Can Shelties Be Left Alone? (Solved!)

In general, most dog breeds do not want to be separated from their owners for long stretches of time.

Still, this is necessary for most pet owners.

So, how do you know if it is okay to leave your dog alone? And, what can you do to get your dog acclimated to being alone?

In this post, I’ll talk about Shelties in detail.

I’ll discuss whether Shelties can be left alone. In addition, I will go over the best strategies to help your dog cope with being alone while you are out of the house!

You want to make sure that your dog’s needs are met if you are gone during the day. This includes giving them the right amount of attention and love.


Can Shelties Be Left Alone?

Shelties are a popular breed of dog that is loved for their great personalities and cute appearance.

These dogs are energetic but tend to be on the more reserved side. Shelties are also extremely loyal and love getting affection from their owners.

This is why some people wonder whether they can leave their sheltie alone for long stretches of time.

It’s not that you can’t leave your dog alone, but Shelties are a little more emotionally sensitive in comparison to other dogs.

As a result, Shelties are also more likely to get separation anxiety. And, they could develop mental illnesses if they are left alone for too long.

In short, your dog will not like being left alone.

They prefer to be in your company for most of the day!

However, if you have somewhere to be, it is okay to leave your dog alone while you work or are out of the house.

Shelties, like other dog breeds, can be taught to stay alone at home. It just takes patience and works to get your dog comfortable with this arrangement.

I’ll talk more about specific strategies you can use in a later section of the post. But know that you can have a Sheltie even if you aren’t home for most of the day!

How Long Can Shelties Be Left Alone In Your Home?

So, shelties can be left home alone.

But, how long can you stay away from your house and leave your dog there?

Without any kind of training or acclimatization, your Shelties can be alone for a few hours.

They will have plenty to do alone if you leave them toys, treats, and food. However, if you want to leave your dog alone while you work, say for eight or nine hours, you will have to train them.

In general, Shelties shouldn’t be left alone for longer than 6 to 8 hours.

As I mentioned before, this breed is not meant to be left alone all day. But with the right methods and training, you could leave your dog alone for up to 8 hours.

For puppies though, this time frame will shorten dramatically.

Obviously, Sheltie puppies have a smaller bladder and need to be let out more. But Sheltie puppies also have more emotional needs and need to feel safe and secure.

So, only leave puppies alone for four hours at most!

How Can You Acclimate Your Sheltie To Being Alone?

Dogs have to be given the chance to get used to being alone. And, Shelties need to be gradually introduced to staying home alone, as well.

You need to be patient with your dog. They won’t want to be alone all of a sudden. So, this won’t be an easy process for them at first.


You can’t just leave your dog alone for hours and hours out of the blue. You have to build up slowly to leaving them alone fully!

And, there is a time limit, as I mentioned. You only want to leave your dog alone for up to eight hours at most.

But, how do you go about training your dog to stay alone?

To start, you want to begin this process by leaving them alone for short amounts of time.

You can leave them alone for an hour or even thirty minutes while you go on a quick errand or do some chores outside.

Leave your Sheltie alone for this time, then you can reward them with attention when you see them again.

The idea is to get your dog used to be on its own. Slowly, you increase this time. Go from an hour to two hours. Then keep raising it up until your dog can be left alone for a full eight hours comfortably.

Pay attention to how your dog is reacting. This will tell you if you are going to slow or fast with your training.

If your dog is seriously distressed try slowing down your pace. How well this goes will depend on your dog. Some Shelties handle being alone better than others.

However, if you give your dog a lot of attention when you see them, and you play with them and are attentive when you are home, this should make it much easier to leave them during the day!

What Other Methods Will Make It Easier For Your Sheltie To Be Alone?

Two Shelties on a walk by Lonmhaenel (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Still, what other methods will make it easier for you to leave your dog alone?

Walking And Playing

My one big suggestion is to take your dog for a walk before you go to work or leave the house. This small bit of activity will help your dog settle down and let out its energy.

You can also try letting your dog run around your backyard. This will make them less hyperactive and mischievous when they are left alone.

