20 Dog Breeds With Low Separation Anxiety (With Videos)

Dog Breeds With Low Separation Anxiety

Dogs of various sizes, shapes, colors, and personalities have been developed over centuries of careful breeding for specific traits and jobs, leading to many of the recognized dog breeds we see today. Unfortunately, many other unwanted genetic traits have also developed alongside those desired characteristics.

One of the most common (and most difficult) behavioral issues is separation anxiety. While much of separation anxiety is related to a dog’s upbringing, there can be a genetic component to it.

For those who do not want to deal with it all, there are a few breeds that are not as known to develop separation anxiety in comparison to some other breeds where separation anxiety is a major issue within the breed.

So what are the breeds that are less likely to have separation anxiety?

Certain dog breeds, like the Bulldog and Pekingese, are less likely to develop separation anxiety when compared to breeds where separation anxiety is commonly associated with the breed (like the German Shepherd). It’s important to remember that genetics are only a small contributor to separation anxiety and a dog’s early upbringing plays a larger role.

Below, we’ll discuss separation anxiety and what contributes to it in more detail. Then we’ll take a look at several breeds of dog who are not known to develop separation anxiety as long as they are socialized and trained from a young age.

What Is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety as most dog owners understand it is a behavioral issue that results in a dog becoming anxious or stressed after their owner (or even another animal companion) leaves them alone. Separation anxiety has many different forms, and a true diagnosis should be done by a professional.

What most owners see as separation anxiety in their dogs is generally a result of environment rather than a medical issue, and that is the type of separation anxiety we will be focusing on for the purposes of this article.

Separation anxiety is usually caused by dogs who did not receive appropriate socialization as puppies during their critical socialization period, or who had owners who accidentally reinforced certain behaviors or who reacted in an inappropriate way towards their dog’s stress and fear. In some cases it can develop later on in life due to household changes or if the dog experienced trauma at some point.

Certain breeds are also more prone to behaviors linked to separation anxiety, likely due to poor breeding or being from puppy mills. It is important to remember, though, that any breed of dog can develop separation anxiety and the severity can vary.

Signs & Symptoms Of Separation Anxiety

Signs of separation anxiety include restlessness as an owner prepares to leave, excessive panting, pacing, or drooling, whining or barking, and other stress-related behaviors. Once the owner has left, these dogs will usually escalate in their behaviors, which can include consistent barking, howling, crying, or even screaming.

Dogs with more severe separation anxiety may urinate or defecate throughout the house, chew on inappropriate objects (including walls, doors, and windows), or get into things they normally wouldn’t do when an owner is home. They may also attempt to escape the home which can lead to injury.

Left untreated, separation anxiety can cause a rift between dog and owner and can lead to lifelong behavioral issues (not to mention the damage to a home and the frustration of neighbors nearby).

Preventing Separation Anxiety

If addressed early enough, separation anxiety is treatable and many of the issues can be prevented during puppyhood with proper socialization, confidence building exercises, and desensitization exercises.

While separation anxiety can and will appear in any dog of any breed, gender, size, or age, there are certain breeds of dogs in which the risk is much less when genetically compared to other breeds.

This is likely due to breed traits and how the dogs have been traditionally used, as well as the breeds being less over bred compared to some other more popular breeds of dogs.

Many of the dogs on this list also share similar personality characteristics like not being interested in cuddling with their owners, dogs that don’t need a lot of exercise, and dogs that don’t tend to get along with other dogs due to their independent natures.

20 Dog Breeds That Have No (Or Low) Separation Anxiety

It’s important to remember that every dog is an individual and may or may not show the typical traits of their breed. It’s also important to remember that there are multiple contributing factors to separation anxiety and that a dog’s breed is only a small part of that.

Poor socialization and a lack of early (or incorrect) training are generally the primary causes for separation anxiety that is not medically related. Even the dogs on the list below may still develop separation anxiety if they are not socialized properly or if they don’t receive the proper training as puppies, no matter how well bred they are.

But if you aren’t keen on dealing with a higher risk of your pup having separation anxiety, then one of the following breeds might be a good choice for you.

