Bull Terriers can be independent to a degree, but that doesn’t equate to them being okay if left alone for long periods. They get bored quickly when alone, and are notorious for digging up the garden or chewing up furniture. Bull Terriers are social dogs and they love to be around their loved ones.
Bull Terriers can be left alone. If you don’t have a choice but to temporarily leave your Bull Terrier, you can do so for a limited number of hours. How long your dog can stay home alone completely depends on your dog's age, personality, current potty-training status, and their physical and emotional needs.
Bull Terriers can be left alone for 8 hours while you’re working. Even if their basic needs are met, you should never leave your Bull Terrier alone and unsupervised for more than 8 hours a day.
Senior Bull Terriers are generally better at spending time alone. They generally do well with less activity and more nap time. Senior Bull Terriers are already housebroken and need less exercise than puppies or young adults.
Bull Terrier puppies cannot be left home alone and not left for more than 4 hours. As your pup learns potty training, you can increase the duration of time that you leave your Bull Terrier home alone.
How to leave your Bull Terrier alone?
Owning a Bull Terrier is exciting for the whole family but comes with some challenges. They are sensitive dogs and become bored and destructive when left alone by their owners.
Bull Terriers need training to gradually learn to be left alone. Here are what you should do to prepare your Bull Terrier to be left alone:
- Establish a predictable routine for your Bull Terrier. This includes mealtime, potty time, exercise time, training time, and playtime. Your Bull Terrier will understand when they will spend time with their owners and when not. This will help them to spend the remaining time for rest and playing around.
- Feed your Bull Terrier before you leave.
- Provide plenty of exercises and social interaction. Bull Terriers tend to be most active at dawn and dusk, so ideally you should provide some exercise before going for work in the morning and when you return home in the evening.
- Give your Bull Terrier chew toys and other activities. This will distract them and keep them busy while they are alone.
- Keep the dangerous things out of the reach of your Bull Terrier.
- Establish a positive reinforcement protocol and reward your Bull Terrier with treats, playtime, and chew toys. Never punish them for undesirable behavior.
Teaching Alone Time
Learning to be left alone is an important part of your Bull Terrier's training. You should provide training to be left alone in the house and to deal with separation anxiety. It will save them from ever becoming anxious when by themselves. To read more about separation anxiety in Bull Terriers, read this blog post.
Follow the simple steps below and gradually increase the time you leave your Bull Terrier alone.
- Begin by encouraging your Bull Terrier to stay in the confinement area with a chew toy or other constructive activity.
- Ask them to stay there and then quietly walk out of the room.
- Return immediately and reward them with praise and a treat.
- Repeat the process, slowly increasing how long you’re away each time.
- Progress at a speed that suits your Bull Terrier's temperament and personality.
- Once you reach the stage where your Bull Terrier is happy to be left for up to an hour there should be no problems leaving them for longer periods.
Do Bull Terriers feel sad when left alone?
It is important to remember that dogs are pack animals. Generally, they are social and consequently really don’t like being alone.
Bull Terriers crave affection, attention, and love, and not receiving them could make them emotional. They are capable of feeling a lot of emotions including loneliness and separation anxiety. Even if you leave them entertaining toys, treats, and a safe area to retreat to, they will still need their human parent to feel happy and comfortable.
Symptoms when your Bull Terrier is feeling lonely
Your dog may show the following signs when feeling lonely:
- Show aggressive behavior at the owner's departure
- Excessive or non-stop barking or whining
- Destructive chewing or biting of household objects and furniture
- Uncontrolled peeing and potty accidents in an otherwise house-trained Bull Terrier
- A loss of interest in activities that they usually enjoy
- Digging and scratching at doors
- Escape attempts
- Coprophagia (eating their feces)
As a responsible dog parent, you can do many things for your Bull Terrier before leaving them alone in the house. The goal is to have a Bull Terrier that is relaxed, self-assured, and can be left alone for a few hours. Here is how you can ease your Bull Terrier's loneliness:
Make them feel safe
Try swaddle jackets (anti-anxiety shirts) or a crate. Even though your Bull Terrier might resist both ideas in the beginning, these pet accessories can be lifesavers. Some canine psychology experts believe they might offer your Bull Terrier a sense of safety and security.
Your Bull Terrier may become sad and heartbroken when you are away. Give your Bull Terrier a challenging and fun toy that might make them feel better in your absence. Leave them with stimulating puzzle toys, favorite plushies, or chew toys to keep them engaged and entertained.
Stay in touch
Stay in touch with your Bull Terrier when you are away by arming yourself with the right technology and equipment. Technological advancements enable us to communicate with our dogs even when we are not with them. Pet cameras offer not only the possibility to soothe your furry friend with your voice, but also track their behavior and minimize their loneliness.
Provide workout before you leave
This is the best and easiest way to manage your Bull Terrier’s stress when left alone. You need to provide some physical exercise and creative mental stimulation so that your Bull Terrier doesn't feel bored and anxious. The daily walk helps them socialize and stimulate their mind with the sights, sounds, and smells they come across.
Consider a dog walker
If you find that your Bull Terrier doesn’t do well when left alone, consider having a dog walker. They can come mid-day to take your dog out for 20-30 minutes. It’s a small price to pay for a happy and stress-free Bull Terrier.
Bull Terriers are capable of feeling a lot of emotions including separation anxiety, stress, and loneliness. For many people, wanting a dog and working a full-time job can seem like two incompatible ideas. It's important to dedicate quality time to your Bull Terrier and ensure that their needs are well taken care of.
One thing's for sure: Life with a Bull Terrier will never be dull!
Hope you enjoyed reading this article. Did you find this piece helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
Until next time everyone!