Leaving Two Dogs Alone

Leaving two dogs alone together when you're not home--is it safe?

I have a 10 month old female pit bull that is fixed. She gets along fine with other dogs. I am thinking about getting a male pit bull puppy and getting him fixed also.

Will they need to be separated when they get older if I'm not around? I want to be able to leave them together in the yard without fighting. Is this possible since they will be opposite sex and both fixed?

Gale's Reply:

I believe it's unwise to leave dogs alone together when you are not home. It's not just pit bulls. I've heard of owners of shelties and dachshunds coming home to find their dogs dead after apparently fighting with each other when the owner wasn't there.

In my own experience, I've had two pit bulls (male and female) who lived peaceably with each other FOR YEARS suddenly go after each other over a toy. It happened when I was home alone with them. And, I can tell you it's just about the most helpless feeling in the world.

After the fight, they gave each other space for a few hours. But in short order it was as if nothing had ever happened as far as they were concerned. They were back to being buds. Then it happened again a couple of years later over a morsel of food the cat had left in his bowl.

These two dogs lived together for 9 years, slept curled up together, groomed each other, loved on each other. For 99.9% of the time, they were like Mr. & Mrs. When one passed on, the other one was clearly depressed. There was no doubt they were very bonded to each other. But, I wouldn't have left them together when no one was home.

I'm also not a fan of leaving dogs outside when you are gone. Even if you have the ideal set-up and live in a mild climate, bad things can happen.

If you are relying on a fenced yard to contain them, remember that if they find a way out they could land in serious trouble simply because of their breed.

While not everyone can manage it, it's safer to let dogs stay indoors when you are gone. And let them have their outside time when you can keep an eye on them.

Hope this helps. Feel free to post back here if you have other questions.

For information about obedience training visit our Pit Bull Training page.

For help with behavioral problems check out our Dog Behavior Training page.

Comments for Leaving Two Dogs Alone

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Jun 26, 2011
Dogs at home when you are gone
by: PitPomDobeMom

This is something that is completely dependent upon your dogs, their personalities, how well they behave alone, etc.
I NEVER leave them outside, God only knows what could happen when they are outside and you are gone. I have five dogs and this is how we leave them when I leave the house.
- Our Dobie sometimes can get a little agitated with the other dogs. He has a room to himself with toys and a bed.
- We have a SharPei/Pibble puppy that is still in her chewing phase. She is crated while we are gone.
- My APBT, Pomeranian, and Eskimo Dog stay in my room when they are gone. They are the oldest dogs, and the dogs we have had the longest. They're our 3 muskateers :) They don't chew, mess in the room, or bicker. This is why they get to stay together.

Rules that we have are no toys and no food when we are gone if they are around other dogs.
We have never had any problems, but again I stress that this decision is entirely based upon your dogs' personalities and behavior.

Jun 26, 2011
Leaving two dogs alone
by: Debbie

Hi Gale,

I think most pets are okay together most of the time. Probably the incident you were referring to was brought about over the toy. They would have not been playing with that toy if your were there.

Is this Gale saying this? Doesn't sound like her.

Jun 26, 2011
Leaving two Pitbulls alone..
by: Lisa

I own a 7 yr old male pit/lab mix and a 4 yr old female red nose Pit bull, and have left them home alone numorous times with no problems but I also have well mannered and behaved dogs.. I got the female at 1 yr. When my male was 4 yrs and my male is definitely the alfa of the two and he tells her when she is doing something bad, I'm a proper way. No fighting envaled. They have never mad food or toy aggression toward one another... I also would say it depends on your dogs as well, proper training and obedience is a must, but I would never leave my two pups outside when I'm not home !! You never know what can happen, hope I helped :) good luck

Jun 27, 2011
Bad idea
by: Sam

When you leave 2 dogs alone, you are asking for trouble. While our 2 rescue APBTs have never gotten into any fights, we left our 2 JRTs out together once & they tore each other up. I don't know what triggered the fight (we weren't home), but there were no toys or food out anywhere to fight over. Our poor APBT girl Charlie was so afraid after their fight, when we got home she was hiding in the bath tub!

Needless to say, the 2 JRTs are not out together anymore!

Jun 27, 2011
Not worth the risk.
by: Amanda

I have a pitbullsharpei mix and a pitbull lab mix. When i leave my house i sometimes leave my sharpeimix out of his kennel, but when i go to bed or we go out, they are both usually kenneled, atleast my female always is. Ideally you want them to laydown and stay out of trouble while your gone, and thats guaranteed while they are kennelled. NEVER leave your dogs outside while your not home. I WAS HOME and let my dogs outside while i mopped the floor, and wasnt checking them regularly as i was busy mopping. In less time than it took me to realize my dogs were out of my yard (about an hour and a half max) i let them out, and they got out of my yard. Animal control was called and the officer shot both of my dogs. He gunned down my pure bred and shot my mix once. He told me he knew the one he didnt kill was a mix. He told me he shot my female cause she barked at his truck. he shot her 4 times, and then buried her like trash on someone elses property and never called me. I only knew she was in trouble because my male made it home with a through and through shot in his shoulders.

