Dogs are fun pets to own. They are loyal and always cheer you up when you are down. However, you cannot be home all day. Whether for work or to run errands, there will be times when you must leave your pet at home alone. During these moments, you want a pet dog who does not have separation anxiety.
Luckily, 23 dog breeds do not suffer from chronic separation anxiety. You can leave these breeds home, knowing that they and your home will be safe until you return.
However, that does not mean these breeds will never be anxious. Any unusual event can trigger separation anxiety in anyone, including dogs. Fortunately, there are tricks you can do to reduce chances for these moments from occurring.
Dogs and Separation Anxiety
Owning a dog is an adventure, but you can reduce your anxiety with careful planning. The trick is developing a strong human-dog relationship. With the right training, your pet will not destroy your home, but your relationship may have a downside if you are not careful.
No matter how much you like your home and dog, there will be times when you must leave for an extended period. During these moments, some dogs will come anxious about you leaving them alone. This separation anxiety may cause your pet to act out when alone, chew on your furniture, soil around the house, or consciously bark at the door.
Dog separation anxiety is easy to understand. It is the same anxious reaction we humans can get. The anxiety comes from your pet’s fear of being abandoned, which is amplified by a dog’s lack of a time sense. To your pet, a minute away from you is the same as being separated for decades.
All dogs will suffer anxiety at some point with some breeds more susceptible than others. Still, it only becomes a grave issue when it comes to pathological. Severe separation anxiety can impact your pet’s physical health or strain the bond you have with him or her.
Some common separation anxiety triggers include:
- Death of a family member, divorce, or other drastic change in the family
- Lifestyle or scenery changes
- Changes in your pet’s daily routine
These fears get amplified in breeds who need lots of attention from their owners. While separation anxiety is bad enough, your dog will never know how long you were away. They will just know you were. Thus, it is the lack of stimulation that draws out the bad behaviors and disobedience.
Therefore, if your work or lifestyle requires leaving your pet alone for hours, you must get a breed who can live without constant attention.
Dog Breeds Without Separation Anxiety
You are in good luck as there are 23 breeds who do not mind being alone and are less likely to suffer from anxiety-inducing distress. These chill dudes will enjoy your company when you are near, but can otherwise take care of themselves. They are the perfect companions if you must leave home often.
1. Chow Chow
Looks can be deceiving when it comes to the Chow. While some people brand them as the “biggest cuddle dog”, these dogs are very independent animals. Chows only come to you when they need your company but will quickly do their own thing when they have enough. Quiet and independent, they do not mind being alone.
More like a cat than a dog, the Chow has a strong sense of self-dignity, making the breed a great pet if you often leave home. These dogs hate hugs and rather not be around strangers, preferring their own family over others or small children. This temperament makes these animals great watchdogs.
Developed as hunting dogs, the African Basenji may not have the independence of the chow, but the breed loves their family and will do whatever it takes to protect them. Sometimes erroneously called “bark-less” the dogs can quickly switch from yodeling to blood-curding screams, making them great guard dogs.
With an active and ever-awake explorer’s mind, these dogs are independent enough to not notice you leaving. Though, you must be prepared for the joyful affection you will receive once you return.
3. Bassett Hound
A Basset Hound loves to sleep as much as it loves people. The floppy-eared hound consistently has low energy and takes any chance to nap. With this temperament, the dog will be more likely to just sleep on your couch once you leave than anything else.
They are still a hunting breed and will run to you for a good ear scratch and belly rub when you get back. Bassett Hounds do not suffer from mood swinger either and would gladly join you on a hike. It is all up to you if you want to leave them home alone.
4. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog has a similar temperament as the Basset Hound. These highly affectionate dogs love sleeping and will sleep when no one else is around. Like the hounds, this breed will be happy to go on hikes with you as well.
As they do not require much attention, the French Bulldog is a great pet to have when you cannot be around all day. They also make great watchdogs.
