The Best Dogs for Working People

By Betty Lewis

It's wonderful to come home to a welcoming pup after a hard day of work. The fact is, returning home to a dog means more work because he requires your time, care and attention. If you love dogs and want to share your life with one but aren't sure how to mix your work with your canine pleasure, choose wisely. Look for breeds who don't require a lot of time for grooming and exercise and cope well with time alone.

The Bulldog

The bulldog is a popular dog and it's easy to understand why: He's calm, friendly and doesn't require a lot of exercise. Though he can be a bit stubborn when it comes to training, requiring you to be patient and consistent, he's a winner in just about ever other way. He copes well with time alone, and gets along well with other pets and children. He doesn't require much grooming but his face and body wrinkles should be wiped with a handy wipe daily so he doesn't get an infection.

The Basset Hound

Another droopy dog, the basset hound is a very mellow fellow. His short coat sheds, so he requires some brushing to help cut down on the fur that may otherwise find its way onto your sofa, chairs and clothes. He's intelligent and happy to please his owners, but will appreciate praise and treats when it's time to train. He doesn't need a lot of exercise, but be prepared to follow him following his nose on his daily walks.

The Greyhound

On the surface, it seems odd to include a dog who's known for his athletic prowess -- few pets can run like the greyhound. If you like to get a run in before or after work, this guy will make a nice alternative to dogs who are less energetic. After he gets his exercise in, the greyhound turns into the consummate couch potato. Affectionate and docile, he's a loving dog who doesn't mind passing the day on his own. His short coat requires minimal care.

The Cairn Terrier

Described by the American Kennel Club as an "easy keeper," the Cairn terrier is an interesting alternative to some of the short-haired breeds. His coat requires occasional stripping, which will give you an opportunity to bond with your dog. He's a good walking partner and very intelligent, though a bit strong-willed, meaning he requires positive, consistent training. He doesn't mind being left alone for the day, provided he gets some good exercise and interaction with his people at the end of the work day.

The Boston Terrier

The Boston terrier is a happy, friendly little guy who blends in well with just about any living circumstance. He's always up for a jaunt around the block, but he's not bouncing off the walls at the end of the day. An amenable dog, he's game for just about anything: people, play and training. If you want something to do on the weekends with your canine pal, he's a willing companion for time at the dog park or in agility or obedience class.

Consider your own schedule and lifestyle when trying to fit a dog into the mix.

  • What are your exercise requirements or limitations?
  • Does work take you out of town frequently?
  • What do you do to relax when you get home?

Every dog needs walked daily, basic grooming and affection from his owner. If you don't have time to provide your dog daily mental and physical stimulation, consider taking a pass on a dog until you have more free time, or hire a dog walker to engage your pet during the day.