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11 Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone: Vet-Verified Facts & Temperament

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Nicole Cosgrove

brown and white short coated dog lying on white floor Akita Dog

11 Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone: Vet-Verified Facts & Temperament


Dr. Amanda Charles Photo


Dr. Amanda Charles

BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and different purebred dogs have distinct temperaments. Some dogs are known to be social butterflies that can’t stand being by themselves, while other dogs don’t mind some alone time.

While no dog should be left alone for the majority of the day, certain dog breeds can adapt to living with humans with busier lifestyles. Here are some independent dog breeds that might be the perfect pet for you.

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How Are Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone Classified?

A dog’s ability to be left alone will depend on their age, temperament and overall health. Most adult dogs can be left alone for 4-6 hours at a time, but some dogs adapt to being left for up to 8 hours a day if they have sufficient space to move around and play. We can’t stress enough that dogs are companion animals that can’t be left alone consistently for long hours. All dogs need human care and companionship, no matter how reserved they may be.

With that being said, some dog breeds do better with being left alone than others. The dog breeds on our list are known to have independent or more introverted personalities. They don’t usually need people to have fun and often enjoy playing by themselves or doing their own thing. Many of the dogs on our list also have moderate to low energy levels. They don’t require as much exercise, and they probably won’t tear up your house out of boredom while you’re away.

The 11 Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone

1. Greyhound

brindle greyhound dog standing in flower field
Image Credit: Natallia Yaumenenka, Shutterstock
Height: 27–30 inches
Weight: 60–70 pounds
Temperament: Calm, gentle, relaxed

Despite having a reputation for being the fastest dog in the world, Greyhounds are actually quite gentle and have moderate exercise needs. They often have short bursts of energy throughout the day and prefer lounging around after a leisurely walk around the neighborhood.

Greyhounds don’t tend to be needy and are quite easygoing. They’ll enjoy snuggling with their favorite people and also don’t mind playing on their own.

2. Chow Chow

chow chow dog standing in the garden
Image Credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock
Height: 17–20 inches
Weight: 40–70 pounds
Temperament: Dignified, loyal, aloof

Chow Chows are known for their independent personalities. They tend to have a mind of their own and are often recommended for experienced dog owners because they can be a bit more challenging to train.

Most Chow Chows are happy with alone time, and they’re independent thinkers. They can act aloof towards strangers, but they’re by no means an unaffectionate breed. They’re highly loyal to their families and just like to show their affection in their own subtle ways.

3. Shar Pei

Young male purebred brown color Shar Pei
Image Credit: Marcelino Pozo Ruiz, Shutterstock
Height: 18–20 inches
Weight: 40–60 pounds
Temperament: Loyal, protective, confident

Shar Peis were originally bred to be guard dogs and working dogs. Today, they’re mostly bred to be companion dogs, but many of them still possess a strong guarding instinct and are deeply loyal to their families.

Shar Peis require a moderate amount of exercise, but they are typically aloof and enjoy time on their own and doing their own thing. Due to these dogs’ strong guarding instincts, it’s important to socialize them as early as possible. Shar Peis can also be very independent and challenging to train, so they’re best for experienced dog owners who have time to invest in solid obedience training.

4. Miniature Schnauzer

miniature schnauzer dog sitting on grass at the park
Image Credit: Roman Zaiets, Shutterstock
Height: 12–14 inches
Weight: 12–20 pounds
Temperament: Alert, bright, intelligent

Miniature Schnauzers are wonderful companion dogs that enjoy spending time with their families. They’re typically good with children and do well living with other dogs if they’ve had early socialization. They’re also fairly easy to train and can adapt well to living in apartments as long as they get their daily exercise needs met.

While Miniature Schnauzers are social dogs, they don’t mind having pockets of alone time throughout their day. They’re quite confident and friendly with other people, so they can also do well spending time at doggy daycare or going on walks with dog walkers.

5. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso
Image Credit: SubertT, Shutterstock
Height: 9–11 inches
Weight: 12–18 pounds
Temperament: Bold, loyal, playful

Lhasa Apsos are another small dog breed that’s suitable for apartment life. But don’t let their small size fool you. These dogs have big personalities and can even be very protective of their families. They are playful and inquisitive but are generally independent enough to be happy spending time alone.