My point is, Its not worth the risk. They arent shihtzuhs. if they get in a tiff, they will hurt each other if not worse. I have had friends whose dogs have killed each other in less than an hour. Its devastating to find your family pet hurt, or dead, and knowing simply taking more precaution would have prevented it.

Jun 27, 2011
Leaving two dogs alone
by: Matt

I agree it is not always good to leave my dog outside but I am gone from the house for 10 hours a day for work. I think this is too long to leave her in a crate. She still chews on things if I leave her loose in the house. I am working on getting past this. If I did work it out where my dog could be inside all day, could another dog of the opposite sex, both fixed, be left alone together? She is only 10 months and I would be getting another young puppy but I am worried about the future when they are adults. I guess my real question is, would they be safe together and not separated?

Jun 30, 2011
Leaving Dogs Alone Together
by: Gale

@ Matt: No one can assure you that your dogs would be ok if left unsupervised while you are gone. As you can see from the comments, people are divided on the issue. Some will tell you that it depends on your dogs--their temperament, how well they get along when you are there, etc. But, I truly believe the safest option is to separate them when you cannot supervise them.

Jun 30, 2011
More Comments on Facebook
by: Gale

This topic has sparked quite a bit of discussion on our Facebook page as well.

Sep 17, 2011
Crating Two Dogs In Same Room
by: Kristen

I just got a 7 month old Desi dog from India and I have a 1 1/2 year old whippet cross. I want to crate the younger one while I am at work to be sure they are both safe. My whippet has always been fine having the run of the house by herself. When I crate the younger one...should I put it in the same room where they can see each other or a seperate room where they can't?

Sep 17, 2011
Leaving One Dog Out, Crating the Other
by: Gale


I don't believe there's a one-size-fits-all answer to this. If the dogs seem to like each other it may be comforting to them to have each others company while one is crated and the other is in the room.

OTOH, if there's antagonism or the Desi dog seems frustrated watching the whippet roam the room freely, then it may be best to keep them in separate rooms while you're gone.

I suggest you give this arrangement a few trials while you're at home so that you can peek in on them and see how they're handling it.

Apr 04, 2012
Crating or seperation is a great idea.
by: Anonymous

If you are not 100% sure that your dogs will get along without an incident while you are away, then I wouldn't recommend leaving them alone together. It only takes one serious fight to either screw up the bond they share, injure one or both dogs, or at the worst, end up with one being killed. Crating the dog that you feel would be untrustworthy alone, unsupervised is my best advice. I have to do this with my pit and cocker spaniel. They are absolute best buddies, and he (cocker) watches out for her all of the time, since she is still a pup and keeps her in check. She is still really hyper, and sometimes gets on his nerves when she gets to rough during play; they get into minor scraps sometimes. Even though these "fights" are nothing serious, I don't trust leaving them alone together without someone to intervene when they do fight. Although she completely submits to him when they "scrap", all it would take is for her to challenge him and she could kill him with ease. I don't think she would, but I refuse to take that chance, ever. So, for the absolute safety of your animals, it would be wise to crate, or at least completely seperate them if they cannot be trusted be civil when alone.

Jun 25, 2012
I wish I read this earlier
by: Anonymous

I have 4 dogs. They have been living together for over a year, all ages and breeds. Came home sunday after only being gone for 2 hours to find my chi/jack mix killed by my german shep. They were kenneled outside together, like always. Never in a million years would I have guessed that would have happened. Never have they shown agression to each other. Now I am worried for the other dogs and my children. Waiting on a dog trainer to evaluate my dogs and living situation. It is a sad time for my family, but we never saw this coming. I think there are alot people in my shoes, this is a lesson learned. If I keep all my dogs, they will be kenneled seperately.

Jun 26, 2012
To Anonymous w/ 4 dogs
by: Gale

My heart goes out to you and your family. I know it must be devastating. I'm sorry for your loss.

You're right. People don't realize the dangers of leaving dogs together unsupervised. When you see your dogs getting along with each other day in and day out, it's hard to imagine such a tragedy happening. But it's important for people to know it can and does happen.

Thanks for sharing your story with us. You and your family will heal from this hurt. Til then, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Sep 23, 2017
this is what I'm going through NEW
by: robert

I've had 3 anatolians for 3 years and a pit for 1. Everyone has got along fabulousbut the past month my pit has been bullying and meal time. Then my wife came home one day and a fight started. The we came home and a fight started (and I was bit) Today, nobody was home and they fought Luckily they stopped when exhausted and noone died. I bought a kennel today to sequester the pit. I hope it works.
Are there any more ideas? Suddenly we feel life one of us needs to stay home.

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