Owning a Rottweiler can be an amazing experience. They are loving and loyal companion animals with one of the highest ranked intelligence levels in the dog world. The Rottweiler is a very people focused dog and loves nothing more than spending time with their family. There comes times however when the family needs to leave the home, and that raises a question.
Can Rottweilers be left home alone? As a general rule Rottweilers can be left home alone for moderate periods of time, depending on age. A well balanced Rottweiler will do just fine when left at home, but because they are such people oriented dogs separation anxiety can become a problem for Rottweilers.
Understanding the needs of the Rottweiler is the first step in successfully being able to leave them at home alone. This is a very smart, active, and family oriented dog so you will need to address a few things to provide them with a feeling of comfort and relaxation when left home alone.
In this article I will go over some great tips and tricks to get your well on your way to being able to leave a Rottweiler home alone. Let’s dive in.
Can a Rottweiler Be Left Alone For 8 Hours?
As a whole a well balanced Rottweiler that is having all their physical and mental needs met can be left alone for up to 8 hours. It is recommended that even for adult Rottweilers you limit time alone to 6 hours if possible, but a content Rottie can make it an entire work day.
Rottweiler puppies will need more attention and need periodic potty breaks every 3-4 hours. It is important that in the first 6 months of your Rottweiler’s life that you are able to provide them with enough time to relieve themselves and have some time to play every few hours.
Adults would benefit from a similar routine as well. But let’s face it not everyone can attend to their dog every 3-4 hours when working away from home. Hiring a dog walker, or asking a friend to stop by mid day to give your Rottie a break from alone time is highly recommended.
Do Rottweilers Have Separation Anxiety?
On average Rottweilers are prone to separation anxiety. Rottweilers are a people focused dog that thrives when given a job to perform. When left home alone a Rottweiler can become anxious and direct their nervous energy into unwanted actions such as destructive behaviors and excessive barking.
There are ways to combat separation anxiety with a Rottweiler. Meeting some of their basic needs to alleviate and prevent anxiety can be simple and routine. In the next section I will go over some of my best tips for helping to calm a Rottie with separation anxiety.
How To Calm An Anxious Rottweiler Left Home Alone
Calming an anxious Rottweiler that is left home alone can be as simple as applying one of the following tips, or a little more complicated by introducing multiple. But let’s face it, the extra effort in any case is better than the alternative.
I have personally used most of these techniques with my Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She had separation anxiety as a puppy, and as a new owner I had to find solutions to help relieve her anxious behaviors.
Now that I have my Pocket Bully puppy, I have proactively used most of these to ensure he never suffers from anxiety, and so far it has worked for both. Rottweilers are similar to Staffies when it comes to human focus and energy levels. I am certain applying these tips will be a tremendous help.
Exercise & Mental Stimulation
One of the most important, if not THE most important tip I can offer is exercise and mental stimulation. Rottweilers are very active dogs physically and mentally. The instincts of the working dog paired with their high level of intelligence makes physical and mental exercise crucial.
I have always said that a tired dog is a happy dog. When it comes to treating and preventing separation anxiety, making sure your Rottweiler has had enough exercise and brain work is important.
Before leaving the home for the day or a few errands, take your Rottweiler for a good walk or engage them in a rigorous activity. Draining some of the excess energy they have physically will help keep them calm and content when home alone.
Walks, fetch, flirt poles, and obedience training can all be great ways to exercise your Rottweiler. Never discount the importance of mental stimulation. Working your Rottweiler’s brain through challenging activities and training exercises can drain a lot of energy.
Have a plan to give your Rottweiler some exercise prior to leaving the house and you will have a much more relaxed and content dog. Don’t let things end there however, exercise and stimulation should happen after you have returned as well. This added activity will carry over day to day.
Crate training is one of the best tools you can use when it comes to separation anxiety. By giving your Rottweiler a safe space to relax, be comfortable, and rest you are preventing anxiety from becoming an issue.
I have crate trained both of my dogs and had tremendous results. Teaching your dog that their crate is a safe space to be when you are away strips away anxious feelings. Left out in the open, dogs will often feel the need to protect and guard the entire home. Rottweilers especially.