Protective and affectionate, the large Bullmastiff has a reputation as a consummate family dog. This breed just loves being with people. Despite this behavior, these dogs also suffer from low consistent energy and love sleep as much as they love you.
A Bullmastiff will most likely take a nap once you leave for work. It does not require a lot of exercises either. You only need to give this breed a few short walks a day to make them happy, which only gets better as they grow older. They are also quick to learn obedience commands.
Perfect for apartment living despite their size, you can leave a Bullmastiff home alone without a worry. Though, you may want to leave some toys around if you have a puppy.
Despite their reputation, Chihuahuas do not mind being alone. Sure, they are yappy and aggressive. They love their families and will protect them to their last breath. Still, they are rarely clingy. You can leave them home to guard the place.
Despite their independent nature, you should never leave this breed alone for that long. While they do not need human companionship, they get less aggressive and happier if they have a friend. Thus, you may want to have a second dog if you plan on having a Chihuahua in your family.
Wilful and stubborn, the Shar-Pei is highly independent. However, this Chinese dog breed makes for a great pet for people always on the go once obedience trained. This is because they also love to sleep with their low energy and exercise requirements
Quiet and reserved, the Shar-Pei breed is extremely loyal to their owners. Sure, they despise strangers, but that only makes them great watchdogs. However, you must train and socialize them while they are young. As Shar-Pei dogs get older they become more stubborn in their ways, making them disrespectful with the wrong upbringing.
8. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are one of the few terrier breeds who do not suffer from separation anxiety. Sure, they love running around the house, but they can only do it in short bursts. Once they run themselves out, they are content to sleep on your sofa for hours.
Even-tempered and intelligent, a Boston Terrier will entertain themselves while you are away. You may want to lay out a few toys for them, but they will wait until you get back home before they start more shenanigans.
9. Miniature Schnauzer
Eager to learn, Miniature Schnauzers have no issue with being home alone if they have enough toys to keep busy. These toys can either be actual toys or a job guarding a position.
However, this breed can take their job too seriously. They are unaware of their small size and cannot back down from a challenge. They are quick learners though, making them great dogs for people who also need a low-shedding dog as well.
10. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is a great all-around pet. They easily enjoy your company as they do lounge around all day. You can leave them on the sofa as you go out for your 9 to 5, only to come back home for an attack hug.
These loveable dogs do need their space though. Irish Wolfhounds are large 200-pound beasts. While their size makes them impossible for apartments, they are the perfect companion if you have a house with a big comfy sofa.
A cross between poodles and Pekingese, Peekaboos have the intelligence to handle their time alone well. They will shower you with affection while you are around, but they can wait for you to return if they have enough to amuse them.
The breed is not very destructive either. They just need puzzle balls and toys to keep them occupied. You can even reward them with treats to encourage the behavior.
12. Small Munsterlander Pointer
The medium-sized Small Munsterland Pointer developed out of European sporting dogs. They are highly affectionate and will shower you with love when you are home. They will also obey everything you tell them, making them a breeze to train and socialize.
They require exercise though. A pointer needs its daily schedule of swimming, jogging, running, or playing flyball. Despite this playful nature, you can easily leave them alone at home. They are intelligent enough to create their activities if you leave them with enough toys.
13. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is quite independent despite its size. While they have the appearance of small stuffed animals, this breed will see you leave before going off to do their own thing until you return.
Bred as royal watchdogs, the Lhasa Apso is fun and engaging pets to have, regardless of your work schedule. They will guard you against any strangers or other dogs before playing with you. However, their independent nature can get the better of them. While you can train them, they will only obey commands which suit their needs.
Crossed between a Labrador Retriever and a Golden Retriever, the Goldador is a proud working dog with the temperament and sensitivity to handle anything life throws at them. They need regular exercise, but they are tolerant of being home alone all day.
Easy-going and friendly, the breed is quick to learn and easy to love. You want to leave enough toys and things to do in your absence, but they may not notice that you left.
