The Seven Best Dog Breeds for Someone Who Works All Day

Updated on October 18, 2018
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Basset hounds are known to be mellow and for falling asleep almost anywhere.
Basset hounds are known to be mellow and for falling asleep almost anywhere. | Source

Good Dogs for Working People

The most popular dog in the world is unsuited for most of the people in the world. In fact, most working and hunting dogs—including Labradors, German shepherds, Border Collies, and Golden Retrievers—are not suited for someone who works all day. Despite this fact, most people continue to make unwise decisions about the breed of dog they choose for pets. In the end, this can result in unhappy dog owners and dogs suffering a horrible life confined to crates or given up to animal shelters, because active breeds are not suited for the life they are forced to endure.

If you work all day but choose to share your life with a dog, you need to choose the breed carefully and be willing to make some sacrifices. When your friends at work invite you out for a beer at the end of the day, say no. Someone is waiting for you at home.

That someone waiting is a social animal who needs your attention. Dogs are pack animals and need company; they do not do well if they are left alone in a crate day and night.

Some dog breeds need more social interaction and exercise than others. If you select the right breed from the beginning, your dog will be perfectly content walking around your home, drinking water, and looking out the window to see the birds. He will not create trouble looking for stimulation, and you will not need to resort to using a small cell he cannot turn around in.

Choose the dog you want carefully and provide him activities, and he will be fine, even if you have to work. During the day, your dog will:

  • Sleep: This will take up most of his time. The average dog sleeps for about 14 hours a day (including at night), but young dogs and seniors sleep even more. Dogs will also sleep more during the day if taken for exercise first thing in the morning.
  • Eat: While water should always be left out for the dog, not all owners choose to leave food available—free-choice feeding can lead to many problems, including obesity. A better idea is leaving several toys filled with snacks (like peanut butter) stashed throughout the house. When the dog is bored, he can walk around and search for the snacks.
  • Explore the house: There might be new smells in the kitchen, other animals running through the yard, or familiar objects to be found in slightly different settings. If your dog is lucky enough to have a doggy door, he can sit outside and watch the birds or listen to the sounds of traffic.
  • Play: Interactive toys filled with dog treats give dogs a great excuse to play during the day. You can fill the toy up with dog kibble and your pup will have to play with it to manage to get them out. I still have several around the house that I bought years ago and when I am going out make sure and fill them so that my dogs stay busy when not sleeping.
  • Guard the house: Not all breeds are suited to this, and some will be more likely to wake up and guard at any suspicious sound. Others, like the whippet, may wake up and hide.

Best "Home Alone" Dog Breeds

If money and space is not an issue, three dogs left home alone are even better than two.
If money and space is not an issue, three dogs left home alone are even better than two. | Source
Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone All Day
Basset hound
Chihuahua
French bulldog
Greyhound
Maltese
Shar Pei
Whippet

Basset Hound

A basset hound will be perfectly happy to nap in the sun until you come back home.
A basset hound will be perfectly happy to nap in the sun until you come back home. | Source

The Basset Hound is a good low-energy breed. It's one of the best medium-sized dog breeds for an apartment. They love to walk around and use their noses but have relatively low activity levels during much of the day.

If you decide to get a basset and have to go to work, your dog will probably spend most of the day sleeping.

Like many dogs, Bassets do have some medical issues. You need to keep their ears clean, brush them daily to control shedding, and control their diet closely so that they do not become obese.

Bassets may be short but they are big dogs. Despite their size, they might also choose to curl up on your lap in the evening.

Chihuahua

Since dogs are social animals, they should not be left alone.
Since dogs are social animals, they should not be left alone. | Source

If you want a tiny dog but have to work, the Chihuahua is a great choice. They will do okay if left alone much of the day.

Many of them weigh less than three kilos (about seven pounds). They do have a reputation for aggression, which possibly derives from their size. Not many people worry about being bit by a Chihuahua, so some dogs suffer from teasing and “small dog syndrome.” Socialize your Chihuahua and be sure to treat him gently.

They are also prone to quite a few medical problems. Besides luxating patella, they need their teeth brushed every day to prevent dental disease. Like the Basset, you have to be on top of their food and exercise because they are prone to obesity.

Overall, if you need a less active dog, the Chihuahua is a great choice. Just make sure your dog has another Chihuahua to hang out with during the day.

French Bulldog

With nothing better to do, your Frenchie might choose to take a nap.
With nothing better to do, your Frenchie might choose to take a nap. | Source

All dogs need your company as soon as you get home. The main consideration for dogs who will be left at home is how active they will be during the day. The French Bulldog is one of those dogs who needs your company, but is not built for going out for a long runs—with nothing better to do, your Frenchie might choose to take a nap.

Frenchies have short faces, which makes it difficult for them to breathe and run if it is hot and humid. They are great around the house though, and are one of the best small breeds with kids.

Keep in mind that French bulldogs have health problems because of their short faces and large eyes. They do not bark much, however, so they are ideal for an apartment with neighbors likely to complain about the noise.

Greyhound

Greyhounds like to sleep on soft couches.
Greyhounds like to sleep on soft couches. | Source

Work every day, but still looking for a large dog? The greyhound is a great choice. They are one of the best dogs for apartment life since they are couch potatoes and spend most of their time sleeping.

Since most greyhounds available for adoption are retired racing dogs, they are already used to being crated up to 20 hours a day and will likely have no trouble being left alone during the day. However, even if he's used to it, I do not recommend you confine your dog in a crate all day. Teach him the habits of the house and allow him to enjoy your home.

When you do come home at the end of the day, plan on spending some time walking your dog or letting him run off leash at your local dog park.

