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One of the most important parts of adopting a new pet is to ensure they fit into your lifestyle. You’ve got to make sure you have the time to accommodate all their needs…and some dogs are needier than others!
So where do Rottweilers fall in terms of neediness and do Rottierweilers do well alone?
Healthy adult Rottweilers can do well alone if they’re trained properly. However, they shouldn’t be left alone for more than 4 to 6 hours at a time. Not only will they need a bathroom break but any longer than that and you may start to see a decline in your Rottie’s overall behavior.
We’re going to cover everything you need to know about leaving your Rottie alone without a hitch…or a chewed up shoe!
What Determines How Well Rotties Do With Alone Time
Let’s start by taking a closer look at what factors can help Rotties handle alone time.
Big Rottweilers Have Bigger Bladders
One of the first things to consider is how long your Rottweiler can go before they need a bathroom break. Bigger dogs have bigger bladders and that means they can typically go a little longer between bathroom breaks compared to small dogs with tiny bladders.
In fact, most big dogs can hold their bladder for as long as 12 hours! But just because they can, doesn’t mean they should! Rottweilers are eager to please and they’ll do their best to hold their bladder even it’s uncomfortable.
Not getting access to bathroom breaks could actually cause health problems over the long term including kidney problems, urinary tract infections, and even incontinence.
In general, you’ll want to take your Rottweiler out for a pee break at least every four to six hours to keep them comfortable and prevent any problems. But their big bladder makes them a little better at being alone compared to smaller pups.
How Old Is Your Rottie?
While most adult Rottweilers do well alone, the situation is a bit different when it comes to senior dogs or young puppies.
Puppies Need More Breaks And More Interaction
Remember how your big Rottie has a big bladder?
Well, it wasn’t always that way! Rottweiler puppies have smaller bladders and need way more frequent breaks. In fact, most puppies can only hold their bladder one hour for each month of age. That means a three-month-old Rottweiler puppy can only hold their bladder for three hours!
But that’s not the only issue here.
Young dogs and puppies have a lot to learn about the world and it’s your job to teach them! If your young Rottie is sitting in a crate or a small room for 8 or more hours a day they’re left to figure out a lot on their own and the result may not always be what you want it to be.
Socialization is also absolutely critical as a puppy and according to the AKC “Puppies develop at a fast pace, so there is a small window of opportunity when they are from 5 to 16 weeks old to effect positive development.” If your puppy is spending all day alone, they aren’t getting the key socializations that will help them grow into a healthy adult Rottweiler!
Of course, spending some time alone is part of your puppy’s socialization as well but it’s important to ease into it.
Older Rottweilers Need More Breaks, Too
Senior Rottweilers need more bathroom breaks as their bladder control isn’t as strong as it once was. It’s also possible that older dogs have less of a tolerance for holding it.
With a lifespan of around 9 to 10 years, a Rottweiler is considered to be a senior at around 7 years old. Dogs in this age, or even a little younger, will probably new more bathroom breaks which will impact how well they do alone.
Does Your Dog Get Plenty Of Exercise and Mental Stimulation?
If your dog goes from spending 6 hours in the crate to spending the rest of the day on the couch while you watch TV then they’re going to have a lot of extra energy.
Not only will that make their time alone a lot more boring, but that energy is likely to come out somewhere.
Rottweilers, just like any other dog, need regular physical exercise and mental stimulation. If your Rottweiler isn’t getting enough of either, they might be more likely to take on destructive behaviors while they’re left alone.
If you’ve got to regularly leave your Rottie alone for several hours, make sure you’re giving them plenty of exercise and interaction when you are home. Not only will that improve their overall health, but it can also improve how well they handle alone time.
Does Your Rottie Suffer From Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a complex condition that affects dogs of all types including Rottweilers.
If your Rottweiler is showing signs of separation anxiety then you’ll need to carefully manage alone time. While the symptoms can vary between individual dogs, it’s most often characterized by destructive or anxious behavior anytime you leave your dog alone.
Separation anxiety is a complex subject, and well beyond the scope of this article. While Rottweilers can show some clingy behavior like following their favorite people around the house, they’re not any more prone to anxiety than any other dog.
Does Your Rottie Have A Canine Buddy?
While they can’t let each other out for a bathroom break, having another dog at home can give your Rottie some playtime and interaction which will, in turn, help them do better alone.
The best companion dogs for Rottweilers are typically bigger, intelligent dogs that can keep up with your burly Rottweiler. Even though Rottweilers can get along with smaller dogs like Chihuahuas or even Pugs they aren’t the perfect companions because they can be a little too fragile for a vigorous Rottie play session.
