Every introvert out there likely has a very different approach to how they handle social interaction: some introverts are very sociable, but need a lot of alone time after an outing to regroup; others are perfectly happy staying in all weekend with a good book. Fortunately, there's a
dog breed for every kind of introvert who want to make a foray into the dog-owning world. Whether you'd like a pooch who encourages you to have a bit of time out in the world now and then, one who makes social interactions easier, or one who's just pleased staying home with you, you've got a lot of different kinds of puppers just waiting for you to take them home.
All dogs have their own personalities, so it's important to take more than just the breed into consideration when picking out a future floofer, whether you're adopting them as a puppy or bringing them home as an adult.
Dog training and obedience classes can also be a good way to get a dose of social interaction that isn't too tiring, because you're focusing on your animal and not necessarily on other people. Dogs have a major bonus point in their favor: spending time with them isn't draining for introverts in the same way that spending time with humans is, so they can offer companionship that helps if you're feeling shy. And having a dog smoothes the way for many new friendships — because somebody will always come over to say "what a beautiful dog!" Here are 11 breeds that can be good for introverts, in all their many forms. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
The labrador has a lot of introvert-friendly traits: It's very sociable and loves people, so having it around will make social interactions easier — particularly if you train it to do tricks that impress, which it will love. Many are gentle and calming, loves time with their owners, and intensely cuddly, so quiet time at home will make your labrador very pleased.
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As an introvert who grew up with Akitas, I have to speak for their suitability. They're strong-willed, independent dogs who bond very heavily with their owners; your Akita is your family and loves alone time with you. They need good training, so spending time socializing them with other dogs and at obedience classes is a must, giving you a low-intensity social dose. And they're proudly beautiful, attracting attention purely because of their looks. They're a challenge, but a delightful one.
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Contrary to expectation, bigger dogs often require a bit less outdoor time than smaller ones. Greyhounds are part of the trend;
they generally only need one big run a day, and will spend the rest of the time snoring somewhere in the vicinity of your couch. They love agility classes and training, so can get you some time with others if you need it, but are very good at-home dogs who just want a snuggle. Chris Jackson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images Pugs are often energetic bundles who follow you everywhere and want to see what's up. While chilled-out pugs do exist, many of the breed are full of beans and silliness, and love spending time at home with their owners rather than trotting out into the world. They're good-natured and often pretty easy to train, and when there's a pug in the room, you can guarantee the social focus will be on its big grinning face. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
German shepherds are impeccable working dogs and need a lot of stimulation, so they're a plus for introverts who'd like more social time in a group setting: they
need training, runs outside, and activities that challenge them. Fortunately, they balance this out with the tendency to be big bundles of mush who want to lie on your feet and snore. Chris Livingston/Getty Images News/Getty Images
If spending long periods of every day walking your dog alone sounds like heaven, a retriever or hound breed is going to suit you.
The flat-coated retriever is one of the smartest of the options, and loves a good long ramble; a few 45 minute walks a day are necessary to keep them healthy. They also love attention and will instantly grab focus in a group of people. Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images News/Getty Images
These hilarious dogs adapt well to apartments and small spaces, and aren't that bothered about too much exercise; they generally only need a small walk each day.
Boston Terriers are compact dogs with inquisitive and interesting personalities, so you'll get all the entertainment you need without needing to find another human — or go near a television. Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images News/Getty Images Samoyeds are sociable dogs who need to be with people, so if you want a constant companion who gives excellent fluffy cuddles, they're the dogs for you. They, like Akitas, have the beauty to get them lots of attention in public spaces and at parties, and will cope with it well if well-socialized; Samoyeds are great for quiet party-goers who want their delightful animal to grab the spotlight. Matt Cardy/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Chilled-out companions with trademark long ears,
basset hounds are often as placid and gentle as they make them. They're not a dog who'll tire you out, but love your company and will happily doze all day in your presence. They need some dedicated training, and if you want to bond with other basset hound owners, there are frequently meet-ups and organized scent trails for these hunting dogs to get out into the world. Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images
These Dutch dogs were
bred as guard dogs and companions, and are acutely attuned to human companionship; they want to be around you at all times, even in the bathroom, and show huge enthusiasm for training and games. To be happy, Keeshonds need to be socialized a lot, so these are dogs that will get you out of the house to the dog park and around other humans. John Moore/Getty Images News/Getty Images
I am a huge advocate for shelter dogs, mutts and mixed breeds, because they can offer things that purebreeds often can't — while also often being a bit
healthier. Adopting animals with the best kind of characteristics for your introverted life, whether they're homebodies or high-energy bundles of love, can be a great option.