1. Basenji

This small hound is known for their unique title of “Barkless Dog”, though that doesn’t mean they don’t make any noise (they are actually known to whine quite a bit)! Catlike in nature, the Basenji is an intelligent breed of dog who is affectionate with his owner but who is quite capable of being left on his own. Confident and independent, the Basenji is a great choice for those who would like a dog that is not constantly begging for attention.

Provided they are socialized well from a young age and their needs are met (they can get into trouble if you don’t give them something to do!), the Basenji breed as a whole tends to have a lower risk of developing separation anxiety. Their history as a hunting dog in Africa and their independent nature means they are usually able to adapt to being left alone even for longer periods of time.

2. Basset Hound

The iconic Basset Hound is a beloved breed known the world over. This stout little hound is family friendly, adaptable to many different environments, and is capable of being both a working dog and a couch potato. While the Basset does have quite the howl (as any hound does!), they are relatively calm and happy to occupy themselves when their owner is not available.

Bassets can be stubborn, so they require early socialization and training to avoid any pitfalls as they enter into their adolescent and adult periods. Their nose is extremely powerful, so it’s also important to provide them with something to do, or else they may just follow their nose into trouble.

They tend to be quite content to just go with the flow, and their relaxed attitude makes them less likely to develop any separation anxiety with their owners.

3. Bernese Mountain Dog

The beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog (affectionately referred to as “Berners” by their fans) is a large working dog who thrives in colder climates. This family friendly dog has a sweet nature and enjoys being around their family. While Berners can form a closer bond with only one person, they don’t usually put up a fuss when left alone, even if that special person is gone.

Berners are intelligent and hardworking which makes it easy to socialize and train them as puppies. When it comes to separation anxiety, their naturally confident personalities make it more likely that they can easily adapt if their owner must leave them, even for longer periods of time.

As a working breed, they do require something to do but if their needs are met daily they are likely to be content with lounging around the house when their owner is not home.

4. Bichon Frise

Small in size but mighty in personality, the Bichon Frise is a companion dog whose happy-go-lucky nature makes them a joy to be around. Don’t let their size fool you! These little white dogs are ALL personality, and a confident one at that. Bichons are extremely adaptable to a variety of living environments and can handle any changes with ease.

Their confidence and intelligence make them easy to train. While a very sociable breed of dog (they definitely aren’t guard dogs), Bichons are fairly happy to lounge around and don’t require constant reassurance from their owner.

This makes them ideal for working owners or those who live in urban environments and apartment complexes as these dogs enjoy the hustle and bustle of the world around them but aren’t usually stressed out by it. They can be pretty vocal and excitable, so early training is a must.

5. Bulldog

While many breeds may fall under the general name “Bulldog” or “bully breed” and all of them tend to have low to medium separation anxiety risk, it is the English Bulldog that seems to be the most relaxed of them all and the least likely to develop separation anxiety. This lovable goofball is a popular choice for owners who want a fun-loving companion but don’t want to deal with excessive energy.

Contrary to popular belief, these hefty pups aren’t lazy at all and do enjoy a good romp. They are very affectionate and sociable, and generally make good family pets. The Bulldog tends to have a confident and easygoing attitude, which makes them a good choice for an owner who wants a dog that can handle itself if they aren’t available. Bulldogs can be chewers, so it’s important to give them appropriate chew toys.

They can also be quite stubborn with training, so early foundations are a must. If these needs are met, the Bulldog is not likely to develop separation anxiety and can be left home alone to snooze the day away.

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This regal breed is one of the sweetest, most gentle small dog breeds you can find today. Cavaliers tend to be incredibly affectionate with family and strangers alike, and they do excellent with children and other dogs. An incredibly adaptable breed, the Cavalier is a dog who molds their personality and lifestyle after that of their owner.

From an on-the-go businesswoman to a stay-at-home mom, Cavaliers can adjust to any type of life. This adaptability lends itself to their ability to handle being alone and away from their owners, too. Despite their tendency to be barkers, Cavaliers don’t generally suffer from separation anxiety provided they receive proper socialization and training as puppies.

7. English Setter

This British hunting dog is a favorite of many, with their mellow temperaments and elegant stature. The English Setter is a smaller sporting breed primarily used for hunting gamebirds. Despite their hunting dog nature, they are usually fairly relaxed and make good house dogs, too.

Intelligent and easily trainable, the English Setter is a good choice for an owner who wants an affectionate, energetic working dog but does not want to deal with an overly obsessive dog.

