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Goldendoodles often have separation anxiety and don’t do well when left on their own. They are loyal pack members and want to be with the rest of the pack at all times. Being away from their family can be stressful and often results in bad behaviors.
Of course, us humans can’t always be there for our beloved furry friends. We have jobs and responsibilities and likely have to leave our houses every day. This is often a hard time on your dog especially in the beginning.
If you have a young pet that is just beginning to experience being left home alone, they will probably show signs of distress when you leave.
Why it’s hard for your Goldendoodle to be left alone
Dogs are natural pack animals and thrive best when they are a member of a pack that has a pack order. When part of the pack leaves, especially the pack leaders, a dog can get anxious having to be separated from the leaders.
The same could be said if you were to leave your human child with a babysitter or another beloved family member. They will likely get anxious and cry once you have left them.
They’ll wonder when you are coming back and if you may not ever come back. They may think that you don’t care about them any longer and have left them for good.
The same is true with your dog. All they know is that the pack is gone and they are on their own. You are their pack, even though you are human and they become anxious that you are gone.
For a young puppy, this can be difficult to understand and they may cry, bark, howl and do things they shouldn’t do in the house while you are gone. However, a dog soon learns that you will come back and the anxiety often lessens over time. Especially once you establish a daily routine of coming and going.
What your Goldendoodle may do while you are gone
When you leave the house, your dog could do a variety of things depending on their age, level of training and personality. They may hate it or they may not even care that you are gone because they know you are coming back.
During our time with our doodle, we have noticed specific stages that she has gone through over the years. She is 12 years old now and here are a few of the stages outlined below.
Routine with our puppy
When she was only a few months old, we would leave her in her crate in our gated kitchen when we left our house for work. She was perfectly fine for short amounts of time and it didn’t take long for us to graduate to leaving her outside of her crate in our kitchen when we would leave.
In that area, her bed, crate and water were left out for her to use.
She would usually cry and bark when we would leave and we could still hear her little puppy bark from outside the house.
However, she would settle down and fall asleep in her bed after a while. Then she would get back up and pace around crying and barking.
Routine with our younger dog
During this phase, we had begun to leave her out within the house because she was potty trained. She would get uneasy when we would leave but she never really settled down the whole time we were gone. It’s as if she hadn’t learned that we were coming back and worried the whole time.
When we would leave for work, she would often be crying at the door. When we looked in at her on the camera, she would be sitting up looking out the window and sometimes crying. This is heartbreaking to watch because you just want to go home and comfort them.
Current routine of our Goldendoodle when we leave
At 12 years old now, when we leave our house, she gets a little uneasy and unsure. She typically knows what we are saying and understands that we are leaving. If we say, “We’ll be back,” she knows that this means we are leaving and she isn’t going.
She doesn’t like it but once we leave, she settles down and falls asleep and just hangs out like everything is ok. She understands that we will be coming back soon.
Bad behaviors from your dog from being home alone
We’ve never experienced any bad behavior from our Goldendoodle when being left at home alone. She has generally just slept or cried as outlined above. However, this isn’t the case for many dogs. Some will display bad behavior while you are gone making it a challenge.
Some of the behaviors you might see from your Goldendoodle could include:
- Excessive barking or howling for long periods of time. This could be especially bad if you live in an apartment or close quarters housing.
- Chewing or tearing up things. Whether it’s a couch cushion or a shoe, this is never a good behavior to deal with.
- Going #1 or #2 in the house. This could be a sign of severe separation anxiety unless they are not properly potty trained.
- Trying to escape or get out of their enclosed area. This could be a huge problem if your Goldendoodle does this and may be time to get professional help.
Although it is unlikely that your dog will be on the worse end of the spectrum if well trained, you never really know how different dogs with different personalities are going to respond to being left alone.
What you can do to make it easier for them
As a dog owner, it’s important that you first understand your dog’s behaviors and what actually happens when you leave. As a first step, I would suggest setting up an internet camera facing the area where your dog is.
This way, you will be able to look in on them and see and hear exactly what they are doing.
We own the Blink security cameras and use these anytime we leave our dog at home. The great thing about these is that they are extremely simple to set up using wifi, you can view live video from them and you can even record on motion and receive alerts.
You can also hear audio from these cameras so you’ll know whether or not your dog is crying, barking or howling.
Once you understand their behaviors while they are left home alone, you can then work on those specific behaviors.
We are not experts on dog behavior but we have helped to develop our Goldendoodle into a well behaved dog that can stay many hours at home alone with no problem. From what we have learned, here is our advice.
Establish a routine
Dogs thrive when there is a routine. We always do the same thing when we leave our house. We say the same things to our dog and she started to understand this routine.
We say, “we’ve gotta go, we’ll be back.” Then we hug and kiss her and we always leave out the same door. This is important because if we leave out a different door, she is on edge the entire time we are gone.
When we leave, she always looks sad on the couch as we are leaving but she knows that we will be back.
Don’t make a big deal out of leaving or returning
You don’t want to excite your dog before you leave and then let them down by leaving them. We always make sure to not get excited or show any emotion as we are leaving. We simply do and say the same things and we leave.
When we return, we make it seem as though we never left; as if we simply walked outside and came back. Don’t make a big announcement at the door that you have arrived and let your dog come jump into your arms. This could put them on edge while you are gone and give them an “I can’t wait till they get home” way of thinking.
Try herbal remedies or medicines that may help with separation anxiety
Although we have never had luck with herbal remedies, some people swear by them and it’s worth a try if you are having issues with separation anxiety.
Rescue Remedy is the one we have tried but it didn’t seem to work for our dog. However, it does have good reviews overall so it could be a winner for your dog.
There are others on the market that may work for you and you may also want to try CBD oil for dogs. We have also tried this and have had better luck with it. We have used it mainly when traveling.
Get a pro involved
If you are having trouble leaving your dog at home, you may want to turn to the pros for help. A dog behaviorist may be a great place to start. You may also consider dog obedience training or simply talking to a local dog trainer to get advice.
From my experience with Goldendoodles and knowing other owners, they will generally settle into a routine and be fine staying at home alone.
They are so intelligent that they will usually do fine. However, this depends upon your training and it matters that you start training as soon as possible with your young pup.
Hopefully you will get some good ideas from this article. However, please note that this is for information purposes only and is based off of my experience with my own Goldendoodle. It is not meant to be proper training advice. Each dog is different so if you are having trouble leaving your dog at home alone, don’t be afraid to get a pro involved.