The Best Dog Breeds for People Who Work All Day

Unless you’re lucky enough to work from home or not work at all, chances are you’ll need to leave your four-legged friend alone for large portions of the day.

Even if you don’t work but you have an active social calendar or volunteering schedule, you may want to opt for a dog who won’t mind entertaining himself while you’re gone. Some breeds are well-suited to being left home alone while others are likely to get into mischief as a way of telling you they’re bored, anxious, or lonely. Breeds such as Jack Russell Terriers and German Shepherds are especially prone to separation anxiety and don’t make great pets for people who are gone all the time.

Puppies need a lot more supervision than adult dogs. But even all grown up, the breed of dog makes a difference. Read on to discover which dogs won’t mind staying home while you’re gone all day.

1. Chihuahua

Tiny Chihuahuas are one of the smallest and longest living dogs on the list. Standing five to eight inches tall and weighing three to six pounds on average, these petite pooches don’t mind spending their days in relative solitude, as long as you have plenty of cuddles ready when you get home. They can live as long as 18 years.

Their tiny stature makes them perfect for apartment dwellers, and they’re also a top-rated watchdog, ready to alert you to intruders in an instant.

Next: This breed is a champion napper.

2. Basset Hound

Home alone or not, your Basset Hound just wants to take a nap followed by another nap. This family friendly, kid-loving breed was originally bred for hunting small game but that’s not all he’s good at. He’s also a champion couch sitter.

Classified as a lazy breed, the Basset Hound will remain calm while you’re away for the day, especially as he gets older. These short-statured pups live up to twelve years and can weigh up to 65 pounds.

Next: Pick this breed if you love fluffy cuddles.

3. Maltese

Maltese dog in winter outdoors
Maltese dog |

The Maltese has a fluffy white coat, but he’s surprisingly hypoallergenic and won’t shed too much, making him a great option for allergy sufferers. His small stature makes him perfect for anyone with a small apartment.

While some can suffer from separation anxiety, on the whole these companion dogs will be just fine while you’re at work. Just prepare for an epic reunion when you get home, as this breeed prefers companionship and snuggles to just about anything in the world.

Next: When he’s not sprinting, he’s napping.

4. Greyhound

Portrait of a female Italian Greyhound dog in a home setting.
Italian greyhound | Rauluminate/iStock/Getty Images

This ancient breed hails from Egypt, and fans include famous historical figures such as Queen Elizabeth I. But it’s not just royalty who can benefit from loving a Greyhound. Gentle, loyal, and affectionate, these friendly dogs will win any race, but mostly they just love to nap on a soft bed. They do well in small homes or even apartments and they don’t mind being left alone all day.

Next: This dog is content to hang out by himself.

5. Whippet

The Whippet, sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s Greyhound,” has some similar characteristics to the stereotypical racing breed. Whippets are great with kids and are generally very friendly when they’re properly socialized. They’re also quick, but in short bursts, meaning they’re fine when left alone all day. Ranging in weight from 18 to 48 pounds and standing one-and-a-half feet tall, these sleek, sophisticated dogs make a great companion for full-time workers.

Next: This wrinkly dog won’t mind it when you need to work.

6. Shar Pei

Shar Pei dog
They can handle being alone. | Victoria Photography

When you think “Shar Pei,” you probably picture all those adorable folds of skin that are so characteristic of the breed. But did you also know that Shar Peis can survive long periods of the day on their own?

This breed is not great for novice owners, and proper training is imperative. You’ll need to establish yourself as the one in charge or else a smart Shar Pei will walk all over you. But once you show him who’s boss, this pup will be just fine managing the household in your absence.

Next: He’ll fit right in with your family.

7. French Bulldog

Like so many other dogs on the list, the French Bulldog is considered a companion dog and makes a great addition to your family.

His medium size makes him ideal for apartments and small homes. He’s only eleven inches tall and between 16 and 28 pounds with those characteristic giant ears. A Frenchie is very good at relaxing and doesn’t mind spending the day snoozing while he waits for you to get home from work. A couple of short walks per day is plenty to keep your Frenchie healthy and happy.

