Getting a new dog is a juggling act. You need to be able to provide it with the love, attention, and exercise it needs, but you also need to be able to support it financially. In many cases, this involves sacrificing time with your dog to go to work. A lucky few can work from home, but this is certainly not the norm. Finding the balance involves knowing your dog or knowing about the breed you would like to get. So, how long can a German Pointer be left alone?
|Acceptable time without toilet
|Tolerable alone time
|Crate time (once trained)
|6 months +
Breed characteristics, age, health, training, and frequency all come into play when you need to leave your German Pointer alone. Once you have read this article, you can decide if your lifestyle suits a German Pointer, or if you already have a German Pointer, you will know how to handle leaving them alone when you need to.
Can You Leave A German Pointer Alone?
Some dogs are independent. They love their owners and enjoy their company, but they are also quite content to be on their own for a while. Other dogs are incredibly attached to their owners and become highly distressed when separated for long periods.
German Pointers fall into the second category and dislike it when you leave, regardless of how long you are away. In some cases, these dogs develop separation anxiety, which can be challenging to manage and overcome.
Furthermore, German Pointers have very high energy levels and exercise requirements. They need dedicated training and exercise every day, and keeping them cooped up without you will have a negative impact on their behavior and well-being.
So, you can leave your German Pointer alone—it is impossible to avoid this no matter what your lifestyle is—but they will not be happy about it.
How Long Is Too Long To Leave A German Pointer Alone?
If your German Pointer is a puppy between eight and ten weeks old, then you should not leave them alone for longer than one hour, and at ten to twelve weeks, they shouldn’t be alone for longer than two hours.
As babies, they require constant attention to make sure that they don’t get injured. They also need more frequent meals and have less control over their bladders. This is also a critical age when your dog will develop a bond with its owner, and you don’t want to miss that!
Another important reason is that puppies in this age group are in the socialization phase of development, and they are going through normal fearful stages. This means that to be left alone for long periods will influence how well adapted the German Pointer will become.
At three months, German Pointers can be left alone for three hours, at four months, for four hours, at five months for five hours, and at six months for six hours. This applies only to how long they can be left alone based on their bladder capacities. No dog should be forced to hold in their pee for longer than six hours regardless of age.
As German Pointers are also attached to their owners and require lots of exercise, they should not actually be left alone for longer than approximately two to four hours at a time. These dogs will find anything longer than this to be intolerable.
If on occasion, you have to be away from home for over four hours, your German Pointer could handle this if you prepared them properly for the separation (we will discuss this in the next section).
If you will be away for longer than approximately eight hours, you will need to get someone to check and exercise your dog and take them to the toilet.
Senior dogs also need to go to the toilet more often, and they are at risk of injuring themselves or being injured by younger, more boisterous dogs. Even though your old German Pointer may have slowed down, they still require lots of attention, so stick to three or four hours of alone time.
How To Leave A German Pointer Alone Safely
Can A German Pointer Be Left Outside?
You should not leave a puppy outside, but from about six months old, this can be an option for short periods of time.
The benefits of leaving your German Pointer outside when you are not at home include the following:
- They can’t chew or otherwise damage your furniture and other belongings.
- They don’t have to hold their pee and poops in until you get home.
- They can run around and expend energy as and when they like.
As with all things, there are also negatives to leaving your German Pointer outside when you are not home:
- The weather can turn, and then they will be stuck in the scorching heat, rain, snow, etc.
- They can more easily escape your property and get lost or injured.
- They are at risk of being injured or teased through the fence.
- They can get stolen by people looking for dogs to sell to other owners or even fighting rings.
- They can bark and cause trouble with the neighbors.
Most people recommend leaving your German Pointer inside when you go out, but it really depends on your yard set up and your dog.
Your yard will need to be set up to contain an athletic and determined German Pointer. High walls and fences are a must.
There should also be a place where your German Pointer can go to escape the weather. They need a shady spot for hot days, a covered area for wet days, and a warm spot for cold days. German Pointers, even longhaired German Pointers, are not adapted to freezing weather conditions, so leaving them outside or inside may depend on the season.
If your German Pointer is well trained and happier outside, then leave them outside. If they want to lie on your bed until you arrive home, or they have a tendency to escapism, then leave them inside.
Leaving Your German Pointer Inside While You Are Away
As mentioned, most people recommend locking your German Pointer inside when you are out.
Puppies left alone in the house should be locked into a single room to minimize the hazards presented to a chewing, clumsy German Pointer pup. This is also important if you have adult dogs who could injure your puppy.
Before locking your German Pointer inside, you need to give them a good exercise session to work off their energy. You also need to ensure that they have gone to the toilet recently. Provide them with water and plenty of toys to keep them occupied.
When you come home, you need to take them out immediately for exercise, attention, and toilet access.
Crate-Training Your German Pointer
Many people recommend crate training for your German Pointer. Then, when you go out, you can safely lock them in the crate to prevent toilet accidents, property damage, or wandering off.
If you are going to lock your German Pointer in a crate while you are out, make sure it is large enough to allow them to move, turn, stand, and lie down comfortably. A water bowl should also be able to fit without being knocked over. However, it does still have to be small enough to prevent them from injuring themselves and to provide a sense of security.
Your German Pointer has to be crate-trained before you leave them alone in the crate. They have to understand that this is a safe and comfortable place to be, instead of a prison.
Puppies between eight and twelve weeks should not be left in a crate longer than thirty minutes to one hour. Puppies between three and four months could probably handle two hours of crate time. At five months, you could push this to three hours, and from six months through adulthood, German Pointers could cope with 4 hours in a crate. However, anything longer than about three hours should be kept to a minimum.
Before locking your dog in the crate, you need to take them to the toilet and give them a really brisk exercise session so that they are happy to settle down in their crate for a rest. Give them water and toys and take them out as soon as you get home.
German Pointers are high-energy, attached dogs. They dislike being left alone for any duration of time. However, as it is impossible to take your German Pointer everywhere with you, and it is also impossible to never leave the house, it is helpful to know how much alone time German Pointers can tolerate.
Typically, an adult German Pointer can be left alone for up to four hours. Six hours is acceptable on occasion, but more than this is harmful to their bladder health as well as their emotional well-being.
When German Pointers are left alone, they turn to destructive behaviors to work off their distress and excess energy. They are also prone to nuisance barking, which can cause trouble with neighbors. They may also develop separation anxiety.
If you work an eight- to nine-hour job, and you are not in a position to come home and spend time with your German Pointer in your lunch break, then this is not the breed for you.