Being a full-time worker doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the joys of dog ownership. In fact, with the right choice of breed, your furry friend can be the perfect companion for your busy lifestyle. In this guide, we’ll explore a diverse range of dog breeds, from the charming Basset Hound to the energetic Labrador Retrievers, all tailored to meet the needs of full-time workers.
Note: Full-Time Workers Ideally Need Support!
Particularly during puppyhood, responsible guardians will create breaks for their dogs by asking a friend to come let the dogs out, or hiring a dog walker to take your dog on a walk or provide some companionship! Full-time workers can be successful guardians; just takes a little more prep, and as a full-time worker, that level of support is something that’s not negotiable. And without meaning to be rude, maybe a dog wouldn’t be ideal for you if you don’t have the space in your life or budget for one.
18 Ideal Breeds for Full-Time Workers
Akitas are a large and powerful breed originally from Japan. They are known to be intelligent, independent, and protective. As a result, they have a natural ability to entertain themselves when it comes to being alone during work hours. Akitas are suitable for families who can provide them with sufficient exercise, socialization, and mental stimulation when they are home.
2. Basset Hound
Basset Hounds are well-known for their distinctive appearance, featuring long ears and droopy, soulful eyes. These fantastic scent hounds are known for their patience, loyalty, and generally low-energy behavior. Basset Hounds are great family pets and are usually quite comfortable being alone for extended periods, provided they receive the attention they need when you are home.
3. Boston Terrier
Boston Terriers are a small breed that was originally bred for companionship, making them well-suited to adapt to their owner’s lifestyle. They are friendly, intelligent, and enjoy being around people, but they can manage being alone so long as they are properly trained and given adequate mental stimulation. Regular exercise is necessary to keep them happy and healthy.
Bulldogs, both English and American, have gained a reputation for their tenacity and determination. However, their laid-back personalities, low-energy levels, and love for lounging make them an ideal breed for those who work full time. These sturdy dogs spend much of their day resting and will be happy to nap when left alone for several hours.
5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are endearing and sweet-tempered dogs that are friendly with both people and other animals. Known for their adaptability, they are quite happy to curl up and nap in luxury while their guardian is at work. Make sure to provide them with plenty of love and attention when you are home, as they thrive on companionship.
Chihuahuas are small, feisty dogs that hold the title of the world’s smallest breed. Though they can be bold and somewhat protective, their size and minimal exercise requirements mean that they are content to stay within the comfort of their home during the workday. Chihuahuas are intelligent and adaptable, and a good fit for pet owners who work long hours.
7. Chow Chow
Chow Chows are an ancient breed from China, where they were originally used as hunting, herding, and guard dogs. They are known for their lion-like appearance and charming, aloof nature. Chow Chows are a relatively independent breed and fare well when left alone for extended periods, though they still require exercise and mental stimulation when you return home.
Dachshunds, affectionately called “wiener dogs,” are small but mighty dogs known for their unique shape. They are lovable lapdogs, characterized by their independence and affectionate nature. Dachshunds can handle being alone during the workday, provided they are given plenty of attention, exercise, and mental stimulation when their owners are home.
9. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs, or “Frenchies,” are a popular small breed known for their adorable, wrinkled faces and stocky bodies. Much like their English counterparts, French Bulldogs are lower energy and do well staying at home alone without requiring excessive amounts of exercise. It is still essential to provide these affectionate dogs with love and companionship when you return from work.
10. Great Dane
Great Danes are a massive breed, often called “gentle giants” due to their kind, calm demeanor. They are known to be affectionate and excellent with children, making them fantastic family pets. Despite their size, Great Danes are relatively low-energy dogs that are able to handle being alone provided they receive a healthy amount of exercise and attention when their owners are home.
Greyhounds are the world’s fastest dog breeds, but don’t let their running reputation deceive you! These dogs are actually quite lazy and enjoy lounging and napping most of the day. Greyhounds are gentle, low-energy dogs that can handle being alone during work hours, as long as they are taken for walks and provided with attention when their owners return home.
12. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is an imposing breed, with a large size and rich history as a hunting and guard dog. Despite their somewhat intimidating appearance, Wolfhounds are typically friendly, gentle creatures that can adapt well to their owner’s work schedules. Make sure to provide regular outdoor exercise and mental stimulation for these laid-back giants.
13. Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apsos are small, ancient dogs originating from Tibet, where they were traditionally tasked with alerting monks to intruders. With their long history of independence, Lhasa Apsos fare well on their own during the workday. However, they still need socialization and grooming to keep their coat healthy, along with regular interaction when you’re at home.
The Maltese is an adorable lapdog known for its long, silky white coat and loving nature. These dogs thrive on human company and affection, but they can manage being alone during the day if a warm lap awaits them in the evening. Be sure to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation for your Maltese when you’re at home with them.
Pugs are small, charming dogs with a comical, wrinkled face and a lovable personality. While these dogs love attention, they can also handle being home alone for a full workday, as long as they receive care, training, and companionship outside of work hours. Daily walks and mental stimulation are essential for these affectionate pets.
16. Scottish Deerhound
Scottish Deerhounds are a tall, lean breed well-known for their striking, greyhound-like appearance and gentle disposition. Though these dogs were once used for deer hunting, today, they are better understood as a laid-back and affectionate breed. Deerhounds tend to be content on their own but require sufficient exercise, mental stimulation, and affection when their owners are home.
17. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are friendly companion dogs with a distinctive, long coat that can be styled in various ways. These pet-sized dogs generally have a calm and quiet disposition, making them well-suited for life in an apartment or with someone who works full time. Regular grooming is essential to maintain their beautiful coat, and they enjoy daily walks and attention from their owners.
Whippets are small, sleek sighthounds known for their graceful appearance and calm demeanor. They are both quiet and undemanding by nature, with an ability to relax and enjoy downtime when at home on their own. Ensuring their daily exercise needs are met is crucial for keeping your Whippet happy and healthy, making them an excellent choice for busy pet owners.
Interested in other dogs?
I know, I know. The dog that you likely wanted isn’t on my list, right? Well, that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work from a tiny dog to a bernese mountain dog — you just need the right support system.
Low Maintenance Dog Breeds
For individuals immersed in demanding jobs, the prospect of having a four-legged companion that requires minimal maintenance is truly a blessing. Enter the Basset Hound, a stellar choice with its laid-back demeanor and a coat that demands little in terms of grooming. This charming breed not only adds a touch of easygoing charm to your life but also fits seamlessly into the schedule of full-time workers.
If you’re seeking a small but robust canine companion, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers emerge as excellent choices. Their manageable size doesn’t compromise on personality, making them perfect additions to the lives of those with bustling careers. French Bulldogs, in particular, offer a delightful mix of compact stature and spirited character, making them not only great companions but also natural guard dogs, adding a layer of security to your home without sacrificing your valuable time.
Considering the need for a low-maintenance yet affectionate pet, the Miniature Schnauzer stands out. With its small size and minimal grooming requirements, this breed becomes an ideal choice for individuals juggling the demands of a full-time job. Additionally, the Lhasa Apso, known for its independent nature and manageable size, proves to be a practical and good choice for those seeking a small yet resilient canine companion that won’t add unnecessary stress to their busy lives.
Medium-sized Dogs for Small Spaces
Embracing the joys of canine companionship is entirely feasible, even in the confines of a compact apartment. Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, celebrated for their adaptability and friendly disposition, seamlessly integrate into smaller living spaces. Their manageable size doesn’t compromise the joy they bring to a dog lover’s life. These breeds, known for their affectionate nature, become ideal companions for full-time workers seeking a furry friend to share their urban abode.
For those with a penchant for smaller dog breeds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel emerges as a stellar option for urban living. Its small stature and intelligent demeanor make it a perfect fit for apartment dwellers who value both companionship and adaptability. Choosing a smaller dog, like the French Bulldog, is not only a good idea for those with limited space but also a practical choice for full-time workers looking to balance their busy schedules with the love and loyalty of a four-legged friend.
While larger breeds like the Doberman Pinscher may seem counterintuitive for apartment living, their energy levels and adaptability can surprise even the skeptics. With proper training and a commitment to providing them with the much-needed exercise, these dogs can thrive in smaller spaces, making them a good idea for dog lovers who appreciate the unique qualities that larger breeds bring to urban living.
High-Energy Dogs for Active Lifestyles
For individuals committed to maintaining an active lifestyle, even with the demands of a full-time job, certain high-energy dog breeds prove to be fantastic companions that can keep up with the pace of their owners. The Chow Chow, with its unique and regal appearance, and the majestic Great Danes, known for their imposing size, are both excellent choices for those seeking canine companions that match their enthusiasm for an active life. Despite their large stature, these breeds are more than capable of providing the energy and companionship necessary for individuals balancing a full-time job with an active lifestyle.
