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Can Schnauzers Be Left Alone (At Home)? 8 Facts + Tips

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There are certainly best practices when it comes to leaving your schnauzer alone. It can be done humanely, or inhumanely. Knowing how long they can be alone is important for their overall well being. So…

Can Schnauzers Be Left Alone:

Schnauzers can definitely be left alone. The most important thing to keep in mind when leaving them alone is the duration that they’ll be alone. A schnauzer should not be left alone for more than 8 hours too frequently otherwise their physical and mental health will suffer.

In this post you’ll discover how long schnauzers can be left alone while ensuring they remain happy and healthy, the best practices around leaving your schnauzer alone for extended periods of time as well as 6 helpful tips to ensure your pup is safe and cared for in your absence.

Tip #6 is hands-down the most important!

Let’s jump right in.

How Long Can Schnauzers Be Left Home Alone?

Your schnauzer shouldn’t be left home alone for more than 8 hours each day.

If the odd time something comes up and you’re unable to make it home right after work, that’s okay.

However, it becomes a problem when they’re frequently left home alone for more than 8 hours.

Not only will their physical health suffer, simply because they aren’t getting any exercise, but their mental health will suffer too.

Schnauzers need at least 60 minutes of good physical activity as well as mental stimulation in order to remain healthy.

In general, dogs are incredibly social animals. If they’re left alone for too long their mental state becomes increasingly worse.

Special note: Please don’t leave your schnauzer home alone overnight. Unless you’re leaving late the night before and coming back early the next day, or having someone check in on them, it’s not fair to your pup.

They don’t have the ability to let themselves out to go to the bathroom, refill their food or water bowls, and will most definitely get lonely.

Can You Make Being Home Alone Easier For Your Schnauzer?

You can absolutely make it easier for your schnauzer to be alone during the day.

If your pup has troubles being alone during the day, here are a few things that can help:

  • Mind Stimulating Dog Toys – Especially for schnauzers, mind stimulating dog toys can be super valuable for your pup. Your schnauzer is one of the smartest breeds around (there’s been studies!) and without enough things to challenge them mentally, they may become destructive.

    Not only can things like puzzle toys hold their attention in your absence but they can also distract them from thinking about how much they miss you.

  • Give Them Your Clothes – Leaving your pup with a used sweater or t-shirt can put their mind at ease. If they’re able to smell you, it can comfort them and make them feel as though you aren’t gone.

  • Tire Them Out – If your schnauzer has too much energy while they’re alone, odds are they’re going to misbehave. A tired doggo is a well behaved doggo.

    If you take them for a nice long walk before you leave, or have a good game of fetch, they’ll be more interested in resting than being destructive.

Are Schnauzers Prone To Separation Anxiety?

Schnauzers aren’t prone to separation anxiety, but they do bond closely with their owner.

Schnauzers were bred to hunt as well as be guard dogs which instinctively makes them develop a strong bond with their human.

So while schnauzers aren’t prone to separation anxiety, they aren’t immune to it either by any means.

When a dog develops separation anxiety it’s largely to do with the experiences they’ve had as a young puppy.

If they were abused, abandoned, or even received too much attention, they may develop separation anxiety.

But if your schnauzer didn’t have any of these experiences when they were a pup, certain things that have happened recently could spark it.

A few other things ASPCA says that could create separation anxiety in your schnauzer are;

A change in household membership. Meaning a new person or people are now also living in your home. Or, someone they loved dearly isn’t around anymore.

Your schedule has changed. If your position at work has changed or you started taking on more hours. And because your schedule has changed, so has your pups.

You recently adopted them and are their new owner/guardian.

Or, you’ve moved to a new home. Being in a new environment could make your pup feel uneasy. They aren’t sure why things have changed and they liked it the way it was.

If any of these have happened recently and you’re noticing unusually clingy behavior from your schnauzer, they may have separation anxiety.

Can I Leave My Schnauzer Alone If They’re Sick?

It’s best not to leave your schnauzer alone for extended periods of time if they’ve recently injured themselves, gone through surgery or are ill.

For the most part, you’ll want to keep a closer eye on them.

At least until they don’t need your help for basic things and aren’t being sick to their stomach frequently.

After a few days have passed and their condition seems to be improving, then it’s okay to start leaving them alone again.

If you have to be somewhere right after your pup has had surgery or has been injured, reach out to friends or family to see if they can watch your pup.

You don’t want them to accidentally hurt themselves and make their situation any worse than it already is.

Can Schnauzers Be Left Alone With Other Dogs?

If your schnauzer is familiar with the other dogs you should have no problem leaving him/her alone with them.

Problems can arise when your schnauzer doesn’t know the other dogs and they’re left alone with them.

Schnauzers need a good amount of socialization when they’re young to ensure they can be around unfamiliar dogs and people without being aggressive.

If it’s their first time meeting a new dog, it’s best to keep an eye on them while they play/interact.

Schedule 5-10 play dates where the dogs can get to know one another and become friendly.

The more time they can spend together the better.

Once they’ve been around one another on 5-10 different occasions, they should be fine to be left alone.

**A general rule of thumb is to never leave dogs alone with limited space. If they feel trapped because there’s not enough space to move around with the other dog there as well they may become aggressive. This goes for all breeds.**

Related Reading: Schnauzers Get Along With Other Dogs? 11 Breeds Reviewed

Should Schnauzers Have The House To Themselves When Left Alone?

This entirely depends on the trust you’ve developed with your schnauzer.

