Being a dog lover when you rarely stay at home is hard! Whether you’re on a 9-5 shift, always out and about with friends, or hitting the gym, you’ll always think about your dog at home.
Deciding to own a dog when you’re always out should be planned carefully. One thing to consider is to get a dog that doesn’t mind being left alone.
There are many dogs with low separation anxiety which are suitable for your busy lifestyle, and we’ll explore them one by one here.
These dogs guarantee that you won’t come home to a house full of shredded items or furniture.
We also talk about the signs of separation anxiety in dogs and how to prevent dog separation anxiety.
What is Separation Anxiety in Dogs?
If your dog worries a lot when you’re outside or tries to cope by destroying your things, it can indicate separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety can be defined as a behavioral issue in dogs that reveals itself through excessive salivation, destruction, and too much noise when you leave them alone.
These are just a few signs of a stressed dog when left alone. They love to berserk when you come back and seem to be suspicious each time you leave.
Signs of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
Other signs of separation anxiety in dogs include:
- Scratching at doors or windows to escape.
- Destructive chewing.
- Howling, whining, barking, and other types of noise.
- Peeing and pooping in the house despite being house-trained.
Remember that there is actual separation anxiety in dogs, then there is simulated separation anxiety.
Simulated canine separation anxiety is when your dog is showing signs of the problem because they have simply learned the behavior, meaning they don’t really become anxious.
It means your dog lacks leadership and discipline.
Meanwhile, true separation anxiety is real stress and anxiety which can be treated medically or with proper training.
Causes of Separation Anxiety
There are not enough studies to point out what’s causing separation anxiety in dogs.
Most of the time, your dogs do not wish to punish you. They just got used to the behavior or they are really scared.
Some separation anxiety triggers in dogs include:
- Being left alone for the first time.
- Being left alone when they are used to constant human contact.
- A traumatic event like being sheltered or going to a boarding kennel.
- Change of house, family routine, structure, or the loss of a family member.
Dogs with Low Separation Anxiety
If you’re a working person who wants a low-maintenance dog, you need to get a dog with low to no levels of separation anxiety.
Here are some of the ideal dog breeds known for this.
The Akita is a Japanese breed that was originally a hunting dog but found their way into new jobs as watchdogs.
Akitas are great guard dogs for families, but they can also be aloof with strangers. This means they are picky with who they dedicate their time and energy to.
This powerful breed looks intimidating and noble. They love taking on challenges, so they do their best to survive and thrive even when they are left alone.
Nothing frightens the Akita! They know how to keep their cool when their owners are out of sight, so they are unlikely to develop separation anxiety.
This respectful and affectionate animal needs lots of training and socialization to avoid dominance.
Basset hounds are relaxed dogs that adapt well to any environment, which is why they appeal to new dog owners.
While this floppy-eared dog is sociable and affectionate with humans, they like being alone more.
They would rather sleep all day than engage in dog sports or playtime even though they were bred to hunt small game such as rabbits.
Don’t forget to commit at least moderate exercise for this low-energy dog so you can leave them at home happily.
Keep them active and healthy even if they refuse to so that they will enjoy their independence even more while also remaining a loving companion who will be with you for years.
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world because of their charming and calm personality.
While they can chill alone, they can also be playful, boisterous, and clingy. They love being around you, but they also understand when you have to go.
Unlike other dog breeds, Labs do not become destructive or noisy when they are in solitude.
The best way to raise a self-sufficient Lab is by increasing their alone time in increments. Take it slow and watch for signs of separation anxiety.
Gradually increase the amount of time you leave them alone until you reach a full day.
If you’re looking for a smaller dog that is unlikely to experience separation anxiety, go for the Lhasa Apso.
While they are comedians at home when interacting with humans, they can still find joy when the show’s over.
The Lhasa Apso has been bred for centuries to be a royal watchdog, and they are as mature as large dog breeds when they meet another dog.
They are playful, curious, and adventurous. But they also do not mind being in their crates or on a leash.
These intelligent dogs can pick up on commands quickly but tend to be stubborn at times. Make sure to train them well.
These giant teddy bears are not the type of dog breed to enjoy cuddles and proximity. The Chow Chow is a cat trapped in a big dog’s body!
They hate being hugged and they also dislike strangers, although you can train them to be sociable.
This dog is a proud and aloof breed who tends to be suspicious of others but also very loyal to their owners.
Chow Chows are purebred dogs, but they are one of the top breeds you can find in animal shelters because owners usually return them.
If at all possible, you should adopt instead of shopping for a pet dog!
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
This large breed knows how to go with the flow. Want to play? They can race to the park with you! Leaving home for a few hours? They’ll lounge on the couch all day.
