Many dogs have a reputation for being fierce protectors that never hesitate to put themselves between their families and danger. Those dogs tend to get most of the spotlight, acting as guard dogs, accompanying police officers, and more. While many dog lovers actively seek those more ferocious breeds, some people want a dog that leans more on the timid side of the personality spectrum.
Several breeds are genetically predisposed to shy behavior. These pups are more sensitive than their intimidating counterparts, creating a more peaceful home environment. With more timid behavior comes more coddling and human-to-pet protection, which is always a good time.
Are you looking to adopt a shy dog?
Here is a list of breeds worth considering.
The Maltese is a small dog breed known for its distinct coat of white fur. They are one of the most intelligent and most gentle of all the toy dog breeds. They are also one of the world’s oldest dog breeds and may have originated in Malta. Statues of similar looking dogs have been found in Egyptian tombs as far back as 3,000 years ago.
These pups are popular lapdogs, and you often see them spoiled in the arms of a protective dog owner.
Maltese are small in stature and usually stand 8 to 9 inches tall at shoulder height and weighs from 4 to 7 pounds.
For the most part, Maltese pups are outgoing and full of fun. They’re little bundles of energy, and they’re not afraid to play when in the comforts of home.
Issues can arise when you take Maltese to a new environment. They can be shy about having new experiences. The dog takes time to adjust, so patience is a must.
If you’ve never heard about the Vizsla, you’re missing out!
The Vizsla (pronounced VEESH-la) or Short-haired Vizsla is a medium- to large-sized hunting dog breed with an elegant bearing and strong and muscular appearance. This handsome short-haired hunting dog is robust but not too heavily built.
This breed is on the larger side. They were initially bred as hunting dogs, giving them impeccable senses that help them track down prey. The breed belongs to the pointer family, so be prepared to see that iconic behavior.
Despite their comfort hunting, Vizslas are pretty bashful. They’re not keen on meeting new people, preferring to stick around those they know. This generally shy behavior can ease up with training and socialization, but Vizslas rarely turn into social butterflies.
3. Great Dane
Here’s a dog that many people are surprised to see classified as “timid.” The Great Dane is a massive dog that can tip the scales at almost 200 pounds! They’re tall, huge, and intimidating.
But when you own one, you quickly realize that these dogs are nothing more than gentle giants. They’re one of the sweetest breeds around, and the juxtaposition of their size and shy behavior can be hilarious to witness!
The Great Dane can be traced back through drawings as far as 3000 B.C. It is thought that they were moved to different parts of the world by the Assyrians, who traded their dogs to the Greeks and Romans, who then bred these dogs with other breeds. This is why it is thought the Great Dane descend from Mastiff-type dogs.
The small and majestic Papillon is a unique dog breed. They’re pint-sized pooches known for their gorgeous fur and somewhat feisty personalities. The dog does well in most environments. The Papillon wants nothing more than to run around and play when comfortable. Yet, they’re eager to cuddle in your lap when they get tired.
Shyness comes when new people enter the environment. Papillon dogs often retreat to their crate or bark incessantly when new people get close. This issue gets worse the less the dog is socialized.
5. Akita Inu
The Akita Inu is a unique breed that likes to exhibit oddball behavior.
If you want a dog that constantly showers you with love and attention, the Akita Inu is not for you. This breed is notoriously independent. They don’t necessarily need your approval 24 hours a day. As a result, they can get into a lot of trouble.
Good training is a must for Akita Inu. When strangers come around, don’t expect any more socialization. The breed likes to do its own thing.
Often confused with the Husky Dog or the Malamutes, the Akita Dog is a breed of pup with relatively high care needs but lots of love to give! There are two types of Akita Dog, the American and the Japanese, and they are often mistaken for each other.
6. Yorkshire Terrier
Here’s an ultra-popular dog breed you’ve likely encountered many times before. Yorkshire Terriers are beloved and highly sought-after. They have unique looks, small stature, and playful personalities.
At home, the Yorkshire Terrier is a curious creature. It will explore every inch of your house, getting into trouble along the way. Luckily, their small size prevents them from making huge messes.
