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10 dog breeds that can be left alone

Author: Charlotte

For those of us who live busy lives, getting a dog can feel like a far-off dream. It doesn’t seem fair to leave them alone whilst we’re away, watching them cry from the window as we go down the garden path to work. Luckily, however, there are a few breeds that are more than happy to keep themselves entertained, be that by snoozing all day and barely realizing you’ve left or playing with toys in the house. It’s important to realize that there is a big difference between alone and lonely, and whilst these breeds can be left alone, they need to socialize with other pups and humans when you are back. 

It’s also not a good idea to leave any puppy breed alone for long periods of time. Little ones need attention, socialization, and to be around other dogs and humans to learn. A puppy on its own could develop anxiety or start to act in a destructive way. Which no one wants.

So, here are some of the best dog breeds that can be left alone for up to 8 hours.

Basset Hound

basset hound laying down

These droopy-eared, adorable pups are pretty independent. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like affection too. They’re equally happy sniffing around your apartment alone, sleeping in the sun, and snuggling up on your lap in the evening.

Basset Hounds may not want it, but you need to make sure they get enough exercise when you’re home as they’re prone to putting on the pounds. Their ears may be cute too, but they need regular cleaning as they can get easily infected.

Lhasa Apso

lhasa apso portrait

Lhasa Apsos are great dogs that don’t mind being alone. They were originally bred in Tibet to be watchdogs for the palaces and monasteries in their mountainous homeland. They may be little with an elegant-looking coat, but they are fierce protectors.

Their watchdog ancestry means they can keep themselves entertained for longer periods of time without becoming bored. Lhasa Apsos are independent which means they need strong training and don’t be surprised if they don’t always listen to you.

Pug

pug dogs that tolerate solitude

Pugs are one of the most popular small breeds of dog, especially for busy families that are often out of the house. They’re known for being couch potatoes, so will be quite happy having a snooze whilst you’re away.

Because of their slightly lazy nature, Pugs can be prone to obesity and weight gain. It’s important they get enough exercise to keep them healthy. Taking them for a short walk or having a good play session before you leave should tire them out and make leaving them alone a little easier.

Be careful when exercising Pugs though, as their flat faces can make it harder for them to breathe. Try to take them out in cooler weather and don’t do too much.

French Bulldog

french bulldog looking up

Frenchies may be dogs that can be left alone during the day, but they love a bit of affection when you do get home. They have relatively low exercise needs, which means they’ll be happy pottering around the house, chewing on some toys, and sleeping for long parts of the day.

Frenchies are great family pets but their short faces and large eyes mean they are prone to some diseases.

Shar Pei

dog breeds that can be left alone for 8 hours

These mid-sized, super wrinkly pups are one of the best dog breeds that don’t mind being left alone. They’re intelligent dogs, independent, and can entertain themselves for many hours without human or other dog input.

Like all dogs, Shar-Peis need to be well socialized and trained as they can have a bit of a stubborn streak. With this though, they can make amazing family dogs. Originally only a few dogs were brought over from China so inbreeding has always been a problem for them and their health.

Basenji

basenji alone

Known as the ‘barkless’ breed, these pups are very independent and won’t mind being left alone for a while. Although not voiceless – their bark is more of a high-pitched yodel – they adapt well to apartment living.

Basenjis were first bred in Africa and were used to hunt small game and pests, which created a dog that doesn’t mind spending time alone. They’re not, however, a dog that will spend the day snoozing. They’ll need a good walk or run in the morning to use up some of their energy and lots of entertainment when you get back.

These dogs are intelligent, endearing, and make great first-time pups.

Greyhound

greyhound independent dog

Greyhounds are one of the best large dog breeds that don’t mind being alone. Although they are incredibly fast dogs when running around the racetrack (or away from you when they’re off the leash), they actually have relatively low energy levels.

If you adopt a retired racing pup, they’ll, unfortunately, be used to spending many hours locked up in a crate. They find it easier than other pups to relax on their own and will spend many of the hours you’re away sleeping on the couch.

Younger dogs need a good run every day and older pups will be happy with a short walk a day. 

Akita Inu

akita inu in house

These muscular, powerful, and somewhat bear-like dogs were originally bred to be hunters in the mountains of Japan. As their popularity grew, their owners realized they were better suited to being guard dogs – because of their independent and aloof nature.

They’re quite happy entertaining themselves and spending time alone and they’re unlikely to suffer from separation anxiety. Akita Inus will want your attention when you get home though! They can be a  bit headstrong, so early socialization and training are a must for this otherwise dominant dog.

Whippet

whippet left alone

These medium-sized, sweet-natured dogs are similar to their big cousins, the Greyhound. They have low energy levels and are quite happy spending the majority of their days snoozing in a comfortable place.

They will need a walk when you get back but they’re happy entertaining themselves for long periods of time. Whippets can be a little skittish in nature, so it’s sometimes a good idea to leave them with another dog to relax them.

Boston Terrier

boston terrier best dog alone for apartment

Unlike other Terriers, Boston Terriers don’t suffer from separation anxiety. They’re intelligent, cute, independent, and sometimes a little stubborn.

If you leave them some toys and intelligence games whilst you’re away, they’ll be happy playing with them in between their naps. For most Boston Terriers, a short walk or two is enough exercise a day.

They like a good run in the dog park or to chase a ball – don’t just leave them to it as they’re unlikely to do any exercise without a little encouragement from you.


These breeds are all dogs that can be left alone and that don’t mind entertaining themselves whilst you’re busy. Another idea is to get an older dog as, in general, they need less exercise and are happier spending their days napping.

Just because these pups can be left alone, doesn’t mean that they won’t want your affection and a walk when you get back. It’s important that their energy doesn’t build up into destructive behavior or that they become lonely.

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