult dogs because they don’t have the time/their working arrangements have changed/it isn’t fair on the dog etc. By the very nature of many Dachshund-focused Facebook Groups, you are bound to get an over-representation of those who HAVE made a success of it, and under-representation of those who haven’t – they are unlikely to comment due to embarrassment or they are unwilling to admit to having a problem.

For all the above reasons, many responsible breeders will not sell a puppy to full time workers unless they have a very clear, solid and sustainable dog care plan in place. If a seller doesn’t ask you questions about your plans, that is a good indicator they are only interested in your money, not in the long term health and welfare of the dogs they breed.

A good place to continue your research is our Dachshund Breed Council website buyer’s guide and owner’s guide, as well as our associated health site. Read it thoroughly! Good luck!

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