What Do They Do When You’re Not Home?

Do you ever wonder what your dog does when you’re not home?  It’s hard to leave our dogs alone when we go out, so it’s natural to wonder how they behave when we’re not around.  For dogs who suffer from separation anxiety, this unfortunately manifests as destructive behaviour.  But what about the average dog?  What does he do with himself when he’s alone?

Well, some Italian scientists wanted to find the answer to that question.  Now, while this study uses a small sample of dogs (30 dogs), it gives us a glimpse into what they might get up to while we’re busy outside the home.

The team of Italian scientists made video recordings of 30 dogs, who had each been left alone at home for 90 minutes (Scaglia et al. “Video analysis of dogs when left home alone”. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 2013).  What they discovered was the dogs:

  1. Spent almost two-thirds of their time sleeping or lying down, not doing much of anything.

  2. Spent less than two minutes moving around or exploring

  3. Spent approximately five minutes playing with toys

  4. Spent about ten minutes making noise, like barking, howling or whining (lucky neighbours!).

  5. Sometime licked their lips and yawned (which, incidentally, can be signs of anxiety).

Go ahead and post a comment with what your dog does when you’re not at home.  I just discovered that mine howls.  Yep, my neighbour confirmed it.  🙁

Source:  Maria Ter-Mikaelian, Canadian Dogs Magazine

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