There will be times in our busy lives when our Mini Schnauzer will need to be left alone. Whether that is just for an hour or two or eight to ten hours when at work. No dog really likes to be left alone but it is something they will manage. This guide will give you tips and advice about how to go about it to make this a less stressful experience for them.
Can Miniature Schnauzers be left alone
Most Miniature Schnauzers are fine being left home alone for short or longer periods of time. Every dog is an individual and for some Mini Schnauzer, it may be a struggle. This has a lot to do with training rather than a trait of the breed.
It is important to ensure they have everything they need to keep occupied and prevent boredom. Boredom is the main cause of behavior issues like destructive behavior and nuisance barking. It is also to ensure that the environment is safe and they can’t escape.
How long can a Miniature Schnauzer be left alone
A Miniature Schnauzer can be left alone all day if you work fulltime. There are many things you can do to ensure that they are kept occupied and have everything they need. For a complete guide to leaving a dog home alone see here.
Separation anxiety in Miniature Schnauzers
Although most Miniature Schnauzers are fine home alone, some can suffer from anxiety and stress. Miniature Schnauzers are very social and like the company of people. Separation anxiety is a general term used to describe this. However, true separation anxiety is a condition when the dog is in a state of extreme panic and anxiety. There is a high risk of them hurting themselves in this situation.
Although this is not that common it is a condition that needs to be dealt with by a professional dog behaviorist.
What most dogs that don’t want to be left alone suffer from is separation stress or isolation anxiety or stress. A separation issue is that the dog doesn’t want to be away from a certain person or group of people. An isolation issue is more a case of them not wanting to be alone. They will be happy with the company of any other person.
To learn more about anxiety in Miniature Schnauzers see here.
Confining a Miniature Schnauzer when home alone
One of the first things to take into consideration when leaving your Mini Schnauzer home alone is where they will be kept. If your Miniature Schnauzer is well behaved and you truth them not to get up to no good you can give them the run of the house. Otherwise, you may want to restrict them to a small area. Options for confining your Mini Schnauzer include;
Crating a dog is like a den for them and can make them feel safe. A crate is only really suitable for a short period of time. If you are going to be out for an hour or two putting your Miniature Schnauzer in a crate is fine. I don’t recommend leaving them in a crate for more than four hours at the most.
Using a playpen is a good way of keeping your dog confined while giving them more space to play. You can even set up their crate in the playpen or attach to the outside of the puppy pen so they have a safe area if they are feeling anxious. For more information on confining a dog in a playpen see here.
You can confine your Miniature Schnauzer to a small pet-safe room. The best places for a confinement area are the kitchen, laundry room, bathroom, or an empty spare room. If the selected room doesn’t have a door that can be closed you can use a pet gate to keep your dog in.
Garage or basement
A garage or basement can be a good space to confine your dog when home alone, but ensure that you remove any potential hazards that may be toxic or cause harm to your dog.
Outside in yard
If you have a fully fenced secure backyard you can keep your dog outside while at work. Things to take into consideration are your dog escaping if they are bored and looking for adventure, ensuring they have shelter from the weather, either hot or cold and the potential of your dog being stolen.
To learn more about keeping a dog outside when home alone see here.
Indoor and outdoor access
If you have a secure yard and you have no concerns about your dog being inside you can allow them access to come in and out as they please. A dog door is probably the simplest way to achieve this.
Teaching a Miniature Schnauzer to be left alone
All dogs should be able to be alone some of the time. Ideally, it should be something you teach your dog from a puppy. However, you can teach an older dog to like being alone or at least tolerate it.
Start by leaving your dog or puppy in their confined area such as a playpen or selected room for between 30 minutes and an hour each day. They will gradually learn how to be alone and also come to the understanding that you always return. Make this time alone pleasant for them by ensuring they have everything they need. This will include food, water, and toys. Toys that can occupy them such as a Kong for dogs or a puzzle toy are best. Alternatively, give them a chew toy.
Practice leaving your dog alone when you are there. Even when you are home you can practice alone time for your dog. Put them if their confinement space such as a playpen or selected room and get on with doing your own thing without them around.
Keep leaving and returning low key. For your dog to be calm and comfortable about being home alone they must see that it is not a big deal. When leaving a simple “bye and be good” is sufficient. Making a big fuss with lots of kisses and cuddles will send your dog the wrong message. Dogs are masters at reading our energy and emotions.
Checking up on your Miniature Schnauzer
If your Miniature Schnauzer is going to be left home alone for an extended period of time it may be a good idea to check on them.
Arrange to have a neighbor, friend or family member pop in for a visit to check how your Miniature Schnauzer is going and to give them some company. Even if you are unable to have somebody check up on your dog it is often a good idea to speak to your neighbors and give them a contact number if there are any concerns.
If you are able to pop in yourself during your lunch break your Miniature Schnauzer will be pleased to see you. Alternatively, there are many pet minding services that can provide this service for you.
Monitor them with a pet camera
With a pet camera, you can check in with your dog and even have direct interaction with them. Many pet cameras have two communication so you can speak to your dog. They also have a microphone and can send notifications to your phone if your dog is barking. Other dog cameras can provide even more interaction including giving your dog a treat. For the best pet camera for dogs see here.
Ways to entertain your home alone Miniature Schnauzer
View to the world
If your dog is inside when you are at work or out of the home it is a good idea to give them a view to outside by pulling the curtains open. It is probably best to do this with a window that faces the backyard as you don’t want them barking at any people or other dogs passing by.
Provide ambient noise
Leave a radio on to provide background noise for your puppy. This not only provides them company but also helps to mask outside noises that may make them excited or scared such as car horns, noisy neighbors and even thunder.
You can even get music that is designed to be calming and soothing for dogs. Alternatively, leave the television on. Some dogs really do enjoy watching television especially if there are dogs for them to watch. If your dog is interested in watching a bit of TV consider leaving it on for them. Maybe a good dog movie or Animal Planet may make good viewing for them.
Dog enrichment box
To make an enrichment box you simply need a larger cardboard box, some smaller boxes, empty toilet rolls, and newspaper. Put treats the toilet rolls, smaller boxes or wrap in newspaper and fill the box up. You can also put in a chew toy or stuffed Kong so they have something to settle done with when they are finished.
You may have a mess of shredded paper to clean up. But what are a few minutes of tidying for hours of fun and enrichment for your dog?
Watch the video to see how to make an enrichment box for your Miniature Schnauzer
A final tip for leaving a Miniature Schnauzer home alone
Exercise, both physical and mental is essential for a dog to burn off pent-up energy and to prevent boredom. If your schedule allows take them for a walk before leaving. This will also give them the opportunity to toilet before being shut up inside for the day. Alternatively, play a game of fetch or similar to help tire them a little before you leave.
Even if you don’t have time to exercise your dog before leaving for the day it is still important that they do get their required exercise. See here for a guide to Miniature Schnauzer exercise.
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