Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone? All You Need To Know


Golden Retrievers are one of America’s most popular dog breeds, and it’s no wonder why.

They’re friendly, and intelligent, and make great family pets.

But, like any pet owner, you might wonder, can golden retrievers be left alone?

This blog post will explore this question in detail, discussing factors like temperament, age, and how to prepare your dog for alone time.

Before we dive in, let’s take a look at what we’ll be discussing:

Understanding Golden Retrievers

To determine whether golden retrievers can be left alone, it’s essential to understand their breed characteristics and temperament. Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and sociable nature, making them great companions.

However, this also means that they can become attached to their human family members.

Breed characteristics:

  • Size: Golden Retrievers are medium to large-sized dogs weighing between 55 to 75 pounds, depending on their gender.
  • Coat: Their beautiful golden coat is water-repellent and requires regular grooming to keep it clean and healthy.
  • Lifespan: On average, Golden Retrievers live for 10-12 years.


  • Friendly: Golden Retrievers are well-known for their friendly and outgoing personalities, making them excellent family pets.
  • Intelligent: As mentioned earlier, they’re ranked as the third most intelligent dog breed, which means they can be trained relatively easily.
  • Loyal: These dogs are known for their loyalty to their families and can form strong bonds with their human companions.

Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone?

Now that we better understand Golden Retrievers’ breed characteristics and temperament, let’s address the question: can golden retrievers be left alone?

The answer is yes, but with some caveats.

Separation Anxiety in Golden Retrievers:

Golden Retrievers are prone to separation anxiety due to their strong bonds with their human family members.

If they’re not properly prepared for alone time or left alone for extended periods, they can become anxious and exhibit destructive behaviors.

Factors Affecting a Golden Retriever’s Ability to Be Alone:

  • Age: Puppies and older dogs have different needs and may struggle with being left alone for long periods.
  • Socialization: Proper socialization from an early age can help your Golden Retriever become more comfortable with alone time.
  • Training: Teaching your dog to be comfortable alone is essential, and crate training can be useful.

So, while Golden Retrievers can be left alone, it’s crucial to consider their needs and ensure they’re properly prepared for alone time.

How Long Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone?

The length of time a Golden Retriever can be left alone depends on age and temperament.

Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the appropriate duration for your dog:

Age Considerations:

  • Puppies: Young puppies need more attention and care; they should not be left alone for more than 2-3 hours at a time.
  • Adults: Adult Golden Retrievers can typically be left alone for up to 6-8 hours as long as they have been properly trained and prepared.
  • Seniors: Older dogs may need more frequent bathroom breaks and should not be left alone for more than 4-6 hours.

Individual Temperament:

Each dog is unique, and some Golden Retrievers may be more comfortable being alone than others. Observe your dog’s behavior and take note of any signs of anxiety or distress when you’re away.

Remember that even if your Golden Retriever can be left alone for 8 hours, it’s essential to provide adequate exercise, mental stimulation, and companionship when you’re home.

To learn more about their energy levels, check out our article on are golden retrievers hyper-energy?

Preparing Your Golden Retriever for Alone Time

Proper training and preparation are essential to ensure your Golden Retriever is comfortable and safe when left alone.

Here are some tips to help your dog adjust to being alone:

Training Tips:

  • Gradual Desensitization: Start by leaving your dog alone for short periods and gradually increase the duration. This will help them become accustomed to being alone without becoming anxious.

  • Establish a Routine: Consistent routines can help your dog feel more secure when you’re not around. Set specific times for feeding, walking, and playtime to create a sense of predictability.

  • Reward Good Behavior: Praise and reward your dog when they remain calm and relaxed as you leave and return home. This will reinforce that being alone is a positive experience.

Crate Training:

Crate training can effectively create a safe and comfortable space for your Golden Retriever when you’re not at home.

Teaching your dog to associate their crate with positive experiences will make them feel more secure and relaxed when left alone. Ensure the crate is large enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie comfortably.

For more tips on keeping your Golden Retriever safe and secure, read our article on can golden retriever protect home from intruders?

Tips for Leaving Your Golden Retriever Alone

When leaving your Golden Retriever alone, ensuring they have everything they need to stay comfortable, entertained, and safe is important. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Mental Stimulation and Toys:

Provide your dog with interactive toys and puzzles to keep their minds occupied while you’re away. This can help alleviate boredom and prevent destructive behaviors.

Comfortable Environment:

Make sure your dog has a cozy place to rest, such as a comfortable bed or crate, and access to fresh water at all times. Keep the temperature in your home comfortable for your dog, taking into account their thick coat.

Exercise Before Leaving:

A well-exercised dog is more likely to be relaxed and content when left alone. Before you leave, engage your Golden Retriever in a vigorous play session or take them for a long walk to tire them out.

Remember, every dog is different, and you’ll need to observe your Golden Retriever’s behavior and adjust your routine accordingly.

Monitoring Your Golden Retriever While You’re Away

Being able to keep an eye on your Golden Retriever while you’re not at home can provide peace of mind and help you identify any issues that may arise. Here are some ways to monitor your dog when you’re away:

Technology Solutions:

Invest in a pet camera with two-way audio, allowing you to see and interact with your dog remotely. Some cameras even have treat dispensers, so you can reward your dog for good behavior while you’re away.

Trusted Neighbors or Friends:

Ask a trusted neighbor or friend to check on your Golden Retriever periodically, especially if you’re away for an extended period.

They can provide your dog with companionship, take them for a walk, or address any issues that may arise.

By keeping an eye on your dog and ensuring they’re comfortable, you can minimize the chances of separation anxiety and other issues related to being left alone.

Signs of Separation Anxiety in Golden Retrievers

It’s essential to be aware of the signs of separation anxiety in your Golden Retriever, so you can address the issue promptly and effectively.

Here are some common symptoms to watch for:

  • Excessive barking or howling when left alone
  • Destructive behaviors, such as chewing on furniture or digging
  • House soiling in a previously house-trained dog
  • Attempting to escape from their confined area
  • Pacing or panting excessively

What to do if your dog is experiencing separation anxiety:

If you suspect your Golden Retriever is experiencing separation anxiety, consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog trainer.

They can provide guidance on behavior modification techniques, training strategies, and, if necessary, medication to help manage your dog’s anxiety.


In conclusion, Golden Retrievers can be left alone, but it’s essential to consider factors like their age, temperament, and individual needs.

By understanding your dog’s unique requirements, providing them with a comfortable environment, and ensuring they receive adequate mental stimulation and exercise, you can help them feel secure and content when left alone.

Remember to monitor your dog’s behavior and watch for any signs of separation anxiety. If you suspect your Golden Retriever is struggling with being alone, seek professional guidance from a veterinarian or dog trainer.

With patience, consistency, and proper training, your Golden Retriever can learn to be comfortable and happy during alone time.

We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into the question, can golden retrievers be left alone?

Following these guidelines can help ensure your beloved pet remains happy, healthy, and well-adjusted.

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