As a dog owner, you’ve probably experienced that heart-wrenching moment when you have to leave your furry friend behind as you head out to work or run errands. I know I have, and their cute little faces watching you as you leave make you feel so guilty!

However, not every dog pines for their owner’s presence. In fact, some breeds are more adept at handling alone time than others.

So, which dog breeds are best suited for busy pet parents who can’t always be around? Read on to discover 13 dog breeds with low separation anxiety that can adapt to a more independent lifestyle.

Key Takeaways

  • Separation anxiety in dogs can be caused by genetics, lack of socialization, and more.
  • Chow Chows, Basset Hounds, and French Bulldogs are some breeds known to have lower separation anxiety.
  • Caring for a pup with low separation anxiety requires providing them with exercise, mental stimulation, and creating a comfortable environment when they’re left alone.

Understanding Separation Anxiety in Dogs

A dog suffering from separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is a condition where a dog experiences distress when separated from its owner. In my experience, it often manifests in destructive behaviors such as barking, chewing, and digging. This can be a real challenge for many pet parents, especially those with a hectic schedule.

While certain breeds like the Jack Russell Terrier and Border Collies are more prone to developing separation anxiety, others are more independent and capable of handling alone time. Understanding the causes and signs of separation anxiety will help you choose the right dog breed and provide the proper care for your canine companion.

Causes of Separation Anxiety

The causes of separation anxiety in dogs can be varied and complex. Genetics, lack of socialization, changes in routine or environment, being abandoned, sudden changes in routine, and past traumatic experiences can all lead to separation anxiety in dogs.

For instance, working dogs like Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds may develop separation anxiety due to their strong bond with their owners and their need for a job to do. On the other hand, certain breeds like the French Bulldog and Scottish Terriers may be less prone to developing separation anxiety, thanks to their more independent nature.

However, each dog is individual and if you’re a dog owner like me, you know they all have their own personalities. So, it’s essential to realize that each dog, no matter its breed, may have separation anxiety. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of this potential issue. Proper training and care are crucial in managing and preventing this condition.

Signs of Separation Anxiety

Recognizing the signs of separation anxiety in your dog is vital for taking the necessary steps to reduce their anxiety and make them feel more comfortable when left alone. Common signs include:

  • destructive behavior
  • excessive barking or howling
  • inappropriate elimination (meaning they pee or poop on your carpet)
  • panting
  • pacing
  • trembling
  • yawning
  • drooling
  • refusing to eat or drink

Dogs with separation anxiety may chew on furniture, dig holes, or destroy other items in the home when left unsupervised. These behaviors are often a result of pent-up energy and stress. Providing your dog with regular exercise, mental stimulation, and proper training can help alleviate these destructive behaviors and reduce separation anxiety.

Top Dog Breeds with Low Separation Anxiety

Two of dogs of different breeds with low separation anxiety

There’s good news for individuals seeking a furry friend that can handle being left alone without getting anxious. Some dog breeds are more independent and less likely to suffer from separation anxiety.

While these breeds tend to be more comfortable with alone time, it’s still essential to provide them with proper care, exercise, and mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

1. Chow Chow

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow’s independent and aloof nature makes it well-suited for spending time alone. These dignified and regal canines are known for their striking, lion-like appearance and their loyalty to their owners.

While they may not be the most playful or patient breed with boisterous children, Chow Chows are perfect for those who don’t have someone around all the time, thanks to their self-sufficient nature.

2. Basset Hound

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound, with its low energy levels and low exercise requirements, is an ideal breed for owners who are away often. Known for their droopy ears and sad-looking eyes, Basset Hounds are actually quite affectionate and love to catch some z’s.

Their laid-back nature and minimal exercise needs make them a great fit for those with demanding schedules. However, in my experience, their loyalty can sometimes result in anxiety when their owner leaves. So, getting them used to alone time from an early age is key.

