Can Border Collies Be Left Alone? Are 8 Hours Too Long?

Can Border Collies Be Left Alone? Photo of a Border Collie home alone waiting for its owner in the sofa with a ball.

Can Border Collies be left alone for a couple of hours without worrying about his safety and the potential destruction he may cause in your absence? Learn how long can they be left alone in an 8 hours period.

Border Collies can be left alone, but not all the time. They’re a highly sociable breed, and it’s natural for them to crave our company at most times.

Although it’s perfectly fine to leave your Border Collie home alone for a couple of hours here and there, this dog does not tolerate being left alone very well, and they will become destructive and bored while you’re away!

This article will provide you with some important information on how to properly care for your canine companion when leaving him home alone.

Can my Border Collie stay home alone all day?

The short answer is NO! all day alone at home for this dog is way too long! They need to spend some quality time with their pack (family) in order to stay happy and healthy.

You can definitely leave your Border Collie home alone for a couple of hours while you go shopping, but not for longer than that. This means that you will have to look for somebody to come and check on him or bring him with you when you go out.

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Can a Border Collie be left alone for 8 hours?

8 hours alone is too long for a Border Collie! If you have to go out for 8 hours, then do not leave your dog behind unless really necessary.

He will become destructive and feel abandoned by his owner. He may be able to hold it in for that long, but that doesn’t mean he is comfortable doing so.

As a general rule of thumb, if you have to leave your Border Collie home alone all day, then you’re either expecting someone to come and see him every now and then, or you should leave him in a doggy daycare, a dog sitter, a family member, or this is not the dog for you.

How long is too long for a Border Collie to be left alone?

This depends on the age of your Border Collie and his breed. For example, an adult Border Collie can be left at home alone for about 4 hours without any problems, while a puppy should only be left alone for 2-3 hours tops.

There is no single answer here because it all comes down to how much time you have to spend with your dog every day.

If you have to work all day, then you shouldn’t keep him by himself for so long. Border Collies need human companionship in order to stay happy and calm.

How do I leave my Border Collie alone for the first time?

You can familiarize your Border Collie with being alone at home in several steps. Start by letting him stay inside the house in a room alone while you’re there, and then check on him every few minutes until he gets used to that routine.

Once he’s comfortable with it, you can then leave him alone for short periods of time without locking him up in a room, such as letting him stay inside the house while you sit outside and read a book.

After he’s comfortable with that, you can then try leaving the house but not locking him up again. Leave doors open and tell him to “stay” before going out, and then check on him every now and then until he gets used to that routine.

Once your Border Collie is comfortable with staying home alone, you can then try leaving him there while you go out for a couple of hours and do shopping or something similar so that he gets used to the idea of being left behind.

What happens if you leave border collies alone for too long?

A Border Collie that is left alone for too long will get bored, and a bored Border Collie will become destructive and may even develop separation anxiety disorder.

He may start barking and howling, chew on furniture or other stuff lying around, mess up the place, eliminate indoors, and more.

Some Border Collies will do all of that, while others will simply fall into a depressed state where they won’t eat or drink as much as usual.

Either way, this isn’t good for your dog, and you need to make sure he doesn’t get left home alone for way too long.

Signs you’ve been gone for too long

Some signs you’ve been gone for too long are:

  • Destructive behavior;
  • Howling and barking;
  • Refusing food or water;
  • Destroying furniture;
  • Digging at the door.

If you have been gone for too long and your Border Collie is showing signs of anxiety such as those mentioned above, relax! Be firm but calm when telling him “no,” and make sure to spend some quality time with him after he’s calmed down.

Negative Effects of leaving a Border Collie home alone too often

When you leave your Border Collie home alone too often, there are some negative signs to look out for.

Isolation distress

It is a sign of loneliness. If your Border Collie is showing signs of isolation distress, it means that he’s not happy with being alone at home and will try to get your attention in any way possible, such as barking or howling.

You can’t really relate this with misbehavior because these dogs are not aggressive by nature, and they only want you to come home.

Separation anxiety

This is when the dog believes he’s been abandoned or lost and will start panicking in an attempt to find you. Separation anxiety symptoms include excessive barking, drooling, licking your shoes, destroying stuff at home – all of this to grab your attention.

Developing separation anxiety can be dangerous for Border Collies, and it’s up to you to do everything in your power to make sure that doesn’t happen.

8 Ways to leave a happy border collie at home alone

Making sure your Border Collies is happy when left alone at home and preventing your Border collie from becoming anxious or destructive is not an easy task.

It all comes down to training a routine that will make your dog stay calm and relaxed while you’re away from home.

1- A dedicated and comfy space for him to sleep in

Make sure the place you leave your Border Collie at home alone is nice and comfortable. You can even keep his bed and favorite toys in there and let him lie down and chew on them when he feels like.

Providing a safe place for your Border Collie when you’re not at home is crucial. It’s in his nature to prefer resting in a safe space which makes it easy for him to relax and won’t make him feel the need to escape.

2- Give them your clothes

An unwashed t-shirt as a comforter smells like you. It can help alleviate some of the separation anxiety he might be feeling.

3 – Give them stimulating toys

These are a great way to keep your dog entertained and busy while you’re not at home. Kongs filled with peanut butter, treat-dispensing toys, and even a simple chew toy can help keep your Border Collie happy.

Border Collies get bored easily, so make sure to provide them with proper mental stimulation by leaving several puzzle toys, a few balls, and plenty of games to play so they don’t get too depressed.

4 – Install a two-way pet camera

This will allow you to see and talk to your dog from wherever you are, which can make him feel less alone and anxious.

5 – Crate training

If you crate train your Border Collie from an early age, he will feel more relaxed and secure in his “den” when left at home alone.

This is a great way to make sure your dog is calm and relaxed when left home alone. He will feel like he has his own space where he can relax and feel safe.

6 – Play music or leave the TV on

This will help mask the usual silence that is so unsettling for dogs and keep them calm when you are not there.

7 – Leave your dog after giving them proper exercise

Leaving your Border Collie alone can become much easier if you’re spending some playtime with him just before leaving the house.

If your Border Collie has had a good run and some playtime before you leave them at home, they will be more likely to relax and sleep instead of becoming anxious.

Border Collies are extremely high energy dogs, so if you’re going to leave him alone for a long time, make sure he has been properly exercised and is calm before leaving.

8- Don’t make a big deal out of leaving

The less emotional you are when leaving your dog at home, the less emotional he will be as well. Try not to make a big fuss when saying goodbye and just leave quietly. This will help your dog relax and know that you will be back soon.

What is the best toy for your Border Collie when left alone?

There is no definitive answer to this question as every dog is different. However, some of the most popular toys for dogs when left home alone are interactive toys that keep them busy and entertained.

Kongs are a great option, as are treat-dispensing toys and puzzle games. Make sure to rotate the toys your dog has available to keep them from getting bored.

In Conclusion

The bottom line is that leaving your Border Collie at home alone is not an easy task, but it is possible if you follow these tips.

By creating a routine and providing your Border Collie with plenty of mental stimulation toys and activities, you can help make the experience less stressful for both of you while decreasing your Border Collie’s separation anxiety.

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Andre Neves

Hi, I'm Andre and I'm the owner of Sula the Border Collie. I love writing about this amazing dog breed here. I joined the Council to be able to reach and educate more people on the joy of having a pet dog.