The best dogs for introverts are breeds you may well want to consider if you’re someone who’s looking for a companion that will understand and respect your need for inward reflection and quiet time.
While all dogs can make wonderful companions for introverts, some may be better choices than others. For example, active introverts may prefer a more energetic companion to go hiking with, whereas thinking introverts might lean towards a quiet and calm dog who will happily munch away on one of the longest lasting dog chews while they get on with their work.
As with any trait, introversion exists along a spectrum, so it’s important to think carefully about what it is you’re looking for in a canine companion. Do you enjoy one-to-one social interaction and would like a dog to accompany you to a cafe? Or do you prefer curling up with a book and want a pup who’s content to sleep by your side? Pondering these questions will give you the best chance of finding a dog that’s the right match for you.
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best dogs for introverts and outlined any particular behavioral traits you’ll want to be aware of. Some of these pups are introverted themselves or struggle with anxiety, so knowing how to reduce separation anxiety in dogs and engaging in proper training and socialization early on will be helpful with these breeds.
Best dogs for introverts
Charming, graceful and full of spunk, you might not think that this pint-sized pup with a larger-than-life personality would be a good match for an introvert, but don't let their big-dog personality fool you. Loyal, sympathetic and massively devoted to their humans, Chihuahuas tend to form the strongest bond with just one person and love getting loads of attention. Plus, just like introverts, they take time to warm up to people and prefer the company of one person at a time. Given their diminutive stature, they're also ideal for tucking into a handbag or backpack, making them a wonderfully comforting companion if you have to face a large social gathering!
With ancient Japanese lineage running through their veins, the Akita has a reputation for being dignified, courageous and loyal. Although they are quiet dogs who are very wary of strangers, they are delightfully loving and affectionate with their family and thrive on being deeply connected to a few special people. Akita's are very independent and they can be stubborn, but as long as they're able to expel some energy each day you'll find them to be a gentle and patient companion.
3. Irish Wolfhound
One of the tallest dog breeds, you'll want plenty of space if you plan to welcome one of these dignified dogs into your home. Watchful and quiet, the Irish Wolfhound prefers to stand back and observe what's going on around them rather than join in on all the action, but don't mistake their reserved nature for aloofness. These gentle giants are incredibly loving and their serene temperament makes them a soothing presence to have around.
The tiny Pomeranian is hard to resist with its adorable foxy face and vivacious personality. Easy to train and delightfully perky, these affectionate, cheerful, and adaptable dogs will have you frequently in stitches with their clown-like antics. Although small, they have big personalities and while they are energetic, they don't have big exercise needs, which makes them ideal if you're a homebody. Their independent side means they rarely become clingy and their curious nature will appeal to thinking introverts. However, just be mindful that while they adore their human family, they can be wary of strangers, so early socialization is key.
The 'Newfie' as they're affectionately called is the ultimate introverts dog thanks to their devoted, sweet, and patient nature. You'd be hard pressed to find a calmer, more loving companion and their laid-back, social and trusting personality means they'll happily welcome visitors into their home. Strikingly large (in fact, one of the largest dog breeds in the world) and powerful, they're known as 'nanny dogs' because of how well they get on with children, so if you have little ones in the home you can trust they'll be in safe paws. They form very deep bonds with their humans and lap up attention and affection, but just be mindful that these noble pups can struggle with separation anxiety, so they're best suited to a home where they'll always have company.
Get ready to snuggle! If you're after a lap dog, the Maltese could well be the pup for you because this is one canine that likes to stick close. With their big, dark, soulful eyes and their intelligent and playful natures, this pup really is the whole package. They absolutely adore people and have hearts that will give and receive love and affection all day long. Although small, they are energetic and do require some mental and physical stimulation each day to ensure they stay happy and healthy. If you decide to become a pet parent to a Maltese know that they will become deeply attached to you and will become highly anxious if separated, so ensure you have the kind of lifestyle that will accommodate them accompanying you wherever you go.
