Can Rough Collies Be Left Alone?

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Rough Collies and Smooth Collies, like any other herding dogs, have varying levels of independence and tolerance for being left alone. Some may be perfectly content spending a few hours on their own, while others may become anxious or even destructive

It’s important to remember that each dog is an individual, and their ability to stay home alone will depend on factors such as their personality, training, and upbringing; that goes for all dog breeds.

Generally speaking, Rough Collies are known to be a social and intelligent dog breed that thrives on human interaction and mental stimulation. They are also known for their loyalty and attachment to their owners, which makes them a great family dog, but can make leaving them alone more challenging. 

That being said, can Rough Collies be left alone? Yes, most Rough Collies will be fine being left alone for short periods, but it’s important to take the necessary precautions and consider the potential risks involved.

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Factors affecting Rough Collie independence

There are many factors that can influence a dog’s ability to be independent:


Puppies and older dogs may have a harder time being left alone than adult dogs. Rough Collie puppies need more frequent bathroom breaks and socialization, while senior dogs may require medication or special care.


Some Rough Collies may have a more self-sufficient temperament, while others may be more prone to separation anxiety or other behavioral issues.


Proper training and working daily with your Rough Collie will help them learn how to be more independent and cope with being left alone.


Exposing your Rough Collie to a variety of situations, people, and other animals from a young age can help them become more confident and adaptable, making it easier for them to spend periods of time alone.

Tips for training Rough Collies to be more independent

Blue Merle Rough Collie at a woman's feet
To help your Rough Collie become more independent and better able to cope with being left alone, consider implementing the following training tips:

Gradual desensitization

Start by leaving your Rough Collie alone for short periods and gradually increase the length of time they spend alone. This can help them become more comfortable with being alone and reduce the risk of separation anxiety.

Establish a routine

Creating a consistent schedule for your Rough Collie can help them feel more secure and better able to handle being left alone.

Create a safe space

Set up a comfortable and secure area for your Rough Collie to relax in while you’re away, complete with their bed, toys, and water.

Orthopedic Dog Bed

orthopedic dog bed

Automatic Water Bowl

pet automatic water bowl

Mental and physical stimulation

Providing your Rough Collie with plenty of mental and physical stimulation can help prevent boredom and anxiety when they are left alone. This can include puzzle toys, interactive games, and regular exercise.

Dog Treat Puzzle

dog treat puzzle toy

Dog Puzzle Toy

squirrel dog puzzle toy

Positive reinforcement

Reward your Rough Collie for remaining calm and relaxed when you leave and return home to reinforce their positive behavior.

Dog Training Treats

wellness dog training treats

Ensuring the well-being of your Rough Collie when left alone

Tricolor Rough Collie laying in tall grass
To help ensure your Rough Collie’s well-being when they are left alone:

Monitor their behavior

Keep an eye on your Collie’s behavior while they are alone to identify any signs of stress, anxiety, excessive barking, or other issues. Pet cameras that also dispense treats work great!

Dog Camera / Treats

furbo dog camera treat tossing

Pet Monitor

dog monitoring camera

Provide entertaining toys

Make sure your Rough Collie has access to entertaining toys, activities, and exercise to keep their mind and body active while you’re away.

Dog Ball w/ Straps

dog soccer ball with straps

No-Stuffing Dog Toys

no stuffing dog toys

Maintain a consistent routine

Establishing a consistent schedule can help your Rough Collie feel more secure and better able to handle being left alone.

Check in regularly

If possible, arrange for someone to check in on your Rough Collie during the day to be sure they are doing well and provide them with some companionship and care.

Cute tricolor Rough Collie puppy laying on floor

How long can Rough Collies be alone?

The ideal amount of time a Rough Collie can safely stay home alone will vary depending on the individual dog and their specific needs. 

Typically, adult Rough Collies should not be alone for more than four to six hours at a time. Puppies and senior dogs may require more frequent check-ins or shorter periods alone.

It’s essential to monitor your Collie while they are left alone to make certain they are coping well and not experiencing any negative effects from their time alone.

Alternatives to leaving your Rough Collie alone

If you’re concerned about leaving your Rough Collie alone for extended periods of time, consider exploring alternatives such as:

Doggy daycare

Enrolling your Rough Collie in a doggy daycare can provide them with socialization, daily exercise, and supervision while you’re away.

Pet sitters or dog walkers

Hiring a pet sitter or dog walker to check in on your Rough Collie and provide them with some companionship and exercise can help ease their anxiety and prevent boredom.

Work from home or flexible work arrangements

If possible, consider working from home or discussing flexible work arrangements with your employer to minimize the amount of time your Rough Collie spends alone.

Family, friends, or neighbors

Enlist the help of trusted family members, friends, or neighbors to check in on your Rough Collie and provide them with some company and care while you’re away.
blue merle rough collie portrait in park


So, is it ok to leave a Rough Collie home alone? Yes, but It really depends on the individual dog and their specific needs. By considering the factors affecting their independence, taking precautions to prevent potential issues and risks, and implementing training tips and alternative solutions, you can help your Rough Collie become more self-reliant and better able to cope with being left alone. 

Ultimately, the goal is to find the right balance between the happiness of your herding dog and your own commitments to establish a happy and healthy relationship for both you and your furry friend.

*This article was written with the help of Chatsonic.