I would be lying to you if I recommended a dog that could be left alone all day, whilst a family goes out to work or school.
A breed simply doesn’t exist that would tolerate this day in, day out.
Well there is but they are called cats.
Dogs are social animals and will not do well if they are left alone for long periods.
What is interesting is how much the advice varies between the U.K. and the U.S.
And this isn’t advice from any old dog website, this is advice from the experts.
In the U.K. an established authority on everything dogs is the Kennel Club and they recommend that any dog shouldn’t be left alone for more than 4 hours.
It should be much less for puppies and young dogs.
The most well respected animal charity in the U.K. agrees that four hours is the maximum.
In the U.S. the advice from the experts is different.
The American Kennel Club believes that dogs should be left alone for a maximum of eight hours.
So bearing that in mind, let’s take a look at issues specific to small breeds of dogs.
Leaving Small Dogs Alone
Many small breeds of dogs have been bred to be companion dogs- deep within their DNA and family history is a need and function to be their owner’s canine soulmate.
For these dogs being left alone is a real challenge and can lead to destructive behaviours such as chewing and excessive barking.
How To Leave a Dog Alone
There isn’t a breed of dog either large or small where you can guarantee from the moment that they get home that they can be left alone and be quiet and thrive.
Any dog needs to be patiently taught to be left alone.
It takes preparation- of your home, your dog and yourself.
And the biggest secret to success (apart from having a large dollop of patience) is to start with very short periods of time and to build up slowly to much longer periods of time.
Prepare your home for a dog to be left alone
You need to prepare your home and secure an area that you want the dog to stay in.
This shouldn’t be too small. It should be big enough to have a dog bed in it and some space for your dog to walk around in.
At the opposite extreme you don’t want the area to be too big- such as access to all of your home.
Your dog should have constant access to water and depending on how long you are going to be absent, your dog might need access to food.
Also, your dog will need some mental stimulation. This can be in the form of a Kong toy stuffed with food or some other chew toy.
It isn’t advisable to leave your dog with any raw (or cooked) bones whilst you are away.
Prepare your dog to be alone
Ideally your dog needs to eat before they go for a walk so that when you are on the walk they can go to the toilet.
The best thing that you can do to prepare your dog is to give them a good walk before you leave them.
What constitutes a good walk depends on the dog- for some it will mean a short twenty minute stroll, whilst others will need over an hour.
Prepare yourself to leave your dog alone
When you leave your house to go out, you need to leave calmly and quietly.
Don’t make a big thing of it.
Make sure that you have everything you need and that the area that your dog will stay in is ready to go.
Say goodbye quietly, walk out making sure that the dog is shut in the area.
Now that we have covered some of the basics of leaving your dog alone, we can now look at some specific breeds of small and quiet dogs that can be left alone.
One of my list stars.
In terms of size, a Basenji is a large small dog! Standing around 40 cm high and weighing it at anything from about 9 kg
A Basenji is quiet because it is known as the “barkless” dog.
It doesn’t bark, it yodels.
Whilst they are very affectionate and playful with their immediate family, they can be very shy and standoffish with strangers.
Basenji can be left alone but they do need a really good run before you leave- of at least 30 minutes or more.
 Boston Terriers
Is there nothing this dog can’t do?
And unlike a lot of terriers, Boston doesn’t bark too often.
They have a great personality and as the name suggests, they are used to city life.
Which means some time being spent alone.
With an average height of around 40 cm and an average weight of around 8 kg, these dogs are suitable for apartment life.
 Basset Hounds
Our next quiet and small dog that likes some “me” time is a Basset Hound.
I guess a Basset can only be considered small in terms of its height (which is about 33 cm) .
In terms of their weight and their length these dogs aren’t small. They weigh about 24 kg on average.
They have a deep and loud bark which they use sparingly- only when they get really spooked.
Basset Hounds have a very distinctive look.
They have one of the saddest looking faces in all of the dog world.
Their droopy eyes and ears and short legs lend them a “forlorn air.”
In reality they are calm, playful and very, very loyal.
They do need a good walk before they are left alone as they are naturally a very lazy breed.
Walking is a way of keeping their weight down as opposed to it being an activity that they love and adore.
They do better when left alone if they are with another dog.
 French Bulldogs
French Bulldogs don’t bark very much but when they are with their family, they can make lots of different noises that will make you laugh!
These include screaming, snorting and panting as well as farting.
One of the issues for a French Bulldog of being left at home alone, is the risk of it being stolen.
In both the U.S. and U.K., the French Bulldog has been in the top three most popular dogs over the past four or five years.
Any popular dog becomes a target for thieves because of how much money they can fetch.
In 2017, Frenchies were the third most popular dog to be stolen.
If you are going to leave your French Bulldog alone, then it will need a short walk of about twenty minutes before you go.
Frenchies are short in height, standing at about 30 cm but by the time they are fully grown they are all muscle!
 Miniature Bull Terrier
My final pick is a Miniature Bull Terrier, which should be no taller than 35 cm but can weigh as much as 16 kg.
These dogs tend to have a quiet and calm manner for much of the time.
They do have short bursts of energy and respond really well to being played with.
They are very loving, but like their bigger cousins they also have a stubborn streak if they haven’t been trained or socialised enough.