Don’t be afraid to play some fetch with your dog or chase them around. It might be early for you, but your dog will do a lot better with a bit of attention before you go.

In addition, always make sure that you let your dog go outside once you arrive home. They might have been holding in their pee while you were away.

So, it’s crucial that you take them out, otherwise, they could have an accident. Also, ensure that you praise your dog and give them plenty of love when you see them!

Give Them Space

Besides walking your dog and playing with them, I also suggest giving them a limited space to stay in.

This doesn’t mean that you lock your dog up in a crate for eight hours.

Instead, you let them roam in a particular area of the house. Shelties are not destructive by nature. But because they don’t like to be alone they can wreak havoc on your home while you are away.

So give them enough space to be happy, but don’t give them free roam of your whole entire house.

When you put them in this part of your house, they might start to get used to being alone a little more quickly, as they associate this area with you leaving.

What If I Am Gone For Over Eight Hours?

But what if you are gone from your home for over eight hours. What if you need to go somewhere after work, or you have an emergency?

If you leave your Sheltie alone for an extra hour every once in a while this won’t be a huge disaster.

Your dog might be uncomfortable or sad but they can handle a little extra alone time.

However, beyond nine hours, I would suggest that you either have a dog sitter check in on your pet or make other arrangements for them.

This is because your dog could have an accident if you go beyond this time. And, they will start to feel upset and restless.

A pet sitter can be useful as your dog will have someone to take them out. And, your pet sitter could play with them for a little bit to make them feel better.

You can also just have a neighbor or a friend check in on your dog after eight hours. This could be a good option, especially if you don’t have money for a sitter.

For longer periods of time, like the whole day. You will want to have someone sit with your dog. No dog wants to be alone all day, especially Shelties.

So, if you plan to be gone for a full day don’t forget to call someone to stay with your dog. A kennel or dog daycare might work.

But it is better to keep your dog in its home, this way they are more comfortable and happy.

What If I’m Gone For The Whole Day Or Longer?

But, what if you are gone for more than a day?

What if you need to leave your dog at home overnight?

Well, you can leave your dog alone overnight. Your Shelties is just sleeping after all. But if your Sheltie has not seen someone all day this could be detrimental to their mental health.

So, keep this in mind. Your dogs can only handle so much time alone before they get upset.

Finally, if you plan on leaving your home for over a day definitely don’t leave your dog alone!

Remember that your pet needs to be taken care of. They can not go outside on their own or feed themselves. They also need someone to love them and give them attention daily.

So, if you go on vacation make the right arrangements for your Sheltie!

Daycare for dogs is one good option you can try out. This way your dog is not locked up in a kennel all day.

But, your best option would be hiring someone to stay in your home and look after your dog.

It can be hard to find someone you trust to do this job well. However, it is much better to let your Sheltie stay in their own home while you are away.

This is up to you, though.

Someone who knows how to handle dogs and is experienced will be able to fully take care of your Shelties needs.

If you are low on money, though, you can also let your dog stay with a friend or family member. This could be a good choice, as your dog will be with someone they are familiar with.

Really, it is never ideal to leave your dog alone for days at a time.

But, if you are going on vacation, your dog will be okay as long as they have someone else looking after them.


Shelties don’t normally like to be left alone at home for most of the day.

In fact, these dogs are especially vulnerable when they are without the company of their owners for over eight hours.

Still, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get your dog to stay home alone.

Your Sheltie can be trained to be on their own. But you have to be patient and be mindful of your dog’s needs.

Really, Shelties require extra care and attention, a lot more than other types of dogs. So, keep this in mind as you train your dog and try to get them to stay alone at home!

In particular, if you play with your dog before you leave for work, or you let them out early in the morning it will be easier to keep them alone.

Shelties also do better if you give them a limited space to stay alone in.

You don’t want to box them into an overly small space. But, these dogs can tear up your home if you let them roam freely.

All in all, you can leave your dog alone. But if you are gone for more than eight hours you might want to make some arrangements.

This way your dog stays healthy and happy!

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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