25 Dog Breeds That Are Known To Be Independent

Some dogs are more independent than others by nature and are comfortable with being left on their own.

"Sometimes, looking into the history of a breed can provide insight on the amount of alone time that a dog can tolerate," veterinarian Dr. Jennifer Coates, who is on the advisory board for the Pet Life Today website, told Reader's Digest last June.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) advises it is critical to teach puppies how to enjoy being alone. "Although it's tempting to spend every waking minute with your new puppy, you aren't doing them any favors. Eventually, you'll have to leave them on their own.

"With a little time and effort, you can ensure they're calm and confident whenever they are by themselves," the AKC adds.

Here we look at 25 dog breeds known for being independent.

Basset hound

Basset hounds are an independent breed and for that may also be challenging to train. However, with patient and persistent training, they are known to develop a loyal partnership with their owners.

Basset hound NY dog show 2018
A basset hound seen at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 12, 2018. Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

American foxhound

American foxhounds are known to be "independent, easygoing, sweet-tempered, good-natured" dogs, according to the AKC Breed Temperament Guide.

American foxhound NYC dog show 2016
An American foxhound at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 16, 2016 in New York City. Getty Images


These outgoing and friendly dogs originating from China are known to build strong bonds with their owners but can also be very independent. While they may prefer a home without kids, they can adapt to houses with children.

Pekingese Crufts dog show U.K. 2018
A Pekingese at the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England of the U.K. on March 10, 2018. Richard Stabler/Getty Images

Tibetan spaniel

Tibetan spaniels historically worked as watchdogs at Tibetan monasteries and were companions to Buddhist monks. Throughout centuries, they became known for being independent, intelligent and easy to please, with a gentle yet playful temperament.

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A Tibetan spaniel at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 11, 2019. Sarah Stier/Getty Images


Pugs are generally adaptable dogs who can adjust to a routine of their owner coming and going and can be left alone, veterinarian Dr. Rolan Tripp, founder of the Pet Happiness Network told Reader's Digest last year.

It's a good idea to train them to get used to your schedule by introducing short alone-time sessions while they are puppies, Tripp suggested. "This lovable small dog does not require vigorous daily exercise," he added.

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A pug seen at the Beverly Hills Dog Show in Pomona, California on February 29, 2020. Sarah Morris/Getty Images


Greyhounds are independent but still form healthy bonds with their owners. They find it easier to relax on their own and tend to spend most of the day napping, according to Tripp.

"Although large dogs, older adult Greyhounds no longer require a daily run," Tripp noted.

Greyhound Crufts dog show U.K. 2018
An Italian greyhound a the Crufts dog show on March 10, 2018 in Birmingham, England in the U.K. Richard Stabler/Getty Images

Chow chow

This Chinese breed is known to be independent and intelligent. They are reserved and discerning with strangers and are neither timid nor aggressive.

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A chow chow at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 12, 2018. Drew Angerer/Getty Images


Malteses are also okay with being left alone and don't require as much as exercise as other breeds. When they do bark, it's usually to alert owners of something that sounds unusual to them, rather than for attention, Tripp explained.

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A Maltese at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 10, 2014 in New York City. Timothy Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu breed is among the most popular breeds in Japan. Known to be inherently loyal and independent, they are not needy dogs, according to Coates.

"They [Shiba Inu] have a reputation for not being overly affectionate, but that is balanced by being happy in their own company," said Coates. They can be stubborn, so training them may be more challenging than others.

Shiba inu Crufts dog show U.K. 2017
A Shiba Inu dog at the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England of the U.K. on March 10, 2017. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso breed was originally bred to guard Tibetan temples and monasteries, which may explain their independent nature, according to Coates.

"Lhasa Apsos are small but bold dogs that require only a moderate amount of exercise to stay healthy. These characteristics combine to make them a good option for owners who need to be out of the house for extended periods," Coates said.

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A Lhasa Apso wearing at the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England of the U.K. on March 10, 2017. Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images


Poodles are known for their calm nature, which allows them to be left alone for long periods. However, they do require more cuddles when they become attached to their owners, Dr. Jesus Aramendi, the senior veterinarian for pet food company Chewy, told Reader's Digest in 2020.

"If you work from home but spend long hours working and have small breaks throughout the day, a standard poodle may be a good breed for you, as they like to cuddle and be with their owners," Aramendi said.

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A poodle posing in New York City on May 15, 2020.

Japanese chin

Japanese chins are self-sufficient dogs who can entertain themselves without feeling too anxious. They're often found sleeping on their own for hours, according to Aramendi.

