Pet ownership is a great tool for coping with depression, anxiety, and mental health issues in general. Although introverts prefer their own company to that of other people, it does not mean it is impossible to feel lonely or be in a bad state of mind.
Research conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) and Mental Health America (MHA) showed that 73% percent of owners agreed owner-dog interaction improved their mental health, making dogs the companion introverts need and deserve.
If you want to avoid situations where you are contemplating whether to let strangers pet your dog, this article will be worth a read.
For introverts that prefer a less rough around the edges aesthetic, the Lhasa Apso makes those wishes come true. Lhasa’s compact body with a long, silky, mop-style coat, or short, cushion-coated version, pair really well with the stranger-repellant air that surrounds them.
Despite the small size, they are decent watchdogs that will warn you when unwanted social contact approaches. As long as there is space to roam around your home, it will be content in terms of physical activity.
Still, regular walks are highly recommended and should not present too much of a hassle. After all, the Lhasa Apso loves dodging touches from strangers as much as introverts like dodging unnecessary conversation.
2. Akitas Are Great Active-Introvert Companions
History showed that Akitas are independent dogs that need absolutely no one to have a good life. Still, they work well with many types of owners, but prefer those who understand their preferences.
Although Akitas have high energy levels and love open spaces, they are aloof with strangers, do not care much for affection, as long as they have a clear purpose, filled belly, and a place to sleep in.
I mean, does this look like a dog that wants to hang out with people?
You can see how their temperament fits well into an introvert’s personality – both dog and owner know what makes them happy, prefer being left alone, and want people without an invitation to hang out to keep their distance.
You have two options to choose from when it comes to the Akita, the American vs Japanese version. There are plenty of physical and a few minor temperament differences, so make sure to select the right one for your needs.
3. Basset Hounds Are Never Out Of Bounds
A careless expression with long hanging ears on the side screams easygoing. For people who prefer carefully selected company, the Basset Hound is an exceptional choice.
You will rarely see them whine about something, despite being pretty vocal from time to time. Low exercise needs will save you a lot of time otherwise spent going to agility courses, and they require very little training to be a good pet, says the Basset Association of America.
Petting them once or twice a day is enough, seeing how they like feeling safe, but not snuggled in human affection. The risks of separation anxiety are relatively low because a Basset cherishes alone-time. Some household items (those it can reach) can suffer damage, though.
4. English Bulldogs Cannot Be Bothered
The rowdy looks and determination to do whatever they want makes the English Bulldog an incredible contender for an introvert’s choice of companion. Focusing on lying around, eating, and the occasional mischief, a Bulldog makes sense.
You can spend most of the day away from home and find them in the same position you left them in. Depending on how bored a Bulldog is, you might have some chewed up footwear or furniture, but they will mostly relax and enjoy the peace.
With its low physical activity needs, you will successfully avoid contact with a lot of random people in parks and playgrounds. Belly rubs, head scratches, and short sessions of owner-dog affection are welcomed, but do not expect too much.
5. The Shiba Inu Is Elon Musk’s Breed Of Choice
One of the biggest introverted celebrities in the world, Elon Musk, owns a Shiba Inu named Floki. While you might be a little more or less fond of social contact than the tech-world Batman, this breed is a good overall choice.
If they are good enough to be CEOs, then, you will be in good company.
Their exercise requirements are average, and hanging out with other dogs is not as crucial for their happiness as being in their owner’s presence. Medium-sized and on the fluffy side, they have a distinct look that you will never get tired of.
Unfamiliar humans will be met with indifference, and their body language will decisively tell everyone that approaching and interacting with them or their owner is not welcomed. They are the perfect canine companion to live in an introvert bubble with.
There is a lot of confusion about Akitas and Shiba Inus and how to distinguish between them, so we have an article that explains those differences into detail. Long story short, they are not the same and have different needs.
6. Siberian Huskies Are Unobviously Balanced
Introverted dog owners who want their dogs to be a bit more social with them, but less so with other people, can put their trust into a husky. Most lists will not feature this breed as good for introverts, but my experience tells a different story.
Huskies are born followers who enjoy an independent lifestyle. Bred to pull sleds all day long and be in the presence of their human without being needy puts them high on the list of dogs appropriate for personalities who keep to themselves.
Affection is great in moderation, but they really bond well with introverts who can spend an entire day hiking, trailing, or even biking in open areas. A duo of owner and dog against the world is the best possible combination for a Siberian Husky.
A word of caution for prospective Husky owners – they are chatty beyond measure and have a distinct vocalization technique you probably heard on YouTube or Instagram. If it sounds unbearable, then forget I ever mentioned it.
7. Alaskan Malamute Are Awoof
You can spot a trend here. The Husky’s cousin is even better at mirroring an introvert’s lifestyle. They are large dogs with above average energy levels that desire nothing more than a stable job and plenty of rest.
They are more independent than Huskies, less active, and couldn’t care less about other people as long as you provide everything they need. If you live in an apartment or have little room in your house, the Malamute’s size might be a dealbreaker for you.
However, they are not the most sensitive dogs. This means that people with mental health issues will most likely not get a lot of affection from this breed. Malamutes are tricky to master, so once you unlock their full potential, they might be the only breed for you.
8. The Fast-Paced Independence Of Hungarian Vizslas
Hunter extraordinaire and ceaseless energy in the body of a dog are the two phrases that most of the world associates with Vizslas. Despite being a summation of those words, there is so much more to Vizslas than energy and instinctual intelligence.
Firstly, Vizslas are not fond of unfamiliar people, the AKC says. They are protective and fierce when the occasion arises, but balanced and calm when with their owners. Most dog parks cannot handle Vizslas, which makes for a pro in an introvert’s books.
The downside is that they have extremely high physical exercise needs that cannot be satiated with a couple of daily walks. If you are an outdoorsy introvert who loves nature and a canine partner, the Vizsla is probably your best option out of all these.
How Do You Choose?
Based on some of my introverted friends, the best bet is to match your physical activity needs with the dog’s. Many choose a breed based on appearance or preconceived notions, but the most efficient strategy is exploring the actual temperament of the breed.
The best dog breed for introverts is the one that does not put stress on their lifestyle. This curated list of seven breeds has a palette of characters in different body shapes for every kind of introvert, so take your time with the right decision.