So, you’re an introvert. You’d rather stay in with a good book, film, or game than go out to a crowded social event. You need plenty of alone time to recharge. But you still love dogs, and you want to find the best match for your lifestyle. Because with one-on-one companionship and affection, introverts thrive, and dogs? Perfect for that.
These breeds will be loyal friends to you—but they won’t jump on every person you meet on a dog walk, and they won’t force you to make small talk. Here are the 12 best dog breeds for introverts.
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Among the most independent dogs around, Basenjis don’t need loads of affection from their people, making them a good fit for someone who wants a dog friend but values their personal space. The handsome Basenji is known as the “barkless dog,” but they do make a yodelling noise. Their distinguished good looks and quiet, clean nature make them a great fit if you live in a flat as long as they have plenty of mental stimulation and exercise.
Greyhounds are renowned for their elegant, powerful build. Despite their reputation as athletes, retired greyhounds prefer sprinting to sustained activity, and love to lounge at home. They’re sweet, sensitive souls, and love nothing more than to hang out at home with their favourite introvert.
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Before they were one of the most popular memes around, Shibas were known as “the most cat-like dog.” Loyal to their people but aloof with strangers, Shiba Inus are the perfect match for people who like to keep to themselves. They’re also incredibly smart, so training is in order!
If you like staying in, the basset hound is your new best friend. These affectionate goofballs have a reputation for being low-key and lazy. The only downside of a basset hound for an introvert may be all the attention they get from strangers on walks. But remember the part about them being lazy? Walks needn’t be long, and then it’s back to lounging at home with your adorable hound.
These calm, dignified sighthounds are gentle but reserved, and often prefer to lie at your feet rather than cuddle up (although some are more affectionate than others, and they make great family pets). Like some people, Irish Wolfhounds can be watchful and quiet and prefer to calmly look on rather than jump into the fray. Sound like any introverts you know?
There are very few of these spritely, spitz-type dogs in the UK but they’re cherished in their country of origin, where they were bred to hunt puffin on seaside cliffs. Lundehunds are agile and energetic, and while they don’t love strangers, they’re exceedingly loyal to their people. A Norwegian Lundehund would be the perfect match for an athletic introvert who loves long, solitary hikes!
Another match for an athletic introvert, the cairn terrier likes to go, go, go! These scruffy, rough-and-tumble little terriers are renowned for their sweet, funny, stubborn personalities and fearless natures. They require consistent training, but for the right person, they’re the perfect balance of independent and affectionate.
The quintessential lapdog, Chihuahuas were practically made for introverts, particularly introverts who aren’t too concerned with making friends: Chihuahuas have a reputation for being sassy with new people. They can also be quite charming, and are a good match for the introvert with a sense of humour.
If you’re an introvert-leaning-towards-ambivert (i.e., you have a social side), the pug could be your dog. These hilarious charmers can be the life of the party, but they need to recharge at home at the end of the day. They’re even-tempered and loving, and will cuddle up next to you at night…just get ready for some snores.
Maltese are classic lap dogs (get ready to snuggle!), but their clever, playful manner means they’ll be a lot of fun to play with and train. They’re notoriously difficult to house-train, but easily take to doggy litter boxes or potty pads, making them a good match for extreme introverts who prefer to rarely leave the house.
A giant breed for the gigantically introverted, Newfies are sweet, patient dogs known for being excellent companions. They’re somewhat athletic and need a daily romp to burn off some energy, but their size and thick coat mean the romp can be short, and the rest of the day can be spent at home. If you’re an introvert in need of loving companionship, your gentle, loving Newfie will gaze up at you out of its droopy eyes and let you know that you’re perfect just the way you are.
There are tons of adoptable dogs in shelters looking for their forever home—no matter their breed mix, they’ll display a range of temperaments just like all dogs. Ask shelter or rescue staff to meet available dogs who are mellow and easygoing. Your new best couch buddy could be among them.
Whatever kind of introvert you are, there’s a dog to suit your personality and lifestyle. Celebrate your shy side by curling up at home with the introvert’s, and all people’s, best friend: a dog.