Setters in general tend to have low risk of separation anxiety due to their breed histories, but the English Setter in particular has minimal risk due to their quieter temperaments and ability to adapt to different environments.

8. French Bulldog

The lovable Frenchie is a favorite among many dog lovers, and for good reason! These one-of-a-kind pups have fantastic personalities and tend to consider anyone and everyone a friend.

While many small dog breeds tend to be barkers, the French Bulldog is an exception. These quiet dogs tend to observe the world rather than voice their opinions, though you can hear some pretty cute snuffles and whines every now and then.

Despite their goofy attitudes, Frenchies can be quite smart, and training and socialization should begin early. While they’d prefer to be with their owners as much as possible, French Bulldogs can be very independent and their lower energy levels make them a good choice for an owner who needs a quieter dog that doesn’t require constant attention. Provided the dogs come from good breeding stock and are socialized early, French Bulldogs tend to have a low risk for developing separation anxiety.

9. Great Dane

One of the largest dog breeds, the Great Dane is generally considered a gentle giant. Danes, despite their easygoing natures, make excellent watchdogs and their imposing size and bark is enough to cause an intruder to think twice. While Danes do have considerable energy for their size, they can generally relax while at home and are not usually glued to their owner’s side.

These dogs require extensive socialization and training from an early age to avoid behavioral issues in adulthood. Most Danes can easily tolerate being left home alone without their owner and most will just take a good nap or patrol the home until their owner returns.

10. Great Pyrenees

Considered one of the most popular livestock guardian breeds, the Great Pyrenees lives up to that reputation. These hardworking dogs put their jobs first and foremost. They don’t tend to be big cuddlers and are independent by nature. Pyrs are fiercely loyal to their homes and families.

Don’t let their mellow attitudes fool you! These vigilant guardians can go from 0 to 100 if they feel the need to protect their home, family, or livestock. This breed instinctually prefers to be alone, and even in the company of their beloved family they tend to show a quieter, more dignified attitude.

Due to their working dog nature and ability to be away from their owners for extensive periods of time, a well bred Great Pyrenees is one of the few breeds where separation anxiety is not ever really considered an issue as long as the dogs are well socialized and receive proper training from a young age.

11. Greyhound

When you think of a Greyhound, you probably think of a spirited racer who is constantly buzzing about with no stop, similar to a racehorse. The Greyhound is not that! While Greyhounds are the breed upon which all other racing hounds have been built, they tend to only have that energy when coursing. Outside of their jobs, Greyhounds also have a reputation for being couch potatoes and fairly lazy dogs.

They do enjoy walks and playtime (and enrichment is important if you don’t want them to engage in their natural predatory instincts), but most are very happy to just stay at home and chill. Greyhounds are affectionate with their owners and tolerant of strangers, but much of the time they prefer being off on their own.

This independent and low-energy nature make them a good choice for an owner who wants a faithful companion but not one that requires constant attention. The risk of separation anxiety is low in this breed, provided their needs are met and they’ve received proper socialization and training.

12. Lhasa Apso

An ancient breed of dog that served royalty, the Lhasa Apso is a popular small breed dog whose beautiful coat is one of its most notable characteristics. Lhasa Apsos are incredibly smart, and their confident nature alludes to their royal past.

Lhasas form strong bonds with their owners but like to maintain their independence, which makes them ideal for an owner who doesn’t want to deal with separation anxiety.

Lhasas can be aloof and even suspicious of strangers, so training and socialization are important. But their generally serene nature means they are unlikely to develop separation anxiety provided they come from good breeders and general precautions are taken regarding training as puppies.

13. Mastiff

Another ancient breed whose ancestors helped shape many modern breeds today, the Mastiff is a sweet natured giant whose protective nature makes them a wonderful family guardian. These large dogs tend to be patient and docile, but their protective nature requires extensive training and socialization as early as possible.

Due to their laidback nature, Mastiffs also tend to be quite happy to be on their own away from their owners. There is a low instance of separation anxiety in the breed, though owners must be careful to give them something to do or else the dogs may develop destructive behaviors like digging and chewing.

