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Can a Bernese Mountain Dog Be Left Home Alone? Getting to Know Your Pet

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on May 13, 2024 by Dogster Team

bernese lying down indoors

Can a Bernese Mountain Dog Be Left Home Alone? Getting to Know Your Pet

Bernese Mountain dogs are large dogs that make great pets, but if you don’t have someone at home to keep them company when you’re at work, you might wonder if they can be left alone. Fortunately, these dogs usually do fine on their own for a short time.

Keep reading as we look into how long is safe and provide several tips and tricks that you can use to help keep your dog calm and comfortable while you are away.

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Can I Leave a Bernese Mountain Dog Home Alone?

Yes, a Bernese Mountain Dog can stay home alone for 3–5 hours at a time without a problem, but you may need to make arrangements if you need to be away longer than that, which means workdays can be problematic, especially if you can’t return home for lunch.

Why Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Have Trouble Being Alone for a Long Time?

You can’t leave a Bernese Mountain Dog alone for more than 5 hours because they start to suffer from separation anxiety. They form strong bonds with their owners and will quickly become distressed when they’re gone, which could turn into destructive behavior, like tearing apart the furniture or bedding or scratching and chewing on the wall. If outside, they usually turn to digging and frequent barking.

bernese dog cuddling with his owner
Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

How Do I Know How Long My Bernese Mountain Dog Can Stay Alone?

Learning how long your Bernese Mountain Dog can stay home alone can be extremely helpful when you’re planning to go out. An easy way to find out is to leave your house for increasingly longer intervals. Start by being away for about 30 minutes, then increase it to 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, etc., while taking notes about your dog’s behavior when you return.

  • Check your dog’s body language. If they look happy or like they just took a nap, they likely weren’t bothered by your absence. However, if your dog is waiting at the door looking nervous or has their tail between their legs, there is a good chance that you were gone too long.
  • Look around your home for signs of destructive behavior, like scratches on the door or windows and torn-up pillows. If you see these things, your pet was likely frustrated that you were away.
  • Listen when you return each time to hear if your dog is barking or crying, which is a sure sign that they are distressed over your absence.
  • Use CCTV or a smartphone app to monitor your dog’s behavior while you are gone.

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How Can I Help My Bernese Mountain Dog Be Happier When I’m Away?

Training

Training can be a great way to help your Bernese Mountain Dog spend more time alone. Start by keeping the dog in a separate room or leaving the house briefly, then gradually increase the time that you are apart as your dog adjusts. The smaller the increment, the less your dog will notice.


Routine

Developing a routine can help your dog feel more comfortable about your absence. Try to do things in roughly the same order every time so your dog can learn your behavior. Your dog is much less likely to become concerned once they can depend on you returning at a specific time.


A Sitter

A great way to keep your Bernese Mountain Dog calm while you are gone is to hire a dog sitter. They can stay with the dog or provide them with a quick snack and attention until you return home.

dog looking at the camera beside a laptop and noteboo
Image By: Kristesoro, Shutterstock

Other Tips and Tricks to Try

  • Leave out one of your shirts so your dog can find comfort in your scent.
  • Leave the TV or radio on to help keep them calm and block out traffic and pedestrian noise.
  • Play for a while or walk around the block before you leave to help your pet burn off excess energy, which can help keep them calm longer.
  • Leave out plenty of toys that your dog can play with if they get bored.
  • Use a two-way pet camera to see and talk with your pet while you are away. Hearing your voice and seeing your image can help your dog feel more comfortable. It’s also easier to see if your dog is having an issue.

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Conclusion

Your Bernese Mountain Dog should be fine at home alone for 3–5 hours while you visit a friend or run errands. However, an 8-hour workday might be too stressful for this breed, so you will likely need to take extra steps to keep them happy.

Training is an effective way to increase the amount of time that your dog can spend alone, and you can also leave out one of your shirts and turn on the radio to help them feel more comfortable. You can also hire someone to check on or stay with them while you are away.


Featured Image Credit: Ksenia, Raykova, Shutterstock

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