7. American Staffordshire Terrier
While their stocky and muscular build may trick you into thinking they'd be lazy and sluggish, the American Staffordshire Terrier moves with a high degree of grace and agility coupled with a delightfully springy gait that exudes confidence. While their confident and goofy temperaments may make them seem like a strange choice for an introvert, they are very intelligent and sensitive dogs with a keen sense of their surroundings. And although they can be excitable, this is tempered by their gentleness and patience. If you're after a loyal and devoted pup who will respond well to positive training methods, the AmStaff is a great choice.
8. German Shepherd
The German Shepherd has quite the fearsome reputation, after all, they are one of the police force's top choices thanks to their high intelligence levels and their willingness to put their life on the line in defense of the ones they love. And yet, it is this love of learning and tendency to form deep one-on-one bonds that make them such a fantastic choice for introverts. They're loving and affectionate without being clingy, and confident and self-assured without being overly independent. Although they adore their family, they're not outgoing and can be very cautious around strangers. Their curiosity and hard-working nature mean they also require consistent training and plenty of daily exercise, but please be aware that they are very sensitive, so they won't respond well to harsh training methods.
9. Cairn Terrier
Are you an introvert that loves to be active? Well, you may have just met your match in the form of the very lively Cairn Terrier. These happy, busy little dogs love to explore so if you enjoy a good hike or a bit of rough-and-tumble in nature, this sweet, funny, and fearless breed will make for a wonderful companion. While their stubborn personalities mean they require a lot of patient training, they love close family contact, so for the right person and home, they'll make for the perfect balance of independent and affectionate.
10. Basset Hound
If the thought of leaving the house and socializing has you feeling drained before you even set foot outside the door, then you've just met your new best friend in the form of the mild and agreeable Basset Hound who's well known for being low energy. More than happy to chill at home with their humans, they are calm and laid-back, but can be very stubborn - which can certainly make training a challenge some days! That being said, they are steadfastly loyal, and their lovable, gentle and affectionate natures means they bond deeply with those they deem worthy of a place in their heart. Hence why they've made it into our roundup of the most popular hound dog breeds.
11. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Corgi's come in two varieties — Pembroke and Cardigan — and while both can make for a wonderful fur friend, the Cardigan just gets the edge when it comes to introverts. Pembrokes can be very outgoing, whereas the Cardigan tends to have a more reserved and introspective nature and is also less energetic, so if you're after a laid-back pup this one ticks the box nicely. Affectionate and happy, they're very intelligent, which makes them easy to train. Although it's worth pointing out they can be quite vocal when excited or wanting attention, so if you're after a quiet life, this may not be the dog for you!
12. Shiba Inu
Well known for being the most cat-like dog breed, the Shiba Inu is the perfect match for the introvert thanks to their independent and intelligent nature. Sensitive, quiet, calm, and adaptable, they are compassionate and devoted to their humans without being overly affectionate or clingy. They value their alone time and personal space, doing a great job of keeping themselves entertained, but they do like giving and receiving love - they just tend to prefer to approach on their own terms.
Originally bred to live in palaces to keep the ruling classes of ancient China company, the Pekingese is confident and charming, with an independent yet loyal and loving nature. Although happy to spend some time on their own they do form strong bonds with their family and tend to have one person within their human group who's their favorite. While they're super bright, their bold personalities mean they're not always the easiest to train and they can be very suspicious of strangers, so early socialization is a must. That being said, they're laid-back and low-energy which makes them perfectly content to chill out next to you while you read a book.
You may be well aware of the Greyhound's reputation for being a champion sprinter, but believe it or not, these pups are quite the lazy logs! Although they do enjoy short bursts of exercise, they're not built for long excursions, so if you're after a gentle, noble, and sweet-tempered companion who will happily sleep at your feet all day, the Greyhound is well worth considering. While they're affectionate, they're also independent, meaning you'll get both plenty of love and plenty of space - a total win-win for introverts!