You both will be happier.

Maltese

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Maltese learn to climb up on furniture early.If you mind your Maltese sleeping on your furniture when you are gone, it may be best to choose another dog.
Maltese learn to climb up on furniture early.
Maltese learn to climb up on furniture early. | Source
If you mind your Maltese sleeping on your furniture when you are gone, it may be best to choose another dog.
If you mind your Maltese sleeping on your furniture when you are gone, it may be best to choose another dog. | Source

This little slacker is willing to sleep most of the day on the back of the sofa, waiting for his family to come home. A Maltese is not likely to tear up your house out of boredom, and is not going to require long walks like some breeds.

However, he will enjoy your company and also will need to be groomed carefully each evening, since the long hair will mat if not combed. If you are not willing to do so, take your dog to the groomer for a “puppy cut” (a short, even haircut) and just brush him when he is resting on your lap each evening.

If you already have a cat and are looking for a dog to keep her company during the day, the Maltese is a great choice.

Shar Pei

Shar Peis like to rest after playing.
Shar Peis like to rest after playing. | Source

A low-energy dog suited for someone who works all day does not have to be run-of-the-mill. The Shar Pei, one of the most unusual dog breeds, is perfect for an owner who works all day.

The Shar Pei is a medium-sized dog from China. They were the common man´s hunting and fighting dog, but are not very active.

Shar Peis do need to be well socialized, but are considered to be good family pets and guard dogs.

However, keep in mind that because only a few were imported, they are interbred and have several health problems.

Whippet

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Whippets are clean and quiet dogs who sleep for much of the day.When they are awake, whippets need a chance to run outside.
Whippets are clean and quiet dogs who sleep for much of the day.
Whippets are clean and quiet dogs who sleep for much of the day. | Source
When they are awake, whippets need a chance to run outside.
When they are awake, whippets need a chance to run outside. | Source

This medium-sized dog is ideal for an apartment, since he is relatively clean and spends a great deal of time sleeping. Like his larger cousin, the greyhound, he needs a soft place, so he will probably take over a couch or easy chair.

Whippets also are more withdrawing than greyhounds and will avoid any intruders.

And, like many dog breeds, he will need to be exercised each evening so that he can burn off his energy walking. Better yet, get two. They can play together between naps.

All dogs are social animals, and, no matter how tired you are at the end of the day, all dogs need a walk. Some dogs need a lot more than a walk around the block, and I have not included them on this list. There are no sled dogs, no herding breeds, and especially no curious dogs that are likely to investigate all of your cabinets when home alone.

Do not listen to those people who will tell you to get a cat or bird instead of a dog! There are a lot of great dogs out there, and you can be happy if you choose carefully. Be sure to consider adopting an older dog of the correct breed through your local shelter or petfinder.com. Little puppies need a lot of time, and older dogs tend to sleep more.

If you do get a dog from a shelter, make sure he is one of the breeds on this list. If someone at the shelter tells you that a herding or retrieving breed will be fine for you, do not listen. You do not want to end up with a “Marley” that will tear down your drywall in a fit of separation anxiety. Most of those dogs end up dead while still young.

If you have decided to bring home a new dog to share your life, be sure not to buy a cute little puppy from a pet shop. You will be supporting a puppy mill, and besides having to deal with puppy energy and housetraining problems (which you may not have time to deal with) your new puppy will likely have behavioral problems and not be a good match for your lifestyle.

Questions & Answers

  • My family is somewhat busy, and we want to get a dog that can be left alone from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We have other activities that you could bring a dog to, (like little league baseball). We would also like to have one that has little shedding and is hypoallergenic. What dog is best for my description?

    I think all dogs are great for activities. A breed like a Basset might be more laid back during the day but will be happy to romp around and keep your family company. It really depends on which dog on the list you like the most.

    As far as 'hypoallergenic" (there is really no such dog) and a dog that does not shed much, the Maltese is a good choice.

  • I am not home 12 hours a day, 6 am to 6 pm. Also, I live in an apartment of almost 70m2. I really want to have a dog in my home but really concerned about the hours that it will home alone. I am considering a french bulldog but still have worries. What do you suggest?

    Twelve hours a day is really too long for any dog to be alone. If you decide to purchase a dog, please think about having a dog walker come in during the day to take your dog out, taking your dog to doggy day care, or at the very least having two small dogs so that the dog will not feel so isolated.

    A Frenchie is a good choice for your situation, but I am still concerned about that large block of time. If you are in the US I suggest you contact a French Bulldog breed rescue (check Google for a rescue that works in your city) and ask about a pair of calm adults that can handle your situation. You have to tell them that if the dogs do not work out you will need to give them back.

  • I am not home for about seven hours each day, but I do have three kids that will take good care of a dog. I also have two cats that stay home all day. We really want a dog, but don’t know what kind of breed would be the best. Do you have any advice?

    I would be looking for a dog that is going to do well with the cats and the kids. If you want a small breed dog, a Maltese would be okay but not with very small or very rambunctious kids. If you want a larger breed, a Golden Retriever would be a better choice.

    A Golden would be a much better choice if your kids rough-house. A Maltese is very fragile, a Golden is a solid dog.

    Try to find an adult through Petfinder or a local animal shelter. An adult will do a lot better than a puppy if left alone longer during the day.

    If you do go to a shelter, do not accept a Rott cross, German Shepherd cross, or other hunting breed cross that they might recommend. Sometimes that is all that is available, but you need a dog that will get along with your family and cats.

  • I am a nurse, and I work twelve hour days, but only three times a week. I would like a big dog as I go for long hikes/walks, I run 3km every day, go to the beach, etc. on my days off. Does the time at home offset my working days or would it be cruel to get a big dog?