15. Bull Terrier
While they have a reputation for being dangerous and aggressive, Bull Terriers are fine staying alone for extended periods. They are a very loyal and protective breed. They see being home alone as a job rather than a problem.
You may want to give them the space they need to roam around the house, but that is all they need to survive on their own. They will gladly keep burglars away in silence.
Confident and comical, the Dachshund is an intelligent and brave breed. You can easily train them to no cry or howl when you leave, making them great pets for families with hectic schedules.
However, they can become too independent. Developed for hunting badgers and other small animals, Dachshunds can get rowdy and stubborn during training. Still, if you can keep with the training, they eventually turn around and more manageable.
Pugs do not have the energy to be anxious. They rather sleep on your sofa than run your home barking all day. A pug may remain where you leave them until you return home at the end of your day.
Their low anxiety also makes Pugs the most popular dog breeds out there. They have enough energy to play for you about 5 minutes before going back to their naps. That is al the exercise they require. There is nothing more you need to do for this breed.
Loyal and protective of their owners, Akitas are too independent to develop separation anxiety. The Japanese breed is an old hunting dog, making them perfect guardians and watchdogs for people who must leave for days.
While these dogs do not mine your absence, they do crave your attention. They just see being home alone as a job, making them easy to train and socialize. They are fearless dogs though and may refuse to back away when other dogs challenge them.
19. Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terriers are likely to ignore you when they need their own time and space, making them perfect for when you must leave them for hours. They are very independent and intelligent and need very little attention or exercise.
Scotts are great around children as well, but they can be a hassle while training them. They still have their hunting instincts which can drive them to go out to find a game for you.
With the friendliness of a Labrador and the intelligence of a Poodle, the Labradoodle works great as therapy dogs when near you and watchdogs when you are out. They also take well to obedience training as they love learning new commands.
These small dogs have hypoallergenic coats as well, making them great dogs for people will allergies.
21. English Foxhound
English Foxhounds are active and strong dogs. You can bring them along on your jogs, hikes, and horseback riding. Their reputation of always being on the hunt for foxes is well merited.
However, you can leave these dogs alone all day while you work. You must keep them busy the rest of the time though. They need daily exercise. Therefore, you should only get a foxhound if you enjoy daily exercise yourself.
While rare, the English Otterhound is another great breed to have if you must leave the house for hours at a time. They are very independent and can easily find things to occupy them until you return. You must find them though. Otterhounds may be playful, sweet, and great pets for kids, but breeders are as rare as the breed.
23. Shiba Inu
Strong-willed and stubborn, Shiba Inu are challenging to training, but they can learn anything if you make the effort. They are intelligent enough to occupy themselves when left alone, provided you give them things do to. You must pretend that those activities are their ideas.
Signs that Your Dog has Separation Anxiety
While these 23 dog breeds normally do not suffer from separation anxiety, they are still social animals. While they can tolerate being alone, they rather spend their days by our side. So, you want to limit your absence if you want your pet to be happy and well adjusted.
You can keep most dogs alone for hours, but the number of hours you can do this will vary between breeds and ages. Adult dogs are normally comfortable with about 8-hours of separation before becoming lonely. You can ask the previous owner for the exact duration. Puppies need a lot more attention. You never want to leave them alone for more than a few hours at most.
In either case, if you exceed their separation limits, or otherwise give them reasons to be concerned, even the most resilient dogs can develop some separation anxiety.
Common Symptoms of Dog Separation Anxiety
If you treat your pet well, he or she should never develop anxiety. Separation anxiety is a fear of being abandoned, and enough stimuli can reduce it. The 23 dog breeds on this list are a testament to this fact. However, if you fail to properly care for your dog, he or she may still develop anxiety.
Separation anxiety in dogs affects how they react to you. For instance, your pet may learn and show stress during your daily schedule. Your pet may pick on your pre-departure clues such as putting on certain clothing or packing a briefcase and start whining.
