Can American Bully Be Left Alone? Is It Safe and How to Prepare

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Being a bully owner myself, I understand that it may not always be entirely possible to take your pooch with you everywhere, even if you wish to do so.

There will be times were you must have to leave your American Bully at home alone, you may wonder, “Can American Bullies Be Left Alone?”

The answer is yes, American Bullies can be left alone at home for a moderate period of time if they are well-trained and fully accustomed to their home. If they are new to your household and still in the process of adjusting, an adult can be left alone for up to four hours in your absence, while a puppy can be left alone for 2 hours.

In this article, I will discuss in detail how long you can leave them alone, offer tips on keeping them calm in your absence, and provide much more information.

So, keep reading to learn more.

Are American Bullies Prone To Suffer From Separation Anxiety?

Yes, American Bullies are prone to suffering from separation anxiety. Since these dog breeds are bred to be companion dogs, they are social animals that love to be with their family members.

Personally, my American Bully loves to be around me at all times and never lets me out of his sight. Typically, they develop a close bond with the owner and family, which can lead to anxiety and fear when left alone.

To prevent the development of separation anxiety in the first place, make sure you house-train them properly and consider consulting a professional trainer to take the necessary measures.

However, if your American Bully has already started to show signs of separation anxiety (such as destructive behavior, whining, defecating, and urinating), there’s no need to worry. There are several ways you can try to manage and, hopefully, reverse these behaviors (will discuss them below in detail).

How Long Can American Bully Be Left at Home Alone?

american bully sitting

There are times, such as when you have work, meetings, or events, when you can’t bring your companion with you. During these times, it’s impossible to avoid leaving your dog alone.

If you have recently adopted or bought an American Bully, it is not recommended to leave them alone, especially in a new environment, as it can take some time for them to become familiar with their surroundings and the people in their new home (this adjustment period can be around 2-3 months).

However, if you must leave them, a new American Bully dog should not be left alone for more than 4 hours, and for American Bully puppies, the maximum time should be no more than 2 hours.

Before leaving them alone, it’s important to make necessary preparations in advance.

Leaving an American bully for a short period (1- 4 hrs)

Sometimes, you might have to leave your pet at home for a little while when you’re going to places like the supermarket, grocery store, or a restaurant that doesn’t allow dogs (unless they are service animals, as per the ADA guidelines).

Leaving your pet alone for short periods is a good way to help them get used to being by themselves. But don’t suddenly leave your American Bully alone for 1-2 hours, as it can make them feel nervous.

Instead, start slowly by taking short trips, such as fetching newspapers or mail from the mailbox. Gradually increase the duration of time they spend alone. For example, start with a 15-minute walk around the block, and then gradually make it longer, like 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and so on.

Extend the time they’re alone very gradually, and over time, they’ll get more used to it.

Ensure that your American Bully is somewhat crate-trained and potty-trained before leaving them alone. And always provide them with fresh water, even if you’re only gone for a short period of time.

Leaving An American Bully For 6 – 10 hours

If you go to work, then it is a no-brainer you have to leave your dog for around 6 to 10 hours depending on your work schedule.

It is better to opt-in for a dog sitter if you have just bought the dog (as discussed, it usually takes around 3 months for your dog to adjust)

During this phase, it is important to properly crate-train them. It can be a difficult and time-consuming task.

But it is important that your dog is fully crate trained before leaving them for such an extended period of time.

You can also ask your neighbour, friend or family member (who is familiar with your dog) to visit your house and take your American bully for a bathroom break and get water and food.

Leaving an American Bully For Longer Periods (10+ hours)

Leaving your American Bully alone for such an extended period of time is strongly discouraged. If taking them with you is not an option, it is crucial to hire a reliable pet sitter or use a doggy daycare service to ensure they are checked on throughout the day.

Make sure they receive multiple meals, have access to water, and get regular bathroom breaks. Additionally, provide them with ample mental stimulation and exercise both before and after your absence.

Furthermore, leaving them alone in a crate for such an extended duration is not advisable. If hiring a pet sitter is not possible, consider asking a relative or friend to visit every 4 or 5 hours to let them out of the crate for a bathroom break, provide fresh water, and offer some exercise, such as walking or playing fetch.