    12 hours is way too long to expect a dog to be alone. I do not think the time you spend with him at home makes up for it, but it would not be cruel if you had someone come in (like a dogwalker) to break up those long days. It is only three days a week, right?

  • I work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the latest, and share a house with a big-ish yard. There are currently two Doberman Pinschers living in my house, but they are not mine. I want a dog of my own, preferably something from mid to large sized. I have an active lifestyle that I would like to include my dog with, but I also want one that can do lazy days (if this makes sense). Do you have any suggestions?

    Is your dog going to be outside during the day with the Dobies? If he is, most dog breeds will be okay since he will have other dogs to play with and keep him occupied when you are at work. (A medium sized dog like a Shar-pei might do well.)

    Avoid the working breeds that are going to get bored and destructive. You can find a list of "high prey dog breeds" but be sure to stay away from Border Collies, Siberian huskies, and other working dogs of that type.

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    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 days ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      deandre, the Basenji and Bull terrier are good choices.

    • profile image

      deandre 

      2 days ago

      hey i want to ask you which dog breed is for a family of four, and the kids are teens and we want a small-medium dog breed and we look at the bull terrier, goldndoodle, basenji and we use to have beagle he was wonderful and but we have to give him away to a different family but the point being which dog would be excellent for us

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Chloe, a Maltipoo is better suited to your house (based on what you wrote) but they are small. A Cockapoo is larger.

    • profile image

      Chloe 

      7 weeks ago

      Hi I’m at work all day and my kids are at school the dog would be left from 8:30am to 3:30 most days but will be taken on long walks everday as my kids love walking dogs.I don’t want a big dog nor a small one.We we’re thinking of a cockerpoo or a maltipoo are these breeds incompatible with are needs?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      7 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      You are so fortuate, Bea, in that you have so many dogs to choose from. I do not know that there is a dog breed that fits everything that you want, buy many breeds will be close to what you are looking for:

      The basenji-doesnt shed much, does not bark.

      French bulldog--does not bark much.

      Shiba Inu-does not bark much.

      Greyhound or Whippet--does not bark much, short hair, lies around a lot but active when you want him to be.

      Look at a list of medium dog breeds and see which breed appelas to you the most. Good luck on your search.

    • profile image

      Bea 

      7 weeks ago

      Hello Dr. Mark,

      I’m a single female and first-time dog owner who works from home and attends school online, too — I won’t be away from home much, other than infrequent weekends to visit my university when I can get a sitter.

      I’m thinking of getting a dog to keep me company on walks and give cuddles while I finish my education (3+ years) and beyond, and one that could be a part of a family since I might like to have children if I meet someone (a dog that will help me meet someone would be nice!). I prefer a pet that doesn’t bark or shed too much, and one with relatively low grooming needs if possible. I’m open to any size I guess, if you have more than one suggestion. And I’m likely to live in an apartment for many more years with limited yard space, but will eventually buy a house with a large yard. I live in an urban metropolis on the west coast which is kind of chilly at times.

      What do you think?

      Thank you for your help,

      Bea

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Tori, although you may not believe it from looking at them, Basset Hounds are a hunting breed and will happily run along and hike all day long. Of course when you get home they are going to sleep--a lot. Greyhounds and Whippets are also althetic dogs and good for hiking but both are scenthounds and unless you are in a very isolated area are a problem off leash. They tend to run off if they see something. (I read about someone who had trained her Whippets to come on command 100% of the time. She gave a tasty treat EVERY time she called the dogs. I only do this with my adult dogs every few months since they do not need the reinforcement.)

      My dogs sleep in my house, loose. The only time I ever use a crate is in the first week, when potty training.

    • profile image

      Tori 

      8 weeks ago

      Hello,

      I work about 8 hours a day, with opportunities to work remotely on occasion or in a emergency. I live in a decent sized apartment, with a state park right outside my back door. I am looking for a companion to go on multi day hikes and long walks. Are these breeds in this article suited for long hikes up mountains? My worry is that I will get a small low energy dog who will be very well suited for the apartment life but not for the adventure life. Any suggestions on breeds that are comfortable being alone for 8 hours and ready to go on a adventure at any time. Would a English cocker Spaniel be a breed suited for this type of life style?

      Thank you very much, I greatly enjoyed the article. I would like to see your information on how crating is animal abuse, my previous dog would get so upset if we left her home alone without crating her. I believe she thought something was wrong sorta like " They just left without putting me in my kennel something must be wrong!"

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Wow Kinlee those are some pretty long hours!

      Way too much for a dog to be alone. I think you and your son need to discuss this because he would have to give up on going to work with you, at least for the first year or so when the dog is young.

      Do you want a large dog or a small breed? If you want a larger dog, a Standard Poodle will fit your needs. There are lots of good choices for smaller dogs, and many of the breeds like the Maltese would be fine for your situation.

    • profile image

      Kinlee markiston 

      2 months ago

      I have one son that’s 11 years old and a pretty large two story house. I work 10-11 hours a day all days of the week. I usually bring my son to work every day, but sometimes my son stays at home, but if 10-11 hours a day is too much, my son can stay at home on most days. I live in a hot area and get harsh winters but no snow. I want a dog that does not shed a lot and is easy for me to take care of.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Antonia, how is your view from up there?

    • profile image

      antonia 

      2 months ago

      this is a really irresponsible article. Leaving dogs, who are pack animals, home all day alone is cruelty. Dogs need to be outside a few hours a day, ideally running and playing and hanging out with other dogs. It is NOT a good life for a dog to be left all day alone. They will tolerate it as an animal left in a cage would have to, but they will be deeply unhappy.

