It’s a question everyone with a furbaby has asked at one point: ”How long can I leave my dog alone?” Whether you plan on heading out for a day trip, to work or to run errands, you may wonder whether it’s acceptable to leave your dog on his or her own for that length of time.
If you work outside the home but still want a fur baby to thoroughly lavish attention on, you may wonder what the best dog is for leaving home alone. Of course, you don't want to keep your pup in solitude, but if you’re a working person and no one is home most of the day, choosing the right dog can make a big difference. Choosing the best dog for a single working person ensures you and your fur baby struggle a little less because the dog is better suited for spending time alone for hours without your presence.
What Is the Best Dog for People Who Work?
- Basset Hound
- Bull Terrier
- Chow Chow
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Lhasa Apso
- Golden Retriever
The best dog for working people is one that will be fine alone for long periods of time and won't have to go to the bathroom quite as often. There are some breeds that are better off left alone than others. If you work outside the home, you may want to consider adopting or purchasing one of these 11 dog breeds:
Bullmastiffs are extremely loyal and willing to do almost anything for their owners. Often bred as guard dogs, these adorable fur babies may look tough, but they have hearts of gold. There are even stories of Bullmastiffs sacrificing their lives for their human family members.
Bullmastiffs only require a few short walks and potty breaks a day because they don't have the high energy of other larger breeds. Their calm nature and desire to please their human family means these dogs can be left alone for hours — they’ll work hard to keep you happy by staying quiet and obedient. Although they’re independent, they also have a lot of patience and are good with children.
Basset hounds are very laid-back dogs and don't tend to suffer from anxiety or mood swings. This easy-going nature means they get less stressed out when left alone, even if you're gone for a few hours at work. They also tend to be so relaxed that they can become couch potatoes, meaning they spend less time running around getting worked up if you're not home — they’re too busy chilling out and taking long, luxurious naps.
Pugs love long naps and love to stay in bed. When you’re home, chances are your fur baby will be happy to snuggle up or go with you for a walk. When you're out work, you can expect your pug to just curl up and go to sleep.
- Bull Terrier
With a childlike personality, bull terriers are a lot of fun and make ideal pets. Bull terriers are also dogs that like to stay busy, but they’re quite independent. Being left alone with a toy that takes up their attention is usually enough to keep your pup happy while they wait for you to get back from work. Bull terriers love being around people — when you’re home, you can expect your fur baby to be into everything you’re doing. Once they learn the house rules, they’ll work to obey them. That includes the house rules for when you’re not there.
- Chow Chow
Chow chows have personality traits that are closest to a cat’s in the canine world — and we all know cats are perfectly fine with being left alone, even for extended periods of time. These dogs tend to not like being around strangers and can be more reserved, meaning they need fewer hugs than the average dog and are fine with being left alone for a few hours. These furry buddies are quiet and tend not to bark, even when they're by themselves.
- Miniature Schnauzer
If you're looking for small dog that can be left home alone, miniature schnauzers are affectionate and intelligent. They’re little bundles of energy, which means you'll need to train them to do a job like guarding the house, or leave them with a toy so they have something to do while you're away at work. Nevertheless, these dogs are usually fine with being left alone for longer periods of time. Like all smaller breeds, you may need to address barking and make sure your dog isn't raising the alarm excessively while you're not home.
Beagles are highly intelligent and have an energetic nature. However, they’re very popular among dog breeds that do well indoors. Beagles love spending time indoors and are fine being left on their own. They're also great for families with children. As long as you leave them with a toy or something to keep their minds active — and exercise and before and after you leave — they’ll be good, quiet dogs while you're at work.
The Peekapoo is a mix of poodle and Pekingese and is prized for being a beautiful furry friend. Peekapoos are great learners and are happy to keep themselves engaged by playing with a toy by themselves. The Peekapoo is fine with spending time alone, although they love spending time with humans, too. When you get home, expect to be lavished with love and affection.
- Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso isn't full of fear and anxiety, so even though they are a smaller dog, they tend to do better alone at home than many smaller fur babies. The Lhasa Apso has a strong temper and a good work ethic. While you're off at work, this pup will be busy quietly keeping your house safe.
- Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are very smart and highly trainable. Although they love being around other humans, they can be trained to stay at home alone and guard your house. If they're given a task to do, they’ll go out of their way to stay home quietly and try to make you proud.
Greyhounds, despite their large size, tend to be couch potatoes. Although they’re often bred for racing, they spend lots of time sleeping and love taking long naps. This means while you're at work, they'll be able to take the opportunity to curl up and do what they love to do best. Since they're sleeping much of the time, they won't have a chance to get upset about you being gone. In addition, many greyhounds up for adoption are retired racing dogs. This means they're used to being left alone and even crated for longer stretches of time, so staying home while you go to work won't be overwhelming for them and may even be something they’re quite used to.
Thinking Beyond Breeds: The Best Dog to Stay Home Alone
While experts believe there are dog breeds that can be left alone for eight hours and there's no doubt some breeds do better than others, simply getting a particular breed of dog that’s considered good at staying home alone isn't enough.
In addition to breed, there are several things you'll want to consider before leaving your dog while you go to work:
- Personality. While breeds influence personality, your fur baby's personality is also influenced by other factors. Sometimes, a chow chow will be more like a dog than a cat, or a greyhound will want to spend all their time with you instead of sleeping. Sometimes, an animal will surprise you and act in a way not typical of their breed. You need to pay attention and get to know your dog's personality to make sure they’re fine with being left alone for hours.
- Training. Dogs need to be trained to stay home alone without getting anxious or ripping things apart. A dog that has already been trained to stay home alone is more likely to respond well to it than one who hasn't.
- Age. Younger puppies can't be left alone for long periods of time, no matter their breed. Their bladders aren’t fully developed, and they need more bathroom breaks and attention than adult dogs. Also, older dogs also need more potty breaks and could potentially need medical care, so they can't be left alone for long periods, either.
- History. If you’re getting a fur baby from another family, you need to consider their schedule. If they’re used to someone who was retired or worked at home and was around a lot, they may struggle to adjust to your schedule. It may be a bit of a shock to be left alone. On the other hand, if your pup lived with someone who worked long hours, they may be used to the drill of having their human family member leave for hours and come back in the evening.
- Sleep schedules. A dog who sleeps all day is less likely to keenly feel the anxiety of being left alone.
- Your home. How well is your home set up for your new family member to stay home alone? If you have a puppy door and a fenced-in backyard where they can explore — or if there is a second or third furry buddy they can play with — it can make it much easier for them to stay home alone. If your home is in a quiet location with fewer distractions, it can also be easier. On the other hand, if your home is located in a busy area where planes fly overhead or trucks pass through, that can make things scarier for your pup, at least until they get used to the increased noise.
- Your personality. If you’re anxious about leaving your dog home alone, chances are they’ll pick up on it. Dogs are very smart and pay a lot of attention to their humans. If you’re relaxed and calm, your furry family member is more likely to be, as well.
- Your schedule. Are you realistic about how much time you spend away from home? If you work long hours, tend to travel and have an active social life, you may be away from home most of the time. While a dog may be fine with being home alone for stretches of hours, even the most independent fur baby will start to miss you if you're gone all the time. You need to consider the overall picture of the amount of time you spend away from the house — not just when you're at work.
If you're just thinking of a dog and work outside the home, these are some things you'll want to consider before getting a pet. You may even want to make some changes to your lifestyle or home to make it more receptive to a dog.
How to Leave a Dog Alone While You Work
Having a dog who’s fine with being left home alone for extended periods of time is a positive first step. However, you can't just adopt a fur baby and assume they'll be fine home alone while you work. No matter what the breed, there are some steps you need to take to ensure your fur baby is fine all by themselves:
- Set Up Supervision First
Even the most independent dog can get into trouble while you're gone. In addition, you may be assuming your dog is fine when they’re left alone because your fur baby acts so happy to see you when you get back. But how can you know what's really going on when you’re away?
The Furbo Dog Camera lets you see what's going on when you're not home and is the second-best thing to staying home with your furry buddy. It’s a two-way communication system complete with an HD and night vision camera. Once set up, Furbo works with your wireless home network to let you see what your furriest family member is up to at all times.
