Each dog breed fills a niche in the lives of humans, and with the hustle and bustle of the modern work week, more and more people have found themselves looking for small dogs that can be left alone.
Finding a breed well suited to your busy lifestyle is important, not only for your sake, but for the wellbeing and happiness of your furry companion. Believe it or not, there are several breeds with the perfect temperament for those with jam-packed work schedules, and that can handle periods of time left alone.
Let’s check them out!
Small Dogs That Can Be Left Alone
While there may be some variation from individual to individual, dogs of these breeds have been found to do well by themselves.
1. Miniature Schnauzer
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Adult Size: 12-18 pounds
Coat: Wiry, Hypoallergenic
The Miniature Schnauzer, originating from a mix of pinschers and poodles, is a bright, alert and compact dog that was bred as a working companion for farmers. These dogs are fierce and loyal companions with plenty of personality and a quick intelligence that’s adept at learning basic commands.
With a protective streak in their genes from their days as working dogs, the Miniature Schnauzer remains vigilant and watchful, safeguarding its home from potential intruders. Its small size, confident attitude, and hypoallergenic coat make it a great stay-at-home companion that is just as happy being left by itself as it is in its human’s loving company.
2. Lhasa Apso
Average Lifespan: 12-15 years
Adult size: 12-18 pounds
Coat: Straight overcoat, medium undercoat
The Lhasa Apso is a Tibetan breed with a shrouded history. This breed may have served a sentinel role, watching over its home and alerting of danger. These dogs are compact, soft to the touch, and are extremely dutiful to their owners. Due to their history as sentinels, they’re also well suited for solitude.
As a non-sporting breed, the Lhasa Apso does not demand the same amount of physical exercise as working dogs, which means they are one of the small dogs that can be left alone. Thanks to their size and temperament, the Lhasa Apso makes a terrific apartment dog that enjoys indoor play and can be picked up or transported without complaint.
Average Lifespan: 12-15
Adult Size: 7-11 pounds
Coat: silky, hypoallergenic
The Maltese is of probable spitz origin and is renowned for its popularity as a lapdog. Once found in the courts of European royalty, the Maltese has enjoyed the company of the rich and famous.
A wonderful companion dog, this breed is known for its calm and demure aspect that’s well suited for families. Like others in this list, the Maltese does not require a high amount of physical activity or engagement and will deal well by itself.
Often used as a therapy or companion animal, this breed is friendly towards strangers, making it a great tag-along partner for trips or visits to friends.
Average Lifespan: 10-15 years
Adult Size: 14-18 pounds
The Pug is, of course, famous for its truncated muzzle and flattened features. A unique looking dog, the Pug presents a curious and observant household companion.
In part due to its brachycephalic features, the Pug was not bred for excessive physical activity and does better in a more passive role as a lapdog, enjoying the quiet company of its owner.
The breed is known for its friendly disposition towards children and strangers and is non-threatening. For children with a fear of furry critters, pugs can be a great way to introduce kids to dogs, as the breed’s unusual features and amiable attitude signal their passive nature.
A homebody at heart, pugs are perfectly happy being left alone, as they are not a destructive breed and can entertain themselves.
5. Japanese Chin
Average Lifespan: 12-14 years
Adult Size: 5-15 pounds
Coat: silky, long
Another of the flat faced breeds, the Japanese Chin, also known as the Japanese Spaniel, is a toy breed commonly used as a companion animal and lapdog. Like the Pug, the Japanese Chin’s features and size make it ill-suited for rigorous physical activity, and the breed is happy with moderate indoor play and short walks.
In terms of attitude, owners of the Japanese Chin have compared its disposition to that of cats. This comparison is in part drawn from the fact that the Japanese Chin thrives in an indoor environment and is another of the small dogs that can be left alone.
Compact, loyal, and incredibly soft, the Japanese Chin is a great family dog and can be good with strangers if properly socialized at a young age.
Average Lifespan: 12-20
Adult Size: 3-10 pounds
Coat: short or long
One of the smallest breeds on this list, the Chihuahua compensates for its size with personality, which it has in bucket loads.
Fiercely loyal, the Chihuahua is a terrific household protector and companion, known for its fearless attitude towards larger dog breeds. However, these little buddies are all bark and no bite, and are as gentle as can be with their owners.
Due to their small size, the Chihuahua thrives in indoor environments and can adapt to apartments and homes that are otherwise too confined or restrictive for larger breeds.
As far as being left alone, Chihuahuas learn to love and appreciate their home environment and have little issue with hanging back and taking charge of the house while their owners are away.
7. French Bulldog
Average Lifespan: 10-14
Adult Size: 20-28 pounds
The French Bulldog is a toy bully breed developed in response to the outlaw of dog fighting in several European countries in order to provide people with a bulldog-like breed that was better suited for companionship.
Personable, frisky, and friendly, the French Bulldog is a trending breed popular among celebrities and can be seen across urban centers nationwide. This perky-eared breed’s popularity is due not only in part to its cute and affable appearance, but also because it enjoys indoor environments and can handle time spent alone.
Despite doing well when left by itself, the French Bulldog is slightly more dependent on the company of its owner and demands more physical activity than other breeds on this list.
8. Scottish Terrier
Average Lifespan: 11-14
Adult Size: 18-22 pounds
Coat: long, wiry
The Scottish Terrier, affectionately dubbed the Scottie, is a small Terrier with a distinctive appearance marked by its “beard” and long snout. A dutiful and loyal household guardian, the Scottish Terrier is renowned for being a good family dog that develops a strong bond to its owner.
The breed is independent and confident, and can manage being left alone outside the company of its family. Striking in its appearance and bold in attitude, the Scottish Terrier is a beautiful dog that will make its presence known without being overbearing or demanding vigorous activity.
Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
Adult Size: 11-30 pounds
Coat: short or long
Recognizable for its elongated body shape, the Dachshund was originally developed as a scent hound, but has since become a popular companion animal and household pet. The Dachshund is intelligent and mischievous, and many owners describe them as compulsively loyal, capable of developing strong bonds.
The breed is also fairly adaptable and can be content in active households as well as more laidback environments. For those who want a dog that is just as ready to play as it is to relax, the Dachshund might be the perfect breed.
A great family pet, the Dachshund does well with children if properly socialized and treated with care.
Average Lifespan: 12-16 years
Adult Size: 3-8 pounds
Coat: fluffy, long
The Pomeranian is a Spitz-type dog breed originating from Poland where it was developed as a companion animal and lapdog. The Pomeranian is perky, playful, and incredibly loyal to its owners, making it often eager to please.
Happy at home, the Pomeranian is one of the small dogs that can be left alone and be perfectly content. While respectful of its owners and family, this breed tends to be overly protective and is known to take a fierce stance against strangers and other dogs.