Can Great Danes be left alone? (Answered)

Can Great Danes be left alone?

Well, Great Danes can stay home alone once they pass their puppy phase. Puppies are usually untrained, wreaking havoc and chewing everything they come into contact with. Conversely, adults are more composed and better suited to guard duties in the house.

Still, limiting the time a Great Dane is left alone at home is best.

Never leave a Great Dane alone all day, especially one that isn’t trained. A trained Great Dane can spend a day on its own so long as its food and water needs are met, whereas an untrained one will likely bark excessively. Some may choose not to bark but are sure to sulk and be moody until their owner returns.

Interestingly, the more attached a Great Dane is to its owner, the lower the possibility of it thriving when left alone. Where some Great Danes may cope with their owners’ absence, some will be greatly affected, even for short periods.

Such Great Danes should never be left alone for too long till they have been treated for separation anxiety.

How long can you leave a Great Dane alone?

The maximum time you should leave a Great Dane alone in the house is eight hours. While many Great Danes have the emotional capacity to be on their own for longer, it isn’t advised.

There may not be any physical harm, but there may be some emotional ones. Great Danes are social creatures and can’t go for long without interacting with humans.

Ideally, a Great Dane should not be left home alone for longer than three or four hours. Each Great Dane is unique, so some are better equipped to handle being left alone.

Others, on the other hand, may not last three hours on their own before they start complaining. Observe your Great Dane before establishing how long it should be left alone. Anything longer than expected, and you may need to hire a sitter to watch it in your absence.

Fun fact: Great Danes are natural pack animals and will look to establish a similar bond with their owners. Pack animals need their members to survive; the same goes for Great Danes.

What happens when you leave a Great Dane along too long?

Leaving a Great Dane alone for too long will cause it emotional distress. The longer you are away, the worse it gets. Each time you are away will only worsen the condition until the damage becomes irreparable.

Some of the common problems associated with leaving a Great Dane alone for too long include:

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is common amongst dogs, and Great Danes are no exception. Once you leave a dog suffering from this condition alone, even for a short time, they start to bark and whine.

The fear of being alone is triggered, usually because they are bored and frustrated in your absence. Leaving the dog in such a state is out of the question as the condition worsens each time you do.

The only way to handle a dog dealing with separation anxiety is to provide it with some company or treat the cause of the problem. Providing a sitter or dropping it off at daycare may not address the problem directly, but it will temporarily stop it.

Stress and Depression

Stress and depression occur after a while when a dog is left alone at home.

Consider a human left to their thoughts, with little or no social interaction; that is what it feels like for dogs. While a human may thrive when left alone all day and can manage minimal social interactions, dogs cannot.

Great Danes, in particular, depend solely on their owners for social interaction and need a lot of it.

Stress gives way to depression, and your dog will start to seem moody all the time. Once depression has set in, your presence may not be enough to pull it out.


Dogs, particularly Great Danes, are generally obedient, which is why they are easy to train. Your absence, however, will reduce the effect of your instructions until they no longer want to follow them.

The longer you are away, the less they obey and may even start to spend less time with you when you’re home.

Disobedience on your Great Dane’s end doesn’t mean the dog no longer cares for you. It just doesn’t regard your commands as it rarely gets them frequently. Similar to training, where you must repeat the instructions before the dog understands them, you need to speak to your dog frequently.

Once you notice your dog being disobedient, you will need to be more present to prevent it from escalating.

Destruction of Items

With frustration and isolation comes destruction. Your dog will start to seek ways to keep itself busy in your absence, and biting things will seem the only option. As dogs tend to bite anything they come in contact with, nothing in your home is safe.

Your dog is in danger with appliances and equipment connected to electricity.

Dogs cant differentiate between harmful things and those that aren’t. While wires aren’t edible, they may appeal to your dog, and they may get shocked if the equipment is connected to electricity. Your dog and home items are in danger, which can be avoided with your presence.

Keeping Your Great Dane Happy When You’re Away

You can’t always be home, especially not just to keep your dog satisfied. However, you can make your dog more comfortable in your absence. Nothing will compensate for your absence, but at least it will be more bearable.

Some of the things you can do to make your Great Dane happy while you away include:

Provide It With A Personal Item of Yours

A personal item will help give the dog the illusion that you are still around. To be clear, your dog isn’t stupid and will surely recognize your absence. However, a personal item will keep your scent fresh in its memory, making the time pass quicker and the experience more bearable.

A T-shirt with your scent will suffice, especially an unwashed one. An unwashed one will be concentrated with your unfiltered sense, and since dogs have a keen sense of smell, yours will appreciate it.

As you head out for work, place the item with your dog every morning. You may want to use an item you aren’t particularly attached to, as the dog might ruin it if they get too excited.

Give It A Personal Space

Personal space may not seem like much, but what you do with it can make it effective in the fight against loneliness. The most important thing to look for in personal space for your Great Dane is the ambiance.

You need somewhere free from external disturbances where your dog can be at peace.

You aren’t looking to cut off your dog from the rest of reality, but keep it from being spooked.

Dogs can get easily spooked by passersby or animals and insects in the yard. To keep the personal space from being too lonely, fill it with toys and other items. Puzzles are particularly effective as they keep the dog busy in your absence.

The more fun items you add, the better the personal space for your Great Dane. 

Tire It Out

Tiring it out will achieve one simple feat, causing your dog to fall asleep when you aren’t home. Sleeping during the day will reduce the time your dog misses you and give it enough energy to play with you upon your return.

The more tired your Great Dane is, the more it will sleep when you leave, especially where there are no external interruptions.

A 30-minute exercise session before you leave in the morning should be enough to achieve this. If you are one to take a jog every day before work, you can take your Great Dane along with you. By the time you are done preparing for work, your dog should already be feeling tired.

Leave The TV or Radio On

The main reason most people leave the TV and radio on is to provide the dog with some companionship. It runs up your power bill a bit, but it will keep your dog happier in your absence.

Some dogs have favorite programs, something you may notice when you’re together. Leave the TV or radio on the channel with the intended program before you leave, and your dog won’t feel your absence as much.

Ironically, the main advantage of leaving the TV on is drowning out external stimuli. Your dog can be in a controlled environment and will be less affected by outside noises.

It can still hear these noises only when they are close to the house.

Are Great Danes clingy?

Great Danes are only clingy when they want something from you. While they love companionship and a human presence, they are fiercely independent.

A Great Dane will spend hours watching you instead of joining you unless otherwise prompted. However, when they want your attention or need something from you, expect them to cry and howl until their needs are met.

A trained Great Dane may still be clingy, but they will likely be better at hiding it. Depending on their training, they may have been taught other ways to express themselves.

Each Great Dane is different, and their levels of clinginess vary accordingly. No matter how clingy a Great Dane is, it can be trained to behave otherwise.

Funny enough, Great Danes are most clingy in their infancy and the latter end of their lives. An adult  Great Dane won’t seem clingy and find a more efficient way of getting your attention, especially when they are trained.

Conclusion: Can Great Danes be left alone?

Great Danes can be left alone at home for a few hours before you have to worry. Anything more than a few hours, and you may need to call someone to check on them.

Some people install monitoring devices to enable them to communicate with their dogs, so they are never truly alone. It also helps you know when your dog needs attention and responds promptly.

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