You should never leave your dog home alone for too long. They are social animals, and it is not fair to them. However, there are some breeds that cope with being alone for a chunk of the day better than others. If you are someone who works full time, then looking for dogs that can be left alone is definitely a good option for you. Take a look at our guide and see if one of these fantastic breeds suits you and your daily routine.
How Long Can You Leave a Dog Home Alone?
There is a lot of speculation with regards to how long you can leave your dog alone. For the sake of their health and wellbeing, you should not leave an adult dog (18 months and over) for more than four to six hours each day. Young puppies should, ideally, not be left alone at all. However, if you need to leave them alone, it should be for an absolute maximum of two hours.
The most important thing to do with your dog or puppy is to teach it that being alone is not a scary thing, and that you will be coming back. You can practice this by leaving for one to two minutes at a time and then coming back, which shows them that being alone is not necessarily a bad thing.
To start with, you should not give your dog free reign of the house while you are away, especially if they are not yet house trained. Instead, keep them in an area of the house that they feel safe in, and gradually expand this area until they have the whole house to roam around.
The best thing you can do before you leave is to walk your dog. Take them on a long morning walk, as this will leave them feeling both happy and tired – the perfect combination for a dog that is going to be left alone. You should also stimulate them with some mental exercise when you leave, as this will further their feeling of tiredness. It is also likely to make them less destructive through boredom while you are out, so make sure you stick to this method.
To help further prevent boredom, you can use toys that dispense one piece of kibble at a time. These keep their minds stimulated, and also have a tasty reward that will keep them going back for more. It’s a good way to prevent the destruction of your furniture and possessions. You can also have special WIFI cameras installed so that you can monitor your dog throughout the day if you need to.
Home Alone Dogs
Here are our recommendations for the best dogs that can be left alone during the day – perfectly suited to working couples or those who have full-time jobs.
#1 Basset Hound
These lovable lumps may have stumpy legs, but they are actually pretty big dogs in terms of their overall size. They have quite low levels of energy too, which is good if you want a dog that is less at risk of destructive behaviour, but they can still get around for a good hour of exercise each day.
Once they are out and about, their noses will be straight to the ground, and they will love exploring the world around them. However, as soon as you get home they will flop in bed and are unlikely to move very much until you come home. Just make sure you watch their weight as they are prone to obesity.
These are a great breed of dog for those who want something small, but still, have to go to work. Most Chihuahua’s don’t weigh more than three kilos, which is absolutely tiny. They do tend to have quite low energy levels, which can be good for being left alone during the day. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to walk them, however, as they still need a good hour of exercise each day once full-grown.
While they do have a reputation for aggression, good socialisation from an early age will nip this in the bud – just make sure they meet some doggy friends on their morning and evening walk. Like Basset Hounds, they also need their weight watched as they are prone to obesity.
#3 French Bulldog
Frenchies are a breed that is only growing in popularity. More and more people own them, and many of these new owners are ones who are out working all day. They weren’t built for long runs, so after a morning walk, they will likely see it fit to take a long nap – more than likely until you get home again.
They are a dog that can cope being left alone for the day while you are working, but they also need your companionship once you are back. They will miss you and feel starved for attention, so be prepared to give them all of it once you have returned home. Plus, they don’t tend to bark very much, so they are suited to apartment living.
The Greyhound is the perfect choice for those who work every day but still want a large dog. They are absolute couch potatoes who spend most of their time sleeping, which is what makes them so well-suited to apartment life. Of course, they still need a lot of exercise as they are dogs who were built for speed, and they love to run. So, make sure you put the time aside for them.
Most Greyhounds are retired or rescue racing dogs that are in need of a good home. They will be used to having been crated for up to 20 hours a day a lot of the time, which makes them good for leaving at home. DO NOT crate your dog for this long, however, as it is cruel and confining to do it for such an extended period of time. Give them the house, let them roam.
Maltese dogs are complete slackers, happier sleeping than running around the house. Of course, they still need a good amount of exercise each day, but you are less likely to need to worry about destruction during the day. Plus, their need for daily grooming can make for a very relaxing evening together after work.
They are dogs who love your company, so be prepared to spend a good amount of time together each day after work. They are also known for being excellent companions for cats, so bear this in mind of you have a feline friend that you worry gets lonely during the day.
#6 Shar Pei
These beautiful, wrinkly, dogs are an ancient breed with a lot of love to give. They are quite low-energy, which means that they are good to leave alone for the day while you are out working. Plus, they make excellent guard dogs and will protect your home while you are out. They form strong attachments to their owners, and your bond will be unbreakable.
They were originally fighting and hunting dogs, but are not very active despite this. They do need to be well socialised from a young age, but this is quite easy to do – especially with puppy classes in the evenings and puppy mornings on the weekends. They are considered excellent family pets overall.
Much like the Greyhound, the Whippet is also a couch potato and will spend the majority of the day fast asleep in a soft and cosy place. They are smaller than Greyhounds, but just as suited to apartment life.
They tend to be more timid than their Greyhound cousins, and will likely withdraw when intruders approach, or there are strangers. They need a gentle touch and loving hand to get over their fears. They need to be exercised a lot too, and often it is best to get two. They like each other’s company, and they will play during the day to wear each other out.
Hopefully, you have been able to get an idea of the type of dog you would like to have as your companion. When you are out working, it can be hard to find a dog that will work with your lifestyle, but at least one of these breeds should do an excellent job of helping you out. Everyone deserves the companionship of a dog, even if they work. Just make sure you don’t leave it alone for too long, and you’ll be fine.
What did you think of our dog breed selection? Are there any that you would have added to the list as good home alone dogs? We love hearing from you, so let us know your thoughts in the comments below.