7 Tips on Keeping American Bully Calm When Left Home

american bully lying calmly

Provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation

A significant amount of daily physical activity and mental challenges can greatly help in keeping your American Bully calm when they’re home alone.

Regular exercise isn’t just about keeping them fit, it’s also about draining off the excess energy that could lead to destructive behavior.

You also can’t underestimate the importance of mental stimulation. Puzzles, toys, or even a simple hide-and-seek game with their favorite toy can keep their mind sharp and engaged. Remember, a bored dog is a destructive dog.

Therefore, it’s essential that you invest time in physical activities and mental stimulation for your American Bully. They’ll not only be calmer when left alone but also healthier and happier overall.

Train them to relax in a designated area

Following on from exercise and mental stimulation, it’s equally important to train your American Bully to relax in a specific area when you’re not home. This designated area could be a crate, a pet bed, or a particular room.

Start by introducing your dog to this area during times when you’re home. Make it comfortable and enticing, associating it with positive experiences like treats and toys. Gradually increase the time your Bully spends there, rewarding calm behavior.

Over time, your dog will start to see this area as their own personal space where they can retreat to and feel safe.

This familiarity can significantly reduce stress and anxiety when they’re alone, promoting a calm attitude.

Create a comfortable and safe environment

While you’re away, it’s crucial that your American Bully feels secure in their environment, so make sure to create a space that’s both comfortable and safe.

This process starts with a cozy bed in a quiet area, away from drafts and direct sunlight. The area should be free of small objects and toxic plants that your Bully might chew on. Remember to keep electrical wires and cords out of reach, as well.

Also, ensure that their water bowl is always full, and their favorite toys are accessible. Finally, consider playing soft music or leaving the TV on at low volume to provide familiar background noise.

These steps can make a significant difference in your pet’s comfort and safety.

Ensure they have access to fresh water

Always make sure your Bully has plenty of fresh water to drink when you’re not home. This is crucial for their well-being and can also help keep them calm.

Dehydration can lead to anxiety, which may trigger unwanted behaviors. Breed-specific considerations aside, all dogs need consistent access to clean, fresh water, even more so when they’re left alone.

Invest in a large, heavy-duty water bowl that your Bully can’t easily tip over. Refill it with fresh water before you leave.

Consider a self-refilling water dispenser if you’re away for long periods. This ensures your Bully stays hydrated and comfortable until you return.

Desensitize to departure cues

You can help your American Bully stay calm by gradually desensitizing them to your departure cues. These cues can include grabbing your keys, putting on your jacket, or even just saying goodbye.

Start by performing these actions without leaving the house, allowing your dog to realize that these actions don’t always lead to your departure.

Next, try leaving the house for short periods, gradually increasing the duration over time. It’s important to remain calm and unemotional during these departures and returns. Excitement can increase your dog’s anxiety.

Rewarding(Use positive reinforcement training)

Incorporating positive reinforcement training into your routine can significantly reduce your American Bully’s anxiety when left alone at home.

This approach includes giving your dog rewards when they behave well, which motivates them to do it again. Instead of scolding your Bully for exhibiting anxious behaviors, acknowledge good behavior with a treat, praise, or petting.

Start small, like rewarding your dog for staying calm when you’re out of sight for a few seconds. Gradually increase the time and ensure you’re consistent with your rewards. This process teaches them that being alone isn’t scary, but rather, a chance to earn rewards.

Consider a pet sitter or dog walker (if you are leaving them for a longer duration)

If you’re planning to be gone for several hours, hiring a pet sitter or dog walker can be a fantastic way to keep your American Bully calm and content.

They’ll provide companionship, exercise, and mental stimulation, which are all vital for your pet’s well-being. This professional can maintain your dog’s routine, preventing anxiety and destructive behavior.

It’s important to find a sitter or walker who’s experienced with strong, energetic breeds like the American Bully.

Ask for references, ensure they’re insured and meet them in person to observe their interaction with your dog.

You’ll want someone who can handle your Bully’s strength and energy, yet be gentle and understanding. This approach can significantly decrease stress when you’re not home.

Final Thoughts

In the beginning, leaving your American Bully alone at home can be a challenging task. However, as time passes, it will become easier because they will become very familiar with you and their home.

Make sure to follow the points I have provided above, and you will undoubtedly notice the difference.

Lastly, if your dog exhibits severe separation anxiety, it is highly recommended to consult a veterinarian.

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