Top 10 Independent Dog Breeds

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Like humans, dogs come in all shapes and sizes, and many different personalities as well. Though there isn't a Meyers-Briggs Test for pups, there are many ways to predict how needy or aloof your potential new puppy might become. And while it's often lamented that you can't choose your family, you can choose a canine member of the family that suits your own personality and lifestyle. Not everyone wants a lap dog who lives for closeness and cuddling, or a waggy-licky lab that just can't believe you've been gone for a whole day at work, and can we pulleeze play now? Want the lowdown on the best easy-care, independent puppers for you? Here are the top independent dogs that can entertain themselves!

#1 Akita

Akitas are known as extremely loyal dogs who will defend their human families to the end. And while they love affection as much as the next doggo, they don't demand it by pawing, barking, climbing up your leg or whining. Steadfast and intuitive, they are arguably the most independent breed.

#2 Afghan Hound

These elegant beauties give the impression of being able to "take it or leave it" when it comes to interaction with their humans. Dignified and alert, Afghans often seem to have their attention distracted by almost anything else, and are unlikely to squirm themselves into a pretzel when you come home from work. Getting and giving love is on their terms.

#3 Chow Chow

These smallish, unique-looking pups are descended from Chinese working dogs with a no-nonsense attitude. Though they look like teddy bears, hugging and squeezing is just not their thing, and they will probably resist until they feel totally comfortable. Because of their cool, sometimes unapproachable demeanor, Chow Chows have sometimes been compared to that other aloof pet: the cat.

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#4 Jack Russell Terrier

Although these powerhouses are often seen as pushy and insistent, what Jack Russell Terriers are often really looking for is work, not cuddles. Throw the ball! Help me get that squirrel! Unleash me! Take me in the car! This demanding style obscures how fierce and independent they are when left to their own devices.

#5 Alaskan Malamute

Used for dog-sledding and hauling in cold environs, the fact that these hard-working, heavy-coated large dogs have been welcomed into warm, cozy family life hasn't changed their personalities from self-contained and the opposite of needy. Preferring to hang out on the floor unless they're outdoors, the Malamute's quiet temperament is soothing and peaceful.

#6 Cairn Terrier

Active Cairn Terriers love to romp and play, and as a result are often unable to simply settle into a cozy chair with their owners. When outdoors with other dogs, they're not likely to hide under your bench at the dog park. In fact, getting them to come to you for the trip home will be a challenge!

#7 Greyhound

Happiest when strolling by your side, Greyhounds seldom wiggle in needy anticipation. Friendly, but aloof, they love being lazy indoors, but you may be frustrated by their lack of interest in your lap. Mellow, laid-back, but sometimes a bit neurotic, they allow petting, but don't ever seem to crave it.

#8 Airedale Terrier

These are not small, yappy, bouncy terriers. In fact, the Airedale is the largest of the terrier family, and were bred to hunt alone and return with their prey without bidding. Strong and stately, they show affection to their humans by allowing themselves to be stroked, but seldom approach strangers for attention. 

#9 Siberian Husky

Thought to be relatives of the Alaskan Malamute, whom they resemble, huskies perform many of the same tasks as the Malamute in their northern homes. They play well with other dogs as they have been trained to work in packs, but their somewhat primitive loyalty to the pack sometimes overrides their gentler, needier natures.

#10 Beagle

Charlie Brown's favorite pup is cute, friendly and intelligent. But these dogs are also independent hunters and seekers of adventure. If permitted, they will escape the yard and be gone for days, pursuing small animals and charming their way into treats from strangers. Many a Beagle has had to be reclaimed from the pound and figuratively dragged home.