12 Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone for 8 Hours (2024)

Dogs are friendly and loving creatures. After all, they are called “Man’s Best Friend” for a reason. However, some dog breeds might have a hard time without companionship.

Being alone can cause some dogs to enter a destructive mode, get angry, or fall into a depressive state. Some dog breeds require near-constant attention, but others might not require much more than a daily greeting.

dog breeds that can be left alone for 8 hours
12 Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone For 8 Hours

Busybodies and people who travel frequently might not benefit from getting an overly affectionate dog who will spend a lot of time alone. Career-focused dog lovers are not out of luck, however.

Our list of the 12 best dog breeds that can be left alone for 8 hours can help you pick a dog breed that fits your lifestyle and needs. Many dogs can spend plenty of time alone and stay happy, thriving, and excited with their toys, other household members, and the attention of passing pedestrians.

When Not to Leave Your Dog Alone?

There are situations in which you should never leave your dog alone, regardless of the breed. This can be the case in many circumstances, but there are three situations in which you will definitely want to avoid leaving your dog alone.

If It is a Puppy

Puppies need consistent care and frequent potty breaks. The younger your puppy is, the less time it can spend alone. Puppies need near-constant supervision to ensure they don’t eat something harmful, choke on a foreign object, or soil themselves.

puppy dark box
Puppy can’t sleep in the dark box.

If It is Sick

You should always stay home with your dog if it is sick. Sickness can present in many ways but usually comes in the form of vomiting or diarrhea. Consider taking your dog to the veterinarian if its symptoms last more than 24 hours.

dog lying on the floor
The dog is lying on a rug.

If It is Experiencing Emotional Distress

Symptoms of emotional distress in dogs can be challenging to notice. However, when you see that your dog is anxious, you should immediately plan to assist your dog in any way possible. Signs of emotional distress in your dog are refusal to eat, trouble sleeping, or excess whining when you head for the door.

Chihuahua barking and whining
A Chihuahua puppy barking and whining alone in a room.

12 Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone for 8 Hours

As long as your dog is an adult, in good health, and emotionally sound, you can leave it alone for several hours at a time. However, certain breeds perform better during extended periods of alone time.

Our list of 12 dog breeds that can be left alone for 8 hours can help you decide which dog breed fits your lifestyle the best.


A Maltese is a toy dog that grows to be only about nine inches tall and will not get heavier than seven pounds. Leaving a Maltese at home for an extended period of time won’t result in much mess since this dog breed is so small.

Maltese dogs are not known to be destructive and will likely spend most of their alone time looking out of a window and observing people who pass by.

two Maltese dogs
Two Maltese dogs standing beside each other.

Lhasa Apso

A Lhasa Apso is similar to a Maltese. These dogs are goofy and confident in themselves. This breed is famous for its long, luxurious fur that can grow so long that it trails on the floor.

This dog is smart and will likely spend its time playing with toys and enjoying puzzles. Make sure to lock up your Lhasa Apso’s food in a place it can’t access because these dogs enjoy challenges that engage their mind.

lhasa apso
A Lhasa Apso proudly trotting


Poodles are a sophisticated breed. Although they are active dogs, Poodles are highly intelligent and have the capacity to know what they should and shouldn’t do when left at home by themselves. Poodles will spend their alone time observing the area, looking outside, and striding around the home for exercise.

Young Poodles might also play with toys, but older Poodles will likely forgo play and spend their time resting.

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are charming but often tired. Unless your Basset Hound is young and full of energy, your dog will likely spend plenty of time sleeping on the couch or playing with its toys. Ensure that your Basset Hound has some access to a sunny spot for sunbathing.

Basset Hound fluffy ears
Cute Basset Hound sits with fluffy ears.


Pugs are charming, but they can be mischievous. These dogs can be left alone for a long period of time if they have plenty of toys and puzzles to keep them engaged. Providing them a space to access sunlight and a bed to relax in can help them feel cozy and fight the urge to get into things they shouldn’t.

Ensure that there are no hazardous items on the floor or near its designated area to make sure your Pug stays safe and healthy.

pug dog with curly tail
Pugs are famous for their curly tails


Greyhounds are independent dogs who don’t want to spend every waking moment with their owners or other animals. This dog breed enjoys quiet time observing others and playing by itself. Although gentle, Greyhounds are not afraid to let others know when they’ve had enough attention and will disengage and walk away from people or other pets.

This dog can be a good addition to a home with older children and other dogs.

Spanish Greyhound ears are back
Close-up photo of a Spanish Greyhound with ears are back.

Bernese Mountain Dog

A Bernese Mountain Dog has the best intentions, but sometimes it might not know its own strength. This dog breed loves to play gently with other dogs, small children, and its owner. This dog might accidentally damage things while you’re away, but likely won’t seek to cause trouble in the home.

Bernese mountain dog pants inside the car
Bernese mountain dog panting inside the car after playing.


A Chihuahua is a small and charming dog. This dog breed is among the smallest breeds in the world and will likely cause little damage to your home while you’re away. In your absence, a Chihuahua will be inclined to look out the window, play with toys, or enjoy a sunny spot in the house.

A Chihuahua usually grows to only eight inches tall and weighs less than 10 pounds. Chihuahuas live for up to 16 years.

a long haired chihuahua
A long haired Chihuahua living its best life outdoors

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small dogs, but they are gentle and loving. These dogs might initially be sad when you leave the house but will become distracted by the sights outside a window, the presence of other animals in the house, or their favorite toys.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel sitting in front of a camera while tongue is out.


Whippets are very playful but remain calm and will not get overly rambunctious. This dog breed knows when enough is enough, making them ideal dogs for spending time indoors, alone for several hours at a time. Whippets are smart and recognize acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.

This dog breed might become affectionate upon your arrival and remain at your heels, but will also enjoy time alone.

gray whippet
A gray Whippet. Ash would be a great name for such a cute gray dog?

Chow Chow

Chow Chows are among some of the brightest dog breeds in the world and tend to be overly serious. This doesn’t mean that they don’t adore affection, but that they are protective and take time to warm up to others.

Chow Chows love spending time in peace and quiet. This dog breed is notorious for coveting its alone time and won’t hesitate to show others when it wants space.

a chow chow with a curly tail
A Chow Chow with a curly tail. What a beautiful dog!


Beagles are notorious for being friendly dogs. This dog breed is very curious, but enjoys consistency and will likely not cause too much chaos while you’re out of the house. A Beagle might be inclined to look under couches, roam the kitchen for food, or sniff around under the bed for toys when unsupervised.

Ensure your home is clean and free of potential hazards before leaving a curious Beagle alone.

Beagle lying on the floor
A Beagle wears onesies to prevent the diaper from coming off.

Final Thoughts

Many dog breeds can be left alone for 8 hours at a time, and these dog breeds are ideal for busy dog lovers and owners who have thriving careers or busy lives. Each dog breed is rife with its own personality traits and desires, and many of them will be content to sit by a window and watch as pedestrians walk by outside.

Other breeds of dogs might spend their days chewing on toys, playing with other household members, or resting in the sun. From Beagles to Chihuahuas, there are dozens of dog breeds that work well for busy schedules and lives.

Keep in mind the symptoms of depression in dogs to ensure that your dog is not undergoing emotional and mental distress due to a lack of companionship. There are many ways to assuage this kind of distress, but the first step is identifying a dog’s need for companionship.