    • profile image

      Addie 

      3 months ago

      I have a 11 year old who wants a small lap dog but she is at school for 5 hours any suggestions

    • profile image

      teya 

      4 months ago

      Hello I have a 9-year old labrador and I want to give her a friend she is very very obedient she is amazing she is energetic, calm, very nice, and linens amazing she never has any problems I really want a daschund puppy would he be a good champion for my lab she is my best friend and i want the best for her when I'm at school.

    • profile image

      Chad A 

      5 months ago

      Ok, I will look I to those. Thank you for the information !

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Yes, Frenchies are expensive becuase like English Bulldogs they often have to be delivered by c-section, will only breed through AI, etc.

      A lazy dog like a Maltese is a good second choice. The laziest of all is a Basset hound but I am not sure if you would want to invite one up to your bed each night. They shed a lot more than Frenchies.

    • profile image

      Chad A 

      5 months ago

      Thank you for the response, I will look into the Frenchie. Being a Boxer owner/breeder I do love an ugly mug. As well as with three Boxers I am use to shedding and understand that no dog is non shedding. Low sheding is a preference but not mandatory by any means. Any other good recommendations high on the list? I know in my area Frenchies to tend to be on the fairly quite expensive side.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      5 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Chad, there is not a non-shedding dog like you describe, but if you want a non-yappy smaller dog that will also do good with your kids the French Bulldog is a great choice. Take a look at some photos and meet a few dogs to see if you like them.

      My main concern is that you will not like them because they might shed some in your bed.

    • profile image

      Chad A 

      5 months ago

      So I am looking to get a smaller dog that I can make an E.S.A. and have sleep in the bed at night with to help reduce my anxiety and help me sleep. I got to take care of a toy poodle a week or so ago and having her next to me those few nights worked really well. I do have 3 boxers and they are great dogs but not conducive to sleeping in a bed with you at night.

      I am looking for a breed that I can train down the yapping ( not wanting to ad stress or anxiety with a constant barking) and that can coexist with the larger dogs. My boxers are good with other dogs and my cats. I do have 3 boys from 4-12. All are good with animals, amd the youngest was great with the you poodle. He played with it but not to rough. I think he enjoyed having and animal that wasnt twice his size to run around with.

      Preferences to a less shedding soft fur dog, can be trained on a doggy door or do well in the big kennel I have for my boxers during the day. I can create if needed but prefer not to. They have to be alone 4 days of the week during the school year up to 7 hours. Durning the summer kids stay next door during the day. So the dog will not be left all day.

      What are your thoughts?

    • profile image

      sarah 

      5 months ago

      l love this info, keep up it up for those people who absolutely love dogs.

      this is the best website page ever and l would like to read your advice even if it means spending a lot of time doing it each day.

      great work and l hope lots of people leave the best ever comments for you to all see. cheers, sarah.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Ember, the best non shedding small dog breed on this list is a Maltese, but they are tiny dogs and if you have rambunctious kids there can be injuries. You may want to get a larger dog if you have small kids, but there may not be as calm a small dog as the Maltese.

      When you mention a puppy, though, I worry. An adult dog is much more suited to being alone during the day. A puppy needs to go out more often, gets more bored, and may develop behavioral problems because of that. Take a look at Petfinder.com to see if you find an adult dog that suits your needs.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Bella, you should write an article on HP about why not to get a dog if you work all day. Make sure the title is easily searchable and do some of the SEO so that the page is findable on search engines. I think more people should read your perspective.

    • profile image

      Ember 

      8 months ago

      Hi, I work 8 hours a day 4 times a week and have kids, we are thinking of getting a dog. It has to be small, able to be at home by itself for a while, non shedding and quite calm. We might get a dog sitter/walker or friend to take the puppy out for a bit during the day. Any ideas or breeds?

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      BelltheBall 

      8 months ago

      Obviously it is clear you disagree with me since you wrote the article but as I said, this is not personal.

      When thinking of owning a dog, we have to be mature enough to think of the dog's needs, not just our own.

      While dogs can bring great rewards, they come with great responsibility.

      As a dog trainer with over 30 years of experience, I see a many behavior problems caused by peoples lack of understanding for what it takes to meet a dog's needs, not just their own.

      A dog needs almost as much attention as a small child. Using the excuse that a certain breed is known for sleeping a lot or being lazy is misleading for people and can only lead to behavior problems with dogs down the road.

      As I tell my clients: If you wouldn't do it to a child, don't do it to a dog.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Well, that is your opinion. You are welcome to it, but do you really have the right to forbid all of these people the right to have a dog. I happen to disagree with you.

    • BellatheBall profile image

      BellatheBall 

      8 months ago

      Well, Dr. Mark, I don't want to get personal here, but if it is not your choice, why even suggest it ? Given your credentials, you know there are people who will try it!

      The bottom line is: People who are away from home 8-10 hours a day simply do not have time for a dog. A dog requires almost attention as a young child. Dogs are "pack animals". Even if provided a way to exit the home to potty, a dog still requires companionship.

      A dog cannot be left alone all day long the way a cat, bunny rabbit, guinea pig or fish can.

      I cannot agree with the premise of this entire article and I think it is way off base.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Bella, this would not be my choice, and I take it from your comment that it would not be yours either. Things are different for other people though. If you want to have a pair of Chihuahuas or Maltese, however, would this not be better than cleaning the carpets every evening after work?

    • BellatheBall profile image

      BellatheBall 

      8 months ago

      Seriously Dr. Mark? Are you really advising someone to train their dog to go in the house on pads just so they can work all day and still have a dog?

