How Long You Can Leave a Poodle Alone. Advice on Leaving a Poodle Alone

Last updated on June 13th, 2021 at 11:47 pm


Leaving a poodle alone should be done with care. This is because poodles do not like to be left alone for a long time. Poodles are very social dogs. Poodles need human companionship more than most dogs. Therefore, your poodle will be unhappy if you leave it alone for an unreasonable amount of time. 

In this article, we will let you know how much time a poodle can be left alone. We will also advise you on how you can make your poodle get used to being alone.

This is important because there will be times that you need to leave your poodle alone. For example, with the pandemic lockdown now over and people returning to work, it is important for you to know how to manage to be away from your poodle while you are at work.

Important factors that determine how much time you can leave your poodle alone are:

  • Bathroom breaks: You can leave your poodle alone for time a poodle can stay without peeing or pooping. This usually depends on the poodle size and age.
  • Separation Anxiety in Your Poodle: Some poodles develop separation anxiety if you leave them alone. This means such a poodle will become clingy to you because of the “trauma” it experienced by being left alone. A poodle with separation anxiety will follow you around out of the fear of not losing you again. Poodles with separation anxiety should not be left alone until you treat the separation anxiety.
  • How prone your poodle is to isolation distress: Some poodles destroy things around the house due to boredom after they have been alone in the house for a long time. Do not leave alone a poodle with a tendency for isolation distress.
  • Need for exercise: Poodles are very active dogs. Poodles need space to exercise to stimulate their bodies and their minds. Leaving a poodle in a crate means that they will be restricted from getting the exercise they need. You need to consider the exercise needs of your poodle before leaving your poodle alone. 

Poodles come in three popular varieties based on size: Standard Poodle (the biggest size poodle), Miniature Poodle (the smaller size poodle), Toy Poodle (the smallest size poodle).

So, how long can you leave a poodle alone? You can leave an adult standard poodle alone for 6 to 8 hours. You can leave an adult miniature poodle alone for 3 to 4 hours. You can leave an adult toy poodle alone for 2 hours.

Poodle Type How Long They Can Be Left Leave Alone
Standard Poodle6 to 8 hours
Miniature Poodle3 to 4 hours
Toy Poodle2 hours
How Long you can leave a poodle alone

Later, in this article, we will discuss the methods you can use to make your poodle comfortable with being left alone.

Poodle passing its time alone by sleeping

How Long Can You Leave a Standard Poodle Alone?

When a standard poodle is full-grown, she can be left alone for 6-8 hours, although this is not the best practice for a daily routine. On occasion, a standard poodle will be able to hold their bladder for this long but will not enjoy life if being left alone for that long on a daily basis.

When standard poodles are puppies, however, they will need to be watched more closely and let outside more often. When you first bring home an eight-week-old puppy, you will want to let him outside every hour. When your puppy turns 12 weeks old, you should be able to let him out every two hours without him having an accident in the house. By the time your standard poodle is 6 months old, he should be able to hold his bladder for about 3-4 hours. When your poodle reaches one year and is considered full-grown, she should be able to hold her bladder for 6-8 hours.

Physically, a standard poodle can stay alone longer than other sizes of poodles simply because standard poodles can hold their bladders longer than toy or miniature poodles. 

But just because a standard poodle doesn’t need to go outside as often as their smaller counterparts don’t mean that they should be left alone for long periods. Standard poodles love their owners as much as miniature and toy poodles, and they may get anxious if they are left alone for a prolonged period. 

It is best to only leave your poodle alone for a few hours at a time. If you work a full-time job away from home and cannot commit to this, it might be good to work with your spouse, partner, or roommate and see if you can arrange your schedules so that someone is home with your poodle every couple of hours. If this cannot be arranged, you might consider getting your poodle a companion dog. Many poodle owners claim that their poodles do well with a companion when they are left home. However, this is not always the case, so you will want to do a lot of research and careful planning if you are considering adding another poodle or dog to your family. 

You can also investigate doggy daycares and dog sitters if you feel that your work schedule does not allow you to be home with your standard poodle enough. If your standard poodle must be alone for longer than five hours at a time regularly, you could consider enrolling him or her in doggy daycare so he or she is not left alone so often. Dogs, especially standard poodles, are social creatures and they are sure to thrive if they have enough interaction with humans and other dogs. However, if standard poodles are deprived of the interaction they were built for, standard poodles may experience separation anxiety and isolation distress because of being left alone too long or too often. 

Poodles are clingy. They do not like to be left alone.

How Long Can You Leave a Toy Poodle Alone?

An adult toy poodle can only hold his bladder for about two hours, on average. These tiny poodles need almost constant companionship when they are puppies, and even as adults do not do well when left alone for more than two hours. When you bring home a toy poodle puppy, you will want to be with it almost constantly as it may need to go outside every half hour. At twelve weeks old, you might be able to extend that to one hour. Around 6 months of age, you can try leaving your poodle for an hour and a half at a time. When your toy poodle is full-grown at age one, you should be able to leave him on his own for two hours.

