Do you have a full-time job and want a dog? Working eight hours a day and having a dog sounds impossible, but it can be done if you choose the type of dog you want carefully.
All dogs are social creatures, but some dog breeds cope better with being left alone for long periods of time than others. This, however, doesn’t mean that they love to be left alone! Every dog prefers to have company, and will pick spending time with you over being left alone in a heartbeat!
Some breeds of dogs are more independent than others and can spend up to eight hours alone if provided with fun activities that will keep them busy and entertained while you’re at work. Read on to find out which dog breeds can stay home alone while you’re out earning for doggy treats!
15 Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone
Below, you’ll find our complete list of 15 dog breeds that can be left alone for eight hours. All of these breeds are generally low-maintenance and independent dogs that make fantastic housepets!
Hailing from Congo, the Basenji is a breed of hunting dog that was used as a scent and sighthound. Although known as the barkless dog from Africa, the Basenji isn’t completely silent and can produce a wide range of vocalizations including an amusing yodel.
Basenjis are extremely clean dogs that shed very little and adapt to apartment living. While not extremely energetic, these pooches love to play! So, leave your dog with a variety of interactive and puzzle toys that will keep them busy and entertained while you are at work.
Best known for its deep wrinkles, the Shar-Pei is a medium-sized dog from China. Traditionally kept as guard dogs, Shar-Peis are naturally aloof with strangers but are affectionate, devoted, and loving with their families.
Independent by nature, Shar-Peis tolerate being left alone up to eight hours a day. Despite their size, these dogs don’t have a ton of energy and will choose to lounge on the sofa instead of going for a jog with you.
3. Basset Hound
The Basset Hound is a scent hound, originally bred to hunt hare. Easily recognizable for its long floppy ears and short legs, the Basset Hound can make an excellent pet for a person that works full time.
These laid-back and low-energy dogs are excellent pets and a good choice for novice owners too. Since these pups can easily pack on the extra pounds, it’s up to you to keep your Basset Hound active and exercised despite their protests.
Also known as the wiener dog and sausage dog, the Dachshund is a short-legged and long-bodied small dog from Germany. While originally bred to hunt badgers and other tunneling animals, Dachshunds adapt well to apartment living and are relatively low-maintenance pets.
Dachshunds are loving and affectionate canines, but they can also stay home alone for longer periods of time. If you have to leave your dog at home all day make sure they have a variety of fun, interactive toys to play with.
Originating in China, the Pug is a small-sized dog with a distinctively wrinkled face, short snout, and curled tail. Don’t let their small size fool you! Pugs are charming and mischievous dogs with huge personalities and a desire to entertain their owners.
While they prefer to have company, Pugs can be left home alone if provided with adequate entertainment and lots of toys.
If you work long hours, consider asking a family member to visit and take your pooch for a potty break. Or hire a professional dog sitter to take your Pug for a walk while you’re at work.
6. Lhasa Apso
Despite its small size, the Lhasa Apso served as watchdogs in Tibetan monasteries. Though their guard dog days are long over, these pooches make loyal and devoted companions that won’t hesitate to protect their families from danger.
These small dogs are fantastic apartment dwellers that can adapt to any type of home and are even recommended to first-time owners. Thanks to their independent natures, Lhasas won’t mind staying home alone while you’re out earning for kibble and doggy toys.
7. Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is a popular dog breed and a fantastic family pet. Believe it or not, they were originally bred to be fighting dogs, but have evolved into gentle, loving, and affectionate companions.
While Boston Terriers tolerate being left home alone, they are extremely playful and require a lot of exercises. Keep your dog properly exercised and make sure they have plenty of toys to play with while you’re gone. Otherwise, they can become bored and might decide to indulge in some destructive behavior (source).
The Whippet is a medium-sized sighthound that originated in England. Though Whippets are very fast runners, they make excellent apartment dwellers and don’t need as much exercise as you’d imagine.
These lithe pooches spend a lot of time sleeping and won’t mind being left at home alone. However, you’ll still need to exercise your pooch when you come back from work by taking them for a walk or a jog to burn pent-up energy.
9. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog, affectionately known as the Frenchie is a companion dog breed that can happily live in a tiny condo or a huge mansion. As a brachycephalic breed, French Bulldogs don’t need vigorous exercise, but they love to play!
When provided with interesting toys to play with and a stuffed Kong to keep them busy, Frenchies won’t mind being left at home alone.
However, due to their small size and tiny bladders, you might want to consider hiring a dog walker. Or training your pooch to use pee pads if they won’t be able to go out for more than four hours.
Hailing from Mexico, the Chihuahua is the smallest breed in the world. These tiny pooches have larger-than-life personalities and aren’t afraid to stand up to larger dogs.
If you are looking for a moderately active dog that won’t mind staying home alone, the Chihuahua is an excellent choice! If you have enough space, consider getting two Chihuahuas as these pooches do well in pairs.