14. Newfoundland

The Newfound is another working breed that also makes an excellent family pet. They are known for their love of children, and well-bred Newfies have some of the sweetest temperaments you’ll ever see. Originally used for rescue and farm work, these versatile dogs are now seen everywhere from the show ring to the agility field.

These dogs are large and require early training and socialization, but their gentle and quiet natures make them a good choice for an owner who wants a big dog but not a loud and energetic dog. Newfies have a low risk of developing separation anxiety due to their breed history and the fact that the dogs are easily trainable.

15. Pekingese

The unique looking Pekingese is a toy dog that was developed in ancient China. Underneath all of that silky hair (often referred to as a “lion’s mane”) is a rather stout little dog who moves with dignity and purpose. Pekes are kind and loving to their owners but can be wary of strangers.

Unlike many other toy breeds, the Pekingese is extremely independent and is very content to be left alone for long periods of time. They aren’t known for developing separation anxiety, though socialization and training should still happen from a young age to avoid behavioral issues with strangers and resource guarding tendencies.

But if you are looking for a small dog that is unlikely to develop separation anxiety, a Peke might be the dog for you!

16. Pug

Like the French Bulldog, the iconic Pug is another big dog in a small dog’s body. These happy-go-lucky pups are adored the world over and are one of the most popular small dog breeds. They tend to be quiet and good natured, and their adoration for their owners is evident.

While they are incredibly affectionate and prefer to be with their owners, they are also quick to adapt and adjust, which makes them likely to tolerate being left home alone. They take most things in stride and with proper socialization and training these cuties are one of the best dogs for first time dog owners who want a fun dog who doesn’t require that much extra attention when it comes to energy and behavioral issues.

17. Saint Bernard

Another gentle giant, the Saint Bernard is a steadfast breed of dog whose origins lay in the Swiss Alps. Intelligent and friendly, the Saint Bernard is known to be a good watchdog and nanny dog to children.

They tend to be lower in energy and are content to rest and relax unless called upon by their owners. Their large size does require that they receive early socialization and training to prevent any issues later on, but in general, the breed is not known for developing separation anxiety.

18. Schnauzer

Schnauzers come in three different sizes: Giant, Standard, and Miniature. All three types tend to be independent in nature and make excellent watchdogs. They are intelligent and easily trained and come from a background of working farm dogs. Schnauzers are affectionate with their owners and families and are generally adaptable to a wide variety of lifestyles.

While they can have some energy and need something to do, if their needs are met, they are usually content to relax and guard the home until their beloved owner returns.

Due to their breed history as farm dogs and generally independent and adaptable nature, all three types of Schnauzers are less likely to develop separation anxiety provided they are socialized and trained from a young age.

19. Shiba Inu

Hailing from Japan, the Shiba Inu is probably best known for their catlike personalities and their presence as Internet memes. These ancient dogs have quite the personalities which make them a popular choice for owners who want a unique dog that is apartment friendly.

Shibas are one of the most independent dog breeds out there and they will let you know if they feel offended by something you did. An intelligent breed, they do require a “job” of some kind to keep busy but in general Shibas do not usually display separation anxiety as long as they’ve been socialized and received early training.

20. Yorkshire Terrier

Last but not least, we have the ever-popular Yorkshire Terrier! These feisty little dogs are fun loving, energetic, and love to be the center of attention. Yorkies do tend to be barkers and need early training and socialization to avoid any “stranger danger” in adulthood. They are higher in energy but are able to easily adapt to new routines and environments.

An extremely affectionate breed, Yorkies are also fairly tolerant of being left alone while their owners are out and about. They have a lower risk of developing separation anxiety, but owners must take care to instill confidence from a young age…this means resisting the urge to take this “portable” dog with you wherever you go!

Closing Thoughts

A major cause of separation anxiety is a dog’s socialization history and upbringing, but genetics can play a role in a dog’s development of separation anxiety. Certain breeds, like German Shepherds and Siberian Huskies, tend to develop separation anxiety at a more frequent rate than a lot of the dogs in the list above.

But it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual, and if no socialization or training is done during the dog’s critical period, then it’s extremely likely that they will develop separation anxiety or other behavioral issues later on in life (no matter what their breed).

If you want to stay a step ahead of separation anxiety, though, then the breeds on this list are a little less likely (in comparison to some other breeds) to develop separation anxiety.

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