Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone for 8 Hours
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If you are looking for a dog which can be left on their own for a long time and doesn't need contact with their guardian, they don't exist. All companion dogs need their tutors for education, stimulation, exercise, fun and much more. If we are unable to provide this, we should reconsider adopting a dog. However, even though dog care is an important responsibility, we also have other responsibilities to meet. Work is a common issue for many of us. We need to leave the house for periods to go to the office, factory or wherever we need to be to make money. Although no dog should be left alone for much more than 8 hours at a time, sometimes we need to leave our animal home alone.
At AnimalWised, we share 12 dog breeds that can be left alone for 8 hours. These are breeds which are generally seen as being more independent and better able to tolerate longer periods home alone. This does not mean they can be neglected or isolated without stimulation. They need environmental enrichment when we are not there and plenty of attention when we are. Only this way can we prevent insecurity and behavioral problems in any dog.
1. Lhasa Apso
Due to their small size and independent temperament, the Lhasa Apso is one of the best dog breeds for those who live in an apartment and need to spend several hours away from home. Although they are adorable and similar in stature to certain lapdog breeds, the Lhasa Apso is not a lapdog. These furry Tibetan natives are strong in character and have great courage.
The Lhasa Apso is an ancient dog breed that was historically used to guard temples and alert monks of danger. For this reason, the Lhasa Apso needs to be well socialized from the time they are a puppy and we need to prevent unwanted behaviors associated with territoriality. This will also work towards better integration with other individuals.
2. Chow Chow
Speaking of ancient dog breeds, the Chow Chow is another of the oldest dog breeds and is known as the ‘Chinese lion dog’. Although they are a dog that looks like a teddy bear, they are graceful, loyal and relatively independent. Age is not the only similarity between this breed and the Lhasa Apso. Chow Chows were also used as guard dogs and early socialization is equally key.
Although they can be very affectionate animals, the Chow Chow is also known to be a little stubborn and somewhat difficult to train. For all their cuddliness, this is a dog breed that can be left alone, but they need an experienced owner when they are in company.
Our next dog which can be left alone for 8 hours is the Basenji, a truly unique breed originating on the African continent. They were highly valued for their willingness to work and a great hunting instinct, traits which can complicate their care in the domestic environment.
Although independent, the Basenji is a very active dog which needs plenty of stimulation. When they are left home alone while we work, they will need lots of toys, intelligence games and other forms of environmental enrichment to be happy. If we do not, they can become problematic and even spend hours using their idiosyncratic yodeling howl to show their distress.
Learn more about the Basenji and other dogs from the North of Africa with our guide to different Egyptian dog breeds.
4. Shar Pei
You may have noticed that, so far, our list of dog breeds that can be left alone contains a couple of native Asian dog breeds. The Shar Pei also falls into this category. They have a naturally calm and independent behavior, helping to manage feelings of loneliness and lessening the predisposition toward issues such as separation anxiety in dogs. However, they are also known for their stubbornness and strong character, so they need a lot of patience.
Shar Pei dogs can be wonderful companions when they are properly socialized and trained. They can reward our efforts with plenty of love and affection, so check out our article on training a Shar Pei to learn more.
5. Basset Hound
These dogs are known for their doleful appearance and hangdog ears. A dog breed of French origin, the Basset Hound is independent, but also very stubborn. They can be difficult to train, but fortunately their calm nature means they do not usually cause too much disruption. They do need plenty of socialization and positive reinforcement to reduce the potential of behavioral problems.
If you are thinking of adopting a member of this breed, we recommend you take into account that there are several diseases common to the Basset Hound. These include skin disorders, joint problems and eye issues. If we have an older or otherwise infirmed Basset Hound, we need to ensure we safeguard their health when left home alone.
These little Mexican dogs are so popular around the world that they need no introduction. Despite the fact many consider them lapdogs, the Chihuahua is a fiercely brave and loyal dog with a courageous and intrepid temperament. They require early socialization to avoid problems such as jealousy or possessiveness.
Due to their low muscle density and morphology, Chihuahuas are more prone to problems with the cold. This means we need to leave them alone in an environment with plenty of opportunity to stay warm. Equally, we will need to have places they can keep cool on very hot days. They also have issues regulating blood sugar, so we need to ensure they have their dietary needs covered to avoid episodes of hypoglycemia.
Another highly recommended companion for those looking for dog breeds that can be left alone, the Pekingese is known as a good apartment dog breed. They are also a Chinese breed where they were once revered by Buddhist monks and welcomed as members of Asian royalty.
These toy dog breeds also look like little lions. They are similarly brave and establish a very strong bond of loyalty with their guardians. They are so alert and protective of their family, they can be a little wary around strangers. Once again, this requires plenty of early socialization for dogs, especially around other dogs and spaces. When leaving this dog home along for 8 hours, you will need to bear in mind their issues with territoriality.
