Can German Spitz Be Left Alone in the House?


You can leave your German Spitz alone in the house for a few hours. It is an active and lively dog but there is no problem for him to spend a few hours alone if he is otherwise given regular activity. Most likely he will sleep during the alone time. However, they are not dogs that like to stay alone for long periods of time.

German Spitz, the devoted companion

The German Spitz is your good friend and probably your most loyal friend as well. He always wants to be where you are and he wants to be a part of everything that you do. It is not uncommon for the German Spitz to even follow their owners to the bathroom!

The German Spitz is always a friendly dog, but he can be a bit suspicious of strangers.

I have a good example of this at home: my Mittel is rather indifferent towards strangers but he loves anyone he knows and regards as friends. But no matter how many people out there he loves; there is only one person that he loves above everyone and everything else: me. He can’t even stay in a room by himself: if I go to the bedroom he follows and if I then go to the living room he follows me there, too. I have a home office and whenever I work on the computer he is there at my feet.

How wonderful as this devotion may sound, isn’t it a problem when the dog needs to be left alone in the house? Yes, it can be if the dog is not trained to stay at home alone. But there really is no problem when he has been trained to wait calmly while the owner is away.

Separation anxiety in dogs

Separation anxiety is one of the most common problems that pet parents have and one of the most difficult ones as well. Some dogs may whine quietly while they are left alone, which is an obvious sign of distress, but some dogs may bark loudly for hours or even howl while the owner is away, which can disturb the neighbors. There may be destructive behavior as well, like chewing on furniture and destroying anything that they can reach. This may be dangerous for the physical wellbeing of the dog but in time it can also get very expensive.

You may notice the first signs of separation anxiety when you are just starting to get ready to leave the house. Dogs observe us closely all the time and they have learned to notice these signs early on – sometimes just thought of going somewhere and the dog already knows!

They may hide under the table or walk around in circles, or they may simply be eyeing you suspiciously. They know that you are about to leave them alone and it is not going to be fun. And you know that you are making your dog feel bad, but you must go anyway, and then you will end up feeling miserable yourself. Not a fun way to live a life!

We don’t know for certain what triggers separation anxiety in dogs, but it is more common among adopted pets that have at least once lost an important figure in their lives. But, separation anxiety is still fairly common with those dogs that have spent their whole lives with the same family. There may be several reasons for this condition to develop. Some of the reasons may be little and subtle and they may be difficult to avoid because they are hardly noticeable.

Any kind of change can certainly trigger this behavioral problem. You move to another location, switch jobs, and schedule changes. Or you are on vacation and you spend the entire time with your dog and then all of a sudden you go back to work and your dog does not understand this sudden change in your life.

Whatever the reason may be, it is not something you should be ashamed of. This is a common problem and there is no need to be shy to ask for help. The sooner you get into the bottom of this the better it will be for both you and your dog.

Remember, whatever the dog may have done while you’ve been away it is not the dog’s fault, so don’t punish him for it. He does not destroy things for the love of destroying but simply because he misses you. By punishing the dog he won’t learn any other ways to behave. Most likely he will only learn that you will be angry when you get home. When dealing with separation anxiety you really need to get to the roots of the problem.

How to teach your German Spitz to be alone in the house?

The best and easiest way to teach a dog to stay home alone is to start with a puppy as soon as he arrives at his new home. You should not leave a puppy alone in the first few days in his new home, but you should definitely start training him right away. What in the world does this mean?

If you need to go to work and basically live your normal life right after you get a puppy, I would suggest getting help from another family member, neighbor, or friend who could stay with the puppy while you are away. This is how the puppy will not panic in a new home and he can calmly and safely get to know his new surroundings. However, you should definitely start leaving him alone for the shortest of moments right away.

This means that you will first go to another room and the puppy will not see you for a couple of minutes. You may put your jacket and shoes on and get out the front door but then come back before the puppy has time to react to you leaving. Definitely, do not make a hassle out of it, but simply go, wait a couple of minutes, and then come back without giving any extra attention to the puppy.

