Medically Reviewed

20 Dogs That Can Be Left Alone

  • Reviewed by: Dr. Margarita Boyd, BVSc MRCVS
If you work a lot but would like to share your life with a dog, choosing the right breed is essential. Here are breeds that tolerate better being left alone during the day.

If you work a lot but would like to share your life with a dog, choosing the right breed is essential.

And guess what?

We’ve created a list of dog breeds that are potentially more suited to being left alone during the day, making them an excellent choice for busy people.

However, it is important to remember that dogs are naturally social animals, and they love to spend time with us. We understand that sometimes it is not possible to spend all day with our dogs, as much as we would love to be able to! We have work, college, gym time, family obligations, commuting (traffic!) and everything else which eats up our precious time.

If you don’t have a lot of free time to spend with your dog, due to other life commitments, then you may need to consider if getting a dog right now is the right decision? Your dog needs at least one walk a day, play time, feeding times, multiple toilet breaks throughout the day and a lot of love and attention!

Generally, puppies will crave more attention and need more time and effort in order to learn good social and life skills. Some dogs will worry and fret if left alone, and potentially have destructive behavior in the house such as chewing or ripping toys or the sofa! There are also some breeds that when left alone can suffer from separation anxiety too. But, after some time most dogs will need to learn how to be alone for long periods of time.

However, there are some dog breeds that can be left alone for 8 hours (and no more than 8 hours). That is why we have created this helpful list of dog breeds, that may be more suitable to leave during the daytime.

So let’s discover these dogs that tolerate being alone ranked from least to most tolerant to extended alone time.

Dogs That Can Be Left Alone:

Click on the desired breed, or scroll to read the whole list.

Before letting you know more on breeds that can be left alone, we will tell you more about all the things you have to take into considerations when choosing a dog while having a full-time job.

Are There Dogs That Like Being Alone?

Although we have focused on dogs that tolerate better being alone, there isn’t a single dog on earth that likes being left alone. Being social creatures, our canine friends thrive when they are in our company. Therefore, you shouldn’t count on any breed to be independent to such an extent that you can leave it for more than 8 hours a day.

Just like there are dog breeds that are more likely to fit a busy working schedule, certain dogs (such as working dogs) won’t be happy at all if left alone. Labrador and Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds or Border Collies are all working dogs that need to spend most of their time being active or in the presence of their owner in order to be perfectly healthy and happy. Furthermore, you can mark them as dogs without separation anxiety, or at least not a strong one.

So, if you’re working a fulltime job, don’t get yourself breeds that need a lot of attention, exercise, and your presence. A lot of people end up buying dogs that are not suitable for their professional life, which often ends up in animals being given up to shelters. The best thing that you can do when you are getting a dog is to think thoroughly about your lifestyle and be sincere on how much time you can dedicate to your new family member. That being said, if you spend the majority of the day outside, think about dog breeds that can be left alone for long periods.

Don’t do the same, and choose a dog that won’t be as sensitive as others to spending some alone time.

So since we established there is no dog that likes being left alone, you should be ready to adapt your weekly schedule in order to ensure your dog doesn’t suffer when left home alone. This means you would probably have to make some sacrifices. After you finish working, you would really have to hurry up and reunite with your dog.

Should I Get A New Puppy Or Should I Adopt A Dog

Since being left alone often puts dogs to go through some rough time, it is not recommendable to get a puppy. Why? Well, puppies that are left alone for long periods of time can suffer from different behavioral issues when they grow up. Being socialized early is crucial for their healthy development which is why getting a new puppy shouldn’t be an option for anyone working full hours on a daily basis.

Instead, you might want to adopt an adult dog from a shelter. You’d need some time to get the dog used to the new environment, but once they are familiar with their surroundings, you will be able to behave with them the same way you would with any other adult dog.

Finally, if you’re looking for a really lazy dog that won’t require a lot of exercise time and would prefer to spend his time napping, adopting a senior dog might be the best solution for you. Getting a senior dog generally means that health issues will also be more likely to occur which will require your constant attention and a vet you can trust. Still, it’s hard to set aside the best dog to be left alone at home, so we listed 20 for you to choose your best match.

However, let’s see what are the breeds more likely to handle well being alone (or at least tolerate some alone time better than other dogs):

15. Basset Hound

Basset-Hound

Tolerate being alone score: 3/5

It may come as a surprise, given the hunting background of the breed, but Bassets are an easy-going type of dog that can easily turn into couch potatoes if given a chance to.

More importantly, the Basset hound is stable and not prone to mood swings or anxiety.

So, if you are in the mood to go for a hike – the Basset will be cool with that, and if some alone-time daily is what has to be done – it`s cool with that as well.

