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24 Independent Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone

Including apartment-friendly small dog breeds and larger pups who don't mind some alone time.

By Laura Hanrahan and Elizabeth Berry
preview for 15 Cutest Dog Breeds

Adopting and taking care of a dog is a huge decision and time commitment, respectively. Which is why it's important to do your due diligence and find the dog breed that is right for your household so that your pup isn't neglected. Whether you are looking for a dog for a home occupied by mostly seniors or a quiet dog breed that won't upset your neighbors in the apartment building, there are major pros to adopting one of these dogs that can be left alone. Independent dog breeds range in size, coat, and personalty, but one thing they all have in common is low separation anxiety.

From small white dogs like the Maltese to teddy bear dog breeds like the Chow Chow, dogs that can be left alone are the opposite of Velcro dogs — meaning they won't cling to you as you move from room to room. That isn't to say that these dogs don't still require proper training and lots of love, but they can be left at home for a few hours while you run errands, without ripping apart your favorite slippers or wetting the carpet. It's still important to watch out for any dog behaviors that might indicate they are being left alone for too long, though. Here are 24 dog breeds that can be left alone for reasonable periods of time.



dogs that can be left alone basenji

Nicknamed "the barkless dog," the Basenji is an independent dog who won't mind some time alone. According to the American Kennel Club, however, they are fairly energetic and you'll need to help them burn off their energy when you get home. This can mean walking around the neighborhood, playing fetch in the yard, or going to the dog park.


Chow Chow

dogs that can be let alone chow chow

The lion-like Chow Chow is always clean, refined, and dignified, according to the AKC, meaning they'll do just fine unsupervised in your home. They do require regular exercise, so you'll have to commit to a few good walks before and after work.



dogs that can be left alone bullmastiff
Icon Sports Wire

Despite the fact that the Bullmastiff can weigh up to 130 pounds, it's a docile dog when at home, the AKC says. Some are more sedentary than others, but most enjoy getting exercise by taking a brisk walk. A bonus is that Bullmastiffs were originally bred as guard dogs, so your home will be a little safer with one around.

RELATED: The 13 Best Guard Dogs to Keep Your Home Safe

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dogs that can be left alone chihuahua
Koichi Kamoshida

Chihuahuas are known for their tiny stature, usually weighing no more than six pounds, making them great dogs for an apartment or small home. They're fairly independent, according to the AKC, but require a firm hand when training in order to be left alone.

RELATED: 28 Best Apartment Dogs For Super Small Spaces


Boston Terrier

dogs that can be left alone boston terrier
Manchester Daily Express

Boston Terriers are incredibly cute and always ready for a formal occasion with their tuxedo coloring. Bostons love having toys to play with, according to Barking Royalty, so just make sure to leave a few out when you go out to keep them occupied.

RELATED: 20 of the Best Interactive Dog Toys to Keep Your Pup Busy When You Need It Most


Basset Hound

dogs that can be left alone basset hound
Matt Cardy

The AKC notes that Basset Hounds are very independent: This makes them a bit more challenging to train, but it means that they'll be fine being left home alone. And if their adorable droopy ears weren't already the selling point, they're also mild and love to get affection from their family.

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French Bulldog

dog breeds that can be left alone french bulldog
Gary Gershoff

This small stocky breed was bred for city life, according to the AKC, meaning they don't require a significant amount of exercise. They're also on the quieter side, meaning they won't bark while you're gone and bother your neighbors.


Lhasa Apso

dogs that can be left alone lhasa apso
Roy Rochlin

Lhasa Apsos will run around your home to burn off energy and are good at entertaining themselves, the AKC notes. They're also low-shedding, which is great for maintenance purposes.



dogs that can be left alone maltese
MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images

These extremely friendly, low-shedding pups are compact and can get most of their necessary exercise by running around the house, according to the AKC.

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dogs that can be left alone greyhound
Jack Taylor

Greyhounds may be known for whipping around a racetrack, but these big dogs are "perfectly happy to lounge around the house all day," according to the AKC. They do, however, require opportunities to stretch their legs and go for a run.


Miniature Schnauzer

dogs that can be left alone miniature schnauzer
Monica Schipper

Miniature Schnauzers are friendly and eager to please, making them a dream to train, the AKC says. And because of their small size, they do well in a smaller house or apartment. Just be sure to leave a few toys out to occupy them while you're gone.

RELATED: 20 Indoor Dog Toys to Keep Your Pup Entertained


Shar Pei

dogs that can be left alone shar pei

Shar Peis are both independent and serene, according to the AKC, making them a perfect fit for someone who's out of the house for several hours. They're known for their intelligence but can be quite stubborn, so you'll have to be firm and consistent when training them.

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dogs that can be left alone dachschund
Vsevolod Vlasenko//Getty Images

According to the AKC, Dachshunds won't grow taller than 9 inches or weigh more than 32 pounds, which makes them a mini pup perfect for a small home with kids around. They are also innately brave and independent as they were bred to be hunters of dangerous prey.



dogs that can be left alone labradoodle
Purple Collar Pet Photography//Getty Images

Petplan describes Labradoodles as extremely friendly and outgoing, but also curious and vocal. While they can be left alone for periods of time, they can suffer from separation anxiety. The breed can also become quite destructive if bored, so if you leave the house to run a quick errand, make sure to leave out some doggie toys for them to play with while you're gone.


Scottish Terrier

dogs that can be left alone scottish terrier
Catherine Ledner//Getty Images

Although Scottish Terriers may not be great around other dogs, they are super independent and confident, making them an ideal dog that you can leave home alone without worrying. The AKC even describes them as almost human in behavior, and they make excellent watch dogs.

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English Foxhound

dogs that can be left alone english foxhound
Colin Sutcliffe//Getty Images

With an elegant body type and perfectly level back, English Foxhounds are determined creatures driven by primal instinct. They care mostly about pursuit and training, which means that as long as you leave them entertained, they will be all good while you step out for a bit.


Small Munsterlander Pointer

dogs that can be left alone small munsterlander pointer
Zbynek Pospisil//Getty Images

These athletic and affectionate dogs are trainable and have great social behavior. Small Munsterlander Pointers are capable of learning new tricks, which means you can train them to be on their own while you are at work and the kids are at school.



dogs that can be left alone otterhound
LourdesPhotography//Getty Images

Otterhounds are known for their shaggy coat and affinity for swimming, as they were bred for the now outlawed hunting of otters. These dogs are affectionate towards people, but have an acute sense of smell — so make sure you hide the treats before you head out.

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Shiba Inu

dogs that can be left alone shiba inu
Dario Argenti//Getty Images

The ancient Japanese breed was brought to the U.S. 60 years ago and has since grown in popularity in the West. These well-muscled dogs are adaptable, bold, alert, and confident.



dogs that can be left alone  pug
kiszon pascal//Getty Images

Pugs are great with children and "live to love and to be loved in return." This means that the small but muscular creature needs a fair amount of attention, but are trained house dogs through and through.

Headshot of Laura Hanrahan
Laura Hanrahan
Laura is a NYC-based freelance writer. When she's not binging the latest true crime docu-series, she's obsessing over all things Harry Styles, RHONY, and John Mulaney. You can follow her on Instagram @lauraehanrahan
Editorial Assistant

Elizabeth Berry is the editorial assistant for, where she writes and edits lifestyle content. When she isn’t assisting with day-to-day editorial needs, Elizabeth is baking dairy-free cakes, reading books, or strolling through nature.

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