By providing them this space you are removing any perceived job of protection they might have. Introduce your dog to the crate slowly and gently. The top priority is making this an enjoyable, calm, and safe space.
My American Bully puppy loves his crate now after only a couple days of training. He will often put himself to bed now when he needs a break. Chester knows that his crate is always comfortable, safe, and stress free. Even when I am gone from home for a few hours.
Desensitization training is what it sounds like. You are desensitizing your Rottweiler to the idea of being left home alone. This type of training, much like crate training, should be done slowly and gradually increase durations over time.
The basic premise of desensitization training is making leaving your home a non-event. This means leaving your Rottweiler alone without making a big fuss or building up when you leave, and not getting them excited when you come home.
That means no “Mama is gonna miss you!”, goodbye kisses, and or anything that will get your Rottweiler excited. You simply grab your keys in a calm manner, and walk out the door. Start this exercise with only a minute or two outside the door, then increase gradually.
When you return home reward your dog if they are calm with some equally calm affection or food. Make your return home a non-event just like leaving. Soon your Rottweiler will associate calm with being left alone and not excited energy.
Distractions & Activities
Rottweilers need a distraction or a job to do. It is part of their nature and when you are not around to provide them with mental stimulation, you will have to provide them with something to do on their own.
One example of a great distraction and activity for your Rottweiler is giving them a frozen Kong. I keep several Kongs in my freezer at all times so I can use one for either one of my dogs. Kongs provide a great distraction and will drain your Rotties mental energy as they work to get their treats free.
Hard to destroy chew toys are also a good option. Dogs will naturally soothe and calm themselves through the act of chewing. Think of it as a dog version of meditation and yoga. Focusing on the act of chewing will help relieve anxious feelings and burn off some mental and physical energy.
Control The Environment
Being able to control your Rottweiler’s environment will help remove any unnecessary triggers for their anxiety or anxious behaviors. If your dog is prone to barking at the windows for example, have them in a space away from windows.
Loud noises can also trigger anxiety with some dogs. When you are away from home place your Rottweiler in a quiet space where they can relax and have some peace and quiet.
As mentioned before, having a crate for your Rottweiler to stay is a great way to control the environment. I have even used soothing music and sounds for my dogs to give them an added layer of comfort in the environment when I am away.
Reward Good Behavior, Ignore Unwanted Behavior
Rottweilers that act in an anxious manner as you are about to leave the home should be ignored. To some this may sound cruel or mean, but it is for the best and will subside if they realize this behavior does not garner your attention.
Instead reward the calm behaviors as often as possible. When you return home and find your Rottweiler calmly relaxing, reward them. Not in an excited fashion as I mentioned in the above desensitization training, but calmly give them a treat or praise.
This trick can be a little nuanced and will take some practice, but it is effective to promote wanted behavior, and give no attention to unwanted behavior. Encourage the good, ignore the bad.
Help from a professional is always recommended as well. A trained dog behaviorist can access your specific situation and provide detailed plans of action to address anxious behaviors and how to work towards correcting them.
Consider Supplementation For Anxiety
Supplementation is an added option to the tips above. A Rottweiler can have a high level of anxiety that no matter how much exercise, training, and environmental control they receive, still are anxious. This is where supplementation can be helpful.
There have been some great results in the realm of supplementation for anxiety over the years. Things like CBD oil, and herbal chews are just a few of the possible solutions.
There are a variety of chews and treats available to help naturally calm and relax your Rottweiler when they suffer chronic anxiety. Products like PetHonesty premium hemp chews use ingredients like chamomile, melatonin and valerian root in their delicious chew formula.
I have created a fantastic resource for CBD Oil For Dogs on my resources and reviews page that will break down the benefits and the best brands on the market to consider for your Rottie.
Few things in life can upset you as much as an anxious dog. Without knowing how to help them you are left feeling powerless and frustrated. That was me when I first got my dog that suffered from separation anxiety. I wish I had known what I knew no back then.
I can say from my own experience that these tips for helping your Rottweiler with separation anxiety will help. With some time, consistency and patience you will notice a tremendous difference in your dog.
Whether you have a Rottweiler now that is anxious when left home alone, or plan to get a new puppy and prevent separation anxiety. Use these tips. They will apply to both situations and provide you and your dog with some much needed relaxation and relief.