15. Great Dane
When it comes to the Great Dane, what they tend to be most well known for is their size - reaching heights of up to 32 inches and weights of around 175 pounds. But did you know this quiet and gentle giant is also friendly, intelligent, affectionate and devoted to those they love? With low exercise needs and a love of sleep, this easy going, eager-to-please pup is wonderful with children, and in spite of its mammoth size, its love of a good cuddle will have it desperately trying to be a lap dog!
16. Alaskan Malamute
The ideal companion for the physically active introvert, the Alaskan Malamute is a hardworking dog that loves getting out and about in the great outdoors. Born to work, they'll soak up as much physical and mental stimulation as you can give them, but don't worry - at the end of it all, this loyal, playful and gentle breed will be more than happy to snuggle up next to you and enjoy a quiet night in. Just bear in mind that they can be very stubborn and independent, so you'll need to have plenty of patience when it comes to training them.
If you've never heard of the Basenji, rest assured, you're not alone. Known as Africa's 'barkless dog', these sweet-faced pups are small hounds who have typically been used for hunting thanks to their intelligence and poise. Comfortable being alone, the Basenji is aloof and antisocial with strangers but affectionate with their owners, so if you're wanting a loving companion who's not clingy and won't demand that the two of you are out and about all the time, the Basenji ticks the box nicely.
18. Tibetan Mastiff
A lot of giant dog breeds have very calm and steady personalities (a great choice for introverts!), and the Tibetan Mastiff is no exception. These independent dogs are noble and quiet and they have a reputation for being very sophisticated in the degree to which they can understand those around them. They are sensitive to human moods and don’t do well around conflict, requiring tranquil environments in order to thrive. Very wary of strangers (training and socialization is imperative with this breed) they are loyal and loving towards their family but they are also headstrong and know their own minds, so do best with experienced owners.
19. Shih Tzu
With eyes this sweet, the Shih Tzu is pretty darn irresistible but putting aside how adorable it is to look at, this pup also makes a great friend for introverts. It has an incredibly charming nature and is known to be especially affectionate with children. Even-tempered, calm and adaptable, these social dogs have a love of attention, so they're happiest when they're with their humans. And they're also huge fans of curling up in your lap — so if you love a good snuggle session, the Shih Tzu won't disappoint.
20. Saint Bernard
If you're a fan of the movie 'Beethoven' then you'll already be very familiar with this genial giant who originally hails from the Swiss Alps. But although they're rather massive (they can reach weights of 180 pounds) they're very low maintenance and easy going, preferring to plod along enjoying the views rather than darting about all over the place. Watchful and patient companions with a deep love of children, the Saint Bernard is eager to please and happiest when engaged in activities with their family.
The clown of the dog world, the Pug is an utter charmer so get ready to become seriously smitten if you welcome one of these playful pups into your family. Fun-loving and mischievous, they have some serious spunk to them but while their tiny bodies contain big personalities, they are total homebodies — in fact, you might even call them the ultimate couch potato! Because they're a brachycephalic dog breed (they have flat faces and can suffer from breathing problems), they can only do short walks and prefer staying inside and cuddling or playing with their owners.
22. Labrador Retriever
The lovable Labrador has so many traits that make it a great introvert-friendly canine companion. First up, it adores people and is super social - which may make it sound more suited to an extrovert, but its outgoing nature means that it will happily accompany you to any social gatherings you feel you need to attend and make those interactions a whole lot easier. They also tend to have gentle natures and be huge cuddlers, so plenty of quiet time spent curled up on the couch together will keep them feeling very happy indeed.
Outgoing yet sensitive, athletic yet calm, the super smart Poodle bonds deeply with their owners and is highly attuned to their emotions. Eager to please and a dream to train, their wicked intelligence levels mean they need a lot of mental and physical stimulation in the form of brain games, learning new tricks, and plenty of daily exercise. If you're an active introvert and are looking for a gentle, loving, (and occasionally neurotic!) fur friend, the Poodle is a winning choice.