When it comes to timidness, Yorkshire Terriers are notoriously skittish. They get scared easily and don’t do well with strangers and new experiences.
The lean and lanky body of the Greyhound makes it a master runner. But behind that superb athletic ability is a relatively shy canine!
Greyhounds are known for being scarily timid when you first bring them home. Many will refuse to leave their crate, even to use the bathroom. They take time to get comfortable, and owners have to play a part in getting them there. Training and socialization are paramount. Otherwise, that timidness will only get worse with time.
Whippets are medium-sized sighthounds. At first glance, they look like shrunken down Greyhounds thanks to their slender bodies and athletic nature. Like the Greyhound, Whippets are agile and always down for a run.
Unfortunately, extreme timidness can occur, too. Shyness is normal, but Whippets can develop genuine socialization issues. They become fearful of others, making them challenging to deal with in unfamiliar environments. You can use training and socialization to even things out if that occurs.
9. Norfolk Terrier
This small, stocky dog is nothing short of adorable. It has short, stubby legs, a coat of scraggly gold fur, and a face you can’t help but love! They also make excellent family dogs. At home around loved ones, The Norfolk Terrier is a gleaming extrovert. It loves to play, show affection, and spread joy.
But that all changes around new people. The breed can be surprisingly shy when having new experiences. The good news is that it can warm up to people and return to its fun-loving self in no time.
Dalmatians are one of the most recognizable dog breeds in existence. Who doesn’t love those cartoons? While animators make these dogs seem like goofy extroverts, the reality is slightly different.
In a loving home, Dalmatians are playful and full of energy. But they require regular socialization. They can become overly shy and sensitive if they stay cooped up at home. That shyness can evolve into aggression in new environments, so you must proactively address the issue.
11. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is a playful dog breed with a long and colorful history. It originated in Tibet and often lived in monasteries and palaces. The modern Lhasa Apso is nothing more than a spoiled house pet, but its unique past does impact how they live today.
Like most timid dogs, the Lhasa Apso is a bundle of energy at home. Thanks to their long and lavish coat, they can be high maintenance. But the playful affection makes it all worth it.
Lhasa Apso dogs need routine and a comfortable environment. If they experience negativity regularly, they can recoil and spend most of their time hiding.
The Chihuahua has a reputation for having a larger-than-life personality. When most people think of this breed, they think of its penchant for acting bigger and tougher than it truly is. Chihuahuas can be fierce protectors and are not afraid to let you know they don’t like you!
This dog breed isn’t crazy about meeting other people. They are too shy for introductions, and that timid behavior often turns into fear and aggression.
13. English Bulldog
Don’t let the appearance of an English Bulldog fool you. These guys are big old softies! The breed is surprisingly affectionate and loyal.
They’re also low maintenance. Unlike more active dogs, these Bullies don’t need much exercise or upkeep. They’re happy lounging around at home with you by their side. Timidness is common.
But proper socialization can make it less of an issue. Dogs without socialization can turn to aggression, so bringing these dogs out to meet others when they’re younger is essential.
Last but not least, we have these gentle giants! Mastiffs are another intimidating dog breed. They can weigh over 200 pounds, so their sheer size alone is enough to make even the biggest dog lover cower in fear.
Don’t worry: These creatures are surprisingly gentle. They can be pretty fearful of new experiences, so socialization is crucial. While shy, Mastiffs won’t hesitate to defend themselves or their owners. Addressing their timid behavior can help Mastiffs stay even-keeled, even around new people.
There’s a lot to love about these timid dog breeds! You don’t always need or want a canine companion constantly standing guard. Sometimes, the relationships you form with a shyer pup are the most precious. They rely on you for protection, helping you forge an unbreakable bond.
All dogs are different, but sticking to one of these breeds will lower your chances of having a chaotic or aggressive dog. As always, invest in training. Proper training and socialization will bridge the gap, helping you raise a well-mannered dog that’s confident enough to face new experiences regardless of how timid they truly are.