Can a Boston Terrier Be Left Alone? For How Long?

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by Lily Ferreras


Although some dogs are better at tolerating being alone, there isn’t a single dog on earth that likes or looks forward to being left alone. So how does the American Gentleman of the dog world compare? Can a Boston Terrier be left alone?

Boston Terriers can be left alone for 4 to 6 hours a day, depending on personality and tolerance. Provide your dog with toys for their entertainment, a place to sleep, food and water. Also, adult Boston Terriers generally need to potty every 6 to 8 hours.

Let’s see how the Boston Terrier does by himself, for how long and how you can make it easier for your furry friend.

Boston Terrier Home Alone

Being social creatures, our furry friends thrive when they are in our company. They need us to spend quality time with them exercising, playing, training and, of course, petting them!

That’s why you shouldn’t count on any dog breed to be independent to such an extent that you can leave him or her for 8 hours a day while you are at work

Keep reading for the various options available to you and other things you can do to manage your 9-5 job and your pup.

Can a Boston Terrier Be Left Alone?

These even-tempered, intelligent and energetic dogs will not find it too hard to stay at home alone, as long as you provide them with toys for their entertainment.

How Long Can a Boston Terrier Be Left Alone?

It’s important not to forget that dogs are social animals and they love spending time with us, so leaving them alone all day is definitely not advisable if you want a happy, well-adjusted dog. 

Plus, leaving your pooch alone all day has an effect on them.

According to the results of a study by Applied Animal Behaviour, the effect of time left alone was shown by a more intense greeting behaviour by the dog towards their owner. Also, dogs showed a higher frequency of physical activity and attentive behaviour when their owner returned, after 2 h of separation.

Although so far there’s no data that shows dogs being aware of the length of time they were alone, the study does confirm that dogs are affected by the duration of time at home alone.

Additionally, according to PSDA, the maximum amount that you should leave your dog alone is 4 hours. Usually, I would aim between 4-6 hours. But this doesn’t look realistic to those who work a regular 9 to 5 job, for instance.

In my personal experience, it depends on your dog’s personality and what he has grown used to. If you manage to keep a balance between meeting your dog’s needs and leaving him alone, your dog should be fine.

So what exactly does “balancing” look like? Continue reading 😉


What Does a Boston Terrier Do When Alone?

Have you wondered what your dog does when he’s alone?

Knowing what your dog might actually do when you are away will help you better prepare him and his environment when he’s staying by himself.

When left alone, your Boston Bull Terrier is likely to:

  • Sleep: Just bear in mind that on average, adult dogs sleep between 14-16 hours a day (including at night). Plus, puppies can sleep even more (up to 18 hours). Check How Much Should a Boston Terrier Sleep? for more about their sleeping habits.
  • Play: They especially enjoy toys filled with dog treats. The higher the value of the treat, the better and more interesting it is.
  • Guard the house: Whilst is known as the American gentleman, Boston Terriers can be territorial, protective of both humans and the home – yes, they are small but mighty! So he will keep an eye and wake up at any suspicious sound e.g. looking out to find out what’s going on either from the window or your yard. 
  • Eat: It seems obvious that your pooch will eat their meal or the treats you leave behind for them. However, depending on their composition, your Boston Bull may hardly eat, or not eat at all until you get back.
  • Make noise: As the American gentleman of the dog world, it’s no wonder they’re considered a quiet, non-yappy breed. This doesn’t mean your Boston Terrier can’t be outspoken or bark at everything that moves (this is rare for the breed). However, if your Boston Terrier suffers from separation anxiety, they will likely whine, cry and bark when you are away.
  • Explore around: If your Boston Bull is given the freedom to roam around the house with no restrictions, he will likely explore around every nook and cranny i.e. the entire house! Dogs are generally curious creatures, and with that, they are attracted to whatever they find “interesting” (even if you find it weird!).

Most Boston Terriers will just chill, stay quiet and sleep. Also, they are likely to entertain themselves e.g. with interactive toys.

How to Make it Easier For Your Boston Terrier When Alone?

As a Boston Bull parent, getting your dog used to staying alone gradually is the best solution. But there are other things that will help you during the process of getting him to tolerate being by himself for a while.

#1 – Exercise Your Dog Before Leaving

If your Boston has gone for a walk, for example, he is more likely to sleep during the day. So it’s a great idea to exercise him before, say, going to work.

By doing so, you will not only tire him out but also prevent boredom.

Lack of mental and physical stimulation (which exercise provides) can result in restless behaviour that leads to destructive behaviour.

#2 – Provide Interactive Toys for Entertainment

Interactive toys such as Kongs (Amazon link) and dog puzzles like Snuffle Mats (Amazon link) provide great entertainment and he will stay busy for a while.

Also, it’s a more effective way to feed your dog when he’s alone, especially if they seem to lose their appetite during these periods. You can fill them up with dog kibble, treats, frozen blueberries, or a homemade meal. 

#3 – Don’t Make a Big Deal Out Of It

It might be difficult for you not to overdo your goodbyes and refrain yourself from using that baby voice to tell your pooch how much you are going to miss him.

However, this behaviour is counterproductive as it can lead your Boston Bull Terrier to develop anxiety and stress. Instead, exit quietly after leaving your dog content with a toy on his safe zone.

Since anxiety is a major concern for many dog parents…

Read also: Boston Terrier Separation Anxiety – 16 Things that Help and Boston Terrier Fears and Anxiety – Triggers and Remedies blog posts.

#4 – Go Tech and Install Cameras to Monitor Your Dog

If you are a fan of new technology, you can get a camera (like Furbo, which is available on Amazon) to monitor your pup. This way you will be just two clicks away from communicating with him wherever you are.

#5 – Play Relaxing Music For Dogs

Also, you can play some relaxing music designed for dogs (Amazon link) that are found to soothe anxiety in our canine friends or alternatively, a white noise machine (Amazon link) which is also soothing.

#6 – Come Back Home For Breaks

If your home is close to your work and you have lunch breaks, you can come back home and take your furry friend for a midday walk or potty walk.

#7 – Engage a Family Member for a Visit

Ask someone you trust and is available, to spend some time with your dog. Your Boston will appreciate the company and the potty break.

#8 – Hire a Dog Sitter or Dog Walker

If nobody can spend some time with your pooch, then you can hire a dog sitter or a dog walker. In this case, the number one thought is usually this – “who is this person and how can I trust them to take care of my pooch?

In my favourite dog care post, I share what I think fits the bill for this purpose. Head over there for more!

#9 – Take Your Dog to Work

Is your company pet-friendly by any chance? Then consider bringing your eloquent, American gentleman with you to work!

Finally, you should expect that your puppy demands and deserves some quality time with you after spending some time by himself 🙂


P.S. Here are two videos to help you with your Boston Terrier’s safety and entertainment when home alone.

Find out more at 10 Steps to Dog Home Alone Safety.

Find out more at How to Keep My Dog Entertained While at Work.

  1. Do Boston Terriers have separation anxiety?

    They can develop separation anxiety, a state of high distress due to being separated from their owner, especially when left home daily without gradual acclimation i.e. gradually getting them used to it.

  2. What to do if I don't want to leave my dog alone?

    There are different options to reduce the concern you have of leaving your dog alone:

    1. Hire a dog sitter.
    2. Enrol your pooch in dog daycare.
    3. Consider a dog walker.
    4. Leave your furry friend with a family member or friend.

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