Lhasa Apsos tend to be wary of strangers and can develop a habit of barking. So, they’ll benefit from early socialization and training to help them get used to being in different environments and around various kinds of people and stimuli.

6. Basenji

Basenji outdoor
Image Credit: Glikiri, Shutterstock
Height: 16–17 inches
Weight: 22–24 pounds
Temperament: Intelligent, alert, friendly

Basenjis are highly independent dogs and often have minds of their own. They’re adventurous dogs that often like to romp around freely and explore their surroundings off-leash. Adult Basenjis require a moderate amount of daily exercise and are usually content doing their own thing after they’ve exercised.

Basenjis are also known not to bark, which can make them good apartment dwellers. Just keep in mind that these dogs are highly intelligent and curious, and it’s important to keep them mentally stimulated. Store food, treats, and valuable items in completely secured spaces, because a Basenji will find a way to access them!

7. Basset Hound

basset hound dog standing outdoors
Image Credit: Marcelino Pozo Ruiz, Shutterstock
Height: 12–14 inches
Weight: 50–65 pounds
Temperament: Mellow, easygoing, affectionate

Basset Hounds are easygoing and good-natured companions. They don’t require extensive exercise, but they still need to get a decent amount of daily exercise in order to prevent excessive weight gain.

This dog breed isn’t known to be very demanding and often prefers lounging in their favorite napping spots, especially as they grow older. They’re quite laid back and aren’t the type of dog to fight for your attention when you’re working or occupied with something else.

8. Shiba Inu

shiba inu dog standing on the road
Image Credit: OlesyaNickolaeva, Shutterstock
Height: 13–17 inches
Weight: 17–24 pounds
Temperament: Alert, playful, confident

Shiba Inus are often aloof with strangers, but they’re known to be extremely loyal and devoted to their families. However, they’re also quite independent and tend to have a mind of their own, which can make them challenging to train.

Shiba Inus that have been socialized well are able to live with other dogs, but they often prefer spending time with humans over other dogs. They also usually like to do their own thing and aren’t too demanding of people’s attention.

9. Bullmastiff

bullmastiff outdoors in autumn
Image Credit: photosounds, Shutterstock
Height: 24–27 inches
Weight: 100–130 pounds
Temperament: Protective, loyal, calm

Bullmastiffs can be a bit challenging to train at first. However, they have the potential to become the most dependable and loyal companions. Despite their size, they’re not very demanding and are low-energy dogs that don’t require an extensive amount of exercise.

When properly trained, Bullmastiffs can be trusted to be left home alone and it’s rather rare for them to bark.

10. Boston Terrier

boston terrier dogs standing on grass
Image Credit: natali.lymarenko, Shutterstock
Height: 12–15 inches
Weight: 10–25 pounds
Temperament: Bright, intelligent, social

Boston Terriers are happy-go-lucky dogs that enjoy being with people and other dogs. They’re also fairly easy to train and are usually good with children. While Boston Terriers can be social, they also tend to enjoy napping and lounging around. So, after they’ve gotten their exercise, they’re content being left alone to relax and nap for a few hours. Just make sure to give them plenty of attention and affection when you return to them because they like to receive a lot of love from their favorite humans.

11. Akita

akita dog in the snow
Image Credit: Ana-Bencina Kosmac, Shutterstock
Height: 24–27 inches
Weight: 70-130 pounds
Temperament: Loyal, reserved, protective

Akitas were originally bred to be guard dogs and hunting dogs. Therefore, they tend to have independent personalities that enable them to make quick decisions to protect their homes. Akitas do tend to be fine when left alone, but they require consistent training, early socialization, and an owner that they can trust.

When trained properly, Akitas become some of the most loyal and devoted family dogs. They have an affectionate side that they only show to their loved ones and tend to be aloof and quiet around strangers.

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If you’re looking for a new dog, make sure to research different dog breeds to see which ones have temperaments that match your lifestyle. It’s also important to meet a dog and get to know their personality before deciding to bring them home.

Some dogs are independent enough that they can be left alone for longer than others. Just keep in mind that no matter how independent a dog is, you must make sure that their needs are being met consistently whenever you’re at home with them. This will keep them happy and healthy and ensure they’re living their best lives.

Featured Image Credit: Maxim Izbash, Unsplash

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