      Shame! Shame!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Maggie, a Whippet or Greyhound might be able to hold it that long but no guarantees. If you want a smaller dog you would have to train her to use pee pads, but waiting to find a better place, with a yard and doggy door, is a much better option. Best of luck to you.

    • profile image

      Maggie 

      9 months ago

      Dr. Mark,

      I'm considering adopting a dog but I work about 9 hours with traffic included. I live in an apartment and am not friendly with my neighbors. If my dog has to go to the bathroom in the middle of the day there isn't a yard and I can't come home at lunch everyday due to my work schedule. Any suggestions? Would it be best to wait until I've move on to a new job or apartment?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Emily, is there even more commute time added on top of those hours? That is a long time to be away from home. The dogs on this list are a good choice, but as far as not shedding or smelling much, the Maltese is a good choice.

      With a little dog like that however there is little chance he could hold his bladder all day. Will the neighbor you mentioned come in every day for a few minutes over lunch?

    • profile image

      Emily 

      9 months ago

      Hi we are a couple in our late twenties and we work 8-6 mon- fri. We have a 3 bedroomed house with a reasonably sized garden and friends nearby who would love to dog sit if needed. Can you recommend what breeds we should be looking at? Ideally ones that don’t malt or smell ?? People have told us we shouldn’t get a dog because of our jobs/hours but I feel our home is really missing one. Emily

    • profile image

      LovePets 

      9 months ago

      I think that you are right i hav two French Bulldogs and a Greyhound

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      James, that is really tough. You are asking a dog to lie around most of the time, but then be ready to be an athlete on the weekends. At least we humans can walk around at work and go to the gym if we want to be weekend athletes.

      The dogs on this list are not appropriate. Most working breeds do not do well just hanging out that many hours. One dog you might consider is a Pitbull. Do you know of anyone with a Pit that you could borrow to try out on the types of trails you like to hike? Consider adopting an older dog, not a puppy that is going to tear up your house when left alone all day.

    • profile image

      James 

      9 months ago

      Hi Dr. Mark. I would like your opinion on a dog breed to fit my situation. I work 8 hrs a day, 5 days a week, but on weekends I love to go hiking in the mountains and would like a dog that could fit both scenarios. Do you have any suggestions?

      Thank you.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Ralph, it sounds like you have put a lot of thought into it. I still think you need to try and foster one of these breeds on the list, since if you try and foster a working or hunting breed the dog is unlikely to fit into your busy lifestyle. Good luck to you, hope you find the right dog up there!

    • profile image

      Ralph 

      9 months ago

      Hello Dr Mark. What do you think of becoming a volunteer foster care home. I have now start living alone since my dad retired and moved back to our mother land, the philippines, and I am still single. I am housesitting until we can renovate and sell it. I work 8 hour shifts. With traffic factor in, I am gone 10-11 hours. I am also gone during the time, I go to gym, do martial arts, or any other activities to keep me busy and stay off the computer. I am also away during those times. I feel sorry for the dog that I will adopt because of my busy schedule. I think that is better that I become a foster home vokunteer instead. This way, I am not being part of the problem. Also, despite this being a bad situation for the dog, it is better than nothing. It will also help me to become less lonely with being alone in the house. I think it is a win-win situation. We used to own a dog in our mother land but it is more of let them run in the backyard and do their thing. Owning a dog here in Canada is totally different. Thinkimg of becoming a foster home volunteer as a test run. What do you think?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      9 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Schnauzerguy--thanks for the comments. I recently lost my older Schnauzer and she sounds a lot like your dog. She was a real calming influence for my Pitbull, and did not bark a lot, which was great.

    • profile image

      Schnauzerguy 

      9 months ago

      One other thing - many animal shelters like to have volunteer foster parents for dogs. This is something I have done a few times. They even gave me food for the dogs. You can learn a lot about a breed this way. My dog is 14, and I'm not sure I want to get the same breed next time, because Schnauzers don't handle the cold well. So I'm considering doing foster care again.

    • profile image

      SchnauzerFeeder 

      9 months ago

      I've had two Schnauzers. They seemed a bit hard to housetrain, but once they got it they seemed to never have an accident in the house, even if on occasion we couldn't get home for 10 or more hours. They don't seem to need to drink that much water, so maybe that's part of it. Also, they didn't seem to have much separation anxiety. I think they tend to be really yappy, but I've just trained my dog to tone it down, and if I tell her no more barking, she generally stops.

    • profile image

      BellatheBall 

      10 months ago

      Having a dog is almost like having like a child. Dogs require attention and supervision while cats are more independent. This is not to say that cats can be neglected. Cats still require care, they just don't require the companionship that dogs require.

      So if you can't devote at least 4-6 waking hours a day to your dog, get a cat.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      10 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Justin, an alternative pet is a good idea but the whole point of this article was to point out those breeds that do well in that time frame. If you have a small house, you might need to think smaller dog, but what do you like? There are several breeds to choose from.

    • profile image

      Justin Sterling 

      10 months ago

      Hey, I'm considering getting a dog but unfortunately I have school for 6 hours of the day. My parents have work as well so for the 6 hours no one will be at home. So I was wondering if there is a dog breed that can left alone for this time without causing massive amounts of stress, or maybe I should get a cat.

      P.S. I live in a small house with limited space

      Thank you :)

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      10 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      maltese are great in your situation, but since you are only away about 5 hours, and if you are worried about cleanliness around the kids the Shiba Inu is also a good choice. Personally I would go for the Maltese, and my dog was great around my kids when they were growing up. Good luck with your new family member.