There are currently three types of Schnauzer dog breeds that are officially recognized:
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Standard Schnauzer
- Giant Schnauzer
In addition to being the largest, the Giant Schnauzer is also the one with the most independent temperament. They have been used as a working dog, whether guarding various properties or even being employed during WWII as military dogs. They need proper handling and positive reinforcement, but are capable of learning a wide variety of obedience commands, tasks and tricks.
The medium-sized Standard Schnauzer had been the most popular for many decades (until the creation of the Miniature Schnauzer, which is even more popular today). Originally, these mustachioed dogs have been trained to hunt small rodents and fulfill a surveillance role in rural settings. Subsequently, they have gained some notoriety as a sitter dog and their transition to urban centers has been very successful, especially as a companion animal.
Finally, we have the Miniature Schnauzer, which is today one of the most popular companion dogs in the world. Their small size is a significant advantage for those who live in small apartments. Their character is somewhat sweeter and less independent than their Schnauzer brothers, but they are still dogs that can be left alone for 8 hours.
11. Shiba Inu
The Shiba Inu is considered one of the most independent dog breeds and one that best manages loneliness. This can only happen when living in a positive and enriched environment. At first glance, these dogs are similar to the Akita Inu, with which they are related and share their country of origin (Japan). Physically, the Shiba Inu has a smaller size, a more pointed snout and a more slender body, while the Akita Inu is quite robust and imposing.
If we focus on the behavioral characteristics, we also find important differences between the Shiba Inu and the Akita Inu. Although both are independent and do not bark much, the Shiba Inu is much more playful and sociable than the Akita. The latter tends to be more suspicious, shy and even somewhat unpredictable. Although both must be properly socialized, the Shiba Inu is a much more recommended dog for families with children and/or other animals.
Greyhounds are a type of sighthound breed of which there are many variations. Although they share distinctive morphological traits, they can be very different in terms of behaviors and character traits. Of course, this does not factor in the characteristics of the individual which are most important. We can use their breed to help influence our choice of adoption since the Greyhound is dog you can leave home alone.
The main reason why we include greyhounds among the breeds of dogs that can be left alone is their naturally calm and very docile temperament. This does not mean they don't appreciate human company. They will be very happy when you do arrive back home from work. Although they need plenty of exercise, when they are not outside, they can happily spend long periods on the couch chilling with whoever is around.
Another great advantage of adopting a greyhound is that you can help one of the many dogs of this breed that have been abandoned when they are no longer viable racing dogs. For this reason, there are specialized adoption centers which will help adapt these dogs to their new domestic environments.
Perhaps the most appropriate way to describe this very fluffy dog breed is ‘well balanced’. They have both the looks and heart of a teddy bear since they are one of the most loyal, affectionate and happy dog breeds you could ever encounter. They enjoy human company, but they can spend long periods on their own as long as they are in a suitably enriched environment.
The Samoyed is a wonderful dog for children, being very patient and tolerant of play. They can manage loneliness, but only when they have the right level of education. Fortunately, they are very intelligent and will respond well to training. Beyond walking 3 times per day, they will need to play intelligence games regularly and learning tricks can help them to be appropriately cognitively stimulated.
Learn more about the Samoyed on our list of dog breeds that look like wolves.
14. Great Dane
For lovers of giant and calm dogs, the Great Dane can be the perfect companion. This will be as long as you have sufficient space at home. Although very large and in need of exercise like any dog, the Great Dane is a relatively calm dog that will spend most of the day chilling. This doesn't mean they aren't a dog that can suffer from separation anxiety. It does mean with enough environmental enrichment for dogs, they can be happy on their own for a while.
It is essential to know that the Great Dane needs regular moderate exercise, so it is recommended to take at least three daily walks. In addition, it must be taken into account that the possession of a Great Dane demands a significant economic investment both for its food and basic resources. Preventive medicine is also important since it is a breed with a genetic predisposition to various diseases, such as hip dysplasia and cardiomyopathy.
15+. Mixed breed dogs
While this article brings you the best options for breeds that can be left alone for long periods, it is important to know that breed is not the most important factor. How we take care of them and what sort of education we provide is of the utmost importance. In this context, we can see that a mixed-breed dog can be the best companion for those of us who need to leave the house for 8 hours.
Adopting a mixed-breed dog has many advantages, one of which is that you are most likely to find a companion to suit your specific needs. This is partly because with a mixed-breed dog we don't have breed expectations. We need to get to know them as an individual dog and work to understand their specific needs.
In addition, you will be delighted to know that their high genetic diversity means mixed- breed dogs have a lower predisposition to suffer most hereditary diseases that affect canine breeds. For this reason, mixed-breeds are considered to be among the healthiest dogs. When they receive essential care to preserve their physical and mental well-being, they can enjoy a privileged life expectancy of up to 16 or 18 years.
Now you know the dog breeds which can be left alone, you should know that some dogs have a harder time when we are away. Learn what they are with our guide to the dogs most prone to separation anxiety.
You can also learn more about what to do when you have to leave the home for any reason by checking out our video below on how to entertain a dog when they are home alone:
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