Having a dog is almost like having a child. You worry about feeding them, walking them and you also worry about leaving them alone when you need to go out. Unfortunately, most people, probably you too, have to work for 8 or more hours a day.
If your cocker spaniel is the puppy you want to get, you must want to know whether they can be left alone for as long as you need to be out of the house. In this article, we will answer that and tell you how to go about preparing them to be independent and okay being alone.
Can cocker spaniels be left alone?
Yes, cocker spaniels can be left alone. The question is usually for how long is it okay to leave your cocker spaniel alone? Cocker spaniels are an energy-intense dog breed due to their working and hunting background. As much as you may not have much time for it, they will still need a lot of physical exercises.
Another thing to consider is your cocker spaniel’s age. When dogs are puppies, they cannot hold themselves for long periods of time and they will need to go outside to relieve themselves regularly. Regardless of their age, however, you shouldn’t leave your adult cocker spaniel alone for more than 5 hours at a time in the house.
How do you train your cocker spaniel to be independent?
Before you leave your spaniel puppy home alone, you will need to prepare and train them to be alone. Here is how to do it.
If you are a working pet parent, crate training is one of the best ways to teach your dog to be independent. To start with, you will need a suitable dog crate for a cocker spaniel. Ideally, a dog crate should only be large enough for the dog to stand, turn around and lie down comfortably. If your cocker spaniel is still growing, you might want to consider buying a metal crate that comes with a divider that you can move to increase the size of the crate as they grow. This way, you will not have to buy a new dog crate every couple of months.
Once you get a crate, start by positively conditioning your cocker spaniel to like the crate. You can do this by giving them treats in the crate or feeding them in the crate. You should also make the crate comfortable for your puppy by throwing in a blanket or a fleece mat.
Start by getting them in the crate whilst keeping the door open until they are comfortable being in the crate. Continue by closing the door for a few minutes while they are in there but still stay in the room. As their comfort in the crate increases, progress to leaving your puppy in the crate for up to 30 minutes whilst you go out and eventually you can extend this time period. We have already discussed that you shouldn’t leave them in their crate for more than 5 hours at a time. So, what happens if you have to work for longer than that? Here are some viable alternatives.
Depending on where you live, you can find a doggie day care that you could take your cocker spaniel to whilst you are out working. In such a facility, your cocker spaniel can interact and play with other dogs. If you can afford a doggie day care, it is an ideal situation for you and your cocker spaniel. They are not alone in the house all day and you don’t have to worry about them all day long. Doggie day cares can, however, be expensive for some people.
A dog walker
A dog walker is another way to give your cocker spaniel a break when you are out on a long work shift. A dog walker can come and get your dog and take them for a walk. Other than the needed break, the walk will is good for their physical exercise and the mental stimulation your cocker spaniel needs.
Don’t forget to check your cocker spaniel is getting the right amount of walks for their age. Check out this guide on how long you should be walking a cocker spaniel puppy each day.
Check on your cocker spaniel over your lunch break
If you can make it, you can also go home over your lunch hour to let them out for a bathroom break and play a little with them.
A doggie camera or a treat dispenser
You can also get an automatic dog treat dispenser with a camera that lets you check on your cocker spaniel pup. Some of these treat dispenser cameras also come with a two-way microphone that allows you to talk to your dog and calm them down if they are acting up.
Ask a family member or a neighbour to come and take your cocker spaniel out for a bathroom break.
You can also ask a family member or a neighbour to come and check on your cocker spaniel pup and take them out for a bathroom break.
Read next: How to stop puppies crying at night?
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Yes, a cocker spaniel can be left alone, but you have to consider how long you have to leave them alone. If you have to be out of the house for more than 5 hours, you should arrange for someone to come take them out for a bathroom break.
Before you can leave your cocker spaniel alone in the house, crate training is going to be very helpful. Train your cocker spaniel to be alone.
Whatever the case, don’t forget to give your cocker spaniel enough physical exercise. Take them out for a walk in the morning or evening and take them out to a dog park on your days off or whenever you can.