If you are one of the many people that works or otherwise isn't home during the day, you might find it difficult to find a dog that fits your schedule. Many breeds of dog thrive when surrounded by their human family and can become distressed if they’re left alone for more than a few hours. Luckily, there are some breeds that are plenty happy with being by themselves during the day as long as they get a hefty dose of loving when their family is home. With all dogs, it is essential to keep an eye out for separation anxiety and to take appropriate training measures to ensure that your dog is comfortable being left alone. Here are a few breeds to consider if you want a dog but are away from home most of the day.
Chinese Shar-Peis are very independent dogs that are known to do well alone for long periods of time. However, because they get so attached to their owner (and oftentimes only a single person), some individuals become nervous and develop separation anxiety if left alone. It is important to slowly ease them into a full day by themselves to ensure that they are comfortable.
According to the Chow Chow Club, these independent dogs adjust well to being alone during their family’s working hours as long as they can be by their family’s side once they return home.
Lhasa Apsos are known to do well when they are left alone during the day as they tend to be independent. According to the Lhasa Apso Rescue, very few of these dogs have been known to develop separation anxiety. However, they have been known to get into trouble when left alone, so it is recommended to keep them in a pen or large crate when no one is home.
Basenjis can be a good dog for day workers under a few circumstances. First, they do require a fair amount of exercise and mental stimulation, so it is essential that these needs are met when their family is home. Secondly, they are known to be very destructive if they are bored, so make sure to “Basenji-proof” your house if you are leaving them to free-roam for the day and provide them with lots of toys and entertainment. This article from Basenji Companions explains how to train your Basenji to be alone and how to prepare your house for a un-crated Basenji.
Miniature Schnauzers can do well alone for most of the day as long as they are sufficiently exercised when their family is home and provided with enough mental stimulation while their family is away. Otherwise, they have been known to destroy things and become nuisance barkers.
According to Shiba Inu HQ, Shiba Inu are independent dogs that like to keep to themselves and don’t develop separation anxiety when left alone. They are, however, a working breed that requires lots of exercise and mental stimulation. As long as they are given enough things to entertain themselves with when their family is gone, they should do just fine being alone for most of the day.
Healthy adult Chihuahuas with no risk of hypoglycemia or separation anxiety can be home alone for up to 9 or 10 hours. According to PetChiDog, you can help your Chihuahua feel comfortable left alone by providing them with a den area with a comfortable bed, keeping the house at a comfortable temperature, and giving them plenty of toys to play with.
According to Maltese Dog Advice, adult Maltese can be left alone for up to 8 hours as long as they are exercised prior and given plenty of water and chew toys. They may be even happier if there is another dog in the household.
Goodomen Akitas reports that Akitas can do well without their family for long hours as long as they are eased into being alone and given plenty of toys to occupy their time. Unlike with many dogs that are happier with another canine to keep them company, Akitas tend to be uneasy around other dogs and do best when they are the only one in the house.
The following breeds are known to do well alone for long periods of time as long as they have another pet to keep them company:
The Otterhound is an independent, extremely rare hunting breed. According to the Otterhound Club of America, Otterhounds are very pack-oriented and do well when left alone if they have another pet (cat or dog) to keep them company.
According to the Basset Hound Club of America, Basset Hounds are very pack-oriented and can do well home alone without their family as long as they have another dog companion for company.
French Bulldogs are very people-oriented but can do well alone for a good portion of the day if they have a companion to keep them company (another dog, cat, rabbit, etc.). They will need lots of attention when their family returns at the end of the day. According to BlueHaven French Bulldogs, it’s more about the quality than quantity of time that they can spend with their family.
According to the Greyhound Pet Adoption Northwest, a lone greyhound will do fine alone for about 4-6 hours as long as it has comfortable bedding and some toys and has been eased into being alone. Due to their desire for companionship, they can do well for longer if they have another canine companion to keep them company.
Whippets enjoy attention and require lots of it when their family is home. When the family is not home, they will do well as long as they have other dogs in the household to keep them company. According to Whippet Rescue and Placement, Whippets are often over-diagnosed with separation anxiety when most of the time they just need more comfort when their owners are gone.
We all want our dogs to be as happy and healthy as possible. There's a dog out there for everyone, and we hope that this information can help you get one step closer to finding your perfect canine companion.