As a puppy, it’s recommended to keep the amount of access they have to a minimum so they don’t make a mess.

But as they get older and prove that they know how to behave in the areas they’ve been allowed in, you can open up more of your house to them.

Once they’re fully house trained and have shown you they won’t destroy things while you’re away, they should be fine to have the house to themselves.

The most important thing is making sure you keep anything potentially dangerous/harmful out of their reach when they’re alone.

Do Schnauzers Like To Be Alone Or Have a Furry Brother/Sister?

Many people feel like their pup would much prefer to have a furry brother/sister around to play with.

And in many cases, this is true.

But with schnauzers, they’re more than happy to be your only pup.

Because of their hunting and guarding background, they enjoy being their humans’ sole attention.

You’re likely the most important person in their life and they’re completely content being the most important dog in your life.

So if one schnauzer is all you can handle or afford, you won’t be negatively affecting your pup by not getting another dog.

However, this doesn’t mean your schnauzer COULDN’T live with another dog.

As long as they’re introduced before your schnauzer gets past the age of one, they shouldn’t have any problems with one another.

More focused training would need to happen if your schnauzer was 5 years old and wasn’t properly socialized at a young age.

It would likely take them more time to get used to having another dog around and not solely getting your attention.

Top 6 Tips To Help Your Schnauzer Be Left Alone

1) Interrupt Your “I’m Leaving” Pattern

You may not realize it, but everytime you leave the house, you are likely to do the exact same routine.

Unconsciously you grab your keys, grab your jacket, check yourself out in the mirror (just me?), put your shoes on, give them a kiss and say goodbye, then leave.

And your smart pooch knows exactly what it means when you start to do this routine.

They’re about to be alone.

One thing you can do to make sure they don’t work themselves up as you’re about to leave is interrupt your “I’m leaving” pattern.

This means grabbing your keys and then going and sitting down on the couch.

Or putting on your jacket then doing the dishes.

Or putting your shoes on then doing a load of laundry (after thoroughly wiping your shoes of course).

What this does is it makes your pup unaware of when you’re actually going to leave the house.

Which means when you do pick up your keys as you’re about to leave, they won’t know for sure if it means you’re leaving.

Which also means they won’t get themselves worked up knowing that they’re about to be alone.

And if they aren’t super worked about you leaving, they’ll be able to handle being alone better.

2) Consider Daycare

If you have some extra money and can afford it, doggy daycare can be really beneficial if your pup struggles being alone.

They’ll have other dogs to play with, be able to go to the bathroom when they need to instead of holding it, healthily burn off some energy, and most importantly, not be alone.

If you can find one close by, it’d be worth looking into.

Another option is to get a dog sitter. Have them come to your house during the day to make sure your pup can go to the bathroom and aren’t being mischievous.

3) Cameras

Cameras can help you see how your schnauzer is getting into the things they shouldn’t be when they’re alone.

Many cameras nowadays that can be setup in your home can be monitored from your phone wherever you are.

When you check in on them, you can see what they’re up to and if they’re being mischievous you’ll know where to set up barriers & blockades.

There are also treat dispensing toys that have a built-in camera.

So not only are you able to keep an eye on them, you can give them a treat while they’re by themselves.

4) Dog Proof Your Home

Odds are, your schnauzer has a few spots they generally like to hang out in your home.

And these areas where they spend 95% of their time when they’re alone should be dog proofed.

Which means not leaving anything potentially harmful lying around if they were to eat it, nothing close to a counter edge they can get to, nothing sharp as well as anything valuable of yours.

Making sure where they hang out is dog proof won’t make them feel any less lonely, but it’ll ensure they don’t accidently harm themselves during their boredom.

Or chew up one of your favorite pairs of shoes.

Another option is to limit where they can go in your home during the day.

This way you can know for sure the area they’re in is 100% safe.

5) Set Them Up For Success

Outside of dog proofing your home, there are other things you can do to set your schnauzer up for success when alone.

Such as, leaving on some background noise.

If when you’re home the television is often on, or the radio, keep these on at a low volume during the day when you’re gone.

It can make them feel more comfortable and also make them feel like they aren’t alone.

This is because the only time these things are usually on, is when someone is home with them.

You can also put a recently worn sweater on their bed or where they like to relax during the day. The smell of you can bring them comfort.

Also, tiring them out so they don’t have the energy to feel anxious about you being gone can help them be alone.

Doing some of these things, or all of them, will help set your schnauzer up for success when they have to be left alone.

6) Have a Plan

Have a plan in place if something comes up and you’re not able to go home right after work.

If you’re friendly with a neighbor, ask them to come by your place to check in on your pup.

Or, if you have a friend/family member that lives close by, give them a key so they can check in on your pup.

Things come up all the time.

Sometimes you may have to work late or need to go somewhere after work.

This way they’ll be able to get their food and water bowls refilled, get a few pets, a little playtime, and go to the bathroom.

Having a plan in place so that your pup isn’t stranded for too long will be much appreciated by your doggo.

Other posts you might find interesting:

Can Schnauzers Live & Sleep Outside? 7 Dangers + 7 Tips

Are Schnauzers Easy To Train? The Truth + Tips & Tricks

Do Schnauzers Make Good Guard Dogs? What To Expect


Standard Schnauzer

The Standard Schnauzer

Evaluation of effects of olfactory and auditory stimulation on separation anxiety by salivary cortisol measurement in dogs

Separation Anxiety

How Long is Too Long to Leave A Dog Home Alone?

The Importance of Teaching Your Puppy How to Be Alone