It’s true to say that dogs are truly a man’s (or woman’s) best friend and no-one can deny the unbreakable bond we often have with our canine friend.
They rely on us as much as we rely on them and they love nothing more than be in your presence.It’s a fact of life, that we as humans, can’t always be at home all the time and there will be times when your dog will need to stay home alone.
Some dog parents are home a fair amount of time to keep their canine friend company, however, the majority of us need to go out to work and therefore are away from home for long periods. Some breeds of dogs deal with being left alone with ease, whilst others find it very difficult to be apart from their trusty human and this can be heart-breaking to watch.
Some important questions about dog breeds that can be left alone for long periods
If you are looking to take your first steps into dog ownership there are some important questions you may need to ask yourself in advance:
What breed of dog am I looking for?
How much time do I realistically spend at home each day?
If I will not be at home for long periods, will the dog I am looking to buy be a dog that can be alone for long periods on their own?
How Do I Know If My Dog Doesn’t Like Being left Alone?
As you are well aware dogs communicate in a completely different way to humans and sometimes loneliness can be difficult to diagnose. More often than not, dogs show their loneliness through some not so obvious actions and it is our responsibility as owners to identify these behaviours. Some behaviours of a lonely dog could be:
- Barking and howling in your absence (your neighbours will hear this)
- Your pet won’t leave you alone and follows you everywhere when you are at home
- Destructive behaviour
- Loss of appetite
- Sleeping more than normal during the daytime
- Lick granulomas – Hair loss and sores on the skin
- Your dog isn’t as playful
The behaviours listed above, are usually the most common, however, you may see other types of behaviours with your dog that suggest they may be feeling lonely.
Dog breeds that can’t be left alone for long periods
As mentioned previously, not all dogs experience loneliness and some are more than happy to stay at home on their own playing with toys and having lots of doggy naps. The breed of your dog can make a massive difference to how lonely they will become if you are away from home a lot.
Check out our list of breeds below that tend to not be as lonely by themselves and can be left for longer periods on their own.
The Basset Hound is a medium-sized dog that tends to have a low energy level and can quite often be the ‘sleepy sort’. They don’t require as much exercise as some other breeds and will usually be most happy lazing around in the home or garden all day until you get home from work.
Basset Hounds can also be prone to obesity which contributes to their laid back character. This does mean that you have to take particular attention to their activity level when you are at home.
The French Bulldog
The French Bulldog is a small breed that requires a medium level of exercise. They are a friendly type of dog that is ideal for the whole family.
They love attention and love to be in your presence when you are at home, but they do not require long runs or excessive exercise. They are just as happy curling up and having a nap if there is nothing else to do.
The French Bulldog is known for their lack of barking so you have no fear of them howling and annoying your neighbours.
Surprisingly Greyhounds cope very well on their own. You would expect them to need constant exercise and stimulation for such a big breed, but the truth of the fact is, these guys are just couch potatoes in general.
Many Greyhounds who have at one point been in racing are successfully rehomed. During their racing days, they would have likely spent a big proportion of their lives living in crates so lazing around in your living room will be no problem!
Greyhounds are a pretty adaptable breed, but always make sure you spend lots of time with them when you are at home and go for lots of walks to keep them well exercised and entertained.
The Maltese otherwise known as the ‘little slacker’ is more than happy to sit around all day doing absolutely nothing! They are a small breed of dog, with relatively low energy levels and exhibit an easy-going, mellow attitude to life. They are definitely not the type of dog to get bored and start tearing up your home or furniture out of boredom.
The Maltese are also known to be great with cats so if you are also a kitty lover, you have the peace of mind knowing that both your babies are at home together keeping each other company. But Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to spend with your Maltese when you get home and have to do all that grooming!
The Bull Mastiff is a large breed of dog with a relatively low energy level. They are a kind and gentle breed of dog that are known for their size and speed. They also don’t bark often so are unlikely to be too vocal whilst you are not around.
Bull Mastiffs can be quite sensitive dogs, but they can also be very independent too. This is an ideal trait if you are in the unfortunate situation of having to leave your dog for long periods of time. They are capable of being self-reliant and are very loyal guard dogs. You do however need to make sure training is in place early on with this breed because ‘independent’ can turn in to ‘doing their own thing’ which can cause additional behaviour problems.
The Chihuahua is a tiny breed of dog that is known for a touch of aggression and little doggy syndrome. They love nothing more from their owner than a cuddle and a fuss but are quite happy to snooze at home all day and wait for you to get home. Cuddling up and getting cosy is what they do best!
Chihuahua’s are reasonably well socialized and do very well in pairs so if your pooch doesn’t have another companion at home, make sure when you go out to the park that your Chihuahua gets enough time to interact with other dogs.
What Should I Do To Prevent My Dog From Becoming Lonely?
If you feel like your dog may be getting lonely, there are some things you can do to try and rectify this. Sometimes dogs just need a little more stimulation to get them through the day, especially if they suffer from boredom.
- Keep them active with plenty of toys to play with to keep your pooch busy and distracted.
- Exercise your dog before you leave for work to tire them out.
- Put on the TV or some music which can be highly soothing to some canines.
- Get him or her a sibling. They can keep each other company whilst you are not at home.
- Go home during your lunch break for a check-in.
- Work with an animal behaviourist.
- Hire a Pet Sitter.
- Give your dog the ability to look outside so they can see what is going on in the world around them.
- Invest in a doggy door that leads into your secure back garden. Your dog can come and go as they please, allowing them to exercise on their own terms and let off some steam.
Leaving some breeds of dog at home for long periods of time doesn’t always work well and if you are considering purchasing a dog it is wise to consider how much time you will be able to dedicate to their needs. Some dog breeds cope very well on their own, but some other breeds, like the ones we mentioned above, can become very lonely and this must be taken into consideration.
If you are at all worried about your dog’s behaviour and feel like this may be due to loneliness, it is always advisable to speak to a professional, such as a qualified vet. They likely know your dog well and will be able to advise accordingly.