The Bullmastiff is a large-sized dog that makes an excellent watchdog and fearless family protector. Despite their large size, these dogs make great apartment dwellers and don’t need intensive exercise.
Bullmastiffs are independent and sensitive dogs at the same time, but they won’t turn destructive if left alone for more than a few hours. If you are committed to training and socializing your Bullmastiff from a young age, they will grow into a mellow and devoted companion.
If you are looking for a large dog that won’t mind being home alone while you’re at work, the Greyhound is a fantastic choice! Though they are the fastest dog breed in the world, Greyhounds don’t need as much exercise as Border Collies, for example.
This makes them suitable for apartment living, families with children, or people looking for a low-maintenance pet that can be left alone. Though Greyhounds like to nap and lounge around, they still need exercise, so you’ll need to exercise your pooch regularly after you come home from work.
The Maltese is a member of the toy dog breed group, best known for its silky and flowing pure-white coat. Maltese dogs make wonderful companions and therapy dogs that adapt well to apartment living but will also happily live in a standalone home.
These small dogs will likely spend their days napping on the sofa and playing with their toys while waiting for you to come home. They are unlikely to howl or tear your furniture for being at home alone, and they don’t need as much exercise as many other dog breeds.
14. Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu is a small to medium-sized dog breed that was originally bred to flush small game and birds. Shibas are spirited, bold, and fiery dogs that make great companions suitable for apartment living.
Due to their independence, Shibas tolerate being left alone very well and won’t mind guarding your home while you aren’t there. It’s worth noting that Shibas are active dogs, so you’ll need to be committed to keeping your pooch properly exercised.
The Labradoodle is a highly popular designer dog, developed by mixing a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. The idea behind creating this mix was the development of hypoallergenic guide dogs for people with disabilities.
Over the years, Labradoodles have become popular pets due to their low-shedding coats and affectionate, friendly, and trainable natures. This designer dog won’t mind staying home alone while you’re at work or running errands.
Having said that, Labradoodles are highly energetic and smart canines, so they need lots of exercises and mental stimulation (source).
If you plan on leaving your pooch for more than a few hours, give them chew toys, and hide stuffed Kongs or puzzle toys filled with kibble around your home. This will keep your mix physically and mentally stimulated while you’re gone.
What Do Dogs Do When They’re Alone?
What dogs do when they are alone is the question that keeps most dog parents awake at night. The answer to this question often depends on your dog’s temperament and personality.
Some dogs that tolerate being left alone will take a nap, play with their toys, and grab a bite to eat while you are gone.
But, if your pooch is on the friskier side, they might find it interesting and fun to indulge in some forbidden activities. In this case, you may come home from work to find your dog sleeping on the sofa, even if they aren’t allowed or realize they’ve stolen food from the kitchen counter.
Unfortunately, some dogs are petrified of being left alone. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety often use destructive behaviors to ease their fear and nervousness. This often results in chewed-up or ripped furniture and stressed pets.
Keep in mind that destructive behavior isn’t always a sign of separation anxiety. High-energy working breeds, like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Border Collies need a lot of exercises and mental stimulation.
Otherwise, they can become bored, frustrated, and destructive easily which is the main reason why working breeds can’t stay home alone for more than a few hours.
What to Consider When Leaving a Dog for 8 Hours?
Before you decide to leave your dog home alone for eight hours, here are a few things you need to consider:
Your Dog’s Bladder Control
How often your dog needs to go outside for a potty break depends on their bladder control. Factors such as age, size, hydration, and training affect your dog’s need to relieve themselves.
Needless to say, puppies and senior dogs will likely need to pee and poop more often than a properly trained adult dog. Your dog’s physical needs and level of training will determine how long they can be left at home alone.
Your Dog’s Activity Level
Before deciding to leave your dog home alone for eight hours ask yourself whether they are active or a couch potato? Does your dog prefer to lounge on the sofa and watch TV with you or would they prefer to play fetch in the dog park?
There’s a reason why highly-energetic working dogs can’t stay home alone for more than a few hours – being cooped up inside without a job to do is their worst nightmare!
How long can your dog stay home alone depends a lot on their activity level and exercise needs?
Low energy and laid-back dog breeds like the Basset Hound won’t mind snoozing half a day. On the other hand, a high-energetic breed such as a Siberian Husky will probably howl for hours before proceeding with the utter destruction of your home and belongings.
All dogs love to spend time interacting and cuddling with their owners. However, some breeds tolerate being left home alone far better than others.
Easy-going, low-energy, and independent breeds like Basset Hounds, Basenjis, and Bullmastiffs among others can stay home alone for up to eight hours. Having said that, eight hours is really a maximum a dog can stay alone, and you shouldn’t leave your pooch to its own devices longer than that!