14. Boston Terrier

Boston-Terrier

Tolerate being alone score: 3/5

Many pick the Boston Terrier as a pet for its small size and resemblance to the Boxer.

These even-tempered, intelligent and energetic dogs will not find it too hard to stay at home alone, as long as you provide them with toys of some sort to amuse themselves with.

13. Dachshund

dachshund

Tolerate being alone score: 3/5

The comical Dachshunds are confident, intelligent dogs that make a wonderful addition to any family. They reached the peak of their popularity in the 1950s and remained among the most popular dogs ever since.

Being bred to dig and hunt on badgers and other animals, these dogs are great listeners and are very smart and brave. However, they can often have a too independent spirit and be stubborn. While this might cause some issues when it comes to training, it can also be a benefit when it comes to people that can’t spend a lot of their time at home.

A dachshund will enjoy his alone time without crying and howling for you.

12. Scottish Terrier

Tolerate being alone score: 3/5

The Scottish Terrier is known for his role of the Lady’s loyal friend from Lady and the Tramp. This short-legged dog is bred to hunt badgers and foxes which is why he is very intelligent and independent. The Scottie is a naturally aloof dog that might ignore you when he needs his own time and space.

Scottish Terriers are wonderful companions for families with kids but can be difficult to train because of their genes telling them they should work (hunt) separately from his owners.

11. Goldador

Tolerate being alone score: 4/5

Goldador is a crossbreed of a Golden Retriever and a Labrador Retriever. The idea was to create a working dog that is sensitive as a goldie and tolerant as a lab. Goldadors are active dogs that need regular exercise.

They are also a popular choice among people that work fulltime hours, because of their tolerance of some alone time. Goldadors are quick-learners, good friends and have easygoing personas. You just have to love them! Plus, if you provide him with enough toys, he will barely notice you’re not around. Goldadors love playing and making up new activities.

10. Labradoodle

Tolerate being alone score: 4/5

Yet another crossbreed on the list. This time it’s the famous “designer” breed called Labradoodle. Not only is this dog suitable for owners that are away from home for long hours, but Labradoodles also work great as therapy dogs. However, there’s another trait that makes them a popular choice for many new dog-owners, their hypoallergenic coat.

All in all, Labradoodles are dogs of a poodle-intelligence and labrador-friendliness that won’t leave anyone indifferent. These pups are also very easy to train. Overall, if you’re looking for a small hypoallergenic dog that can be left alone you should think about welcoming this breed into your life. If you’re looking for a great pal that will enjoy learning new commands and won’t suffer from separation anxiety, labradoodle is the right choice for you!

9. Small Munsterlander Pointer

Tolerate being alone score: 4/5

Don’t let this breed’s name fool you, Small Munsterland Pointers are actually medium-sized dogs. They are sporting dogs that were bred for hunting which is why they became very popular across Europe.

The Small Munsterland is an affectionate dog of great water-retrieving skills. Training him will be a real breeze, but he will need a lot of daily exercises. A Munsterland Pointer will enjoy running, jogging, swimming and playing flyball. Being such an intelligent pup, he will also find it quite easy to entertain himself while being left alone at home. Just provide some toys and he’ll be fine.

8. English Foxhound

Tolerate being alone score: 4/5

Movies, books, and cartoons have been made about this tricolor dog and his hot pursuit of a red fox. English Foxhounds are strong and graceful dogs that love staying active. They will be a great companion for jogging, running or even horseback riding. English Foxhounds are very intelligent and will know exactly how to spend their alone time.

However, the time you don’t spend with an English Foxhound throughout the day, you’ll have to spend on daily exercise and various activities. If you’re a runner, this dog is a perfect choice for you!

7. Basenji

Basenji

Tolerate being alone score: 4/5

The Basenji was originally bred in Africa to hunt and exterminate rat nests. What remained of that is the ever-awake and active explorer`s mind.

The Basenji is not as independent as the Chow but displays affection in far more obvious ways. The Basenji equally enjoys your company and the time alone that he dedicates to exploring and figuring out new ways to amuse himself.

6. Chinese Shar-Pei

sharpei

Tolerate being alone score: 4/5

This unusual dog of loose wrinkles, purple tongue, and a bristle-like coat is definitely among most interesting-looking dogs out there. But it’s not only his rare looks that set him apart, Shar-Pei is an independent dog that can even sometimes be aloof.

Thanks to these traits in his personality, a Shar-Pei handles some alone time much better than most other breeds. They are very devoted dogs, but they have to be properly trained at an early age because they can be often stubborn, just like any other independent dog breed.

5. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa-Apso

Tolerate being alone score: 4/5

Lhasa Apso is sometimes referred to as the biggest small dog, due to its strong and dominant character, an unusual sort of intelligence and absolute absence of the sense of its own tiny size.

Unlike many small lap dogs, Lhasa Apso probably won`t spend its time alone squealing in fear but rather hoping to catch the burglar.

4. Otterhound

Tolerate being alone score: 5/5

Otterhound is a very rare and old breed that has been developed in England. It is believed that there are fewer than 1,000 Otterhounds today and that they’ve been around for more than 5 centuries.

This rare breed has a sweet, soft personality and is a type of a dog that doesn’t require a lot of attention. Being so independent, he will enjoy having his alone time. Otterhounds are very friendly dogs that do well with kids.

If you’re planning to get one, you should be prepared for difficulties in finding Otterhound breeders.

3. Shiba Inu

Shiba-Inu

Tolerate being alone score: 5/5

Although they are strong-willed, even the stubborn Shiba Inu is an exceptionally intelligent breed that is capable of learning pretty much anything – as long as he believes that the idea is one of his own.

Shiba is not a breed that will react well to the conventional training tactics, yet if approached properly, this independent, witty and spirited dog will not have any trouble staying at home alone.

2. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature-schnauzer

Tolerate being alone score: 5/5

Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent, affectionate and energetic little creatures, quite unaware of their small size.

Eager to learn, they will have no trouble at all staying at home alone, as long as they are provided with something to keep their minds busy; whether a toy or the role of the guard dog. Miniature Schnauzers are perfect for people that are looking for low-shedding dog breeds that are also hypoallergenic.

A word of caution:

Some of them may cause some trouble though since minies tend to bark a lot if they really get into the guard dog role.

1. Chow Chow

Chow-Chow

Tolerate being alone score: 5/5

The Chow Chow is a type of dog with a sense of independence and self-dignity like no other. Chows aren’t normally cuddly, nor do they display affection in the usual way, but that does not mean that they aren’t affectionate or loving – in their own sophisticated way.

In fact:

Living with a Chow is more like living with a flatmate than living with a pet that depends on your presence. Being like that, Chow will do well if left home alone.

Check out our video of 10 independent dog breeds that won’t cry or squeal when left home alone.

How Long Can A Dog Be Left Alone?

It’s important not to forget that dogs are social animals and they love spending time with us, so leaving them alone all day really isn’t the best idea if you want a happy, well-adjusted dog.

According to this study, dogs are affected by the duration of time at home alone.

That said, if you don’t work particularly long hours (say, 5-6 hours a day, 8 at an absolute maximum) then you can consider adopting an adult dog, who is already known (by its previous owners and/or shelter staff) to be comfortable being left alone. Puppies will need much more time and effort and generally don’t like being left alone for long periods of time.

Read next: 17 Ways To Keep Dog Busy While At Work

What Do Dogs Do When They Are Alone?

Have you wondered what your dog does when it’s alone?

We’ve all wondered about it, so let’s get started.

Sleep

Fact:The average dog sleeps for about 14 hours a day (including at night).

Can this really be true? Yes!

In fact, puppies and senior dogs can sleep even more.

If taken for exercise, dogs will sleep more during the day, so it could be a great idea to take your dog for a long walk before going to work or school.

Play

Dogs love to play, especially with toys filled with dog treats. When alone, be sure your dog has its favorite toy to pass the time.

If you have two dogs, they can have great fun playing together even when they are alone.

Guard The House

If you have a guard dog, it’s very likely that it will wake up and guard at any suspicious sound. However, other dog breeds will too try to keep their eye on what’s going on either from the window or your yard.

Eat

We all know that dogs love to eat. Therefore, if you leave some chewable treats around, or if you forget putting their food out of their reach, be sure your dog will eat everything by the time you’re home.

Also, make sure all “human” food leftovers are properly stored and kept in places where your dog can’t access. Your pup might end up eating something that is toxic to dogs which can result in a poisoning.

Cry

Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety will likely whine, cry and bark when you’re away. Sometimes these episodes of sadness can endure the entire time you’re not home, but in other cases, they can come and go. You don’t want to leave your dog sad all the time, which is why you should make sure there are plenty of distractions that will help him endure your absence easier.

At times, too much crying and severe separation anxiety can lead to destructive behavior. Dogs will try to “punish” you for not being there by destroying your favorite pillow or by peeing where they shouldn’t.

Explore Around The House

If you don’t keep your dog in a crate while you’re away, he will likely explore around the house and look for new corners, interesting things and even maybe insects to chase around. Dogs are curious creatures that might find weird things interesting.

Bigger the space, bigger the playground!

