The Secret Lives of Dogs: What They Really Do When We’re Away

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The Secret Lives of Dogs: What They Really Do When We’re Away

As dog owners, we often wonder what our furry companions get up to when we’re not around. Do they spend their alone time patiently waiting for our return, or do they engage in secret shenanigans? The truth is, dogs have a life of their own when we are away. Recent studies and intriguing anecdotes from pet sitters and neighbours have shed light on the secret lives of dogs, revealing a world filled with unexpected behaviours and hidden talents that will leave you astounded. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating realm of canine solitude and explore just what our beloved pets really do when we’re away.

The Mysterious Behavior of Dogs Alone

Dogs are known for their loyalty and companionship, but when left alone, they exhibit a unique behavior. Some dogs may display signs of anxiety and restlessness, while others exhibit independence and adaptability. This behaviour may be due to the pack mentality, where dogs feel compelled to protect their territory or fulfil their role as guardians. This sense of responsibility can trigger behaviours like barking at unfamiliar noises or pacing anxiously. On the other hand, some dogs may use this time alone to explore new areas or engage in activities that pique their curiosity. Research suggests that a dog’s response to being alone can also be influenced by its breed characteristics. Some breeds, like Huskies or Malamutes, have an innate independent streak due to their historical purpose as working dogs on sled teams. Conversely, certain companion breeds, like Chihuahuas or Cavaliers, may show more separation anxiety due to their bred nature for companionship.


The Waiting Game: How Dogs Pass the Time

When their beloved owners are away, dogs have to find ways to pass the time. While humans might fill their hours with a multitude of activities, dogs often rely on their instincts and natural behaviours to entertain themselves. The waiting game begins as soon as the door closes behind their owner, leaving them to navigate the empty house alone.
The first thing on a dog’s agenda is typically finding comfort in familiar scents. With an incomparable sense of smell, dogs explore every corner of the house, sniffing out traces of their owner’s presence and seeking solace in these olfactory reminders. This unique ability allows them to feel connected even when physically separated from their human companions.

Beyond finding comfort in scents, dogs also employ mental and physical stimulation techniques during this waiting period. They may engage in self-play, like tossing toys into the air or chasing their tails. Exploring outdoor surroundings through an open window can provide endless entertainment for a curious canine mind. Furthermore, some incredibly intelligent breeds may attempt problem-solving tasks or seek out hidden treats left by thoughtful owners before they depart.

Exploring the Territory: Adventures in the House

As the door closes and the sounds of departure fade, a world of mystery and adventure awaits. The house transforms into an untamed territory, filled with hidden treasures and secrets waiting to be uncovered. My furry companion, a loyal dog with a twinkle in his eye, becomes my partner in crime as we embark on our explorations.

Together, we dive deep into uncharted territories such as the attic and under the bed. No corner goes untouched or drawer unopened. Each step is an invitation to discover what lies beyond familiar walls. The house that once seemed ordinary and predictable now reveals its true character—a labyrinth teeming with tales of days gone by.

In this unsupervised realm, I witness my canine friend transform from a domesticated companion into an intrepid adventurer. From sniffing out forgotten scents to chasing invisible foes, he brings life and excitement to every room. The house becomes our playground where imagination runs wild, reminding me that even within our mundane lives lie opportunities for thrilling escapades.

Socializing with Neighbors: Interactions Through the Fence

Socialising with neighbours can encompass more than just casual chit-chat over the fence. A unique way to interact with your neighbours is through the shared experience of having a dog. This becomes especially interesting when the dog’s owner is away.

Imagine standing in your yard as you catch a glimpse of your neighbour’s adorable dog peeking through the gaps in the fence. At first, you exchange polite nods and smiles with your neighbour, acknowledging each other’s presence but not delving any deeper into conversation. However, as time passes, curiosity gets the better of you, and you strike up a conversation about their furry friend on those occasions when they’re not there to share their company.

This peculiar connection opens up avenues for bonding with someone who might otherwise remain distant. Conversations revolve around how cute or mischievous their dog is, discussing favourite breeds, or sharing anecdotes about your own canine companions. Through these interactions by the fence, it becomes evident that dogs have an incredible ability to bring people together, creating unexpected connections among neighbours who may have otherwise been strangers.

Unleashing Their Inner Artist: Creative Ways to Express Themselves

Dogs are not only man’s best friend; they can also be unexpectedly artistic companions. When their owner is away, dogs often find unique ways to express themselves creatively. Take, for example, the mischievous pup who discovers a hidden talent for painting by using their paws as brushes and a blank canvas as their creative playground. Watching them joyfully wag their tails while smearing colourful strokes on the floor can be both amusing and inspiring. This unexpected burst of creativity serves as a reminder that our furry friends have untapped artistic potential just waiting to be unleashed.
Another way dogs express themselves artistically while their owners are away is through music. As silence envelops the empty house, some dogs may discover an affinity for playing musical instruments with their paws or mouths. From tapping out tunes on the piano keys to howling in perfect harmony with passing sirens, these musically inclined canines surprise us with their natural rhythm and raw talent. Perhaps it is in those solitary moments that they feel most connected to their inner artist, filling the void left by their absent humans by composing melodies that resonate throughout the empty rooms.

Emotional Support Systems: Finding Comfort in Familiar Objects

When faced with the challenges of separation or loneliness, many individuals find solace in their beloved pets. There’s something inherently comforting about having a loyal and affectionate dog by your side, especially during times when their owner is away. Dogs can become emotional support systems, providing comfort and companionship that are unmatched by any other form of human connection. Their presence alone has been proven to lower stress levels and decrease feelings of anxiety or sadness.

However, finding comfort in familiar objects goes beyond just our furry friends. In fact, many people rely on treasured possessions to help alleviate emotional distress when separated from loved ones or facing difficult situations. These objects act as physical representations of memories, bringing us back to moments of joy and comfort when we need them most. Whether it’s a cherished photograph album filled with snapshots from happier times or simply an old sweater with sentimental value, these objects provide a sense of continuity and reassurance during times of need.

In essence, our emotional support systems can take many forms, whether it be the wagging tail and wet nose of man’s best friend or the worn-out teddy bear passed down through generations. Each individual finds comfort in different ways, but one thing remains constant: familiar objects hold immense power over our emotions and have the ability to bring us peace even in the most challenging moments.


In conclusion, the secret lives of dogs when we’re away are filled with a mix of emotions and activities. While some may sleep or relax, others may engage in destructive behaviour out of boredom or anxiety. However, this doesn’t mean that all dogs misbehave when left alone. With proper training, mental stimulation, and engaging toys, we can ensure that our furry friends have a positive and fulfilling experience while we’re away. Let’s remember to be understanding and considerate of our dogs’ needs so they can lead happy and balanced lives even when we’re not around.