8 Dog Breeds You Can Leave Alone In The House, But Only If You *Have To*
When your family is busy running here, there, and everywhere, you may not always be able to take your pup along on every adventure. I am fortunate enough to work from home where our Chiweenie gets to nip lovingly at my feet under my desk all day long, but not every dog owner is so lucky. It is often necessary to leave Fido at home during the work day or while you run errands, so having one of these eight dog breeds you can leave alone in the house may be ideal for busy families.
Regardless of the breed you choose, according to Terri Bright, Ph D and Director of Behavior Services at MSPCA Angell in Boston, thinking in terms of a dog's activity level and size, as well as understanding the need to socialize a puppy prior to 12 weeks of age, plays into how your dog will behave when home alone. Dr. Bright, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, tells Romper that understanding why a dog may act a certain way, and encouraging proper training, is also important in helping make sure that your dog behaves while home alone.
"I recommend any owner make a prediction about how their dog will behave when home alone; if they can’t predict what will happen, arrange the environment so that the dog and the furniture stay safe by leaving food toy puzzles for the dog to interact with in lieu of meals," Bright tells Romper. "Owners can even use a webcam at first to see what the dog is doing when alone. Crate training is great for dogs, and giving them food toys in their crate can keep them safe when alone. However, a dog with separation anxiety should not be crated, and should be seen by a veterinary behaviorist or Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist."
Knowing which kind of dog will be best for your family is a very personal choice, but understanding how a dog may behave when left alone can help you make an educated choice. Although there are absolutely no guarantees about how a dog may react without human supervision, these eight dog breeds are ones you could consider if you'll have to leave your dog at home alone based on their average temperament and need for interaction.
1. French Bulldog
This short-snouted pooch doesn't require long periods of exercise throughout the day, and according to PetHelpful, when home alone, they're likely to choose to take a nap. French Bulldogs are also tolerant dogs, so they're great for families with small kids and will typically not be a very noisy dog.
Although they look like giants, Bullmastiffs do not require much physical activity each day, according to Dog Reference. This loyal breed is protective, so they do want your attention when you're home, but are typically calm dogs who can tolerate being left alone well. As a plus, Dog Reference notes that this breed is typically particularly patient with children.
Best known for having wrinkles on wrinkles on wrinkles, Shar-Peis are quiet and reserved, according to Dog Reference, making them great for people who need to leave them alone for periods of time. Dog Reference also says that the Shar-Pei can be aloof and independent, which allows them to occupy themselves when home alone. Just make sure you leave them a job to do, like playing with toys or treat puzzles when you're gone.
I've known many Chihuahuas in my life, and they are generally fun-loving and happy dogs. They're also pretty tiny — most reach about 7 pounds, according to PetHelpful — so any damage they may do when still in the chewing phase as a puppy or if they happen to have an accident will hopefully be minimal. PetHelpful also notes that while Chihuahuas will generally be fine left alone during the day, they may do even better if they have another dog friend to keep them company.
5. Basset Hound
Basset Hounds are known for having big, floppy ears and a sweet stare that will capture your heart in an instant. They also love to sleep, and according to PetHelpful, will likely doze most of the day if left home alone. Thanks to their relatively low activity level, they don't need a ton of exercise throughout the day. Word to the wise, though — they howl — so just make sure your neighbors won't mind any potential noise.
These tiny pups are known for their gorgeous, silky coats, and although that part of them will require much attention, Maltese are generally OK when left alone at home, according to PetHelpful. This mellow breed is not prone to boredom, so you're likely to find them napping when you return home from being out for the day.
The Whippet is a svelte, medium-sized breed that doesn't look nearly as cuddly as they are. As long as you exercise them in the evenings, Pet Helpful says Whippets will be happy curling up in a comfortable chair or dog bed while you're away from home. One other thing to keep in mind is that they're easily startled and rather passive, so if you're looking for a guard dog and not a giant cuddle bug, a Whippet may not be the right choice.
Although this is a more rare breed, their sweet personalities and lack of need for attention make Otterhounds a great choice if you need a dog that can be left home alone, according to Barking Royalty. The website also noted that Otterhounds get along well with other dogs and children, making them a great family pet.