If you have a Maltipoo as a pet or you plan to have one, you have to think about your everyday schedule.
These cute, small dogs are very social creatures and don’t like being left alone for too long. How long is OK for your Maltipoo? Well, that depends on many other factors but basically, 6-8 hours is a limit for grown-up Maltipoo. Leaving your Maltipoo 6-8 hours a day shouldn’t be done on regular basis though.
Worried about what will go wrong if you leave your Maltipoo for multiple hours? What if you have a Maltipoo puppy, for how long you can leave him alone? What behavior is characteristic of a dog that suffers from separation anxiety? Keep reading to find out more on this topic
Can Maltipoo Be Alone for 8 Hours?
The period of 8 hours is generally taken for all dogs, as it is considered that they can hold their bladders for that time.
First of all, pay attention to your Maltipoo’s age. If you have a puppy, leaving it for 8 hours is not an option. The general rule is that puppies can hold the bladder 1 hour per 1 month of life, so if you have 3 months old puppy, count on a maximum of 3 hours to be out of your home.
When it comes to puppies, things are more complicated than in the case of adult Maltipoos. Is your puppy potty trained? Is your puppy crate trained? Puppies are much more prone to separation anxiety comparing to grown-up Maltipoos. Taking all this into consideration try not to leave your puppy home alone. At least not for more than an hour or two.
Remember that puppies in general ( not only Maltipoo puppies ) have issues with staying alone. They are scared of a new environment and they have constant necessity to be with their human friends.
If we talk about adult Maltipoos the situation is a bit different. But still, consider leaving your pet home alone for 8 hours more like an occasional exception than an everyday habit.
What Can Go Wrong If You Leave Your Maltipoo Home Alone?
Many things can go wrong if you leave your Maltipoo home alone for multiple hours, especially if you repeat this every day.
- your Maltipoo might upset your neighbors with constant barking, whining, or howling. Maltipoos are great barkers especially if not trained properly at an early age
- your Maltipoo may use your entire home as a bathroom.
- you may find many pieces of furniture or your shoes, purse or cloths chewed on or tore apart.
Do Maltipoos Suffer From Separation Anxiety?
Maltipoos are prone to separation anxiety. These dogs are a mix of Maltese and Poodle. If you look deeper into Maltipoo’s genes you will see the root of the anxiety.
Maltese dogs are real lap dogs that make very tight bonds with their owner. On the other hand, Poodles are famous for their separation anxiety.
So Maltipoos are labeled as Velcro dogs. They are great family companions and not designed to spend too many hours home alone.
Another Maltipoo’s feature is that they are full of energy and enthusiasm. So if they are left alone, they can feel pretty lonely, bored, and depressed.
If your Maltipoo is bored and depressed he will certainly develop destructive behavior which means that you could find a great mess once you return from work in the evening.
According to Dr. Gregory Berns, a neuroscientist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, dogs have the same intellectual and emotional capacities as a small human child.
That means they are able to feel love and bond with you but they won’t understand that you really come back after you’ve left. In a state of excessive stress, they are biting and tearing everything they run into.
Some dogs are more tolerable, others are less but statistics say that dogs that are picked up from the shelter are more prone to separation anxiety.
The point is that separation anxiety is like an allergy, won’t go away by itself. If your Maltipoo shows the signs of separation anxiety you have to do something about it.
What Does Your Anxious Maltipoo Do While You Are Away ?
If you have a dog that is not used to stay home alone or your Maltipoo is a really anxious one, then you must be concerned and would like to know what exactly your dog is doing while you are away.
The first couple of minutes after you leave the house are the most stressful for your dog. Your Maltipoo will bark, howl, and whine without stop. This is the first sign of separation-related behavior.
Don’t be surprised if these signs occur while you are still there. Some dogs are clever enough to learn the exact steps you take before you leave. For example picking up the key, putting it in the bag, taking a coat or whatever. These repeated actions are indicators to your Maltipoo that something bad is going to happen so anxiety can appear at this stage.
Another step is destructive behavior. The first ”victim” of it is the door. Usually, the door through which you have left. He will start scratching it.
Your Maltipoo will continue grieving over you for next half an hour.
If you have an extremely anxious dog, he can vomit, has excessive salivation, urinates, or tries to hurt himself at this stage but fortunately, this is not usual behavior. These are less frequent signs of separation anxiety.
What will happen after the first 30-40 minutes after you leave, really depends on your Maltipoo’s personality and many other factors. Maybe he will find some amusement ( if you thought about it and left some mental stimulative game for him) but maybe he will entertain himself with chewing on your shoes or carpet.
Some anxious dogs cannot relax. So they sit or lie down for a minute and then stand up. This is what they do for the whole day. So when the owner eventually comes back, they are very tired.
For How Long You Really Can Leave Your Maltipoo Home Alone?
If you are thinking about leaving your Maltipoo home alone on regular basis, you really need to think about a few things.
- Age. Is your Maltipoo an adult? The puppy shouldn’t be left alone for multiple hours. One-year-old Maltipoo is considered an adult so if your dog is 1 or more, you can try.