3. French Bulldog

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is an affectionate but low-maintenance breed that makes a great family pet for owners who are away often. Known for their bat-like ears and muscular bodies, French Bulldogs are playful, alert, and adaptable, making them a popular choice among pet parents.

Their easygoing nature and love of fun mean they can keep themselves entertained without needing constant attention from their owners.

4. Bullmastiff


The Bullmastiff is a low-energy breed that doesn’t require much exercise to cope with being left alone. Despite their large size and intimidating appearance, Bullmastiffs are gentle giants, known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners.

Their calm nature and low exercise needs make them well-suited for those who cannot be around all the time. Just make sure they have plenty of room while you’re gone!

5. Lhasa Apso

A cute Lhasa Apso, known for being one of the dog breeds with low separation anxiety

The Lhasa Apso is a small breed that is comfortable with a sedate pace of life and is one of the most low-maintenance dogs when it comes to exercise. These dogs are perfect for those who can’t be around all the time due to their independent nature.

Their long, flowing coat and distinctive facial features make them a popular choice among pet parents looking for a low-anxiety companion. However, remember their low-maintenance nature doesn’t apply to their coat – they need a lot of brushing!

6. Chihuahua


Chihuahuas may have a reputation for being anxious, but many actually have a very independent nature. These tiny dogs are known for their big personalities, loyalty, and love of their owners.

To help Chihuahuas cope with separation anxiety, having a second dog can be useful. Although my Chihuahua loves to be with me as much as possible, she’s quite happy to be left at home as long as she’s with my other dogs (and as long as I provide a fluffy blanket).

7. Shar Pei

Shar Pei

Shar Peis are calm breeds that require little activity and tend to have low separation anxiety. Known for their wrinkled skin and unique appearance, these dogs have a loyal and protective nature.

However, their stubbornness requires attention to negative behaviors, so proper training is essential to ensure they remain well-behaved when left alone.

8. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are lively, friendly dogs that are generally quite relaxed and content to do their own thing until their owner comes back. They have a unique tuxedo-like coat and an outgoing personality, making them a popular choice among pet parents.

Although they can be energetic in short bursts, Boston Terriers are usually pretty relaxed and content to just hang out when their owners aren’t around.

9. Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhounds, known as gentle giants, are loyal and devoted to their owners, but need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and separation anxiety. As long as you meet their needs and train them well, they can be left alone happily for short periods.

These large, calm, and intelligent dogs make great companions for those who can provide them with the attention and activity they require. Their unique appearance, with their shaggy coat and tall stature, makes them an eye-catching addition to any family.

10. Bull Terrier

Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers, often misunderstood due to their somewhat intimidating appearance, are actually quite affectionate and playful dogs. With the right training and mental stimulation, they can get used to being at home alone.

Bull Terriers can be loyal and devoted companions. Plus, they’re just lovely to be around! They’re one of my personal favorite breeds.

11. Pug


Pugs, with their adorably wrinkled faces and charming personalities, are known for their laziness. When they’re home alone, they are more likely to be found lounging on the couch than anxiously waiting for their owner’s return.

They do tend to bond very deeply with their owners though, so it’s important you get them used to being left at home gradually.

While these small dogs may not require as much exercise as some other breeds, it’s essential to provide them with mental stimulation and a comfortable environment to keep them content.

12. Akita


Akitas are a large breed known for their independence and loyalty. They view guarding the home as a job, which helps them cope with separation anxiety without becoming overly anxious.

These dignified dogs make excellent companions for those who appreciate their protective nature and can provide them with the attention and exercise they need.

13. Miniature Schnauzer

A dog playing with a toy, getting exercise and mental stimulation

Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent, alert, and loyal dogs that need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid separation anxiety. Their small size and distinctive facial features, complete with a bushy beard, make them a popular choice among pet parents.

Providing these energetic dogs ample opportunities for play and mental challenges will help ensure they remain happy and well-adjusted when left alone.

