Especially now, the question of what the best dog breeds for remote workers are is important. While all dogs love bonding with their owners, it’s a good idea to do some research on different breeds if you’re wanting a canine companion who’ll blend seamlessly into your work-from-home or hybrid lifestyle.
It might seem like a no-brainer that a flexible working arrangement would pair beautifully with being a pet parent, but just how not all humans are cut out for remote working, not all dogs are either. While a pet’s behavior can be shaped by training, socialization, and their unique personality, their ability to sit quietly beside you all day enjoying the best dental chews for dogs, or happily do their own thing while you’re out, is largely determined by the traits of their breed.
To find the best dog breeds for remote workers, it’s worth considering factors including trainability, adaption to flat living, energy levels, tolerance for being left alone, and exercise needs. Also in this article are top tips from animal behaviorist Caroline Wilkinson on how to meet your dog’s needs while still staying focused on your work.
Caroline Wilkinson is a Certified Animal Behaviourist. She is a Full (assessed) Member of the APDT and INTODogs – as well as a Registered Training Instructor (ABTC). Caroline is also a Certified Real Dog Yoga Practitioner and an Applied Canine Zoopharmacognosist.
The Shih Tzu, one of the sweetest and most affectionate dog breeds has a lively and playful personality, and is highly human-orientated. Content to spend their days loving their owners and being loved, these lapdogs can tolerate short to medium bursts of alone time and adapt well to most living arrangements.
With low energy levels and exercise needs, the Shih Tzu will happily miss a day of exercise if your schedule doesn’t permit a walk, as long as you can spare a few minutes to engage in some play with a dog toy or two.
The friendly and trainable Maltese makes a great companion if you work from home, more than content with sitting in your lap or by your side as you work. They’re quiet, too, so shouldn’t be too large a distraction when you need to focus.
They don’t like being alone for long periods of time, and don’t need a lot of exercise, making them ideal if you’re in the house all day. With such a small size, the Maltese can be suited to apartment living too – they don’t need a lot of space, just a loving owner! They can be quite playful, however, so if you’re busy it’s worth throwing a favorite toy their way.
With a reputation for always being on guard, the fearless and alert Doberman is more than happy to spend his days defending his home and his humans. While he’s not as comfortable with flat living as some of his smaller peers, a property with access to a backyard will suit him nicely.
Incredibly easy to train and unlikely to bark unless a stranger comes to the door, the obedient Doberman makes for an ideal companion if you need to be able to spend a lot of uninterrupted time on video calls. Their energy and exercise needs are moderate, so make sure you have time to take them for a good daily walk or hike.
The native dog of Cuba, the Havanese is a vivacious, cheerful, and sociable breed with immense charm. If you’re looking for a five star love dog who can’t get enough of you, this could well be the breed for you, but their huge hearts that burst with love for their owners does mean they aren’t suitable for being left alone.
Highly adaptable, they do well in any living environment with people around, whether it be a tiny flat or a huge farm. They’re a dream to train and while they might bark if someone knocks on the door, they’re generally quiet when you need them to be. With moderate energy levels, a good walk every day is a must for these little sweethearts.
The Pomeranian is a small dog that’s just as happy sitting beside you as you work as they are enjoying a walk or partaking in agility trials. So, they’re a good fit for remote workers. This intelligent, sociable dog doesn’t do well when left home alone for long periods of time, but if you do need to head out now and again it shouldn’t be an issue.
They can bark a lot when bored, but if you keep them occupied with a favorite toy while you need some peace and quiet, they’re unlikely to disturb you too much – particularly if you make sure they have a little exercise too.
The ever-popular French Bulldog makes for a great remote working companion, content to live and be wherever their humans are. Smart and playful, they have low exercise needs, so a short walk or outdoor play session is perfectly adequate for keeping the Frenchie in shape, making them one of the best dog breeds for remote workers.
Like the Havanese, the French Bulldog is all about people, so they don’t do well with being left alone. Their alert nature also makes them prone to barking more frequently, and they can be stubborn, although their desire to please their owners makes them relatively easy to train. Food is a huge motivator for Frenchies, so keep a stash of the best dog treats on hand, and they’ll quickly become a good office companion.
Kind, friendly, and calm, the Bulldog loves people, but has a good tolerance for being left alone, making them the perfect choice if you want a dog that you can close the office door on from time to time without them kicking up a fuss.
While their energy levels are lower than most breeds, they like exercising, so a brisk daily walk is ideal. Weighing up to 50lbs, the Bulldog is a lapdog at heart who won’t think twice about trying to curl up on you despite his size. Easygoing, their snorts and snores make them noisy companions at times, but their docile and loyal natures more than make up for that. When it comes to the top dog breeds for remote workers, they're high up on the list.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The affectionate, gentle, and graceful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has a beautiful nature and a sweet expression that will melt your heart. Adaptable, easy to train, and with little desire to bark, this breed won’t distract you from your work in the traditional sense, so are great dog breeds for remote workers, but it may steal your attention with its loving large round eyes.
This breed only ever wants to be where its humans are, so locking this pup out of your office can result in separation anxiety. The good news is that because they’re so quiet, docile and happy to sit calmly in your presence that you’ll have little need to shut them out. They love to exercise, so make sure they get a good walk every day.
The Bichon Frise is a playful and intelligent small dog, ideal if you’re working from home. They’re quiet and happy to keep themselves amused with a toy or two, but they do like attention so be sure to give them plenty of cuddles and pets during your breaks!
They’re easy to train, which is always an advantage if you need time free from distractions while you work, and have moderate exercise needs, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to fit in short walks around your work to keep your furry companion content.