While large dogs like the Great Danes capture the attention of many, medium-sized breeds like the Border Collie offer a perfect blend of intelligence and agility. Renowned for their remarkable problem-solving skills and responsiveness, Border Collies make excellent choices for owners who enjoy outdoor activities and a good walk. These dogs not only provide the physical exercise needed but also engage their owners mentally, showcasing why they consistently rank among the most popular dogs for those seeking both size and intelligence in their four-legged companions.
For those who prefer a more manageable size without compromising on energy levels, smaller breeds like the tiny yet resilient Bernese Mountain Dog can be an excellent choice. Their friendly personality traits and good-walk companionship make them ideal for individuals who lead active lives and might even require the assistance of a dog walker during their full-time workdays. Whether large or medium-sized, these dogs prove that size is no obstacle when it comes to finding the perfect canine companion for an active and fulfilling lifestyle.
Dogs Suitable for Long Hours Alone
The challenges faced by full-time workers in leaving their dogs alone for extended periods underscore the importance of choosing breeds that can handle such situations with grace. Then we may consider the Shar Pei and Lhasa Apso—breeds that have gained popularity as working dog breeds known for their independence and resilience during long periods of time spent alone. Not only are they well-suited to the lifestyles of full-time workers, but their low-maintenance qualities also make them particularly appealing choices for those who may not have the luxury of constant companionship.
These breeds are not just popular among working individuals; they also thrive in small homes, making them ideal for those living in more compact spaces. The Shiba Inu, with its spirited personality and adaptability, fits seamlessly into smaller homes, proving that a dog’s happiness isn’t necessarily correlated with the size of the living space. This makes these breeds not only popular among those who work long hours but also practical choices for individuals residing in apartments or small homes, where the need for a low-maintenance dog breed becomes even more pronounced.
As dogs age, their ability to adapt to being alone for extended periods becomes crucial. The Shar Pei, Lhasa Apso, and Doberman Pinscher are not only known for their independence but also for being well-suited to the companionship needs of an older dog. Their ability to handle separation anxiety makes them excellent choices for individuals seeking a four-legged friend that can adapt to the challenges of a full-time job and provide comfort and companionship to older dogs experiencing the nuances of aging.
Dealing with Separation Anxiety
For individuals grappling with concerns about their dogs experiencing separation anxiety due to long working hours, specific breeds like Miniature Schnauzers and Bernese Mountain Dogs emerge as excellent solutions. These affectionate canine companions thrive on quality time and are renowned for their unwavering loyalty, making them the perfect choice for those who find themselves away from home for extended periods. Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or a seasoned enthusiast, these breeds prove to be not only great companions but also adept at handling the challenges of city life.
In contrast, breeds such as the Irish Wolfhound, known for their gentle disposition and immense size, offer a different yet equally compelling option for those seeking a great companion that can endure long periods of time alone. While their size may initially seem imposing, Irish Wolfhounds are surprisingly well-suited to city life, showcasing that the right breed of dog can adapt to various living environments. Their calm demeanor and affectionate nature make them a top option for individuals working long hours, providing not just a pet but a majestic presence that can patiently wait until their owners return.
For those with an inclination towards more active breeds, Italian Greyhounds, often recognized as racing dogs, present a great option for individuals seeking both a loyal companion and a canine athlete. While their slender build and love for speed may suggest a need for lots of exercise, Italian Greyhounds can adapt to short walks in various weather conditions. This makes them an ideal choice for those working long hours in city settings, offering the perfect blend of loyalty and adaptability for both first-time dog owners and experienced enthusiasts seeking the best option for their lifestyle.
Meeting Exercise Needs
Maintaining a healthy balance between a full-time job and your canine companion’s exercise needs is crucial for both pet owners and their four-legged friends. Breeds such as Australian Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Cocker Spaniels stand out as ideal choices for active individuals who are committed to providing their dogs with the much-needed physical activity they crave. Despite the demands of a working person’s schedule, these breeds thrive on regular exercise, making them perfect for those who can dedicate time to daily walks and engaging playtime.