Little by little you are staying away for longer periods of time and eventually, you will have a dog that will stay home alone. I know it sounds like a lot of work and it is exactly that, but trust me, by putting some effort into this while your dog is still a puppy you will end up with a balanced dog that will happily and calmly wait for you while you are away running errands.

What can be done to help a dog with separation anxiety?

What you can do if your dog suffers from this condition depends on how severe the situation is. With the most severe cases, I definitely recommend getting help from a professional with a good reputation in handling these types of problems. It will cost you some money but at the same time, they can provide great help by being able to come to your home and being able to personally assess the situation.

In case your dog is suffering from a milder case of separation anxiety I can give you a couple of tips that you can try.

Firstly, you will do what I described in the previous chapter with a puppy. You will slowly start rebuilding the confidence by leaving the dog alone only for a few seconds at first, then for a couple of minutes, and you work your way up from there. This will be repeated several times a day. In case you need to leave the house, ask help from a friend, or take your dog to doggy daycare.

You can also try having a certain ritual every time you leave because familiarity gives comfort to the dog. For example, leaving a radio on for the dog does not help in and on itself, but if done every time you leave the house it will become a safety cue for the dog.

Try giving something good for the dog every time you leave, so the dog will soon connect your leaving into something positive. For example, I have used the Kong toys for years and we could not live without them. I put some extra special treats in them and place them in the freezer. This will make it more difficult to get the food out; in fact, it will take them quite a while to lick all the deliciousness out of the Kong toy. Time flies and above all, it is something that can be done by lying down calmly.

I personally use the black Extreme Kong that is medium-sized. German Spitz Mittel especially can easily break the red Kong toys, but the black Extreme ones are too tough for them.

Whatever you do my best advice to you is to stay calm. Be calm when you leave the house, don’t make a big deal out of it, and most definitely be calm when you get back into the house. Your dog will most likely be ecstatic to have you back – German Spitz especially will most likely run around and jump up and down as if you had been away for years – but just ignore him at first.

In case you have been grocery shopping, just calmly place the items in the refrigerator first. If you come back from work change into something more comfortable and only then greet the dog. This will greatly calm the dog down and he will soon realize that actually, it is not that big of a deal if their owner comes/goes.

Like I said, if your situation is really bad, I suggest getting help from a good dog trainer who can personally come to your house to see what it’s like. However, in milder cases, you can try my tips, or try, for example, an online course. Training your dog makes him more confident because he keeps getting rewarded for the right kind of behavior. Therefore, any kind of training helps.

The course I recommend is Brain Training for Dogs by Adrienne Farricelli. She is a certified dog trainer who uses positive training methods that I approve of. Truth be told, this is an affiliate link which means that I will get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link. However, the price – which is lower than you’d ever expect – is the same for you whether you purchase it through my link or straight from the site. Check the current price on her websiteOpens in a new tab..

Conclusion

Our original question was whether the German Spitz could be left alone in the house and the simple answer to the question is, yes you can. However, reading this post you now understand that it may not be as simple as it first sounds. There are many things to be taken into consideration.

Whatever the case, the fact remains that the German Spitz adores you, the owner, and they want to spend as much time with you as it is in any way possible. Whether you are cooking, doing laundry, or just watching TV I can guarantee that your German Spitz is right there with you. As much as they like to spend time outdoors they do not like to be left alone in the backyard if you are not there with them.

German Spitz can be left alone in the house, but like any other dog, they need to get used to it little by little. In most cases, though, I do not think there is any problem. As long as your dog gets his share of exercise (both mental and physical) I don’t see a reason why they couldn’t be left alone in the house for short moments at a time.

If your idea of having fun is solely going clubbing and you do not want to stay at home after work, then getting any dog might not be the best idea. In any other case, the German Spitz will surely adapt to your lifestyle just like any other dog would and there should not be any problems.

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