Are Bulldogs OK to be left Alone? Plus 5 Helpful Tips
Bulldogs are natural companion dogs. They love being with their family and in close proximity to them. Some bulldogs enjoy personal space from time to time, which is normal. But when they are left alone it can be a different story.
Are bulldogs OK to be left alone? Yes, bulldogs can be left alone but only when it has received training. Because bulldogs are companion dogs they thrive being within close proximity of its owners. If left alone it may experience separation anxiety and destructive behavior. By training the following techniques a bulldog can overcome loneliness while its owner is away.
- Potty trained
- Crate trained
- Established eating schedule
- Trained to chew only toys
- Regular exercise
- Taught how to Overcome Separation Anxiety
Bulldogs can be left alone, but are naturally social and thrive off interaction with others. They can be trained, especially as pups, to manage themselves when they are home alone for a period of time. This training takes time and establishing a routine to set expectations with your bulldog while away. But all the hard work can pay off.
Can You Leave a Potty Trained Bulldog Home Alone?
At the very top of your training to do list will be potty training your bulldog. If you don’t have a bulldog that is crate trained I guarantee a few sleepless nights. Any puppy, no matter the breed, will need constant care to train it when and where to potty. Puppies are just like a newborn baby, they need to be nurtured. I promise you there is an end in sight of having to clean up the messes and going through the grind of letting your bulldog out. The objective is clear, no peeing in the house…period. You don’t want to question, “Are bulldogs Ok to be left alone?” either while out of the house. You and your bulldog can be confident that everything will be okay with no surprises when you return home. Just focus on these simple techniques to train your bulldog:
- Setting a potty time routine – To establish a good potty routine for your bulldog puppy take your bulldog out to potty first thing in the morning, after any naps, right before your bedtime, and after every meal (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner).
- Remove the water dish – At nighttime remove the water dish so your bulldog pup does not continue to drink and feel the need to potty more than is necessary. This simple step will buy you a few extra hours of sleep during the night and eventually a full nights sleep when your bully pup is fully trained. During the first few weeks with your bulldog pup you will need to get up every couple of hours to take your bulldog out. Slowly increase the time you wake up once the puppy stops having accidents.
- Watch Behavior – If your bulldog pup seems to be getting comfortable in a particular spot, circling around or sniffing, pick up your bulldog and carry your pup outside.
Remember that training a puppy, especially a bulldog, will take time. Verbally praise your bulldog when it potties outside. Bulldogs thrive off this loving interaction. When a mistake happens, and they will happen, don’t become overtly made. Verbally recognize the mistake and carry your puppy outside. After you invest time, demonstrate patience, and establish a routine your bulldog will begin to seek your aid when its time to potty.
Once a bulldog is potty trained through the night, you will establish the right pattern for the daytime. Your bulldog will be able to control itself while you are away but don’t linger too long if your bulldog doesn’t have easy access to step outside. Accidents can still happen if your bulldogs limits are pushed.
Can You Leave Your Bulldog Temporarily Alone with No Food?
Yes, a bulldog can be trained to only eat twice a day, both morning and night. This will take some work on your part to train your bulldog pup well or to retrain an adopted bulldog.
If your bulldog is a new puppy, follow these steps to train it towards eating twice a day by 1 year of age:
- 0 – 3 Months – Begin by establishing a scheduled feeding four times a day.
- 3 – 6 Months – Cut back to feeding your bulldog only three times a day. This can align with a typical breakfast, lunch and dinner schedule.
- 6 – 12 Months – Begin to wean your bulldog off the 3 day feeding scheduling and establish a morning and evening eating schedule. Your bulldog will be well on its way to eating twice a day.
- 1 Year Old – When your bulldog turns one it should be eating eating adult dog food twice a day.
|New Bulldog Eating Schedule Timeline|
|Bulldog Age||Feeding Schedule|
|0 – 3 Months||Establish a scheduled feeding 4 times a day|
|3 – 6 Months||Change feeding schedule to 3 times a day|
|6 – 12 Months||Wean bulldog off 3 times a day and establish a morning and evening feed schedule|
|12+Months||1 year old bulldog should be feeding twice a day|
When feeding your bulldog stick to the recommended portion sizes included on the dog food. Do not stray from this schedule but allowing your bulldog to snack a lot or giving it table food after eating its dog food. By being inconsistent your dog will expect and need more food.
If you have adopted an older dog begin to establish eating patterns quickly. Provide two meals a day and hold back from giving it more than that. If the dog has been feed multiple times a day you may need to slowly wean it off instead of going cold turkey so that your bulldog can adjust.
It is healthier for your bulldog and better to have an established two meal a day routine. This will also free up your time to step out or even work a normal 8 hour work schedule without being too concerned.
Are Bulldogs that Chew OK to be left alone?
Alright your bulldog should be potty trained and have an established eating routine. This piece is equally important for the welfare of your stuff and house. Bulldogs love to socialize and be around other pets or people. If the bulldog is alone it will become bored. A bored bulldog will look for something to do. Some of the activities will not be pleasant. For example, chew up your shoes, furniture (sorry couch), chair legs, clothes, your kids stuffed animals… you get the picture. Essential anything that your bulldog can get its mouth on is fair game.
So how can you trust your bulldog while away to not be a house wrecker? Whatever space you leave your bulldog in, clean everything off the floor that is not a dog toy. I would recommend not letting your bulldog free reign everywhere in your home while away. Your house looks like a giant buffet with all you can chew stuff. It is next to impossible to remember to pick up everything within reach of your bulldog so establish a space for your bulldog. Make sure it is climate controlled as well.
