If you are thinking of adopting a dog, and you know your dog will be home alone often, you should think about whether getting a dog is the best decision. If you still want to adopt a dog, consider breeds that are best able to handle being home alone. Always make sure your dog has access to water, and do not leave your dog alone for more than eight hours, since this puts a strain on its bladder.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) classifies dogs by the purpose for which their breed exists. One such group is the working dogs, which include guard dogs and sled dogs. Several dogs in this group are considered excellent home-alone dogs: Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees, Bull Mastiff and Great Dane. All of these dogs are very large and generally do better in larger homes.
Hounds are dogs that were developed to chase game by scent or sight. These dogs are fast, fairly large and need a lot of exercise. The Borzoi, Irish Wolfhound, Greyhound, Whippet and Saluki are all hound breeds that can be left home during the day, so long as they are exercised before and after you are gone.
Toy dogs were developed for warming laps and for apartment living. They are quite small, with the largest toy breed -- the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel -- weighing in at just under 20 pounds. In addition to being ideal for small homes, a number of toy dogs can be left at home, though like their larger counterparts, they often have a great deal of energy and require exercise once or twice a day. Breeds that can be left home include Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Chinese Crested, Japanese Chin and Pug.
Even dog breeds that are known for tolerating being home alone better than other breeds have limitations on how long they can be left alone, due to their feeding schedules, bladder and bowel needs and socialization needs. The general rule of thumb is to leave dogs alone no longer than six to eight hours at a time. Many people opt for wire crates when leaving their dogs. These are a safe way to ensure your dog doesn't get into anything dangerous or valuable, but they can be boring and restrictive for your dog.