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Old 16.07.2012, 23:23
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Leaving dog alone at home

Is there a law in Switzerland which specifies the time you are allowed to leave your dog home alone?

My dog is used to be at home alone for 8 hours and that is no problem.
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Old 16.07.2012, 23:47
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

Neither the federal nor cantonal laws specifically address the amount of time a dog is left alone... but your landlord might well have a say.

Many leases stipulate that a dog may never be left unattended, or that a dog may only be left for 'x' hours - read your contract carefully. If you signed a contract agreeing to something like this, it is legal.

These clauses are ususally in place to address the potential for noise or damage.

But in the absense of such a clause...

While the various laws do not specifically prohibit leaving a dog alone, there is a general consensus in Swiss society that leaving a dog unattended for long periods is irresponsible. If a dog left alone is barking or has otherwise made neighbors aware of his presence, the neighbors are likely to make comments or register a complaint, possibly even denounce the owner to Tierschutz.

(Whether out of genuine concern for the animal, or as a weapon is a Nachbarkrieg is the subject for a whole 'nuther discussion...)

The law says an owner must provide a dog with sufficient opportunity for natural movement and social contact - both with other dogs if appropriate to his behavior/inclination, and with humans. It's up to the owner to interpret what 'sufficient' means, according to the dog's individual nature. So long as doing so does not disturb neighbors.

FYI, here is the TschV, the federal animal protection law, dogs are addressed in articles 68-79:
http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/455_1/index.html

And the BVet site and downloadable brochure explaining what is expected of dog owners, 'Hunde Richtig Halten':
http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02222/index.html?lang=de

In addition to the federal laws, dog control is the competency of the cantons. Let us know where you will be living and we can point you to the relevant cantonal law.

----

Bottom line, if you are experiencing problems look into getting a dog walker/sitter to come in to give your dog a break, some exercise and mental stimulation. Or look into a doggy day care solution.
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Old 16.07.2012, 23:54
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

Thanks Meloncollie for excellent advice again.

Gloriana, I am so sorry, as this is not what you want to hear, I am sure. But leaving a dog alone for 8 hours is just not fair.
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Old 17.07.2012, 00:13
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

Thank you very much Meloncollie. I might be relocating to Basel. Of course I will try to arrange things so that my dog doesn't need to be alone for too long time and it will get enough excercise and social activities.
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Old 17.07.2012, 00:34
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

A summary of the dog laws in Basel Stadt:
http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...asel-stadt.php

And Baselland:
http://www.tierimrecht.org/de/tiersc...basel-land.php

Note that both have BSL in force, where certain breeds/crosses thereof are restricted.

---

And just in case you haven't come across it yet, if your dog was born after 1 Sept 2008 you will be required to take the Sachkundenachweis (SKN), a very basic dog ownership course, within the first year you are here.

And then there is the mandatory chipping and registration in the national database, the dog tax, und und und...

Wishing you and your doglet all the best during your Swiss adventure.
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Old 17.07.2012, 03:18
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

Is there a dog that can really manage to hold its bladder during the day for 8 hours???
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Old 17.07.2012, 08:56
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

Mine can - he has a bladder of steel But I don't let him get to that stage, of course. In fact my old deerhound could hold it for 12 hours - and preferred to do so than go out in the rain lol
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Old 17.07.2012, 09:06
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

Melloncollie has great advice. I think it depends on the dog too. Here was my experience recently:

We got a puppy who is now 6 months old. I am a stay at home wife and was working/training with her everyday. I recently got a contract job for a few weeks and we had to leave her at home for 8 hours alone. I stressed more about this than filling in for a job. I did not crate her. All was better than I thought, when I got home she did not 'mistake' in the house. But she was so happy to see me. The worse part though is I thought she was really depressed and didn't move off of the couch from the time I left to when I got back. Her food wasn't eaten and her toys weren't played with. Good thing tho, for a couple of days a week my neighbors volunteered to walk her and play. But the days no one was there I was a bit concerned.

Other things you may do -- we have friends and neighbors who have kids and now we set up play dates with the dog so they can have her for a day or afternoon. This keeps our friends from having to 'get a dog' for their family, it socializes our dog and teaches the kids responsibility.