24. French Bulldog
The French Bulldog (or Frenchie as it's affectionately known) is one of the world's most beloved breeds - and it's not hard to see why. Bright, affectionate and a total charmer, the Frenchie's goofy and low-maintenance nature makes them lovely companions. They like constant interaction, so this is a dog that needs to be in a home where there's always someone around and because they become very attached to their owners, separation anxiety can be an issue. But if you're looking for a dog of few words (they don't bark much) who will shower you with love, the Frenchie is a real dream.
Pronounced kayz-hawnd, this handsome and intelligent pup has a delightful personality that makes them well suited to family homes. They’re playful, affectionate, lively and outgoing, and have a huge love of children - who tend to adore them equally in return! This is a real ‘people’s dog’ who always wants to be part of all the action and as such, they’ll happily follow you from room to room all day long. They’re love of exercise means they’re ideal for active introverts but their sensitive natures means they’ll also be quite content to curl up quietly beside you.
26. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The ultimate little sweetheart, this soulful pup is an introvert’s dream thanks to its gentle and graceful personality and affectionate nature. Highly adaptable, they get on well with everyone and are happy being super active or a total couch potato, depending on what their owner feels like in the moment. Smart, food-motivated, and very eager to please, they’re easy to train and are undemanding, patient, and tolerant.
27. English Bulldog
Known for their courage and tenacity, this kind-hearted, docile dog can weigh up to 50 pounds and yet that won’t stop it from trying to clamber up onto your lap for a cuddle and a snooze! They have a very dependable and sweet disposition and are excellent with children thanks to their predictable natures. Low endurance, they’re not going to expect you to be taking them on big hikes, so if you prefer gentle strolls and lazy days spent curled up with a book, the English Bulldog may well be your new best friend.
The merriest of small dogs, the Beagle is arguably the most loved of all the hound breeds thanks to its enchanting mix of good cheer and mischief. Sturdy and bold, they have kindly faces and athletic natures that mean they’ll be more than happy to hit the hiking trails with you. Good-natured, they excel with children and other dogs, and are highly affectionate. While they can be excitable and enjoy lots of family time, they’re also great at giving people space and as long as they’re well exercised, they’ll always be up for some quiet contemplation.
A versatile and rugged dog of great stamina, the Vizsla is the ideal running or walking companion for those who love spending time in the great outdoors. They are sensitive and loving dogs who form incredibly tight bonds with their owners and because of that, they don’t like being left alone. A quiet pup who rarely barks, they also have shy natures and prefer to stick close to their family rather than mixing with strangers.
With their gorgeously large butterfly-like ears and their active, playful, and sparkling personalities, the Papillon wins the hearts of almost everyone it meets. A happy and friendly pint-sized pup (they reach a maximum of 11 inches in height and 10 pounds in weight), they may be small but they still have plenty of energy. Brilliant with young children and super affectionate, they’re not lap dogs but they want to be wherever their people are. Just bear in mind that they are very shy around strangers and aren’t fond of new people entering their environment, so proper training and socialization is key.
31. Lhasa apso
Inquisitive dogs who will appeal to all the thinking introverts out there, the independent Lhasa Apso likes dodging touches from strangers just as much as introverts love dodging their conversation! That being said, while they’re perfectly happy to be left to their own devices for periods throughout the day, they bond deeply with their owners and enjoy their company immensely. Comical with those they know and aloof with those they don’t, this lionhearted pup is protective of its tribe but confident enough in who they are to enjoy quiet moments of solitude — and let their humans do the same.
32. Old English Sheepdog
Known for their big and shaggy coats, the Old English Sheepdog is a pup with a loving and devoted disposition who does well with singles, couples, or families who live active, outdoorsy lifestyles. They are warm and affectionate dogs who are real homebodies — once they’ve had their daily dose of exercise they’re more than happy to plod around the garden or relax on the porch. While they adore hugs and get along famously with children, they also have an introverted side and require quiet time alone to recharge.
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Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.