12 Dog Breeds That Can Be Left Alone
When you’re getting a dog, there are a whole lot of things to consider, and it's more than what you name your new pal, and what funny saying you wanted printed on their water bowl. One of the major factors you want to take into consideration is your daily schedule. So if you are the type who needs a dog to just hang on their own on those nights you work a little overtime, considering the most independent dog breeds is a great place to start.
"If people are going to spend a decade, or hopefully more, with a dog, they should get a breed that suits their lifestyle," Hope Saidel, president of North Shore Dog Training Club and owner of Golly Gear, tells Bustle.
But worry not, because there are plenty of dogs out there who aren't going to howl for hours if you don't spend that extra hour cuddling each morning. "Independent breeds were bred to do a job that requires them to work independently, without direction from their owners," Saidel says.
That's why these pooches can just live their life, and do their own thing. But yes, like rebellious teens, there will be a few difficulties when you have a dog who truly thinks for themselves.
"Generally speaking, this also makes them more challenging to train, their nature is to do their job, not work with anybody else, and not to care what anyone else wants," Saidel says. "The training challenge is to convince them that what they 'want' to do is the same as what you're asking them to do!"
That being said, with a little love and training, pros say these breeds are the way to go if you're looking for an independent pup.
1. Yorkshire Terrier
"Despite popular myth that Yorkies are pampered divas, the breed was developed to hunt vermin in the mills of Yorkshire, England," Saidel says.
Like all terriers, they have their own ideas and agenda, Saidel says, and they are super smart. Yes, this can sometimes mean mischief. But they are a great option if you want a dog that does their own thing.
2. Shiba Inu
"Shiba Inus are generally good companion dogs, on their own terms," Saidel says. They are bold, gentle, and charming, and were originally bred to flush game and hunt boar in Japan, says Saidel.
Who wouldn't want that round little face waiting at the door when you get home?
3. The Great Pyrenees
These big beauties were bred to guard sheep. "If someone has enough space, the Great Pyrenees is a calm, wonderful family pet," Seidel says. And on top of that, they can also be fierce guardians of their families.
4. Chinese Shar-pei
The Shar-Pei is eager to please and loyal but they are also extremely clever and will often do their very best to out-wit you every chance they can, Lauren McDevitt, co-founder Good Dog, tells Bustle.
"While they can be wary of strangers and quite stubborn, they are unabashedly loyal to their owners and can be excellent companions," McDevitt says. This is another breed originally "employed" to hunt, in this case by Chinese farmers to herd and guard their livestock.
This breed is very proud and fiercely independent, says McDevitt. They are also extremely fluffy.
"Chows are one of the oldest dog breeds and throughout history they served as companions, haulers, guardians, and hunters," says McDevitt. "They’re an intelligent breed and can be quite independent and stubborn at times so you’ll have to practice patience when training them."
6. Cairn Terrier
"Cairn Terriers are fearless and alert, remaining true to their hunting dog nature," McDevitt says. "Their original purpose was to hunt game in Scotland, and they can still have a tendency to dig and chase even as companion dogs."
Although they’re smart and can learn quickly, she says, Cairn Terriers do tend to test their limits with their owners and would prefer to follow their own set of rules. But by gosh, they are funny and chock full of personality.
7. Scottish Terrier
The Scottish Terrier is a spritely, confident, and extraordinarily independent breed, McDevitt says, and they are known to get bored easily.
This breed is exceptionally clever and they will always think their ideas are better than yours.
8. Bassett Hounds
Bassett Hounds are charming, McDevitt says. They can sometimes seem independent or disinterested, but they are lovable as can be. They once were "prolific" hunting and tracking dogs due to their short stature and keen sense of smell.
"While Whippets are generally a gentle and calm breed, they’re also quite independent and mischievous," McDevitt says. Though whippets will be incredibly affectionate and sweet with their owners, it's true that they can be wary of strangers at first.
Akitas are loyal and generally very eager to please their owners, McDevitt says. Akitas are also known as a courageous breed. They're a great dog if you want an independent pup who might also sit at your feet while you watch Netflix.
Beagles are quite good-natured and kind to everyone they meet, McDevitt says.
"They are occasionally obstinate in attitude and would prefer to follow an interesting scent instead of listening to commands," McDevitt says. But as long as you get a little smart and creative while training them, a Beagle can be a real spark of joy.
12. English Bulldog
"Generally speaking, this breed is very easygoing and dependable in most situations," McDevitt says. That being said, they can be incredibly stubborn when they decide they have no interest in doing something. The good news? They’re kind and dignified almost all the time.
If you're looking for an independent and personality-filled pup, get on down to the shelter and take a look for one of these lovely dog breeds. You'll have a new best friend before you know it!