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 age and tolerance. But, always provide toys for entertainment, a place to sleep, food and water. Boston Terriers should not be left alone for more than 8 hours.

In this article, you’ll discover the Boston Terrier’s typical predisposition to alone time, 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 combine your 9-5 job and your pup.

Can a Boston Terrier Be Left Alone?

Most dogs spend time home alone on a daily basis.

Thus, 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 (more tips further down).

To answer your question…

Yes, Boston Terriers can be left alone on a daily basis. However, you should make sure that your dog doesn’t suffer from anxiety.

Do Boston Terriers have separation anxiety?

This breed 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.

According to AVMA, separation anxiety is one of the most common canine behaviour problems. 20% to 40% of dogs in the US are diagnosed with this disorder.

Check Boston Terrier Separation Anxiety – 16 Things that Help blog post for further insight.

But, is there a maximum time and rule on how long a dog can be left alone?


How Long Can a Boston Terrier Be Left Alone?

As a guideline, you can leave your Boston Terrier alone between 4-6 hours a day. But it’s not advisable to leave your Boston more than 8 hours alone.

One of the reasons being their need to potty every 6 to 8 hours for adults and every 1 to 4 hours for puppies (depending on age).

Here’s how long Boston Terriers can be left alone according to their potty needs:

Boston Terrier AgeAlone Time / Potty Frequency
8-10 weeks old puppyless than 1 hour
2-3 months old puppy2 hours
4 months old puppy4 hours
Adult (18 months)4 to 6 hours
Senior (above 7 years old)4 to 6 hours
This is a guideline, not a rule.

Another important reason is 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.

If you want to prepare your pooch to become confident when left alone, keep reading! You’ll be surprised by how the smallest things can make a huge difference for both of you. 🙂


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

These interactive toys provide great entertainment and will keep your Boston Terrier busy for a while:

  • A seek-a-treat puzzle: A Snuffle Mat challenges your Boston to use his nose and paws to find treats.
  • A dog puzzle or “busy box” toy: It’s designed to challenge your dog. It contains compartments that hide food and require your pooch to figure out how to get to the food using his nose, mouth, and paws. Trixie puzzle toy, for example, has different training levels to increase the challenge!
  • A treat ball toy: Bob-A-Lot gives your pooch something fun to chase around the room and surprise him with a tasty reward!
  • Dispenser toys: Kongs are a classic option in this range. It comes in all sizes and for all ages. You can fill it with part of his meal. Also, you can freeze it for an extra challenge. It’s more entertaining for your Boston to eat from a dispenser toy than from his food bowl.
  • A chew toy: Rubber bones like Nylabone Flavored Bone or Kong Puppy Goodie Bone are also another source of stimulation. Chewing keeps your Boston Terrier’s jaws strong and his teeth clean. Plus, it also combats boredom and can relieve mild anxiety or frustration.

Insider Tip: For a more effective way to feed your Boston Terrien when home alone, you can fill dispenser toys up with dog kibble, treats, frozen blueberries, or a homemade meal. This is especially useful if your dog seems to lose their appetite during these periods.

#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 – Install a Camera to Monitor Your Dog

It’s great when you can actually use technology to close the distance when you’re away from home, and with a pet camera like Furbo (available on Amazon) you can monitor your Boston Terrier.

This way you will be just two clicks away from communicating with him wherever you are.

This pet cam can also break up the day. You can talk to him and even offer some treats!

Most of these work over WiFi and via an app on your smartphone. Furbo Full HD Dog Cam with Treat Tossing Function has 2-way audio that also has a treat dispenser function. It holds 100 dry treats and you can toss your dog some by tapping the dispenser function on the app.

It also has night vision mode and can even send you push notifications if your Boston starts barking!


#5 – Soothe Possible Fears and Anxiety

Anxiety is a major concern for many dog parents, especially when leaving their dogs alone.

Here are some solutions for soothing your Boston Terrier’s uneasiness:

  • Provide a plush toy designed to soothe dogs like Smart Pet Love’s Snuggle Puppy Toy.
  • Leave the radio on and choose a non-stop classical music channel; it’s been known that dogs find it relaxing. Also, you can play some relaxing music designed for dogs that are found to soothe anxiety in our canine friends.
  • Turn on the White Noise Sound Machine, it works wonders with dogs that suffer from anxiety. It also helps them sleep better (this is also applicable for humans!)
  • Wraps like Thundershirt anxiety jacket help your dog relax when feeling fearful e.g. when there’s a thunderstorm.
  • The lavender essential oil has also been proven to reduce the stress response in dogs. You can place two drops on your Boston Terrier’s collar or bedding. Otherwise, you can use a diffuser around your house for an overall calming effect.
  • As an alternative to lavender, Adaptil is a well-known diffuser to curb stress-related unwanted behaviours. The diffuser emits an odourless pheromone that provides a strong signal of comfort and security to dogs.

#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.

Even if it’s a brief hello, both of you will benefit from connecting and release some oxytocin (the love hormone!)

On the subject of staying connected your pooch…

One of the ways I make sure to do this is to have little reminders around or add a doggie decor touch at home (or in the office).

Here are some sweet and stylish ideas for Boston Terrier lovers:

#7 – Engage a Family Member for a Visit

This is another way to break up the day and the amount of hours that your Boston Terrier is alone in a single stretch.

Ask someone you trust and is available, to spend some time with your dog. Your Boston will be delighted with 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?

Check out my favourite dog care for my preferred choice! 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!

Of course, this depends on your job requirements and company policy, so find out if you can bring your dog to work with you.

Take the opportunity to read and encourage the benefits of having a dog and taking him to work, if you want to win some votes. 😉


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

#Bonus – Extra Resources

This is a quick summary of how long can a Boston Terrier be left alone:

On the following two videos, find tips on dog safety and entertainment when home alone. 🙂

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

P.S. Full details at How to Keep My Dog Entertained While at Work.

Leave a Reply
  1. I learned so much from this blog. I also have a Boston Terrier and I'm quite afraid to leave her alone at home on a daily basis. This helps so much!

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