Maybe a new business for me 'rent a dog'?
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Old 17.07.2012, 09:09
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

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Is there a dog that can really manage to hold its bladder during the day for 8 hours???

Mine can without problems too. I try to let her out every 4-5 hours, but in case of emergency it's practical!
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Old 17.07.2012, 10:14
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

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Is there a dog that can really manage to hold its bladder during the day for 8 hours???
I think little dogs have more problems holding in their wee. We had a lab-crossed with a mutt when I was a kid who was fairly big and also had an aversion for going out in the rain so would cross her paws for as long as it would take (unless one of us went out into the garden with her with an umbrella ).

The little terrier cross they have now has a bladder the size of a peanut and is constantly nipping out for a tiddle, although we think she just likes to spread it around.

Back to leaving dogs alone - we never left ours for more than 4 or 5 hours unless we could get one of the neighbours to come over to feed, water and walk them.

Now the spoiled brat terrier gets taken to a dog sitter if my mum goes on hols and ends up sleeping in the bed of the sitter and her hubby, apparently "because she's cute".

I don't have a dog here in Switzerland purely for that reason - we are all out all day and it just wouldn't be much of a life for a pooch.
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Old 17.07.2012, 15:58
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

Dogs need company - just like us! I feel that people who must absent themselves for long periods of time, should reflect very carefully before they adopt a dog.
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Old 17.07.2012, 16:06
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

Yes, my comment was not just about the need to empty bladder. Dogs need company, stimulation, exercise, and so much more.
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Old 17.07.2012, 17:04
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Re: Leving dog alone at home

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Yes, my comment was not just about the need to empty bladder. Dogs need company, stimulation, exercise, and so much more.
Dogs need to have affection, love, and a companion. Sure, the longer you are away from them the more it seems they love you when you come back is true, but trust that the time you are not there is stressful for them even if they are lazy and like to sleep all day

ps - while my dogs are no longer in my home, my rental contract clearly states 4 hours max with them alone
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Old 01.08.2012, 00:23
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Re: Leaving dog alone at home

I am very sorry for your dog 8 hours! is a lot of time to spend alone for a dog, if EVERY day ... in emergencies it's a bit acceptable, but only emergencies. You should re think if you are "able" to have a dog. It's not a piece of furniture, or an expensive accessory, you know?


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Is there a law in Switzerland which specifies the time you are allowed to leave your dog home alone?

My dog is used to be at home alone for 8 hours and that is no problem.
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Old 01.08.2012, 00:47
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Re: Leaving dog alone at home

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Is there a law in Switzerland which specifies the time you are allowed to leave your dog home alone?

My dog is used to be at home alone for 8 hours and that is no problem.
Hi Gloriana,

If you're thinking of doing this to your dog, PLEASE at least get him a sitter who comes over at least twice during those 8 hours for a walk and cuddle! Being alone without anyone to communicate with for such a long stretch seems bad for him - especially in the long run.

Last edited by glowjupiter; 01.08.2012 at 01:52.
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Old 01.08.2012, 11:06
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Re: Leaving dog alone at home

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Is there a law in Switzerland which specifies the time you are allowed to leave your dog home alone?

My dog is used to be at home alone for 8 hours and that is no problem.
No problem for you or the dog?
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Old 01.08.2012, 11:49
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Re: Leaving dog alone at home

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Hi Gloriana,

If you're thinking of doing this to your dog, PLEASE at least get him a sitter who comes over at least twice during those 8 hours for a walk and cuddle! Being alone without anyone to communicate with for such a long stretch seems bad for him - especially in the long run.

As I'm in the process of setting up dog-sitting (and perhaps walking) business here in Basel, I'm a bit curious about the sentiment behind this.

At least twice? What do you have in mind for these two plus visits each day? How long do you have in mind for each visit?

I'm asking because I want to know how my ideas about it line up with what anyone's expectations may be, and where "realistic" falls regarding these ideas and expectations.

The way I was thinking, if the dog's family is away for 8hrs (really, call it 9, taking travel to-from work into consideration), a good 2hr visit in the middle to break things up is good. Out with dog for a nice walk (nothing saying it's actually restricted to 2hrs, or that on rainy days play / cuddles couldn't be more indoors) once a day for a goodly amount of time "should" be enough, shouldn't it?