How To Make Staying Home Alone Easier For Your Dog?

dog sitter

Now if you’re in a situation that doesn’t enable you to spend more time with your dog, you might want to make his alone time a little less stressful. Remember that no dog enjoys spending a lot of time alone and that one way or another they will think that you abandoned them. There are those dogs that are slightly lazier and that will more likely spend their time chilling rather than crying, but they still won’t ever be happy when they’re alone.

We suppose that you want to ensure your dog spends this time as stress-free as possible. Therefore, we’ve collected the best tips on how to make staying home alone a little easier for our dogs! So, let’s start!

1. Come Back For Breaks

If your home is close to your work and you have lunch breaks, you can come back home and bring your dog for a walk that will surely do you good as well. It will not only be a great bonding time for you two, but it will also be a much needed potty break for your pup too.

2. Engage a Family Member

Ask someone you’re close with such a family member, or a close friend that doesn’t work to come play or simply spend some time with your dog. Dogs always fill us up with positive energy, and plus, your dog will get the attention they need and probably have an opportunity to have a potty break.

3. Hire a Dog Sitter or Dog Walker

If you don’t have any close relative or a friend that can spend some time with your dog, then you can hire a dog sitter or a dog walker. A dog sitter will spend the entire day with your dog, while a dog walker will simply bring your dog out for a walk.

Decide what is the better option for your dog and find trustworthy platforms that guarantee their credentialed dog walkers.

4. Create a Schedule

Are you living with your family and all of you have different work shifts and work different hours? Making a dog walking or playtime schedule might be the best solution for you. This way you can all cover your dog’s needs and make sure your pet is happy.

5. Adopt Another Pet

The best way to make your dog happy and entertained while you’re not home is by getting him a new companion. Of course, under the condition that your dog is animal-friendly first, you can adopt either a cat or a dog. However, this is only a solution for longer-term periods, because you will need to monitor both pets closely until they adjust to living together. Also, you can consult an adoption specialist that will help you pair the personalities in the correct way.

6. Provide Toys

As a dog owner, you’re probably aware of how much dogs love their toys. But there is much more than a simple bouncy ball that your dog loves chasing around. Buy an interactive toy such as bob-a-lot or Kong toy and fill it up with dog kibble food/ treats/ frozen peanut butter.

Leaving these toys around when you’re away will surely entertain your dog and keep him busy while he’s not sleeping.

7. Turn On The TV / Play Your Favorite Music

A lot of dog owners claim their dogs actually enjoy watching TV, especially when there are some animals involved. Turn on the TV and put some animal channel that will catch your dog’s attention. If you can’t find anything similar, play your favorite TV series or what you generally watch at home. This way, your pup will have an impression that not a lot has changed even if you’ve left.

Playing your favorite music might also remind him that you’re practically there. Hearing the notes of that song you always put on repeat will definitely have a soothing effect on your dog.

8. Don’t Make A Big Deal Out Of It

It might be difficult for you not to overdo your goodbyes and use that baby voice to tell your dog how much you’re going to miss him before you are stepping out of the door. However, this behavior seems to be counterproductive. The more you make a big deal out of the goodbyes and of your arrival after work, the more anxious and stressed your dog will be. This way you are only encouraging unwanted behavior.

Instead, reward your pup when he’s calm and relaxed despite you’re leaving.

9. Go Tech

If you’re a fan of new tech stuff, you can buy a pup cam. This way you will be just two clicks away from communicating with your dog wherever you are. Additionally, you will get a free security system that might be as well useful.

10. Potty Train

If you want to leave your home in peace, you will have to be sure your pup is well potty-trained. Therefore, start potty-training your dog at an early age. Some small-sized dog breeds have naturally smaller bladders which make not going to pee for such long hours an impossible task to do. In that case, you should try to train your dog to use canine litter boxes or pee pads.

11. Take Your Dog to Work

Is your company pet-friendly by any chance? Take a profit from it and bring your dog with you! He will surely enjoy your and your colleagues’ company while you work.

12. Get a Doggy Door

If you have a home with a fenced yard, you might want to buy a Doggy door. This way, your pup will be able to enter and exit the house according to his own will, and he will easily walk out to relieve himself or simply to enjoy nature in their own way.

14. Take Your Dog Out Before Leaving

By walking your dog out before you leave, you will tire him out which would probably leave him with more time to spend on sleeping. On the other hand, lack of exercise can result in restless behavior which can end up in plenty of bad consequences that you don’t want to find when you arrive home.

15. Play Relaxing Music For Dogs

Lastly, you can also play some relaxing music designed for dogs that are found to soothe anxiety in our canine friends. Check this one out and let us know if it worked! (Namely, it works on humans too)

Hope you found this article interesting. If so, feel free to spread the word!

[social]