What Does It Mean When Your Dog Wants To Be Alone? Reasons Explained With Tips

What Does It Mean When Your Dog Wants To Be Alone? Reasons

Being a dog parent is a complex duty you should never take lightly. It requires dedication, affection, and responsibility. A pet dog can fill your house with pure joy, but their behavior could bother you sometimes.

This may happen in different ways. Suppose your dog is trying to attempt to be alone; wouldn’t that make you feel worried? Pets usually love spending time with owners, but some incidents could make them want to be alone.

If this happens suddenly, it will make you even more bothered. Through this article, we will be finding answers to this concern. 

So, What Does It Mean When Your Dog Wants To Be Alone? What are the reasons? A dog might try to be alone due to a couple of reasons. Most commonly, this behavior is caused as a result of an injury or an illness. Speaking of illnesses, it is not only limited to physical ones but also mental ones, for instance, anxiety or depression.

Suppose your dog got injured due to some accident, or they undergo some other health issue, it will bother them both physically and mentally. As a reaction, most dogs attempt to isolate themselves. Sometimes dogs might try to stay alone simply because they are tired or bored. 

This behavior of a dog could occur due to serious reasons but also harmless ones. Imagine a situation where you had a long play session with the dog; once they feel tired, they might try to stay alone till they restore energy.

However, if the dog shows this behavior out of nowhere and if they keep repeating it for a while, you have to be vigilant.

No one knows your dog better than you do, so if their behavior is unusual, you’ll be able to notice it quickly, and if you see a difference, don’t hesitate to take action.

The sooner you act, the better you can solve the problems. 

What does it mean when your dog wants to be alone?

All dog owners will agree with me that you will not easily feel bored if you have a pet dog in your home. The behavioral traits and personalities of dogs may significantly differ based on their breed, but dogs are considered perfect human companions no matter what breed they belong to.

They are amicable and loyal and would barely miss a chance to spend with their owners. What if your dog seeks to pace itself and stay alone? That will surely make you question why, especially if your pet is typically an active and energetic canine. 

To understand this correctly, you must first figure out the underlying cause behind this behavior. The most obvious prediction would be an illness, and there is a high possibility that you might be correct.

If there is a visible injury, such as a wound or a fracture, the pain it causes will make the dog want to stay alone. Or if your dog faces a disturbing event that you are aware of, that also could be a reason behind isolation.

However, as you know, we cannot see all illnesses from the surface level. In such cases, if you notice other unusual behavior along with isolation, you can anticipate that the dog is facing some sort of serious health concern.

So if your dog tries to be on their own, that could be primarily due to a physical or a mental health condition. 

Is it normal for dogs to want to be alone sometimes?

As mentioned, it is crucial to take action when you notice that your dog attempts to be alone. However, you should not be too quick to make judgments.

If your dog keeps isolating itself, does this always mean that the dog is sick? Maybe they are, or perhaps they are not. So as the owner, you have to be smart and clearly understand the root cause. 

Humans are social creatures meaning we can’t survive without companionship and mutual consensus. Therefore we always seek the company of others. Like humans, dogs also prefer companionship, especially the ones who are being raised in homes.

If we had a long tiring day or felt bored, we would like to have some alone time, don’t we? This applies to your pet dog too. Usual occurrences in their daily lives would make them want to stay alone for some time.

Therefore it is evident that being sick is not the only reason for this, there are plenty more reasons, and they can be entirely normal. 

Suppose it confuses you to figure out whether your dog attempts to be alone due to a severe reason such as a sickness or a normal reason such as boredom; notice how frequent their behavior is.

Moreover, other than self-isolating, see if they indicate other unusual symptoms. If they stay alone for some time, but then if they soon switch back to their usual behavior, it is not something to worry about. 

Reasons why your dog wants to be alone?

Now you might have a fair understanding of why dogs try to have alone time. So let’s elaboratively look at some of the common reasons.

  • Tiredness 

Dogs are usually energetic animals, but they will not keep running around the house all day long; after a while, dogs lack energy and get tired.

When they are tired, they require some space to rest and recharge themselves. So it is not bizarre to see your dog trying to stay alone after an extended play or exercise session. 

  • Boredom 

Boredom is also another ordinary reason for dogs to isolate themselves. Dogs don’t quickly get bored, but there are times when they feel bored and want to have some alone time.

You can’t precisely say why dogs get bored, but even dogs with intense energy levels sometimes get bored. 

  • Uncertainty about strangers/crowds

 If there are strangers in the house, while some dogs act aggressively towards them, others try to keep some distance. Dogs get along well with humans, but sometimes they feel unsure.

Let’s assume that a few of your friends came to your home, and if your pet dog feels suspicious, it will likely try to stay away.

Also, dogs can get overwhelmed by big crowds of people, which is another push factor to self-isolation.

  • Training 

Dogs may also attempt to be alone if you train them to do so; what does that mean? If you and your family have busy daily schedules, you will not be spending most of your time with the dog.

So in such scenarios, we have to train the dogs to have alone time without getting anxious or depressed. Once a dog learns to enjoy their alone time, it will happen automatically. 

  • Sicknesses 

If your dog suddenly tries to be alone and continues that behavior for a considerable time, the reason could be a sickness. It could be a physical injury they got from an accident, such as slipping from a staircase or stepping on a sharp object.

It could be a severe health condition you cannot observe from outside or even a mental concern due to a stressful or traumatic incident that the dog has faced. 

What can you do when your dog wants to be alone?

If you are a dog parent facing this problem with your dog, how should you respond to it? Here are some easy tips that will be very beneficial for you to address this concern.

  • Observe the dog’s behavior 

To take action, first, you need to understand the situation roughly. Sometimes we find it hard to understand why your dog is trying to be alone.

However, if you see them getting injured or facing a potentially stressful event, that could be the reason.

If so, treat them for the injury and make a safe and comfortable environment so the dog can get over what they experienced. 

  • Take them to a vet 

Once you keep a close eye on the dog, if something is strange, you will spot it fast. If the dog is attempting to stay alone for a long period and if they also reject eating food, sleeps a lot, is lethargic, and is less responsive, do not wait to take them to a vet. 

  • Be gentle with the dog

If your dog tries to be alone, do not overly attempt to cheer them up or make them active. It is imperative to be kind and gentle to the dog.

Dogs also need personal space sometimes, so give them space as required, but do not entirely neglect it.

Talk smoothly with them, soothe them, make them feel comfortable, and take further actions as needed. 

Final thoughts 

This article comprehensively explains why dogs want to be alone and how you can address this issue as a dog parent. Dogs are very social animals; therefore, most of the time, dogs prefer to spend time with humans instead of being alone.

However, there are also times when they need alone time for perfectly normal reasons. Suppose the dog is attempting to be alone for a long time; that might signify something severe. So if the behavior seems unusual, the best thing to do would be to take them to a vet.

Thanks for reading so far. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts about our four-legged furry friends.


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

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