If you know you will regularly be away from home for more than four hours at a time, maybe a dog isn’t for you. It’s sad. But your dog will be sadder if she gets lonely, can’t exercise, and can’t go to the bathroom. If you’re able to pop back from time to time you might be able to make it work.
A list of dogs that can be left alone
There are dog breeds that can be left alone for 8 hours. But this should be the exception to your routine and not the rule. Your dog may not show distress when you leave. It might lead to invisible depression. But it might lead to howling and destroying your stuff.
Here’s a list of dogs who should be okay if you work long days from time to time, or just go out for up to four hours a day.
(Remember that a puppy will need you around more often).
Alone time dog #5: the Shar Pei
Who could bear to leave this bundle of fur alone all day? Well, if you simply must leave him alone, he’ll do fine. He’s small enough to be left in your apartment if you have one, and calm enough to not really care about it. This little fierce one will even guard your pad for you.
This breed sometimes has breathing problems, though, so it’s essential the place you leave him is cool and well-ventilated.
Alone time dog #4: the Great Pyrenees
Just how great is the Great Pyrenees? Really, really great. And she’s also great to be left alone, since she’s originally a mountain-dwelling sheep dog. She was bred to spend lots of time alone. (If you have some sheep to keep her company, this is a bonus).
Independent and calm, she should be fine for a few hours by herself. But it’s worth noting that she’s an 85lb whopper and a bit tricky to train, so preparing her to spend that alone time responsibly is a big job.
Alone time dog #3: the Shiba Inu
Everyone’s favourite cartoon dog who’s real, the Shiba Inu is an independent soul and doesn’t require the round-the-clock cuddles of other breeds. The flipside of this is that he may not always give you the affection you require when you do get home. But that’s the deal.
Please bear in mind that the Shiba is an energetic dog who likes the outdoors. So while he might not get too sad without you, if you leave him in a small, enclosed space you may discover chaos on your return.
Alone time dog #2: the Pekingese
This little Chinese dog may make an unlikely guard dog, but she is actually very alert. That said, she’s also very relaxed. Basically, leave her at home all day and she’ll just sit back and keep an eye on things for you.
Fix her a little dogflap, and she’ll be happier yet: able to shuffle in and out of the house as her needs call.
Alone time dog #1: the Greyhound
The greyhound loves to run around all day, right? Wrong. Particularly if he’s retired.
Greyhounds are sprinters, not marathon runners, so you might be able to get his energy out with a brisk morning walk. After that, he’ll be happy enough to sleep most of the day. Just be warned that he still has a strong hunting instinct, so it might be best not to leave him alone with your hamster too long.
Last things to remember about dog breeds that can be left alone
Whatever breed you go for, make sure that leaving him or her alone is the exception not the rule. Teach her to be alone gradually, and leave plenty of water, fresh air, and something safe to do (like a Kong toy to play with). Hire a dog walker if you must.
Don’t punish her (the dog, not the dog walker) if she causes damage while you’re out. It’s your fault you left her, and making her feel bad now will just increase her separation anxiety in the future.