The 2 Dog Breeds That Absolutely Need Their Alone Time (& the One That Will Never Leave Your Side)

It’s hard to imagine a dog that doesn’t want playtime all the time, but they do exist! Since humans and canines have built strong bonds for centuries, we know each other well enough to honestly say, “Hey, I need some space.” Breeds that enjoy alone time tend to be more aloof and wary of strangers—which could also mean they’ve got strong protective instincts when it comes to keeping you safe. However, vigilant watchdogs aren’t automatically doting, affectionate cuddlers! It’s important to get to know—and respect—your dog’s boundaries. Being alone isn’t a bad thing, but teaching your dog how to exist safely by himself is a necessary part of puppy training. Two such breeds with independent personalities that will embrace alone time? The Afghan Hound and the Chow Chow.

As always, it’s important to remember that a breed can only tell you so much about a dog’s personality. Some Chows might follow you wherever you go, while others may not even look up when you walk through the door. The American Kennel Club says no dog should be left alone for more than eight hours, regardless of breed. Even low-maintenance breeds with easy-going and adaptive personalities need mental and physical stimulation throughout the day. Read on for more information about these potentially solitary pups.

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2 Breeds That Need Their Alone Time

dogs that need alone time afghan hound

1. Afghan Hound

Height: 25-27 inches

Weight: 50-60 pounds

Personality: Independent, Proud

Activity Level: Moderate to High

Shedding Factor: Hypoallergenic

Life Expectancy: 12-18 years

With a lengthy, hypoallergenic coat and a regal stance, it’s no wonder the Afghan Hound prefers ample time to simply sit and reflect. These are definitely energetic athletes, but they’re not very social. Though they’re open to meeting new people, Afghan Hounds aren’t terribly affectionate or good with kids or other dogs. According to the Afghan Hound Club of America, these dignified dogs value their “own comfort too much” to get up and greet you; they expect you to come to them. Socializing early on is especially important with Afghan Hounds as they will become intolerant of other animals or people as time goes on. In fact, training commands as early as possible is wise. This breed doesn’t aim to please and will avoid following orders if they can help it.

dogs that need alone time chow chow
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2. Chow Chow

Height: 17-20 inches

Weight: 45-70 pounds

Personality: Serious, Loyal

Activity Level: Moderate

Shedding Factor: Moderate to High

Life Expectancy: 8-12 years

Chow Chows are very serious animals, which means they do not take their roles as guard dogs lightly. These are loyal animals who have been known to be affectionate with their favorite family member (and actually thrive with introverts). At the end of the day, though, they are not fans of new people or other dogs. If a Chow grows up with kids, her sense of loyalty and protection will extend to them, but it’s not likely she’ll enjoy children from other households. In fact, Chow Chows are known for being almost cat-like in their dispositions, keeping to themselves and requiring little exercise throughout the day. This makes them a good choice for folks living in cities or smaller homes. Keep in mind their fluffy coats shed a ton, so groom often.

One Breed That Will Never Leave Your Side

dogs that need alone time american eskimo

American Eskimo Dog

Height: 9-12 inches (toy), 12-15 inches (miniature), 15-19 inches (Standard)

Weight: 6-10 pounds (toy), 10-20 pounds (miniature), 25-35 pounds (standard)

Personality: Friendly, Smart, Adaptable

Activity Level: High

Shedding Factor: High

Life Expectancy: 13-15 years

American Eskimo Dogs are the fluffy, cuddly companions who want nothing more than to be part of the party. Sweet-natured and incredibly intelligent, they take to commands and training well and enjoy pleasing their people by showing off their obedience skills. Yes, they are high energy. Yes, they shed constantly. No, they will never stop loving you! Unless you leave them home alone. Eskies can become destructive and develop separation anxiety without their families around.

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Freelance Writer

Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance journalist. She has covered pets for PureWow for six years and tackles everything from dog training tips to the best litter boxes. Her...