    • profile image

      Juliet Kariuki 

      10 months ago

      Hey,I live in a 2 bedroom apartment with my 2 kids and I work from 12:00 to 4:30 and I wanted to know what type of dog would be best.i was thinking about a Maltese give me your opinion

      Thanks so much

    • profile image

      Stephanie ward 

      10 months ago

      I have a chow he's six n stays home alone in the house he's great,we are blessed with him n he's never bothered anything,we let him lay on our need n couches,he's very housebroken n only my husband n i can touch him or go around him,we've never left him at the vet or at night without one of us,chows tend to be lazy so he seems to take us being gone very well,we do take him out n hang out an hour before we head out n he likes that,the summer heat makes him stay in alot in summer n we keep our home very cold,bc chows are prone to heat exhaustion,but I realize alot of breeds don't like being left alone

    • BellatheBall profile image

      BellatheBall 

      10 months ago

      Sorry. I cannot agree. If you work all day and there is no one home for 9-12 hours, you should get a cat. Do not get a dog. No dog should be left home alone all day. It doesn't matter if the dog is left inside or outside, the feeling of loneliness to the dog is the same.

      Dogs are "pack animals". They need to live in a group. That group is your family.

      Many people will resort to crating or caging a dog because they are not around to supervise the dog and provide the attention that the dog needs.

      While this is becoming a common practice, it is harmful to the dog and only serves to solve a problem for the owner.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      10 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      No dog can be guaranteed to not bark when left alone all day. The only thing I can suggest is get a lazy breed that is more likely to sleep when you are gone. An active breed is not a good idea.

    • profile image

      Maahi a 

      10 months ago

      Hello drMark.i used to have a male german spitz and cause of the poor control he became the alfa one and since im a medical doctor he was barking all the time during the days when he was alone.so i had not any choice except finding a new family for him.i have the same lifestyle now.a small apartmant,no yard,whol day working and barking could be a serious problem for my neighberhoods...i have a question which hopefully waiting for your answer.if i want adopting a new dog,which specific breed could be better ? Tolarate to being alone,without almost no barking

      Thank you

    • BaelRathLian profile image

      BaelRathLian 

      11 months ago from USA - East Coast -

      Before I start I have to state that since 2003 I have been disabled and still rescue dogs. I have had many dogs in my life. Mostly rescues that some waste of space abused or abandoned on the side of the road or the dump. About Dani's comment some, not all, Basset hounds fit this description. Most do not. I had a very sweet boy that only wanted to be held and hugged. As for Pit bulls / American Pit Bulls, I have to laugh at people who are afraid of them with out just cause. To me they seem to be cowards and fools. ANY DOG is like ANY other child. How they are raised is how they will act. I know first hand on this. I rescued a few pregnant ones and at one time I had 27 pits all but one was as loving as they could be except 4. Those 4 - One was leave me alone, One was a chewer, and the other two puppies they were the stereo type aggressive brats. So just like humans you can't just say well that person is a -blank- so they are this, this and ,this. It's just not true.

      @ Dr Mark : I love the little French Bulldog. Would love to get a pup, now that all my babies have new parents. I don't sell anyone I just find them a good home and ask them to bring them back if they can't handle them. So far no one has come back after 4 years. Four years being the last little one that I rescued and she is with my mother.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      11 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Dani, you sound like you are trying to make a political statement. I hope most people looking for a calm house dog do not believe you and your "howling banshee" comment.

    • profile image

      Dani 

      11 months ago

      Do not use this article to pick a dog! The first choice... The basset is a high maintenance destructive untrainable howling banshee who will destroy your home while you work. Get a reputable vet... go see them about your living situation or contact a large pet rescue with fostering...I have had 3 cycles of rescue dogs in my 50 years... whatever you do AdoptDontShop.. and remember it’s that dog’s forever home... do not get sucked into fad articles like this one... Do Your Homework

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      12 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Claire, Maltese do bark a lot.

    • profile image

      Claire 

      13 months ago

      DO maltese dogs bark alot?

    • profile image

      Samantha 

      13 months ago

      I miss having a dog. I trained and excersised all the dogs we had when I still lived with my mother and lately I have been considering getting a condo or house closer to work so I can have a dog again. What would be best for a single female who works? I can work 4 10 hour shifts to get an extra day off which might make doggie daycare easier or if I choose to do 8 hour shifts I can go home for lunch and come back because 8 hours arn't paid breaks.

      I am kinda considering doing that so the dog would only be home alone for 4 hours at a time normally then just make sure I have time to take it walking when I get home.

      I also have a cat who really good with and really likes dogs. She used to get irritated I think when the last shelter dog we had didn't seem to interested in playing or cuddling with her no matter how hard she tried. Could have just been that he was old, though.

    • profile image

      Mike Luis 

      13 months ago

      Im sorry my English i know is bad, hope you understand ...i have 2 chihuahuas and i dont agree at all with this list , i know for sure chihuahuas suffer a lot with out the owner presence. That is my experience, i dont recommend dogs or any animal if you work a lot .

      Actually me as dog lover, would really like humans stop to have dogs, we humans dont deserve dogs, we are a evil animal and dogs are full of love

    • profile image

      emmett 

      13 months ago

      Dacshunds tend to sleep all day as well...

    • profile image

      Jessica 

      14 months ago

      I'm not exactly sure but I really like the way the Dachshund looks but in none of all these amazing pictures i can't find one reason to get one so i don't think i will

    • profile image

      Igor 

      14 months ago

      The best dog for someone who works all day is none. As a pack animal dogs don't get along very easilly with loneliness (it doesn't matter the breed) so the best way to avoid this problem is to get a cat.

    • profile image

      sabina 

      14 months ago

      I have a terrier/dachshund and it shed awfully what can i do??