Caring for Dogs with Low Separation Anxiety

A dog being trained by a dog walker

Ensuring your dog has a comfortable environment, adequate exercise, and mental stimulation will help them remain content when you do need to go out without them.

Additionally, socialization and training can help dogs with low separation anxiety become more independent and better able to handle alone time.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

A dog playing with other dogs, socializing

Exercise and mental stimulation are important to keep your dog occupied and prevent boredom. Providing interactive toys, teaching new tricks, and engaging in activities such as agility or nose work are all great ways to keep a pup’s mind stimulated even if they don’t suffer from separation anxiety.

Regular exercise, such as walks, playtime, or fetch, is also essential for maintaining your dog’s physical health and well-being.

Creating a Comfortable Environment

A dog being left alone for a few hours, gradually getting used to it

Creating a comfortable environment for your dog is essential for reducing stress and anxiety when they are left at home. This can include providing a cozy bed, familiar scents, toys, and bedding to help them feel secure.

Crate or pen training is something I find really useful with my dogs. It gives them their own safe space so they feel secure, and stops them getting into trouble if they are feeling mischievous!

Additionally, playing calming music, using a white noise machine, or having a fan running can create a soothing atmosphere for your dog when they are left alone. I like the calming music made just for doggies that you can find on YouTube!

Socialization and Training

Socialization and training can help dogs become more independent and better able to handle being left alone. Introducing your dog to new people, animals, and environments, as well as exposing them to different sounds and smells, can help them become more well-rounded and confident in various situations.

Training your dog to follow basic commands and be well-behaved will also make them more adaptable. Although it’s best to start training when they’re a puppy, a dog of any age can be socialized and trained. I rescued 2 of my dogs when they were older, and with patience and consistency, they took to training well!

Preventing Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes! Establishing a consistent routine, gradually introducing alone time, and building independence in your dog can help prevent separation anxiety from developing.

Gradual Introduction to Alone Time

Gradually introducing your dog to alone time can help them adjust to being left alone. Start by leaving your dog alone for short periods of time, then gradually increase the duration.

I personally prefer to start by leaving them for a few minutes and building up from there. The slower the better in my opinion, until they start to seem completely relaxed. Make sure you aren’t showing them that you’re worried about leaving them (even if you feel it) because they’ll pick up on that.

Consistent Routine

Establishing a consistent routine for your dog can help them feel secure and less anxious when left alone. This includes creating a regular schedule for feeding, exercise, playtime, potty breaks, and sleep. Sticking to this schedule as closely as possible is key.

It is also important to provide your dog with plenty of mental stimulation and physical exercise. This can include interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and regular walks or playtime.

Building Independence

Building independence in your dog can help them better cope with being left alone. Teaching your dog basic commands like “sit” and “stay” can help them develop confidence. Plus, the gradual introduction to alone time we talked about earlier builds independence!


In conclusion, while separation anxiety can be a challenging issue for many dog owners, there are breeds that are more suited to an independent lifestyle. By understanding the causes and signs of separation anxiety, choosing the right breed for your lifestyle, and providing proper care and training, you can help your dog lead a happy, healthy life with minimal anxiety.

So, go ahead and find your perfect low separation anxiety canine companion, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your furry friend will be settled at home while you’re gone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What dog breed is least likely to have separation anxiety?

The breeds we’ve discussed are least likely to suffer from separation anxiety. These breeds tend to be more relaxed and independent dogs. But remember all dogs are different!

Which dog breed can be left alone all day?

The breeds in our list can cope with being left alone, but no dog should be left alone all day. On average 6 to 8 hours is the longest they should be left. If you’re going to be out longer than that, it’s best to have someone pop in to let them out for the toilet and to give them some attention.

Can any dog be left alone for 8 hours?

In general, most adult dogs can handle being alone for 8 hours, as long as they have access to plenty of fresh water and a place to go to the bathroom.

However, it’s always best to start with shorter amounts of time and gradually increase it to make sure your pup is comfortable.