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Can Bernese Mountain Dogs Be Left Alone? Time Limits & Considerations

Jessica Kim

By Jessica Kim

bernese mountain dog sitting on carpet in living room

Bernese Mountain Dogs often make great family dogs and companion dogs due to the strong loyalty they develop with their owners. These dogs love being around people, so they don’t do very well when they’re left alone for long hours. A Bernese Mountain Dog can stay home alone for about 3-5 hours.

Aside from service dogs, it’s impossible to bring your Bernese Mountain Dog with you everywhere you go. So, it’s important to have plans set in place for when you have to leave your dog home alone.

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How Long Can Bernese Mountain Dogs Be Home Alone?

In general, Bernese Mountain Dogs can be home alone for up to 5 hours. As large dogs, they don’t tend to have significant potty-training issues and are usually able to hold everything in until you return home and let them outside.

However, they tend to miss their owners rather quickly, so they don’t do well being alone. These dogs are gentle giants, and they’re known to be clingy rather than independent, despite their large size. They can easily start to feel stressed if they aren’t around people.

bernese mountain dog on the brown couch
Image Credit: Kristesoro, Shutterstock

Can Bernese Mountain Dogs Get Separation Anxiety?

While not all Bernese Mountain Dogs are the same, this breed is known to be prone to developing separation anxiety. They tend to form strong attachments to their families and would love nothing more than to spend all day with their favorite people.

Dogs develop separation anxiety when they feel distressed from being left alone and away from their owners. They can be trained and learn to feel safe or tolerate being alone. However, the amount of time they can stay by themselves without starting to feel anxious varies from dog to dog.

Things to Do When You Leave Your Bernese Mountain Dog at Home

In most cases, your Bernese Mountain Dog won’t be able to go everywhere with you when you leave the house. So, it’s important to create routines and introduce your dog to alternatives and activities to prevent it from feeling distressed. Here are some things you can do to help out your Bernese Mountain Dog.

bernese mountain dog on leash and lying outdoor
Image Credit: Agatalina, Shutterstock


You can train your dog to fare well for a few hours while you’re out of the house. This type of training can take several weeks to months before your dog is used to being home alone, and crate training can help immensely with helping your dog feel safe.

Training your dog to stay home alone is an incremental process. You may have to start with just having your dog be comfortable staying in a separate room from you in the same house. Once your dog is comfortable with you being out of sight in the home, you can move on to leaving the home for just a couple of minutes. As your dog gets more comfortable, you can slowly extend the amount of time you’re away and work your way towards being away for a couple of hours.

If you’re facing challenges with your Bernese Mountain Dog, you can always enlist the help of a professional dog trainer. A reputable dog trainer can help you develop a training schedule and provide tips and tricks for helping your dog adjust to being home alone.

Create a Routine

Establishing a consistent routine can help reduce separation anxiety in many dogs. Dogs thrive on routines because they help them know what to anticipate. So, if you have a routine, your Bernese Mountain Dog will have a better understanding of what time you leave the house and will feel calmer knowing that it can expect to have you return home at a certain time. Instead of keeping it guessing, it can trust that you’ll be back home and will feel less anxious as it waits.

bernese mountain dog watching outside from behind a gate
Image Credit: CatherineGoux, Pixabay

Doggy Daycare, Dog Sitters, and Dog Walkers

If you have to leave home for more than 5 hours, it’s best to enlist the help of a dog care service. Doggy daycares can be a good option for Bernese Mountain Dogs because they keep them engaged with people and other dogs. Many doggy daycares have programs that enable your dog to exercise and socialize. However, Bernese Mountain Dogs can be aloof with strangers, so it can take them some time to get used to and enjoy doggy daycare.

Dog walkers or dog sitters may be more appropriate for Bernese Mountain Dogs because they can provide undivided attention. Since Bernese Mountain Dogs can take some time to warm up to strangers, they may feel happier spending time with someone they can establish a relationship with rather than constantly meeting new people or a rotating staff at a doggy daycare.

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You’ll most likely have to leave your Bernese Mountain Dog at home regularly. So, it’s important to establish a plan to ensure that your dog is happy while you’re away. Training, establishing a routine, and using dog care services can all help your Bernese Mountain Dog stay content. Caring for your Bernese Mountain Dog’s companionship needs will help prevent the development of destructive or challenging behaviors and help your dog live a happy and stress-free life.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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