    • profile image

      Rodney 

      14 months ago

      Due to work I normally leave the house at 5:30am and get back around 8:00pm Tue-Fri. Sat,Sun&Mon are free days off. I've debated for years should I get a dog due to the LONG four days I'd be away.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      14 months ago from Philippines

      This is very useful information. I plan to forward this to a friend who wants to buy the dog but holds a full time job.

    • profile image

      Roberto 

      14 months ago

      Very useful article, thanks so much! Me and my wife work around 8 hours a day and we're thinking to get a greyhound, we would love to. Our concern was leaving him alone all the day but it seems this is a breed that can adapt to such conditions. Im curious about their character though, I'm a bit afraid they are too much independent... Honestly I wouldn't like a dog that behaves like a cat. What's your comment about that? Are they happy and joyful to see you coming home, do they like to spend time with their owner?

      Thank you!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      14 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Jacob, I have also had Maltese. I disaree.

    • profile image

      Jacob 

      14 months ago

      I would not suggest a Maltese for anyone not planning to be around very much. The Maltese does not do well when left alone and can easily become depressed/anxious if missing their owner too much or too often. Besides this being widely known about the breed, my personal childhood Maltese would have seizures when my dad left for business trips lasting about a week, and ultimately passed away due to a more serious seizure.

    • profile image

      15 months ago

      Or...you know...when I get a dog...I might just sneak it in?

    • profile image

      Ariel Hunter 

      15 months ago

      HI um well i need to know what kind of dog i could get if i am not home for about a week

    • profile image

      Lindsay 

      16 months ago

      Hi Dr Mark, I'm working most of the day (9 to 6) and i live in a 4 bedroom 2-storey house. I really love pugs. Should i get a pug or a chihuahua, i love them both soso much. Thanks!

    • profile image

      puplover 

      16 months ago

      Dr, I'm a student (who love dogs).My live in a rural-small town.I want a dog that will tolerate being left alone for almost 8-9 hrs daily.And how am I supposed to feed my puppy his meals when no one's at home? I like medium-somewhat large dog..So do you think I can have a dog ?Which one do you suggest?

    • profile image

      Faith 

      16 months ago

      Hi nancy, just a suggestion , maube try a poodle or poodle mix, they come in many sizes(toy,minature, standard)

    • profile image

      Kunal 

      17 months ago

      Sir, actually i want a dog ...but my conditions are i can be with it for full one month during summet vacations but after summer vacation i will come home on weekends.. and behind me my mother and father will be at home But they are also available after 3 pm bcz of work. So can i adopt a dog and of which breed??

    • profile image

      :) 

      17 months ago

      Either these dogs or, an elder dog 5 to 8 years old, depending on its life span :)

    • profile image

      An Annoyed Person 

      17 months ago

      Malteses can't be left alone, they'll tear you house, they need to be companioned.

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      18 months ago

      My childhood dog passed away a few years ago when I was in college, and I would really like to adopt another one. But I haven't yet because I work full time. I am a teacher, so I'd be home with the dog on weekends and during the summer, but it would need to be left alone on school days. I'm planning to wait until the summer to look seriously for a dog so that I can be there with it as it adjusts to its new environment, but do you have any advice on what kind of dog would be best? I like small/medium dogs best.

    • profile image

      nancy 

      18 months ago

      i am looking for a small dog hypoallegenic and doesnt bark

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Fox Girl, a Basset mix is more of a kennel dog and more likely to get along with your Blue Heeler than a Whippet mix. Of course personalities vary so ask to take the dog home and see how he gets along with your other two dogs and the cats.

      The Blue Heeler sounds like he needs a lot more exercise. They are very active dogs, and need to burn up a lot of energy.

    • profile image

      FoxGirl 

      19 months ago

      Oh, and we also have two stray cats around the yard.

    • profile image

      FoxGirl 

      19 months ago

      I have two other dogs, but I've been wanting a dog of my own. One is a blue heeler, and is a little aggresive to my other dog, Bleu. Bleu is a dog argintino mix, and he is a little cowardly. But I want a dog that is ok being left alone on school days, and I want a mix. Should I get a Whippet mix, or a Basset mix? Mom says I should get a basset, but I'm not sure! Please help me!

    • profile image

      GalaxyRat 

      19 months ago

      Thanks a lot, Doc.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Carolina, almost all dogs are active enough to get out and play in the park, so it is a matter of finding a dog that will do okay in the apartment during the day. If you like Bassets, they are a great choice for an apartment dog that will do okay alone during the day. If you want something smaller, consider a Maltese.

      Please try to adopt an older dog that does not need all of the care that a puppy will require. Check with your local animal shelter,and if they canntot help try Petfinder.com

    • profile image

      Carolina 

      19 months ago

      I live in an apartment and my family and I would love a dog that can be left alone during school days. Me and my younger sibling would play with him once we get home. My mom won't allowed us to get a dog because she doesn't want it to be left in the house all day. But I would like to know what dogs are okay indoors but active enough so we can go play with him in the park.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      GalaxyRat--it is going to vary a lot by dog. The Maltese and the Basset Hound are both potential candidates, but some Bassets are more prey aggressive. Maltese are not usually interested in prey.. You would just have to find an adult dog and see how they get along with your rats.

    • profile image

      GalaxyRat 

      19 months ago

      What dogs do well with rats and can be left alone like this?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      19 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Kristina, those 11 hour days have me concerned, since with commute time you will probably be gone 12 or more hours. No dog can wait that long inside. If leaving the dog out is not an option (since you live in an apartment) do you have a neighbor that could take your dog out for a short time during the middle of the day? As far as a breed goes, an independent dog like a Maltese or Chihuahua would be great, but again I am worried about those long hours. Good luck to you.