Smart and with a cheerful disposition, this is an outgoing and eager-to-please breed who are one of the easiest to train. Sensitive and responsive, they want nothing more than to make their owners happy so once they’ve mastered commands, you’ll find they adapt well to you working from home.
Like their cousins the Cavalier King Charles, the Cocker Spaniel doesn’t do well with being left alone, so you’ll want to make sure you can take them wherever you go. Energetic, but happy to sleep at your feet when tired out, give them plenty of short bursts of play and a brisk daily walk or two. When it comes to the best dog breeds for remote workers, they unsurprisingly chart highly.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a trainable dog that enjoys being with their owner, so they’re sure to suit a remote worker. They can be left alone for short bursts of time, which can be handy if you enjoy working in coffee shops every so often, but make sure they’ve got toys or treats to keep them busy beforehand.
These dogs aren’t the quietest, and can yap if they need something, so before that all-important video call you might want to make sure they’re totally happy. However, these small dogs will be content just being by your side while you work.
With large round eyes that shine with an endearing mix of kindness and mischief, the Boston Terrier is a bright dog with a natural gift for comedy. Easy to train and able to tolerate some time alone, this breed will be okay if you need to pop out for meetings. Those looking for good dog breeds for remote workers should stop right here.
Exercise needs vary from Boston to Boston, but most will be happy with a brisk walk once or twice a day. If you happen to find yourself with a very energetic dog, spend time engaging in daily play sessions with balls and rope toys, and make sure you have plenty of the best dog chew toys lying around for your Boston to amuse themselves with when you’re busy with work.
Wickedly smart and incredibly versatile and intelligent, the Poodle are sociable creatures who are a joy to train. Agile, graceful, and serious people pleasers, you’ll have no trouble training your Poodle to sit quietly when you need them to.
This is a breed that will stick to you like glue, so you’ll want to make sure you have a working setup that allows them to be wherever you are. They’re not prone to barking, which makes getting your work done that much easier, but they’re highly energetic so you’ll want to take them on long walks or jogs each day to tire them out.
If you have a hybrid working arrangement that means you need to be away from home several days a week, look no further than the Miniature Schnauzer. Small enough to adapt to apartment living but plucky enough to happily patrol large areas of land, this breed will fit comfortably pretty much anywhere and although they’re family-orientated, they can tolerate being left at home when needed.
Friendly, smart, and obedient, these little guys learn quickly as long as things are kept fun and interesting. They’re lively and energetic, so you’ll want to give them plenty of exercise in the form of activities that challenge them both mentally and physically. Find the time to stimulate them with some indoor games for dogs mixed with daily walks, and you’ll have a happy home-working companion on your hands.
Chihuahuas are quite laid back, and they’re happy to amuse themselves while you work – they aren’t the neediest breed out there. They’ll be happy by your side as you work, but they do still like affection so be sure to treat them to plenty of pets when you can.
They don’t need a whole load of exercise, which comes in useful on those busy work days, and they’re quite easy to train. They’re happy living in an apartment too, as long as they get some quality time with you.
The Pug’s sweet nature makes them an ideal remote working buddy. Living to love and be loved, this adorable breed has a mischievous and comical nature that will provide you with an amusing distraction when you need a break from the screen. There are few dog breeds for remote workers that top this one.
Requiring little exercise, the Pug will happily be a couch potato, snoring beside you all day long while you work. They have an even and stable temperament and a sweet disposition, and as long as they can be where you are, they’ll demand very little of you. They can be a tad stubborn and take a while to train, but as long as you’re patient and kind with them, it won’t be long before you have a devoted companion.
Top tips for taking care of your dog while working remotely
Make sure they get enough rest
Dogs that act up during the workday, barking while you’re trying to make calls or vying for your attention while you’re trying to concentrate on the screen, may be trying to tell you they’re in need of a nap.
“Our dogs aren't getting as much rest, with our constant typing and talking or the hecticness of homeschooling taking place,” explains animal behaviorist Caroline Wilkinson. “An overtired dog will be much more likely to bark and react to their environment, than one who's had a good balance of rest alongside mental and physical exercise during the day.”
Consider investing in one of the best dog beds and encourage your dog to go in it by using treats and a ‘settle down’ command. You might also like to invest in a device like the RelaxoPet Pro which uses frequent subliminal vibrations to help stimulate deep relaxation in animals, relieve stress, and induce calm.
Make time for exercise and play
While some breeds such as Pugs and Shih Tzus are fine with missing a daily walk, it’s important that all dogs get some form of either physical or mental stimulation each day. Using a puzzle feeder, playing indoor or outdoor games, or practicing agility or obedience training are all great forms of enrichment if you can’t get out of the house.
Even if you’re working all day, try to ensure you give your dogs attention when you can, too. Some dogs are more content with being left to their own devices than others, but they’ll appreciate a good fuss when you take your breaks.
Train your dog at home to adapt to a remote working environment
Not all breeds adapt well to home working, but there are ways you can help your dog get used to the new setup. “Create a calm den-like space that they feel comfortable settling in - preferably away from your desk, so your movements don't constantly disturb them,” advises Wilkinson. “Set aside slots in your calendar to give them exercise or attention, so that they're more relaxed when you need to focus - plus getting outside with your dog will increase your own productivity afterward!".
If you know you’re going to have a lot of important meetings, have plenty of chews and treats in stock so that you can give them something long-lasting to munch on that will keep them occupied. Learning how to use Kong toys can also be a lifesaver for alleviating boredom and keeping your dog out of mischief.
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Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' Golden Retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.