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Firstly, I apologise if you get these sorts of queries often, but I thought that this would be the best place to ask! I have not owned a dog before; I am single and live in a large apartment with a terrace and access to a large green. I am probably looking to adopt a slightly older dog as opposed to a puppy. I am pretty active and would relish the opportunity to go on long walks. I am not at home 100% of the time, but work very close by and sometimes do work from home, and could easily pop back during the day. I would offer discipline and affection. Do could you recommend any breeds? I had considered a cocker spaniel, but some people have suggested that they simply cannot be left alone ever...

I hope you can help!
Any dog can be difficult to leave alone or not. It is a very individual thing. Separation anxiety is usually caused by the dog over bonding with the owner. Careful training of the dog to be independent will result in a dog that can be left.

I do think that a Cocker Spaniel might be a bit of a high energy dog for a first time owner. A good first time dog is a Greyhound. I know not everyone likes them because they are not cute and cuddly but they are very easy to live with. They can cope with lots of exercise but manage with just 20 minutes twice daily when necessary. Basically lazy dogs that like nothing better than lying on your bed or sofa they usually fit in to our lifestyles really well Each dog is an individual so you would have to explain your circumstances to the rescue centre. You would be spoilt for choice with this breed. If you want to feel really noble you could re home a black one. No one wants the black ones :(

If you would rather a cuter, fluffier type then look at the Toy Group on the Kennel Club website. They are bred to be companions rather than a high energy working dog. A rescue may have been owned by an elderly person who was around all the time though so may not cope with being left too much. Small rescues are hard to find too, so you might have a bit of a wait.
To add a bit to gypsymum2's comment, Greyhounds, it depends what you call cuddly, to me a dog that loves lying on the couch with its head on your lap being stroked and fussed is cuddly. And although they aren't cute they are wonderfully elegant. In your post you mentioned going on long walks, again Grey's can easily do long walks though they do need warm and or waterproof coats as they feel the cold easily and in general hate getting wet. They are the sort of dog that will be happy with a couple of short walks a day, ideally with being able to free run, but will also walk further than most people could. The other plus point for people wanting to re home a rescue is that unfortunately their are a lot needing homes. As you can tell I am a sight hound fan.

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