Otherwise, would make more sense to me to devote myself to one dog, fetch him an hour or so before lunch time and then bring him back in time for family to return. Back and forth all over town seems a bit...


Again, I ask not to cause trouble or pick a fight, but because I honestly want to know what people would want a daily dog walker to do.
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Old 01.08.2012, 12:19
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Re: Leaving dog alone at home

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The way I was thinking, if the dog's family is away for 8hrs (really, call it 9, taking travel to-from work into consideration), a good 2hr visit in the middle to break things up is good. Out with dog for a nice walk (nothing saying it's actually restricted to 2hrs, or that on rainy days play / cuddles couldn't be more indoors) once a day for a goodly amount of time "should" be enough, shouldn't it?
Personally I'd have thought that would be OK, after all a 2-hour visit in the middle of the day actually reduces the times left to just over 3 hours apiece. The only time it could be an issue is if the dog is ill.

I think it also depends on the home situation - my dog, for instance, lives with 2 cats that love him so even when I leave him, he's never "alone". I still try not to exceed 5-6 hours max on an occasional basis (I'm never away on a regular basis).
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Old 01.08.2012, 13:44
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Re: Leaving dog alone at home

Peg,

So much depends on the individual dog. As a dog sitter, I think the key is to have some flexibility so that you can offer what an individual needs. And by the same token, you'll want to develop a relationship with the owner so that you could guide him/her towards alternative solutions if you feel the dog needs something different. And, never feel bad about turning down a job where you believe what the owner wants or is willing to do goes against your beliefs and the interest of the dog.

When I used a daily walker for my one and only 'normal' dog I had the carer stop by once a day for a double session, as I felt the normal 45 minute -1 hour visit wasn't quite enough. Constant coming and going was somewhat unsettling, so better two 4-5 hour stretches broken up by one longer visit to walk and play, than shorter stretches with two visits. My girl was happy to sleep once she had settled - too much coming and going prevented that.

On the other hand, some of my elderly dogs should not be left for very long, so it is best to have the dog walker come for the whole time I am gone. Often the oldies only need out once in an afternoon - but when they have to go they really have to go. It's best to have someone on the spot. Although they sleep most of the time, during the time they are awake they are rather high maintenance - so the sitter should be well-paid for the level of responsibility asked of her.

In her teenage days Hooligan needed strenuous long walks 3-4 times a day, just to burn off the excess energy. And lots of mental stimulation in-between - or she would find other ways to occupy herself, like redecorating the house. If I had to be gone having the sitter for the whole time was a must. Now that she is older she can be left for a good 4-5 hours without worry. Having a sitter stop by once for a longer session would be perfect solution for her now.

The Belltie can go all day without a bladder break, and is happy to trundle about quietly amusing himself with his toys and his own company. But should the doorbell ring his 100db bark is guaranteed to bring a complaint letter - and the nasty neighbor has been known to come over to ring the bell when he sees my car gone, just to upset the dogs. So while the Belltie really doesn't need a sitter, my paranoia means I need someone over anytime I am gone.

None of my dogs would tolerate strange dogs, so I hire the sitter to care for them alone. Naturally this means that I pay a higher price than if a sitter were caring for a couple of client's dogs at the same time.

As I have dogs with a variety of needs, these days I hire the sitter for the whole time I am gone. I pay my sitter the same daily rate for during-the-day sitting as I do for 24 hour overnight care - I think that is only right, as I am laying claim to the in-demand hours that the sitter could be earning.

If the sitter were only stopping by for a specific limited time and care was limited to walking the dogs, then the 'dog walk' rate would apply.

What I would do is to offer a range of services, (one hour visit, half day sitting, whole day sitting including overnight) priced accordingly - and discuss with each owner what is best for the individual dog.

Wishing you all the best in your new venture!
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Old 01.08.2012, 15:15
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Re: Leaving dog alone at home

I like what my best friend has going on with her dog.

He gets an early morning walk and he's then dropped off at doggie "daycare" where he gets to play with other dogs and receives more walks. He's picked up by my friend and gets an evening walk and loads of cuddles. Each Friday, he's at the groomers for half the day though. Dude's coat is obscenely glossy.

In my next life, I want to come back as her dog.
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