9 Least Affectionate Dog Breeds

9 Least affectionate dog breeds

So you’re thinking of getting a new furry puppy to add to your family. Maybe you were thinking of getting a little lap dog such as a Pomeranian that you can pick up a hug like a teddy bear. Or perhaps a larger and calm dog like a Labrador Retriever which will lay at your feet and enjoy the silence of your company. While it can be difficult to determine what a dog’s temperament will be like until you have had them home with you for a while, their breed will oftentimes be a good starting point. Some dogs naturally tend to be more independent and less affectionate breed than others.

While some of these independent dog breeds with fierce temperaments, tend to be less affectionate than some of the other dogs out there. Such as the Golden Retriever, a Dachshund, or a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. All dogs can and will, on their own terms, show some affection towards their owners and can be great family dogs.

Afghan Hound

least affectionate dog afghan hound

These dogs look as if they are of royalty that had just stepped out of a palace, and well sometimes they act like it too! Afghan Hounds were bred to be hunting dogs. They may come off as an independent dog and will often be aloof towards strangers. As a puppy, they will always seek attention. However, as a mature dog, they are very comfortable without the constant attention that an overly affectionate dog will demand from you. They will oftentimes be less affectionate towards other people, or in environments, that they are not accustomed to.

Alaskan Malamute

least affectionate dog alaskan malamute

Maybe one of the most family-oriented and affectionate dogs on this list, after some much-needed training and socialization while they are younger. The Alaskan Malamute, similar to Siberian Huskys, were originally bred as sled dogs to work in harsh environments. They have a strong sense of pack hierarchy. So strong that it’s oftentimes the cause of several behavioral issues they may have. Alaskan Malamutes are known to have dominance issues and can be incredibly stubborn and uncooperative if they don’t view you as a strong leader in the relationship.


least affectionate dog basenji

Also known as the African Barkless Dog, Basenjis don’t actually bark, they let out a sound that has been described as a chortle or yodel. Originally bred to be hunting dogs. They are incredibly intelligent, energetic, and independent making them harder to train, especially for an inexperienced owner. While they don’t openly express their emotions and throw themselves into your arms when you get home from a long day at work, they are loyal and will usually be protective of their family.

Chinese Shar-Pei

least affectionate dog chinese shar pei

The Chinese Shar-Peis appearance is so unique and cute with all their wrinkles! You may not expect one of the reasons they have been originally bred for was to be fighting dogs. And these instincts have stayed with the bred till this day. Because of this, they are not the affectionate type that will cuddle up next to you. They are not overly fond of physical attention and would often prefer to lay on the floor a safe distance from you. If you do decide to get a Shar-Pei, they will need to be socialized and trained to be around people and other animals from a very young age to prevent them from being overly aggressive. 

Chow Chow

least affectionate dog chow chow

One of the oldest known dog breeds. Chow Chows tend to be an independent dog. They don’t generally like to be fussed over and tend to keep to themselves. While the Chow Chow looks like big teddy bears and can build very strong bonds with their owners. They will oftentimes be aloof and aggressive towards strangers. Especially if they are not properly trained to be social with other people often, starting from a young age. Because of this behavior, another thing to keep in mind is that Chow Chows are known to raise the cost of homeowners insurance since some companies consider them one of the higher risk dog breeds.

Korean Jindo

least affectionate dog korean jindo

A national treasure in South Korea. The Korean Jindo dog will over time and with constant training, be very loyal and protective towards a single person, their owners. This protective instinct makes it difficult for them to get close to anyone else, making them great guard dogs. They are highly intelligent and independent, often a bit aloof and stubborn, and will require an experienced handler to be patient with them while training.


least affectionate dog saluki

Similar in appearance to the Afghan Hound. The Saluki is one of the older dog breeds and was originally bred for hunting. Although they do not hunt by scent like how most dogs do, but by sight. Their temperament is often independent and stubborn making it difficult to train for an inexperienced person. They tend to be shy and aloof towards strangers if not socialized as a young puppy. You will often see them keep to themselves instead of being an affectionate snuggle buddy.

Scottish Terrier

least affectionate dog scottish terrier

While very loyal and has a natural protective instinct. The Scottish Terriers, also known as the Scotty, is not one of the most affectionate dogs. Especially towards people with whom they are not familiar. Independent and intelligent, oftentimes much to the annoyance of their owners, they are wary of strangers making them great watchdogs. A small dog with a big bark, the Scottish Terrier is one of the bravest, yet most stubborn dog breed, and will fiercely protect their owners.

Shiba Inu

least affectionate dog shiba inu

One of the most popular and oldest dog breeds from Japan. The Shiba Inu was originally bred to be a hunting dog. While they can be affectionate at times, their independent spirit will often dictate when they want to show you some affection. They are highly intelligent can be very stubborn at times making it very difficult to train. Often only participating in activities that make sense to them. If you can get past this behavior of theirs, they can be a great addition to your family.


In general, most dogs that were bred for hunting or working purposes tend to be some of the least affectionate dog breeds. It will take a firm owner with proper training and socialization at a young age to make any of the dogs listed above grow up to be great companions once they get to know and trust you.

If you really want one of these dog breeds. Don’t let their fierce temperament discourage you from getting one as all dogs are capable of being sociable and can provide human companionship. You will need to put in the effort to have your dog trust you by keeping them in a familiar routine. Taking them out for some exercise, or even training them with constant positive reinforcement. Lastly, just keep in mind that some dogs don’t show as much affection towards people or other pets that they are not familiar with, as much as some of the other more affectionate dogs.

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