Best Six Dog Breeds for Introverts
Do Introverts Need a Specific Breed?
Since Carl Jung published Psychological Types in 1921, introverts have been branded as shy people who were only interested in staying quiet and away from normal activities. After that book came out, others followed, and things got even worse. Introverts have been branded as being hermits and excessively withdrawn from this world.
There is nothing wrong with being an introvert, however. In the society we live in, groups like Dale Carnegie´s foundation are trying to convince us that extroverts do everything right, but introverts do what needs to be done, and can enjoy life besides. And what every introvert needs to enjoy life, of course, is a great dog.
Some dogs are better suited for extroverts, but many dog breeds are perfect companions for an introvert. If you are quiet and have chosen to become a writer, an artist, or are just enjoying life strolling down the beach or sleeping in your hammock, choose a breed that can be quiet, steady, good-natured but not too outgoing, and able to lie quietly at times and enjoy your bursts of insightful energy at other times. I have picked a few good choices here: giant, large, medium, and small breeds.
Which Dog Breeds Are the Best Choice for Introverts?
- St Bernard
- Alaskan Malamute
- Shih Tzu
Qualities of a Great Dog for an Introvert
Able to Lie Quietly
This dog breed proves that it is possible to be quiet and perceptive, even when you are in the body of a giant. Newfoundlands (Newfies) are great with kids and noisy families but are able to curl up in a corner and stay calm, and they are always more than willing to wake up and burn up that excess energy swimming in the lake or river.
Newfies do drool a lot, shed huge amounts of fur, and of course, since they weigh 70 to 80 kilos (150–170 pounds) they do need to eat more than a smaller dog. For all of those reasons, they are not for everyone.
But are they good for an introvert in search of a big companion? Of course. They are not the calmest dog but are excellent companions for someone who leads a life that varies between steady and hectic.
If this is the choice you make, there are a few other things to keep in mind. A Newfie might come down with serious health problems like heart disease or hip dysplasia, and only about 38% of them make it to their tenth birthday.
A Newfie will be calm through it all. Your dog might even save your life in the meantime.
The St Bernard
The other giant dog that is ideal for an introvert is pretty famous and may be mistaken for one of those happy dog breeds most favored by extroverts. Anyone watching the “Beethoven” movies probably thinks this is the last dog to add to a quiet household. Remember though, that it is only a movie.
Yes, St Bernards are large, around 70-120 kilos (150–250 pounds). They do need to be well socialized and are a lot of dog for some people to deal with, but if you can handle the drool they are great dogs. Even without the cartoon flask on their neck, the dogs are natural heroes and may end up drawing you out of the house on a quest. When you take your dog out they excel in sports like weight pulls competitions.
Health issues also need to be considered carefully if you choose this breed. They are prone to hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, and some dogs are affected with heart disease, eyelid problems, and even epilepsy.
Try to find a good breeder and meet some adult St Bernards before deciding for sure that this dog is right for you.
A lot of giant dogs have steady personalities and are good choices for an introvert. The other giant dogs you might consider are the Great Dane, the Mastiff, and the Irish Wolfhound.
This breed of dog is another good choice for an introvert but their personalities are quite different from the giant dog breeds listed above. They are an energetic sled dog breed but are usually okay if resting most of the day; by the afternoon, get ready to walk. Alaskan Malamutes have a lot more energy than some dogs and will require plenty of walking or other exercise to burn up that energy. Every day! Your Malamute is not going to sit around and wait for the weekend.
Malamutes are big, so even though they may not be as expensive as the giant dogs they still eat a lot, shed a lot, and veterinary expenses can be a lot for some families to handle.
If you are a strong-willed introvert and are looking for a strong-willed dog, this is one of the best choices.
If you are looking for a breed of dog that is big but not too large, and one that will be willing to sit or sleep quietly most of the day, the Greyhound is a great choice. Most of the dogs available for adoption are retired racers so they are used to being locked up in a crate all day, and will happily spend all day sleeping on your couch.
Like all dogs, they do need to get out and take a walk at least once a day.
Besides being food dogs in an apartment, Greyhounds also do not bark much. If you choose a Greyhound you will be getting a great companion and a dog who will provide a good reason to get out of the house.
Beagles are a good-natured small to medium-sized dog (around 15 kilos). That makes them popular since some apartments do not allow larger dogs, and since they are small their veterinary expenses are lower and they do not eat as much as a big dog.
There are a lot of other reasons that Beagles are so popular. Beagles are good family dogs, like cats, are smart (but often difficult to train), and are so friendly that they are not recommended as watchdogs. Most of them do not have an outgoing friendliness, however, and they make great dogs for an introvert.
Besides being fairly reliable dogs that usually have even personalities, the Beagle is a healthy dog. They are sometimes prone to ear infections because of their floppy ear anatomy, and some dogs have eye problems, but most are so healthy that they live without problems up to about 12 or 13 years.
Just do not plan on getting one of these dogs and leaving her alone all the time. If you do, you will probably find out how they like to howl!
The smallest choice for an introvert is the Shih Tzu, a long-haired dog that does not shed much. They do require some maintenance, as they need to be brushed every day to keep their long coats from matting up, and these little dogs also need their teeth brushed even if on a raw dog food diet.
Most of the dogs I have met are steady and good-natured. They are usually quiet and do not need to be exercised excessively because their short noses make it hard to breathe when they overdo it.
The West Highland White Terrier, the Miniature Schnauzer, and the Schipperke are alternatives if you want a smaller dog breed but the looks of the Shih Tzu are not what you are looking for.
The Breed Doesn't Really Matter
Do any of these breeds appeal to you? It is important that you like the way your dog looks, but no matter which purebred dog you choose, buy him or her from a breeder. Pet shops support puppy mills and you may be taking home a dog with both behavioral and health problems.
If you prefer to adopt a dog from a shelter, discuss the personalities of the dogs available for adoption. Tell the staff what kind of dog you are looking for and let them choose what is best for your situation.
There is also a website available called Petfinder.com that will allow you to search for all the dogs available for adoption in the surrounding states.
Take a look at the list below, and find yourself a dog. Every one of us deserves the company.
More Great Dog Breeds for an Introvert
Bouvier des Flandres
West Highland White Terrier
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