A toy poodle should not be left alone for more than two hours at a time. Besides the fact that toy poodles love their owners, they are too small to hold their bladders for very long. Unless you have a doggy door where your toy poodle can go outside at his will, you should plan on having someone let him out every two hours, at least. If this is not possible, consider looking into doggy daycare. 

A toy poodle

How Long Can You Leave a Miniature Poodle Alone?

An adult Miniature poodle can be left alone for three to four hours. When you first bring home your miniature poodle puppy at around eight weeks old, you will want to let him outside every 45 minutes to an hour. When your puppy turns twelve weeks old, you should be able to extend that to about an hour and a half. By the time your miniature poodle reaches six months of age, you can let her out every two hours. When your miniature poodle is fully grown at about a year old, she should be able to hold her bladder for three to four hours.

Your miniature poodle might be able to wait three to four hours to go outside. Each dog is different, and you will get to know your poodle the longer you have her. However, on average, a miniature poodle should be let outside every three to four hours. If your schedule does not allow you to let your miniature poodle outside this often, consider installing a doggy door or enrolling your poodle in doggy daycare, or hiring a dog sitter. If you can arrange it with a spouse or roommate, work it out so that someone is home to let your miniature poodle out every three to four hours. 

Leaving Your Poodle Alone? How To Make Your Poodle Enjoy its Alone Time

toy poodle playing with a ball

When leaving your poodle alone, the following are the things you can do to make sure your poodle does not miss you too much and become stressed:

  • Keep a cloth that has your scent around the house. When your poodle can smell you, it will be assured that you have not gone too far
  • Leave a sound recording of your voice playing for your poodle to hear.
  • Play music for your poodle or leave the TV on for your poodle when your poodle is alone in the house. Figure out the genre of music that your poodle enjoys and play your poodle some music.
  • Leave your poodles chew toys or stuffed toys to play with while you are gone.
  • Leave your windows open so that your poodle can pass the time looking outside. Poodles are curious. They enjoy knowing everything that is going on around them.

Keep your windows open to occupy your poodle with the sights outside

How To Train Your Poodle to Do Well Alone in a Crate

Before leaving your poodle alone by itself in a crate, you should train your poodle to enjoy confinement. According to the famous animal behaviorist, Dr. Ian Dunbar, you can teach a dog to be comfortable being alone by crating the dog even when you are at home. You can put your poodle in a crate beside you for an hour or two while you watch TV or while you cook, Make sure you have stuffed toys and chew toys available to your poodle while your poodle is in his or her crate. That way, your poodle will learn to amuse itself without you. Also, this process will teach your poodle not to associate being in the crate with abandonment since you will be with your poodle while your poodle is in the crate.

This training will help you prepare your poodle to be alone.

You need to start with this exercise of teaching your poodle to be independent and self-sufficient early in your poodle`s life.

Nevertheless, your poodle will never really be fully self-sufficient. After all, she is your pet and it is your responsibility to care for her and feed her. 

Poodle Inside a Crate

Keeping Your Poodle Occupied While You Are Gone

Your poodle might need to be occupied while you are gone, especially if he does not have a companion to play with. Be sure to have a lot of toys at his disposal that he can play with. Have food and water available to him as well. If you think your poodle needs to hear your voice reassuring him while you are gone, there are some pet monitors which allow you to talk to your dog while you are away. 

my poodle playing with her toy carrot

Should You Cage Your Poodle When You are Away

Some people with smaller miniature and toy poodles like to set up a pet gated area so they can have access to food, water, toys, and a pee pad. This might be a great idea if you are gone for long hours during the day. A gated area will not typically work for a standard poodle, as they can easily jump over the gate. You might even find that your miniature and toy poodle learn how to jump over the gate as well. Poodles can be quite athletic, and jumping is usually no problem. Some pet gates might be tall enough to keep the smallest of poodles from escaping. 

If you have a standard poodle or you think that your poodle might get out of a gated area, consider putting up baby gates to keep your poodle only in certain areas of the house. One of the simplest ways to keep your poodles at home is to kennel train them and put them in there while you are gone. This might seem cruel, but some poodles feel most comfortable and secure when they are in a kennel. There are many luxury kennels available, and you can fit dog beds (or some owners use a toddler mattress) to make sure that your poodle is perfectly comfortable while in a kennel. 

If you don’t like the idea of a gated area or a kennel, you could consider allowing your poodle to roam free in the house while you are gone. Only do this if you are confident that there is nothing dangerous that your poodle could get into while you are gone. If you are certain of this, and if your poodle is well house trained, you could try letting her roam free in the house while you are gone. You should have trained your poodle not to chew on things around the house before leaving them alone to room the house.

For example, I let my poodle roam the house while I am gone. This is because I taught my poodle not to chew on shoes, and other items around the house when she was a puppy. Therefore, I am confident that she would not chew on my belongings while she roams around the house while I am away.