For pet owners with limited space, Australian Shepherds, with their boundless energy and agility, prove that much space is not a prerequisite for meeting a dog’s exercise requirements. These intelligent and lively dogs are content with a brisk walk or a playful session of fetch, showcasing that even in smaller living environments, a working person can successfully cater to their energetic needs. The end of the day, rather than turning into a sedentary couch potato routine, becomes an opportunity for both pet and owner to enjoy quality time together.
Whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or welcoming a new dog into your home, it’s essential to understand the exercise needs of your chosen breed. Siberian Huskies, known for their endurance and love for vigorous activities, benefit from a lot of exercises to keep them happy and healthy. Cocker Spaniels, while smaller in size, also require regular physical activity, making them a fantastic choice for those seeking a companion that can keep up with their active lifestyle. In the grand work score of balancing a full-time job and being a responsible pet owner, these breeds undoubtedly earn a top spot on the list of the best dog breeds for individuals looking to provide their furry friends with the exercise they need to thrive.
Training and Socialization
Intelligent dogs, like German Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, and Border Collies, bring a wealth of mental prowess to the table, but their potential truly shines when paired with proper training and regular mental stimulation. For pet owners facing long working hours or periods of alone time, it’s essential to invest the time and effort into engaging activities that challenge their intellectual capacities. These working dog breeds not only thrive on plenty of exercise but also require mental challenges to keep them fulfilled and prevent boredom.
When it comes to mental stimulation, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Boston Terriers, though of a more moderate size, share the need for engaging activities. These loyal dogs, popular for their affectionate nature, benefit greatly from interactive games and training sessions. Even in colder weather or during long days when outdoor exercise might be limited, these breeds can stay mentally sharp with indoor activities, providing an excellent balance for pet owners seeking intelligent and low-maintenance dog breeds.
For those in search of top tips on keeping their intelligent and loyal dogs engaged, it’s crucial to consider the individual needs of the breed. While German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds may excel in activities like agility training, Border Collies might thrive in games that challenge their problem-solving abilities. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Boston Terriers, on the other hand, might enjoy puzzle toys or interactive play that keeps their minds active. As popular and medium-sized dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club, these intelligent dogs prove to be great companions for pet owners willing to invest the time and energy required to ensure their mental and physical well-being.
Best Dogs for Various Living Situations
Regardless of your living situation, finding the perfect canine companion is entirely feasible. For apartment dwellers seeking a furry friend to share their compact living spaces, breeds like French Bulldogs and Shih Tzus prove to be perfect choices. These tiny dogs are not only well-suited for smaller homes but are also known for their affectionate nature, providing companionship for those who may be full-time workers facing long days.
On the flip side, individuals fortunate enough to reside in more spacious homes can welcome larger breeds like Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds into their families. These majestic dogs thrive in larger spaces, and despite their imposing size, they can adapt well to home environments when given enough exercise. For those who work long hours, providing enough exercise for these breeds becomes crucial to ensure their well-being and contentment, proving that even full-time workers can accommodate the needs of larger, affectionate dogs in spacious settings.
Understanding the specific exercise needs of your chosen breed is essential, whether you opt for a tiny dog in an apartment or a larger companion in a more extensive living space. French Bulldogs and Shih Tzus may not require as much exercise as their larger counterparts, but they still benefit from regular playtime to keep them happy and healthy. Conversely, Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds, despite their size, appreciate enough exercise to maintain their well-being, especially for individuals facing long days as full-time workers. In the grand scheme of finding the ideal furry companion, tailoring your choice to both your living situation and the exercise needs of the breed ensures a harmonious relationship between you and your four-legged friend.
You Still Have To Be Ready!
Taking on a dog is a huge commitment, whilst it is possible for a dog to thrive in a working home, it’s immensely important to ensure that you meet your dogs needs.
In the vast world of dog breeds, there’s a perfect match for every full-time worker. From low-maintenance breeds to high-energy companions, the key is understanding your lifestyle and choosing a dog that complements it. By considering factors such as exercise needs, temperament, and size, you can find the ideal four-legged friend to accompany you through your busy but fulfilling life.
Author, Ali Smith
Ali Smith is a professional, qualified, and multi-award winning trainer is the founder of rebarkable. She has always believed animals deserve kindness and champions force free methods. Believing that dog guardians will all choose the kindest options if proper information is provided, she aims to help all dog guardians who need it and make dog training as accessible as possible
Ali lives win Maryland, US with her husband and her three dogs.