Belgian Malinois are dogs that love spending time with their human and getting social interaction.
They are very loyal and can form a great bond and attachment to their owner and family.
They also need to have mental stimulation in plenty, as they are intelligent, smart dogs, and will get easily bored if they do not get enough things to do and occupy their time with.
Belgian Malinois are physically active dogs, bred for herding and used for working purposes, so they have high energy levels and a high work drive.
They do not like to be left alone for long periods of time without exercise and activity.
As a result of this, owners may wonder how their Belgian Malinois will manage on their own for a longer period of time.
They may worry that their dog will get up to something. So, the question is, can Belgian Malinois be left alone?
Can Belgian Malinois Be Left Alone?
Yes, Belgian Malinois can be left alone, but not for too long.
If your house is not big enough for your Belgian Malinois to have space and leisure in, the best thing is to leave him in the backyard or a pen, as long as it’s a nice day.
This will allow him to get some freedom, more space to walk or run, and they will be able to go toilet whenever they need to.
A kennel in the backyard is also a good thing to have, as it will give the dog a refuge and shelter to go to for comfort and rest.
How Long Can A Belgian Malinois Be Left Alone?
A Belgian Malinois should preferably be left alone for no more than two to four hours at a time.
Most Belgian Malinois will get easily bored if left alone for more than that time and this might compel them to chew on furniture or shoes, dig in the backyard, or begin to destroy things around the house.
This is due to the fact that a Belgian Malinois is full of energy and therefore wants to be physically active and get enough exercise.
Being left alone for a long time will lead to boredom and the need to do something to unleash their energy.
So they will begin to do things that will entertain them and discharge their vigor.
Of course, a well trained and good behaved Belgian Malinois could be left for more than two to four hours, but if this is done often, it will impact them negatively.
These dogs need a lot of social interaction with humans and a lot of mental stimulation,.
They could even get separation anxiety as a result.
Belgian Malinois Separation Anxiety
An outcome that could result in a Belgian Malinois being left for many hours alone each day is separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety could occur in some dogs that cannot handle their owner being away from them, and this could lead to them displaying behavior such as aggression and other negative symptoms.
Separation anxiety could lead, just as with boredom, to a number of problematic behaviors.
This includes symptoms such as:
- Excessive vocalization like barking, crying, or whining.
- Destructive behavior which includes chewing on things at home like furniture or carpets for example.
- Toileting in the house.
- Extreme clinginess, following you around the house all the time, or whimpering when you are not around.
- Temper tantrums.
- Appetite loss when left alone.
As well as that, being left alone for longer periods of time repeatedly every day and the onset of separation anxiety could even lead to depression.
The dog would then become sad and morose, moody, uneasy, withdraw from owners and family, become lethargic, and potentially lose their appetite.
In such a case, the dog would require intervention or treatment to help it recover.
How To Train Your Belgian Malinois To Be Left Alone
Some individual Belgian Malinois or other dog breeds cannot even be left alone for a short period of time because they will begin to bark, destroy things, and cause havoc.
This may be due to either that they never learnt to be alone, or because they simply can’t handle it.
In these cases, how then can I train my dog to be able to stay at home on their own?
The best way to start is when the dog is still young or still a puppy.
It is at that period in their life when training is crucial for the dog to learn good behavioral skills and independence.
While a new puppy may want to get attention and care from you all the time, it is important that the dog learns the necessary detachment to become independent in future life.
Otherwise, he may become fully dependent on you and will not be able to be left without supervision, as he may begin to show anxiety, whining or crying, barking, chewing, and a number of other problematic and destructive traits.
Step By Step Guide
To teach you Belgian Malinois to become independent so that he can be left alone, start by leaving your dog on his own when he is lying on his bed and move a distance away from him.
If he follows you immediately, order him to go back to his bed and ask him to stay there.
When he does so and lies on his bed quietly without wanting to get your attention as you distance yourself from him, reward him.
Every day, try to move further away from your dog while your dog lies on his bed or on the other side of the room, rewarding him for staying there on his own.
When your dog is able to lie still without you being there all the time beside him, exit the room for a little while to see how your dog reacts.
