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Top Dog Breeds For Busy Owners: Can Be Left Alone Longer

by Dan Turner

Finding the right dog breed that suits your lifestyle is crucial, especially if you’re often away from home. It’s a common misconception that all dogs demand constant companionship, but that’s not always the case. Some breeds are more independent by nature, making them perfect for those with demanding jobs or hectic schedules.

I’ve delved into the world of canines to uncover which breeds thrive when they have a bit of alone time. Whether you’re a busy bee or just need a furry friend that’s a bit more self-sufficient, knowing which dogs can handle being alone for longer periods can be a game-changer in making your decision.

Independent Dog Breeds

When I dove into the world of dogs, I realized not all pups are clingy; some cherish their solitude as much as we do. This discovery was a game-changer for me, and it might just be for you too, especially if your schedule keeps you out and about. Let’s gab about a few breeds that are perfectly content doing their own thing for longer stretches.


First up, Greyhounds. You might think these speedsters are high-maintenance, but you’d be surprised. They’re professional loungers. A few brisk walks and they’re good to sprawl on the couch, dreaming of their racing days.


Next on the list are the Basenjis. Known as the “barkless dog,” they bring peace and quiet to the table. They’re incredibly independent, but don’t be fooled—they need their exercise to burn off that stealthy energy.

Shiba Inu

Ah, the Shiba Inu. These pups have a cat-like demeanor, meaning they love their independence. They might throw you a judgmental look now and then, but it’s all in good fun. They’re affectionate on their terms, which is perfect for someone not always home.

Basset Hounds

Basset Hounds; don’t let those sad eyes fool you. They’re as laid-back as they come. A cozy bed and they’re in hibernation mode, only stirring for food or a leisurely saunter outside.


Finally, we can’t forget about Bullmastiffs. They might look intimidating, but all they really want is a comfy spot to nap. Sure, they love a good pat, but they won’t be following you around begging for attention.

Finding the right dog for your lifestyle is crucial, and if you’re often away, these breeds might just be the perfect match. They require love and care, like any pet, but they’re also fine with some alone time. Whether you’re a busy bee or just treasure your quiet moments, these independent breeds understand the assignment. They show us that companionship doesn’t always mean being side by side 24/7; sometimes, it’s about the quality of moments shared, no matter how brief.

Characteristics of Independent Dog Breeds

As someone who’s delved deep into the world of dogs, I’ve come to appreciate the quirks and charms of various breeds. Especially intriguing are those independent spirits—the dog breeds that don’t always need us hovering around.

Let’s talk about what sets these independent breeds apart. First off, they’re not the clingy type. While your lapdog might whimper the second you step out of the room, independent breeds find solace in their own company. That’s not to say they don’t love us—they just don’t need constant attention to feel content.


  • Creativity in play: Independent dog breeds often come up with their own games. Whether it’s a solo soccer match with their favorite ball or a detailed exploration of the backyard, they know how to keep themselves amused.
  • Peaceful alone time: They’re also champions of peace and quiet. While some dogs might bark or destroy furniture out of boredom or anxiety, these breeds are more likely to take a calm nap.

Moderate to Low Separation Anxiety

It’s common to worry about leaving a dog alone too long, considering the risk of separation anxiety. But, independent breeds typically handle solitude much better than others. This doesn’t mean they’re immune to loneliness, but they’re certainly more adaptable, showing:

  • Lower levels of distress when alone
  • Less destructive behavior

Training and Socialization

Though they’re independent, these breeds still benefit greatly from early training and socialization. Teaching them basic commands and how to interact with others helps in managing their independent streak. Independence shouldn’t be mistaken for stubbornness, but it’s true these dogs might prefer making their own decisions over following commands blindly. Hence, a gentle yet firm approach works best.

Exercise Needs

Just because they’re good at entertaining themselves doesn’t mean they can be left to their own devices all day. Regular exercise is vital for:

  • Keeping them physically healthy
  • Preventing boredom
  • Strengthening your bond with them

Independent Breeds to Consider

For those curious about welcoming an independent dog into their home, here are a few breeds famous for their self-sufficient nature:

  • Greyhounds
  • Basenjis
  • Shiba Inus
  • Basset Hounds
  • Bullmastiffs

In essence, independent dog breeds offer a unique companionship.

Training Tips for Independent Dogs

Managing independent dog breeds requires a mix of patience, understanding, and a sprinkle of creativity. These breeds thrive on their terms, but that doesn’t mean training should be overlooked. In fact, it can be a fun challenge that strengthens your bond.

First and foremost, it’s crucial to lean into positive reinforcement. Independent breeds don’t just want treats; they need to know why they’re getting them.

  • Make training a game.
  • Keep sessions short and sweet.
  • Celebrate their successes, no matter how small.

Remember, patience is your best friend here. Results won’t appear overnight, but consistency is key.

Another tactic that works wonders is incorporating training into everyday life. This method helps reinforce good behaviors without making training seem like a chore. For example:

  • Ask for a sit before meals.
  • Practice stay when you’re stepping out for a moment.
  • Use walks as opportunities to work on leash manners.