Using the free Furbo app on your phone, you can check in to see what's going on at home any time of day or night. There's even a treat dispenser, so you can get your pup excited and can keep training and interacting with them even when you're not there. Furbo lets you set up barking alerts, too, meaning you'll be informed if something goes wrong and your pup is trying to get your attention. If anything is ever a problem, you'll be alerted your dog is barking so you can check in and take the steps you need to keep your baby safe.
- Create an Environment for Staying Home Alone
If your dog is new to being left home alone or is anxious, crating them for a few hours can make it easier for them to eagerly await your return. Crating creates a comfortable and safe den-like space for your pooch, making them feel safer.
There are other things you can do at home to make it more conducive for a dog’s day alone, too. For example, you can close the curtains and try to reduce noise on the outside by confining your pup to a quieter area of the house. You can also leave a radio or television on if your fur baby prefers a bit of white noise. A toy that requires some work to get a treat out can also keep your dog busy for a while — and they can proudly show you their hard work when you get home!
- Ease Into It and Create a Ritual
Don't just leave your pet home alone for the day right off the bat. If you have a new pup, ease them into it by leaving them alone for increasingly longer periods of time. Try to spend the first few days at home with your new friend so you can get used to their personality and learn what they need to stay home successfully by themselves.
Create a ritual for leaving. Always do the same things before leaving for work. This may mean giving your puppy treats they only get when you leave. It can mean grabbing your keys and briefcase. Whatever it is, a constant ritual can make your dog feel more comfortable and let them know what to expect. If you give them a special treat or toy they only get when you're gone for a while, it can make being left alone a little less upsetting, too.
- Take Your Dog Out for a Walk
Try to exercise your furry buddy before you leave in the morning. It gives them a chance to get their business done before you leave so they're not holding it all day. It can also tire them out so they’re more prone to take a nap instead of ripping apart your home or barking. When you get home from work, take them out on another walk to spend time together in another way.
- Practice and Train Together
Practice leaving and train your dog not to bark. Do this by going through your leaving ritual and standing outside the door. If your dog barks, order them to stop. If they don't bark, come back inside and lavish praise. Slowly increase the amount of time you leave for and be sure to positively reinforce how proud you are of them when you get back to a quiet home.
If your dog shows any anxiety or stress when you leave or continues to bark, you may want to visit your vet to make sure there isn't a medical problem. If your dog suffers from anxiety, your veterinarian will be able to make suggestions about what you can do. You may also want to consult with a trainer who has experience dealing with barking if your dog seems upset or barks excessively when you're gone. Furbo can help you determine whether your dog has unhealthy barking patterns so you can take the evidence to a trainer.
- Have a Backup Plan
If you're going to be working long hours on a special project, traveling for vacation or work trip or spending more time outside the house, consider a doggie daycare or a dog sitter who can still lavish your pup with affection and love when you can’t. For longer periods of time, make sure you have someone you trust who can stop by so your dog still gets the affection and love they need.
You’ll also want to have a backup plan in case you’re delayed in traffic or for another reason. A friend or family member may be able to get to your home to let your dog out or to check up on them if your Furbo shows you they’re barking.
What to Do If You Have a Fur Baby and Work Outside the Home
If you work outside the home and wish you could see how your dog acts when they’re alone all day, buy Furbo today. This product ensures your furriest family member gets the attention, love and supervision they need, no matter where you work.
If you work at night, the night vision camera ensures you can see exactly what's going on with your dog while you're at work. If you work during the day, the HD vision camera lets you peek in on your pet while you work. With a free app, you can check in, dispense treats, take videos and photos and even set up a barking alert so you’ll be notified if your dog is trying to reach you — it’s the closest thing to giving your pup their very own cell phone!
Furbo is a two-way interactive communication system that allows you to keep tabs and communicate with your dog even if you’re stuck at work. Your pup may not have opposable thumbs to swipe the screen on a mobile device, but with Furbo, the two of you can keep in touch to so your fur baby stays safe and happy.