"If they are left alone for a long period, they will need food and water to be easily accessible to them the entire day," Aramendi noted, so "multi-meal programmable feeders and automatic water fountains can be helpful tools in keeping them fed and hydrated."

Japanese chin U.K. Crufts dog show 2017
A Japanese chin at the Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England in the U.K. on March 10, 2017. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Bernese mountain dog

These gentle giants are surprisingly calm and don't require as much exercise as other breeds, despite their large size, Aramendi noted.

"They are highly intelligent, and for this reason, they tend to be very easy to train and get into a routine," said Aramendi. "Because they are an oversized breed, they can hold elimination for long periods. If you live in a large home with lots of space and a big yard, this could be an excellent breed for you."

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A Bernese mountain dog walks pictured in Clevedon, England of the U.K. on March 2, 2016. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Irish wolfhound

With a strong prey drive, Irish wolfhounds are extremely independent, which can make them hard to train. They tend to rest more than other breeds and are usually happy just laying by your feet.

Irish wolfhound U.K. 2019
An Irish wolfhound seen at the 1st Battalion Irish Guards St Patrick's Day Parade at Cavalry Barracks in Hounslow, England of the U.K. on March 17, 2019. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images


A hunting breed that originally hunted wolves and foxes for the Russian elite, Borzoi are known to be quite independent and don't expect constant attention.

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A Borzoi at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 16, 2016 in New York City. Getty Images

Central Asian shepherd dog

Central Asian shepherd dogs are independent, self-confident and self-assured as well as quiet yet courageous and fearless.

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Two Central Asian shepherd dogs seen in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on November 18, 2018. Vyacheslav Oseledko/AFP via Getty Images

Alaskan malamute

Known for their independent nature, Alaskan malamutes can be dominant and have a strong pack mentality. While they make great family dogs, they require extra training as they're not motivated to please humans in the same way other breeds might be.

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An Alaskan malamute pictured on December 23, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images


This intelligent Korean breed is known for their independence and fierce loyalty to owners as well as stubbornness.

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A Jindo seen at the Jindo Dog Research and Test Centre on the southern island of Jindo in South Korea in March 2017. Ed Jones/AFP via Getty Images

Afghan hound

This independent breed is known to be affectionate with owners but not typically with others. This "profoundly loyal" ancient breed also has a sensitive nature, the AKC says.

Afghan hound Beverly Hills Dog Show 2020
An Afghan hound seen at the 2020 Beverly Hills Dog Show on February 29, 2020 in Pomona, California. Sarah Morris/Getty Images

Cairn terrier

This lively British breed is known for "qualities of gameness, independent thinking, and true-blue loyalty," the AKC says.

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A Cairn terrier attends the Woof N Paws event in Ocean City, New Jersey on April 7, 2012. Donald Kravitz/Getty Images


These African dogs were bred for hunting at great distances from their owners, which has trained them to be more independent than other breeds and don't expect a lot of affection.

"They don't bark, but they make their feelings known with an odd sound described as something between a chortle and a yodel," the AKC says.

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A group of Basenji dogs out for a walk around Logan Circle Park on October 14, 2010 in Washington D.C. Kimihiro Hoshino/AFP via Getty Images

Siberian husky

Siberian huskies are "friendly and intelligent but somewhat independent and stubborn," Hill's pet food company says.

"They thrive on human company, but need firm, gentle training from puppyhood," it adds.

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A Siberian husky seen running in the snow during a training session in Germany on February 11, 2021. Ronny Hartmann/AFP via Getty Images

Scottish terrier

Known to be "feisty, independent and sometimes excitable," Scottish terriers can do well living in the city or country, requiring moderate exercise, according to Hill's. "As adults, their behavior can become moody," the company notes.

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A Scottish terrier seen at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 16, 2010. Chris Hondros/Getty Images


This "independent-thinking breed" is also known for their courage, and loyalty." They are "hardwired for protecting those they love," the AKC says.

American Akita Budapest 2017
An American Akita seen at the Budapest Fair Center on February 17, 2012. Attila Kisbenedek/AFP via Getty Images

Chinese Shar-Pei

Chinese Shar-Pei dogs are independent, loyal and calm. These "strong, regal, independent guardians" are "famous for intelligence and loyalty," according to the AKC.

Chinese Shar-Pei in Manila, the Philippines 2005
A Chinese Shar-Pei dog seen during a parade in the city of Manila of the Philippines, pictured in May 2005. Jay Directo/AFP via Getty Images