Next: This giant dog loves to laze around.

8. Bullmastiff

Not all dogs on the list are petite. The Bullmastiff stands an impressive two feet tall and can weigh from 100 to 130 pounds. These muscular, powerful guard dogs are surprisingly mellow, and they don’t need a whole lot of attention or exercise. Your Bullmastiff doesn’t mind lounging around the house waiting for you to get home from your shift.

These are also fantastic family dogs because they’re great with kids and affectionate. Their brute-like appearance is enough to scare off would-be intruders, but deep down you’ll know your tough looking dog is a big old softie.

Next: This smart dog is active yet calm.

9. Boston Terrier

Boston terrier
They’re a family-friendly breed. | Studio-laska/iStock/Getty Images

It seems strange that this sweet, good-natured dog breed was originally bred for fighting. These intelligent and lovable dogs are great with kids and love their families fiercely. They’re prone to short spurts of activity, but overall they don’t mind hanging out around the house relaxing, making them a good choice for anyone who works long hours.

Next: Save this breed a spot on the couch.

10. Irish Wolfhound

As long as you have the space, an Irish wolfhound will be happy to stay there a while. | Bigandt_Photography/Getty

The gigantic Irish Wolfhound stands almost three feet tall and can weigh close to 200 pounds, but there’s no need to fear this gentle giant. He’s an all-around genial dog who will get along with everyone in the family, including small children. His size alone means he’s not well-suited to apartment living, but as far as living situations go, he’s perfectly happy to lounge on the couch all day while you’re working.

An Irish Wolfhound only lives six to eight years, so be warned that if you’re looking for a long-term companion, this is not the dog for you.

Next: This breed lives for up to 20 years.

11. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apsos come from Tibet originally. These small yet regal dogs have flowing manes and calm temperaments, loyally protecting their human families and getting along well with kids. He also lives for up to twenty years.

Like many other small dogs, this breed does just fine in an apartment setting and doesn’t mind being left home for hours at a time. Like a cat, he likes doing his own thing, which is why proper training is very important. But once you establish the rules, he’s sure to follow them.

Next: This is one of the most popular breeds in three countries.

12. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature schnauzer lying on the grass
This breed will give you lots of love when you get home. |

Smart, adorable, good-natured, and with tons of personality, the Miniature Schnauzer is the full package. He’s also one of the most popular breeds in the United States, England, and Germany.

While your Miniature Schnauzer does need daily exercise, he’s not overly active and does well with full-time working families. This loyal breed is great with kids and loves becoming part of a family. He’ll save up affection all day and give you plenty of puppy kisses when you get home.

Next: You’ll need to invest in tiny sweaters with this breed.

13. Dachshund

This breed is perfect for apartment dwellers or anyone lacking yard space because he doesn’t need a ton of exercise. Dachshunds, also called wiener dogs for their unique stature, are a popular dog breed that loves to play and have fun. They’re only eight to nine inches tall but can weigh up to 32 pounds. Doxies can live for 15 years and they’ll delight you for every single one.

Plus, it’s recommended that you put your Dachshund in a sweater when it’s cold out. How adorable is that?

Next: He’s a big dog in a small package.

14. Norfolk Terrier

Make sure these guys have lots of toys to keep them busy. | CaptureLight/iStock/Getty Images Plus

The Norfolk Terrier is upbeat and outgoing, making him a “big dog in a small package.” He’s great for families and generally doesn’t mind being left alone for long periods, provided he has plenty of toys to play with and a nice comfy place to curl up and nap. Like other terriers, he has a lot of energy to expend when you do get home, so consider researching local dog parks as a nice evening or weekend treat for your pup.

Next: This stately breed hails from China.

15. Chow Chow

He’s not a dog you see every day, but he’s definitely worth your attention. Like cats, the Chow Chow breed is aloof and independent, and he won’t want a ton of attention from you. They are intensely loyal to their family and need to be well-socialized from an early age. They do well in apartments since they don’t need a ton of exercise, but you should try to take him on a walk at least once per day.

Read more: 15 of the Most Popular Dog Breeds in America

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