How Long Can Golden Retrievers Be Left Alone? Tips and Guidelines

Golden retrievers are known for their friendly and sociable nature, making them a popular choice for families and individuals alike. However, this also means that they require plenty of attention and interaction to thrive. In order to take proper care of your golden retriever, it’s important to understand how long they can comfortably be left alone.

Factors Affecting The Duration

The amount of time a golden retriever can be left alone depends on several factors:


  • Puppies: Younger dogs require more attention and care than adult dogs. Golden retriever puppies shouldn’t be left alone for more than 2 hours at a time.
  • Adults: Adult golden retrievers have a higher tolerance for being alone but should not be left unattended for more than 4-6 hours.
  • Seniors: Older dogs may need more frequent bathroom breaks and could become anxious if left alone for too long. It is best not to leave senior golden retrievers alone for more than 3-4 hours.


Each dog has its own unique personality, with some being more independent than others. Pay close attention to your golden retriever’s behavior when you’re home, as well as any signs of stress or anxiety when you’re away.

Training and Socialization

A well-trained and socialized dog will usually cope better with being left alone. Make sure to invest time in training your golden retriever from an early age, including crate training, which can help them feel secure while you’re away.

Physical Activity Level

Golden retrievers are an energetic breed that requires regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Ensuring they get sufficient physical activity before you leave them alone will help them feel tired and content while you’re gone.

Tips To Help Your Golden Retriever Cope With Being Alone

To ensure your golden retriever remains comfortable and happy while you’re away, consider the following tips:

Establish a Routine

Dogs thrive on routines, so try to establish a consistent schedule for feeding, walks, playtime, and bathroom breaks. This will help your golden retriever feel more secure when you’re not around.

Provide Mental Stimulation

Leave toys, puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys to keep your golden retriever entertained while you’re away. This will help prevent boredom and reduce the risk of destructive behaviors.

Crate Training

Crate training can provide your golden retriever with a safe space where they feel secure when you’re not home. Make sure to introduce the crate gradually and create a positive association with it by offering treats and praise.

Doggy Daycare or Dog Walker

If you have long work days or frequently need to leave your golden retriever alone for extended periods, consider using a doggy daycare service or hiring a dog walker. This will ensure your dog gets the social interaction and exercise they require to stay happy and healthy.

Gradual Desensitization

If your golden retriever shows signs of separation anxiety, gradually increase the time they spend alone. Start with short absences – just a few minutes – then slowly extend the duration as your dog becomes more comfortable.

Read more: Are Golden Retrievers Guard Dogs?

Signs Your Golden Retriever is Struggling With Being Alone

It’s crucial to monitor your golden retriever’s behavior for any signs that they are struggling with being alone. These may include:

  • Excessive barking or whining
  • Destructive behaviors (e.g., chewing furniture)
  • Accidents in the house
  • Escape attempts
  • Pacing or restlessness
  • Lack of appetite

If you notice any of these symptoms, consider consulting with a professional dog trainer or veterinarian for advice on how to address the issue.

Read more: Do Golden Retrievers Have Webbed Feet?


Golden retrievers are loving and social dogs that thrive on interaction with their human companions. While they can be left alone for short periods, it’s essential to ensure they receive adequate attention, exercise, and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. By understanding your dog’s individual needs and providing a supportive environment, you can help your golden retriever cope better when you’re not around. Remember to monitor their behavior for signs of stress or anxiety and seek professional advice if needed.

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roger stanley site owner and primary author
Meet The Author Roger Stanley

Co-owner of 15 years of experience living life with Golden Retrievers and 15 years of experience spending way too much money on them – I believe life’s not worth living without a Golden involved!

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