Anxious dogs may also:
- Pace around the house
- Bark and howl until you return
- Lose their appetite
- Destroy furniture, walls, and small household items
- Develop urinary and bowel problems including diarrhea
- Excessively drool
- Try to escape their confinement
Treatments for Dog Separation Anxiety
If your pet shows signs of separation anxiety, it is not the end of the world. With the right treatment, your pet can enjoy his or her time alone. The trick is teaching your dog to rely on you all the time while encouraging your pet to relax when you are away.
The process will take time and patience. Anxiety and its responses are complex instincts. There is no quick solution for dealing with them. All you can do is to give your pet the attention he or she needs to reduce the stress. Because of this, you may want to seek help from a professional certified separation anxiety trainer (CSAT) or a veterinary behaviorist.
Behavior modification is the best way to deal with dog separation anxiety. The process changes how your pet sees being alone, but only if it is tailored to your pet, as your pet must remain calm and “sub-threshold” through it all.
As your pet must remain fine throughout the process, you must not leave your pet alone once training starts. If you cannot conduct be with your pet all the time, you can leave him or her with a neighbor, dog walker, pet daycare, a friend, or a family member until your dog is ready.
To that end, your trainer may instruct you on how to leave the room and then return before your dog gets anxious. You will then increase the length of the separation until your pet can handle is not near you.
During the training, your trainer may also instruct you on how to desensitize your pet to your pre-departure clues. For instance, you might have to change your routine until your dog no longer notices you leaving.
Develop an Appropriate Exercise Routine
Despite behavior training, some dogs need ample exercise to remain normal. A good exercise routine can even reduce their separation anxiety. The workout may drain your pet’s body and brain, making him or her settle down to wait for your return.
If you cannot establish a daily exercise routine, you can replace one with some challenging but stimulating games. Especially useful for dogs with only a mild case of separation anxiety, the games can take the form of finding treats, hidden objects, or a dedicated puzzle toy.
Depending on your pet, you may even use easy trick training. Dogs love doing “spins” and “high fives”, and these games leave them ready to rest.
Finally, you can leave a few interactive toys. While you never want to leave food toys for dogs with full anxiety, they can be great stress relievers for dogs.
Pet Prescription Medication
While medicine should never be your first choice for your pet’s separation anxiety, it is still an option. However, you should restrict their use under if your dog:
- Injures him or herself
- Harms other animals in the house
- Has a compromised quality of life
Depending on the severity of the anxiety, you can combine medicine with training to help ease your pet’s fears.
Either way, dog anti-anxiety medication comes in two forms: anxiolytic and symptomatic
Anxiolytic drugs deal with your pet’s anxiety directly. They are long term solutions for when other treatments fail. They also take u to eight weeks to work and require annual blood tests.
Symptomatic drugs reduce the effects of your pet’s anxiety triggers. They are usually given in conjunction with behavioral training to help your pet deal with the separation.
Dogs are incredibly social animals. They love their owners and will defend their families. However, this love can have a downside. Many dog breeds require constant attention. Other breeds do not know how to control themselves in the presence of others. In either case, this separation anxiety can make them impossible to live with if you must leave them for more than a few minutes.
Fortunately, there are several breeds of dog which do not suffer from separation anxiety. You can leave them home alone, and not worry about them, your neighbors, or your home. These breeds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are huge. Others are small enough to fit in a bag. They can have wrinkles all over or are as smooth as a baby. Some even have buggy eyes.
This list compiles 23 of them. While not a complete list of every anxiety-free dog breeds out there, there is a dog for everyone on the list. You may want to do some research to get the right pet for your lifestyle, but you can rest assure than all 23 breeds have low or no separation anxiety.
You may have to train a few of them properly, but you must do that with any pet and most of these breeds are quick learners as well. Even if they do develop acute anxiety from your absence, you can easily treat them before things get out of hand.