Buy some chewable toys, your bulldog needs something to do to maintain its sanity. Also, to get that extra energy out take your bulldog for a walk in the morning and in the evening. Bulldogs only really need 15 minutes of exercise a day so a good morning walk and evening walk will do it wonders. Your bulldog won’t use that pent up energy to a chewing free-for-all because it went for a walk, helping to calm it down.
Overcoming Separation Anxiety When Your Bulldog is left alone
Do bulldogs have separation Anxiety? They absolutely do. Even the best trained bulldogs may occasionally have separation anxiety. It just depends on the nature of the situation but established routines and social time will eliminate most, if not all of the bulldogs separation anxiety. If you haven’t seen it already, bulldogs love routines. A good routine with provide the right support for it to thrive while you are away.
Sudden changes can also cause unnecessary anxiety. Example a change to the routine activity schedule due to prolonged bad weather, a new commitment that takes you away from home, etc. These small changes can begin to plant the seeds of separation anxiety when you are gone. Make sure to follow your routine the best you can and adjust with new commitments so your bulldog knows its place in your life.
Be predictable, be caring, and be active with your bulldog. Truly this will help build confidence that their family will return home and everything will be okay. If you plan to break that stability and be gone for an extended period of time though you will need to find help: Either a good dog sitter or do dog boarding at a kennel. Read the below topic to learn more about placing your bulldog while away.
Bonus: Will a Bulldog be OK to be left Alone with a Dog Sitter or at a Dog Boarding Kennel?
If you are planning to get away for a few days or longer your bulldog will most likely be confused and could be onset with separation anxiety. A routine is created between the bulldog and expectations have been established when their family will be home. Because you love your bulldog, Do your research to find quality care while away.
If your bulldog can’t stay with someone it knows and trusts, extended family or close friends, you can revert to plan B. Plan B consists of finding a good dog sitter or placing your bulldog at a kennel. I would never recommend to just randomly pick one. Your bulldog needs somewhere that is comfortable and suitable to its needs. A quality dog sitter or dog boarding may work but know what to look for.
There are resources available to make sure your bulldog is not left alone in your local community, like a dog sitter. You can find a dog sitter by simply Googling dog sitter in your hometown. Most often then not you will find someone to watch your dog. But be aware that even with a great profile, pet sitting resume, and reviews, this information can be skewed.
Try to arrange time to meet with some potential candidates when you identify a few you like. Interview them on their basic knowledge of dog care, dog training they have, and their overall ability to be responsible with a bulldog. Set some time aside for your top candidates to spend time with your bulldog. During this one-on-one interaction between potential dog sitters and your bulldog observe how they interact and communicate with one another. If the candidate is outpouring positivity and kindness you will be one step closer to finalizing your selection.
Once you have decided on a dog sitter plan outing. Leave your bulldog with the dog sitter for a few hours. Try not to make them the easy hours too, we want to test their capabilities. Let the dog sitter be present to feed your bulldog one of their meals, let them out to potty, and even go for a walk. When you return home ask your dog sitter how things went and observe your bulldogs behavior. If it acts its usually self after eating, pottying, and going for a walk you may have found a good sitter.
One great thing about finding a regular dog sitter is that your bulldog can build a bond of trust with them and so will you. Finding the right dog sitter can make a big difference if your life.
Wherever you are there should be a kennel or somewhere to board your dog. Again, use google and research locations in your area and read reviews. If you know anyone with a pet ask where they have boarded their animals. Word of mouth from actual pet owners can help you find the right fit for your bully.
When you have narrowed down the choices, visit the facility by yourself. Ask for a tour and their routine with pets. See how other pets are behaving that are currently in the kennel. Ask yourself, “Are bulldogs okay to be left alone at this kennel.” If from your research and visitation you feel they will care for your bulldog give it a try. I would try a few short overnighters to see how your bulldog fairs and what its reaction is when leaving and returning for dog boarding. If you don’t notice any significant stress, you may have found the right location for your dog.
It is a HUGE leap of faith leaving someone else in the care of your bulldog. But this leap of faith is needed if you plan to ever go on a vacation without your pet. If you always plan to travel with your bulldog I would recommend reading these posts Bulldog Travel Tips and How to Fly with a Bulldog. You can train your bulldog to be Ok while you are away to run errands, work, or on vacation. A loved bulldog with a routine will be successful. Just trust the routine system and place your effort into training your bulldog.
How do I Know if My Bulldog has Separation Anxiety?
If your bulldog exhibits any of the following symptoms there is a high probability that it has separation anxiety:
- Uncontrollable shivering or shaking
- Abnormal amounts of drooling
- Uncontrolled peeing and defecating, especially when house trained
- Eating its own feces, known as coprophagia (YUCK!!!)
- Destructive behavior like chewing furnishings or household objects
- Self-inflicting pain such as chewing its hair, paws and limbs
- Non-stop barking, howling or whining
- Attempted escape while home alone
How do you Stop Separation Anxiety in Bulldogs?
To avoid or stop separation anxiety create a routine for your bulldog. Setup a schedule for eating, walking, when to potty, etc. Bulldogs love to have structure and if they see their lives are scheduled for their basic needs it will ease their minds.
You can train your bulldog to be at ease while you are away by planning frequent trips that are only 1-2hrs long. Your bulldog will recognize that always come back after you leave. Bit by bit your bulldog will begin to see this pattern and build confidence in itself while home alone.
Do Bulldogs Grow out of Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is typically seen in puppies and adolescent or untrained bulldogs. If well trained, amature bulldog tends to not exhibit separation anxiety. If a young bulldog demonstrates separation anxiety it can grow out of it when a routine is made.
But as a bulldog becomes more senior in age it is possible to show separation anxiety. A bulldog can lose basic abilities and become more dependent on you. So separation from the caretaker can create added anxiety.