It will also help if your Rottweiler and their companion have at least a little free roam of the house. If your two dogs are in a small area, like a bathroom, you could end up with other problems if they’re lacking enough space to stay out of each other’s way.
How To Leave A Rottweiler Home Alone
There are several ways you can prepare your Rottweiler to make being home alone as easy for them as possible- let’s take a look at a few!
Consider A Pet Camera
We’ve taken a look at some general guidelines to help explain how most Rotties handle alone time but it will vary between individual Rottweilers.
The best way to understand how your dog will handle time alone is just to watch them by picking up a pet camera!
If you see your dog pacing, whining, or generally showing anxious behaviors then you know that some things need to be adjusted.
But if instead, your dog is napping away between chomping on their KONG then you’re in the clear!
Without getting eyes on your pup while you’re away it’s hard to know what’s really going on and how well they’re handling alone time.
If your dog is using the bathroom while you’re gone, a camera can also let you figure out what time this is happening so you can time your lunch break at work or pick the perfect time to schedule your dog walker.
Pet cameras have come a long way from where they started! Not only are they more budget-friendly than ever but this Furbo camera on Amazon comes with a two-way microphone so you can talk to your Rottie, along with the ability to shoot out a treat and even a push notification if your dog barks.
That’s a pretty serious setup!
But it’s also going to be a bit over the top for some Rottie parents. If you just want to keep an eye on what’s going on without all the bells and whistles check out this budget-friendly camera on Amazon that still features great clarity and a two-way microphone.
Ease Them Into Being Alone
Don’t leave your Rottweiler alone for 6 hours right away if they aren’t used to this. Instead, start small and work your way to leaving for longer periods.
Ideally, you’re always back before your dog gets anxious. Start with super simple scenarios like just leaving the room while your dog enjoys a meal. From there you can, slowly work on going further away for longer amounts of time as your dog learns that being alone is okay.
Create A Safe Space
Many dogs’ safe space is their crate, but it doesn’t have to be. What’s important is that your dog has someplace they can go that’s quiet and comfortable.
This might be a blanket on the couch where they like to perch and look out the window, or a crate in the bedroom. Ideally, you can puppy or dog-proof this space as well so that they can’t hurt themselves or damaged items in your home.
Provide Plenty Of Exercise
Provide your Rottweiler with plenty of exercise every day. These high-energy dogs need around 45 minutes to an hour of exercise a day including daily walks and playtime.
Rotties who haven’t had exercise will be more prone to stressing while you’re gone and may have behavioral problems such as excessive barking or destructive chewing.
Create an exercise routine that begins with getting their energy out shortly before you leave home. This way, they’re ready to nap while you’re gone!
Provide Independent Puzzles
Boredom can be a real issue for dogs that have to spend a lot of time alone but simple food puzzles can go a long way to keeping dogs entertained. While there are tons of categories to choose from, any kind of durable slow feeder makes a great option.
One of my favorite options are snuffle matts which require your dog to sniff out their food and find it under layers of fabric. You can check out one of my favorites on Amazon here but you simply sprinkle some kibble on the mat and let it get lost throughout. Then your Rottie has to use their powerful nose to find the food.
KONG toys are always a good option too and you don’t need anything beyond the basic option which you can see here. However, because the goal is to keep your dog busy for as long as possible I highly recommend freezing the KONG with just about any kind of treat inside.
Check out this video to see how to do this and a very cute Rottie that loves his frozen KONG:
Have Someone Stop By The House
Your Rottweiler’s day will have to be broken up somehow. The easiest way to do this, though it isn’t an option for some people, is to return home on your lunch break.
Spend some time with your pup, give them a potty break, then return to work.
But if that’s not an option, consider hiring a dog sitter or a dog walker. It’s easier than ever to do this and apps like Wag allow you to hire a dog walker in the same way you would an Uber. The pricing is also very reasonable and all you need is one good walk during a workday to give your Rottweiler some much-needed exercise and a bathroom break.
Consider Doggy Daycare
Okay, it’s not exactly the same as leaving your Rottweiler alone but doggy daycare can be an option if it’s within your budget.
Your dog will get tons of attention and have their needs met. They can also get some valuable socialization and meet new friends!
Leave The Music On
While you’ve probably heard of folks leaving the TV or radio on during the day, and that can help, studies have shown that music can actually reduce anxiety for dogs. Classical music has been shown to work the best but just make sure that whatever you play is calm and soothing.
Overall, Rottweilers do pretty well with alone time. Of course, there are always special circumstances but with some basic training and a few good toys your Rottie shouldn’t have any problems happily spending some time alone.