Exercise is often the unsung hero of successful training, especially with independent breeds. These dogs tend to have energy in spades, and a tired dog is a more focused and malleable learner. Some effective strategies to tire them out include:

  • Long walks or hikes
  • Fetch games
  • Puzzle toys

Socialization shouldn’t take a backseat, either. While independent dogs cherish their alone time, exposure to different sights, sounds, and experiences makes them well-rounded. Aim for controlled, positive encounters with other dogs, people, and environments.

And perhaps the most important piece of advice I’ve discovered is to respect their independence. These dogs won’t cling to you for attention, but they’ll come to you when they’re ready. Pushing them too hard can backfire. Instead, appreciate their self-sufficient nature while gently guiding them with training.

Every independent dog has its quirks, making this journey uniquely rewarding. They teach us that sometimes, stepping back and letting them explore is the best way to move forward together. Keeping training fun, engaging, and part of your daily routine ensures that your independent canine companion can enjoy the freedom they crave while staying well-behaved and happy.

Top Dog Breeds for Being Left Alone

Selecting a pup that can handle a bit more alone time is key for those of us with busy schedules. Let’s jump into some breeds that are just fantastic at entertaining themselves and won’t have a meltdown when you’re out and about.

The Independent Thinkers

First up, Greyhounds. Even though their reputation as racing dogs, these couch potatoes love lounging for hours. They’re surprisingly low-energy indoors and perfectly content waiting for you to come back from your daily grind.

Basset Hounds are next. They’ve got a laid-back attitude that’s hard to match. With their leisurely approach to life, they’re more than happy to snooze the day away until you return. Plus, their melodramatic expressions when you leave will have you chuckling.

The Quiet Companions

Shiba Inu stand out for their independence. Originally bred for hunting, they’re now pros at keeping themselves occupied. Although they might give you a skeptical look as you head out, rest assured, they’re fine doing their thing.

French Bulldogs make the list for their easygoing nature. They don’t demand much – a comfy spot on the couch is about all they ask for. Their snort-filled snores are a sign they’re coping just fine without constant attention.

The Adaptable Breeds

Chihuahuas might be small, but they’re mighty in spirit. These tiny companions are great at adapting to your lifestyle, happily tagging along in your tote or waiting patiently at home. They’re like your pocket-sized cheer squad, always ready to celebrate your return.

Labrador Retrievers might be a surprise entry, given their social nature, but they’re incredibly adaptable and can learn to enjoy some solitude. All they need are some good chew toys, and they’ll wait out your absence with grace.

Key Considerations

When choosing a dog that can handle longer periods alone, it’s crucial to:

  • Provide ample exercise before you leave.
  • Ensure they have access to water and their favorite toys.
  • Consider crate training for comfort and security.
  • Regularly check in or have someone drop by, if possible.

Small Dog Breeds for Independent Owners

When picking a dog, many factors come into play, but for those of us who juggle busy lifestyles yet yearn for the companionship of a furry friend, certain small dog breeds stand out. These breeds blend seamlessly into the independent owner’s lifestyle, providing affection without demanding constant attention.

Chihuahuas, the tiniest of companions, boast a big personality in a small package. Contrary to what some might think, they’re quite content spending time alone, often finding the sunniest spot in the house for a nap. Their compact size and minimal exercise needs make them ideal for small living spaces and less frequent walks.

Next up, French Bulldogs—a breed that’s stolen hearts with their expressive eyes and comical personalities. Their laid-back nature makes them perfect for individuals who can’t always be home. Frenchies require minimal grooming and exercise, making them superb companions for the less active, or for city dwellers. But, it’s important to note they do appreciate a good cuddle session when you are home.

Boston Terriers, commonly referred to as ‘The American Gentleman’ for their tuxedo-like markings, are another breed that fits well with independent lifestyles. They’re sociable but also value their alone time, making them a breeze to care for. Boston Terriers are adaptable, getting along well in various settings and scenarios, from apartments to sprawling country homes.

For those considering adopting a small dog, here are some tips to ensure they stay happy while you’re away:

  • Interactive Toys: Keep their minds stimulated with toys that challenge them.
  • Comfortable Space: Ensure they have a cozy area they can call their own.
  • Security Measures: Safety first—ensure your home is secure to prevent any escape artists from getting out.
  • Routine: Establishing a consistent routine helps them feel secure and manage their alone time better.

By choosing one of these breeds and following these simple tips, you’ll find that having a canine companion and maintaining an independent lifestyle are not mutually exclusive. These breeds not only adapt well to downtime but also cherish the moments you spend together, making them the perfect choice for those balancing a busy life with the joy of dog ownership.


Choosing the right dog breed can make a world of difference for those of us with a go-getter lifestyle. Chihuahuas, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers are perfect companions that don’t mind a bit of alone time. They’re like the cool, independent friend who’s happy to catch up when you’re both free but doesn’t need constant attention. Remember, a happy dog is all about the quality of time you spend together, not just the quantity. So if you’re often out and about, consider one of these adaptable breeds. With the right setup and a bit of love, you’ll have a furry friend that’s as self-sufficient as you are. Let’s not forget, it’s all about finding that perfect match that complements our lifestyle while ensuring our pets are happy and well-cared for.


Dan Turner

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