Even if they’re loyal companions, GSMDs appoint themselves as responsible guardians when you’re not around.
So, make sure to train them if you don’t want them to boss around when you’re present.
They’ve had this attitude ever since their ancestors were taught to protect homesteads and keep an eye out for anyone trying to enter the property.
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog can stand on their own for a long time if you give them adequate exercise. Otherwise, they’ll get bored and restless.
Dogs with High Levels of Separation Anxiety
Now that we’ve talked about dogs with low levels of separation anxiety, here’s a list of breeds with the worst separation anxiety.
These dogs tend to get nervous and anxious when they’re left alone. They express this through barking, pacing, drooling, and being destructive.
- Border Collie
- Bichon Frise
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Toy Poodle
- Australian Shepherd.
Dogs are social animals, so it’s natural for them to feel lonely when they have no one to interact with.
Keep in mind, too, that breed information is not absolute facts but science-based observations and generalizations.
You can always stop bad dog behaviors with positive reinforcement techniques!
How to Prevent Dog Separation Anxiety
It’s quite challenging to have a dog who gets stressed out alone when you’re a busy person who’s always needed at work.
Here are some ways to prevent separation anxiety in your dogs. These should suffice to relieve their anxiety about being left alone.
Establish a Routine for Your Dog
To prevent your dog from developing separation anxiety, try maintaining a routine schedule no matter how busy you get.
Walk them to the park and provide exercise at consistent times. Let them take advantage of sniffing opportunities and socialization outside.
At home, you also must build a routine for them even when you’re not always around.
Keep Their Space Comfortable
A comfortable and cozy safe haven for your big dog in the apartment is important to keep them happy.
Try getting a dog bed for them, just like Furhaven’s Contour Ergonomic Luxe Lounger. This orthopedic bed comes in different sizes and colors.
It’s perfect for dogs who like open mattresses for plenty of room to sleep in.
Say Goodbye Properly
When it’s time to leave your dog, say goodbye the right way.
Give them dog treats or a puzzle toy with treats to keep them busy for a few minutes.
There are many safe and interactive toys in the market, such as Pet Zone’s IQ Treat Ball. This ball dispense treats to keep them mentally and physically active.
The best treats to put inside are Nutro Crunchy Dog Treats, which contain high-quality, natural ingredients without artificial colors and flavors.
Make sure you don’t leave toys and bones that have choking hazards.
If your dog suffers from this condition, we have a guide on how to relieve separation anxiety in dogs.
Leaving a Puppy Home Alone
Puppies need more attention than adult dogs do, so they can’t be left alone for a long time.
Those under six months of age can’t be left alone for more than two hours.
Hire a pet sitter or a doggy daycare to help them get through this sensitive phase as you deal with your hectic schedule.
Despite being small, puppies need a spacious and comfortable area in the house that is free from chewable items.
As they grow, you can gradually increase their alone time. Soon, you won’t need to hire a puppy sitter at all.
FAQ Dogs and Anxiety
How Do I Help a Scared Dog?
If your dog gets scared whether they’re alone or around you, you can change their behavior by staying calm and gradually desensitizing them.
Watch out for what’s triggering them. It may be another dog, strangers, or loud noises. Every time they feel scared, do not reward them with attention and comfort.
And don’t force them to face their fears!
Instead, use positive reinforcement techniques to help your dog overcome fear.
How Long Can You Leave a Dog Alone?
As much as possible, dogs should only be left alone for four hours, depending on their needs.
If you provide your furry friend with food and water, then they should be good. You also want to make sure that they were exercised before you left.
But if your work demands and other responsibilities do not allow you to go back home right away, then the maximum number of hours to leave your dog alone is eight.
Look for a dog breed that can be left alone for eight hours so you don’t have to worry about stressing them out at home.
Can I Leave My Big Dog in the Apartment Alone?
First, you want to make sure big dogs are allowed in your apartment. Next, guarantee that they won’t make noises that might annoy neighbors.
Big dogs can be left alone in the apartment if they are not noisy and destructive and if they are provided with their needs.
There is a misconception that big dogs are not suitable for apartment living, but many big dog breeds have the perfect temperament for the apartment lifestyle!
Choose “Home Alone” Dog Breeds for Your Busy Life!
Dogs that can be left alone without experiencing separation anxiety include Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hound, Lhasa Apso, Akita, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, and Chow Chow.
They can tolerate alone time for a long period because they are naturally laid-back and aloof. This does not mean that they won’t have clingy and affectionate tendencies!
These home-alone dog breeds are also not destructive, so you don’t need to overthink if your house has been shredded to pieces while you’re away.
We have a list of the least destructive dog breeds if you’re considering getting a dog that will not ruin your house and furniture!