- Potty training. Is your Maltipoo potty trained? If not, it would be very difficult leaving him alone for a couple of hours. But I guess if he is 1 year old (or more) he is potty trained. Another thing- if your pet has an option to go freely to his bathroom area, that would be a huge plus. Some people install a doggy door so a dog has access to the outside area( this is recommended only if you have a fenced and secured backyard). The installation cost of a doggy door depends on material and location. If you decide to put the Plexi door on your house door, the cost will be around 300-400$ but if you decide for the wall installation the price may vary ( 500-1600$).
- Doggy place/ crate training. Is your Maltipoo free to roam around the house or he is limited to one area/room? The larger the area he is able to roam around the easier is to leave him alone. If your Maltipoo is 1 or more years old, I guess he is crate trained as well. This is good but you shouldn’t think about leaving your Maltipoo alone inside the crate for the whole day. No matter how big a crate is, this is not a good idea.
- Food/water. Does your Maltipoo have an access to a water bowl? Food is less important as if you feed your dog before you leave and fee him again once you return, food won’t be a major issue but it is very important for him to have easy access to a water source.
Bottom line – if you have an adult Maltipoo that is potty trained ( even better if he has access to the outside area), has a fairly large area to roam around freely, has a water source and plenty of things to distract with, than you can leave your Maltipoo for a couple of hours without a fear.
How To Successfully Leave Your Maltipoo Home Alone?
If you have managed every single point from a previous sub-heading, you are on the right track, but still not there!
Besides potty training, water source, large space your adult Maltipoo needs to have some kind of distraction/ amusement so he can handle the time with you better.
Before this step, you should teach your dog how to stay alone in the house. With this training, you will prevent signs of separation anxiety to appear.
Training Your Maltipoo To Be Left Alone
The point is to teach your dog that being left alone in the house means fun. Start with the training as soon as you bring a new dog to your home.
For this training, crate training is absolutely necessary (there is a great article on the RSPCA web page on this topic where I found helpful steps).
You can follow these basic steps :
Step 1 – Encourage your Maltipoo to go in the crate/dog bed and stay there quietly but you don’t go anywhere, stay in the same room. Reward your dog for being quiet and calm in his crate/bed.
Step 2 – Ask your dog to go to the crate and stay there but you leave the room for a minute or so. Return and reward your dog for good behavior and for being calm and quite.
Step 3 – Continue with training by moving away for a longer period of time. Don’t forget to reward your dog always for good behavior but if your dog moves and doesn’t obey, don’t reward him. Never punish him but simply don’t reward him.
Step 4 – Continue with the training but now when you return be excited about it ( until now you shouldn’t have expressed any excitement when you return). Next, when you leave the room, leaving your dog, shut the door so he can hear it. After this step, repeat the action but every time stay outside a little bit longer.
Step 5 – Once you reach a point where your dog is OK with the idea to be left alone for up to one hour, shouldn’t be a major issue to stay alone for several hours.
What Does Your Maltipoo Can Do For Fun When Being Left Alone?
This is last but not the least of all things you need to think about when deciding to leave your Maltipoo alone.
Maltipoos are very playful and curious dogs. They need constant mental stimulation otherwise they get bored and depressed. If they get bored you know what will happen…destructive behavior will develop.
First of all, make sure your Maltipoo is properly exercised. If your dog had physical activity ( he needs not more 10-15 minutes daily ) and feels a little bit tired, chances to act destructively are slim.
Same as with small human child, a dog also needs toys. Find interesting toys that could bring your Maltipoo fun. For example stuffed Kong toys are quite popular, especially if you fill them with your Maltipoo’s food.
The idea is to find toys that could keep your pet entrained for quite some time. Puzzle toys are perfect as dogs have to ”solve” the problem in order to get some treat.
If you turn on the music and leave the TV on, your dog could be less anxious. Experts say that dogs like to hear human voices when they are left alone in the house. But don’t do that only when you leave. Because the dog will associate music and TV with you leaving the house which could cause more anxiety.
If you can, you may bring another dog to your home. If the two of them really get along then the lonely hours without you will be much more bearable. But remember, they need to be truly good friends, otherwise it could be a disaster.
You can ask a good neighbor or a friend /relative to stop by in the middle of the day and to check on your Maltipoo. It doesn’t have to be every day but occasionally it can be a good idea.
If you are able, hire a dog walker. This is also something that doesn’t have to be arranged every day, but once or twice a week should be just fine.
Of course, if you have a budget you can organize a doggy daycare, either to take your Maltipoo to a facility or arrange a private doggy daycare but this is the most expensive solution.
Some owners are taking their dogs with them to work but Maltipoo is not the type of dog for the office so I wouldn’t recommend this as a solution.
Maltipoo is a very friendly dog. He is truly a family dog and companion. Maltipoo makes tight bonds with his owners and he is prone to separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
Make sure you do everything to prevent anxiety to develop. Bear in mind that your dog needs physical exercises the same as mental stimulation. Don’t forget to provide stimulating toys to amuse him while you are away.
Although there are tons of things you can do to minimize the possibility of separation anxiety to appear, remember that Maltipoo is a lap dog, he needs constant human attention. If you are a very busy person, leaving the house in the morning, return back in the evening, no matter how quality the toys are, your pup won’t be happy as he needs you.