If your dog continues to lie down or remains calm, reward him. If your dog reacts, begins moving uneasily, or takes off after you, go back to the first stage of the training.
Each day increase the length of time gradually that your dog stays in a room without you.
If your dog remains peaceful and doesn’t immediately get up to follow you each time it lies down and you leave, try shutting the door to ensure that your dog will still remain calm.
Usually, if a dog is able to rest for an hour or more without wanting your attention, this will then indicate that it is okay to leave him on his own if you need to go somewhere.
This is a crucial training process, because the dog will have to learn to entertain itself at times when you are busy, and to be able to stay cool and composed without your constant presence.
If you are worried about leaving your dog the first couple of times on his own, try setting up a [amazon link=”B0899GLP7R” title=”Dog Camera” link_icon=”amazon” /] somewhere in an area of the house to see how your dog gets on and how he behaves.
How To Keep Your Belgian Malinois Happy When Alone?
One way to keep your dog happy is to leave him with his favorite toy, or a number of toys.
Your dog will most likely be happy to chew on these and play with them to unleash their energy and prevent boredom.
There are a number of different toys designed for dogs that offer a lot of mental stimulation and keep your dog entertained for a long time.
One of these is the [amazon link=”B000AYN7LU” title=”Kong Toy” link_icon=”amazon” /], a rubber dog toy that has a hollow cavity which can be stuffed with food items such as treats, dog kibble, or peanut butter.
The idea is that the dog will chew the toy and try to lick the treats or filling out of the inside of the toy, which will help keep the dog mind’s sharp and provide a challenge for him.
Some people even freeze the toy so that it will be harder for the dog to get the treats or stuffing out of the toy, therefore extending the time of entertainment for the dog.
Another good toy is a [amazon link=”B00P0MK4UO” title=”Treat Ball” link_icon=”amazon” /], which can be loaded with delicious treats that will be dispensed out of the ball when your dog plays with it.
The dog will push the ball about and fiddle with it to try to get the treats out, which will dispense out of the ball one by one.
This will provide a fun and a challenge for your dog, just as with the Kong toy.
Benefits Of Toys
Both of these toys are ideal for Belgian Malinois and all other dog breeds, because they help burn energy and give the dog some exercise, as they move around and get into motion as they attempt to get the treats out.
They help stimulate the mind and raise dog’s natural instincts of hunting and foraging food like their ancestors did.
They also help dogs that wolf down their food and end up with indigestion or other stomach related problems.
Moreover, they combat boredom and prevent the possibility of your dog getting separation anxiety.
The toys also help combat the dog’s need to chew and thus prevent any unwanted destructive behaviors, keeping your dog happy even when left alone.
Apart from toys, there are edible raw animal bones and special raw hide bones to buy for your dog to chew on.
These bones, often made from the inner layer of horse or cow hides, will relieve stress, anxiety, and energy levels, therefore also helping to stave off boredom.
Additionally, they will be good for your dog’s gums, teeth, and overall dental health, as such bones clean the teeth, remove tartar buildup, and bacteria.
Another good way to ensure you dog will be happy when left alone will be to go for a long walk or run before leaving your done on its own.
This will provide physical exercise for your dog and help them release their energy before you leave, so they will be tired and will want to rest and sleep when you are away.
This will be perfect as they will not be bothered to much by your lack of presence, because they will be exhausted and will want to relax and replenish their energy.
Ensure your dog always has a comfortable spot, bed, or cozy kennel to go to when they are tired or alone.
This will mean that even when they are on their own, they will have a reassuring and pleasant place to stay in when you are not around.
In conclusion, can Belgian Malinois be left alone?
Belgian Malinois can be left alone.
However, it is advisable not to leave them alone for more than two to four hours at a time to avoid the dog becoming bored or even prone to getting separation anxiety.
If you are going away for a long time, you will want to leave your dog something fun and challenging to do.
You can keep your dog happy by providing them with toys, chew bones, or treat dispensers to help ward off boredom and release pent-up energy.
These can be very entertaining for your dog, and will also clean their teeth and prevent them wanting to chew on other things.
You can also give your Belgian Malinois exercise before leaving, so that when you’re away the dog will be happy to rest and sleep instead of looking for activities to do to unload their energy.