If you have never tried free roaming around the house for your poodle before, you will probably want to consider trying it for short periods first until you can see that your poodle is well behaved when roaming free at home. If you want to leave your poodle to roam free in your house while you are gone, you could consider purchasing a pet camera so you can check in on your poodle while you are gone.

How To Puppy Proof Your Home and Yard when Leaving Your Poodle Alone

When you first bring home a puppy, you will want to make sure that your home and yard are ready for your new little companion. Puppies tend to chew on things, so you will want to make sure that you have chew toys available. If you have items that are valuable that you suspect your puppy might be tempted to chew, keep them up and out of reach. 

When preparing your yard for a puppy, it is best to have a fenced-in area. If you don’t have a fence and can’t put one up, you can train your dog to stay within a certain area, look into an electric dog fence, or have a long leash with a stake in the ground. Keep in mind that you should watch your dog if you have him in an electric fence or on a leash. This is because eclectic fences and leashes might keep your dog in, but they do not keep other dogs or predators out.

When you are leaving your poodle to roam free in your home, make sure that anything dangerous is out of reach. If you have any substances that might be poisonous to your dog, such as cleaning materials or medications, keep these out of reach. Some poodles like to chew on socks or headbands or hair ties. If a poodle swallows one of these items, it could cause major digestive issues that could require costly surgery. Be sure to keep anything that your poodle might swallow well out of his reach. 

Poodle playing in the house.

Should You Leave Your Poodle Alone Outside in a Fenced Yard?

If you have an especially small miniature or toy poodle, you should probably keep watch even in a fenced-in yard, as Eagles and other large birds of prey have been known to snatch small dogs in some places. Some predators may be able to scale a fence, and others will not. Check with your local animal control to find out if there are any local predators to be aware of. If so, plan to have your yard proofed for them or to keep an eye on your poodle while outside. 

Some northern locations experience bear, wolf, or coyote encounters during certain times of the year, while southern locations may experience problems with alligators. You are probably familiar with the wildlife around where you live. If not, do some research to find out and make sure that your yard is prepped to keep your poodle in and predators out. 

Poodle alone in the Yard.

Things to Take Care of When leaving Your Poodle Alone in the Yard

Predators are not the only thing in your yard that could harm your poodle. Certain plants can also be poisonous to poodles. If you plan to leave your poodle alone in the yard and you are certain that there is no danger of predators, the next step is to make sure that there are no plants in your yard that could be hazardous to your poodle. If your poodle eats grass, that is okay, but you will want to make sure that any other flowers or plants growing in your garden are safe for dogs before you leave your poodle alone in the yard. 

Leaving Poodle Alone in the Yard.

What to Expect When Boarding Your Poodle for a Long Time

If you are going on an extended vacation or trip and cannot bring your poodle along, you will want to find a trusting place to board your dog or ask a trusted friend or family member to take your poodle while you are gone. If your poodle suffers from separation anxiety, the best option would be to find a friend your poodle already knows who is willing to watch her for you. It might be best if that friend would stay in your home with your poodle so that her surroundings are familiar to her, as it will already be difficult for her to adjust to your absence. If this is not an option, you will want to look into some dog boarding options near you. You may want to take your poodle there for a couple of day trips before your extended vacation to give her a chance to become acclimated to the environment. Be sure to read reviews before bringing your poodle to a boarder. You want to make sure that they are the highest quality boarders who will treat your poodle the same way you do. 

Separation Anxiety Symptoms in Poodles

If you have owned a poodle for long, you know they just love their humans. They usually like to stick close by, and some are so affectionate that they just can’t stand it if they aren’t being petted or sitting right on your lap. Because poodles love their humans so much, it can cause them to have separation anxiety If you notice your poodle has begun to exhibit odd behaviors before you leave the house, you may want to talk to your vet about separation anxiety symptoms and treatments. Some poodles also exhibit isolation distress. Separation anxiety and isolation distress go hand in hand. A poodle with isolation distress will urinate and defecate, destroy things, escape from their crates, and do other strange behaviors when left alone. 

Treating Separation Anxiety in Poodles

Your vet can help you treat separation anxiety if it needs to be treated with a prescription. There are some natural ways you can treat this condition as well. If your poodle fears being alone, you may want to start by having your poodle alone only for a few minutes a time, then rewarding him for remaining calm. You can also consult a professional trainer for help in treating separation anxiety. 

Preventing Separation Anxiety in Poodles

Prevention is often better than treatment, so if you can prevent your poodle from experiencing separation anxiety, that would be the best option. You can do your best to prevent this condition by not leaving your poodle alone for too long, especially when she is a puppy. 

Final Thoughts

No one knows your poodle or your situation as well as you, so use your judgment and knowledge of your poodle when deciding whether or not to leave your poodle home alone, whether or not to leave her in the yard, or whether you should enroll her in doggy daycare or take her to be boarded when you leave. You love your poodle more than anyone, and you know her better than anyone, so you will make the best decision when it comes to your absence.