    • profile image

      Kristina 

      19 months ago

      I'm looking to get a small to medium sized dog. I live in a 650 sq.ft apartment and have weird hours at work. I am away 6-8 hours 3/4 days a week but work 11 hours some weekends. I'm concerned these long weekends will be hard on a dog but would absolutely love one.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Zia, there are several good small breeds listed above--the Maltese, Chihuahua, and French Bulldog. Frenchies are very expensive, Maltese do require daily grooming, but a Chihuahua might be a good choice. Go to your local animal shelter and take a look there before puchasing a dog.

    • profile image

      ZiaNephyst 

      20 months ago

      Hi! I need a small dog that can tolerate being left alone 7-8 hours a day by itself on most weekdays. I live in a large house, which has more than 3 rooms and I have lots of old dog toys from friends. We have a budget of 700 dollars for buying a dog. We would like a dog that does not shed too much but it can shed a little bit, and it only needs a little bit of brushing and bathing for it's grooming.

      Do you have anything in mind?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Amy, I like Irish Wolfhounds but their short life span and numerous serious health problems are difficult to deal with. I think the Bernese Mountain Dog is a better choice for a companion for the Newfie.

      Have you thought about the Giant Schnauzer? They are not really giant, but large dogs and would be able to handle romping with a Newfie without any problems. They are very trainable dogs, and a lot of fun. Do some more reading about that breed.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Denise, dogs evolved as social animals, and the situation you describe (the small room) is likely to make your dog bored. If he can not tear things up, he will probably chew on himself, so I do not think he would have a good life and he would probably make your own life hard.

      When you describe a small, low shedding dog that does not bark much, a French Bulldog comes to mind, but again I am not sure how he is going to take the excessive isolation. If you do get a dog, make sure it is from a reputable breeder that would be willing to take the dog back if he does not fit into your household.

    • profile image

      Denise 

      20 months ago

      Help me find a perfect breed! I am moving to a condo and am limited to a max of 20 lbs. I prefer a low shedding dog as I do have mild allergies. I prefer a dog that doesn't bark a lot and does not require professional grooming other than baths and brushing at home, so a shorthaired dog. The dog would be home for at least 8 hours a day M-F and I cannot go home during lunch. The dog would be kept in a small room (not a crate) with a dog bed, water and toys until I get home. Would be walked before and after work and get to go to the dog park and sometimes the beach on weekends. On occasion, the dog may even get to go to work with me, when I know I'll be working late.

    • profile image

      Amy 

      20 months ago

      Hello... I have a 3 year old Newfie who is the darling of our family. I am looking to add another dog to our home. I was thinking an Irish Wolfhound or Bernese Mtn dog, so the size will be comparable to my Newfie. I am an arborist, so my dog goes to work with me. We spend a alot of time in the woods. Therefore I need to choose a breed that not only gets along with the Newfie, but likes to hike and be outdoors. They also need to be trainable for more than just sit and come since I do take them to work with me. Any suggestions?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Maria, there are several breeds of dogs that are good with cats and also do okay if there owners are at work during the day. Here is an article on the dog breeds that do well with cats:

      https://pethelpful.com/dogs/five-dog-breeds-that-l...

      With your husbands mild allergies, I think the Maltese is a good choice.

    • profile image

      Maria 

      20 months ago

      We are now able to have pets at home and we'd like a cat and a dog. Do you think it's a good idea? We both work and my husband is mildly allergic (we prefer non shedding). Which breeds would you recommend? Thank you so much!

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Chloe, any dog can have separation anxiety, but Maltese are not one of the breeds that are affected often, like the Weimarainer or the Vizsla.

      If your dog does whine a lot when you leave, would you consider getting a cat to keep him company?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Emma, not sure what you mean by 6 weeks. Any of the dogs on this list are okay, but you would be much better off adopting an adult dog that already gets along with cats.

    • profile image

      Emma 

      20 months ago

      I really want a small, non shedding dog that could be left alone almost all day, with me visiting at lunch to let it have a run around on some days. On weekends, the dog could have plenty of company from my husband and children. We already have cats in the house, but my teenage children say that they would be more motivated to do exercise if there were a dog to accompany them. We were were thinking of adopting at the start of the summer holidays - would a dog be able to settle in enough over 6 weeks? And which breed would you recommend?

    • profile image

      chloe 

      20 months ago

      I'm looking for a maltese pup but i got school and will be gone for 8 hours but it says that they have separation anxiety but on this it says there fine to be left alone.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Samantha, do your best to adopt an adult dog! A young dog cannot hold urine for that long, so a retired racing greyhound would be a great choice.

      Would your boyfriend be able to take the dog to work with him? It will be a lot more fun for the dog, since he would get to interact with a lot of other people, and when he is out on calls a dog like a retired racing greyhound would go into a crate and stay quietly waiting.

      When you are off, of course, the dog will be a great companion at home!

    • profile image

      Samantha 

      20 months ago

      Hi, my boyfriend and I are considering adopting a dog. However, my boyfriend is a fireman who works 24 hour shifts 10 (or more days a month) and I'm a dispatcher who works 12 hour shifts approximately 15 days a month. I work nights, so basically we'd need a dog that would be ok on its own overnight. Do you have any suggestions? We're not planning on adopting at this exact moment I need time but planning to adopt in the not so distant future.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      21 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      The Shar Pei and Basset Hound are both excellent choices, Diva, it just depends on what kind of dog you are looking for. I like the look of the Shar Pei, but make sure you hang out with a few and make sure the bristly coat is not going to irritate your skin before you bring a dog home.

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