These are the least affectionate dog breeds – is yours on the list?

Funny dog with disgusted face
You’re barking up the wrong tree trying to cuddle up to this lad (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but apparently the feeling isn’t always mutual.

Although most dogs adore their human companions, some aren’t fond of fuss and attention, preferring the lone wolf (or lone evolutionary descendent of wolf, if we’re being pedantic) lifestyle.

Breed can play into how sociable a dog is too, along with personality traits and predisposition towards certain health problems.

It’s worth noting that an anti-social animal is different to an aggressive one; they’re not nasty, but if you’re looking for a cuddly pet it may not be a perfect match.

‘This doesn’t mean they don’t make amazing pets; in fact, they absolutely love their people,’ explains dog behaviour specialist Kamal Fernandez.

‘They may just need a little help navigating a world within which we want our dogs to be everyone’s best friend.’

He gave Femail the run-down of the nine least affectionate dog breeds, and you may be surprised to learn which ones rank up top.

In first position was the Cane Corso, an Italian mastiff-type guarding breed that’s fiercely loyal and cautious around strangers.

Italian mastiff
The Cane Corso is also known as the Italian Mastiff (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Although this breed can be a great family pet, they can end up ruling the roost if not properly trained. A Cane Corso can also weigh up to 100lbs, and this strength can be intimidating.

Next up is the poodle; a distinctive dog that could fairly be described as ‘high maintenance’.

Standard Poodle Sitting On Grassy Field
A poodle’s fierce intelligence can be difficult for some owners (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

The breed needs a lot of exercise and attention, which can put off some owners. Poodle fans, however, love their intelligence and grace – and even their demanding nature.

German Shepherds were third, due to their history as a guarding and herding breed.

Despite being comfortable in social situations, this dog can also possess traits like hyper-viligance and nervousness around new people.

The Beauceron (fairly rare here in the UK) made fourth place, with their standoffish attitude and preference for training over affection.

Red dog in an autumn leaves.
The Shetland sheepdog is a smaller version of the Rough Collie (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

You may not have expected a miniature Lassie lookalike to make the list, but next is the Shetland sheepdog, which can be shy and struggle with confidence.

Another shocker is the Tibetan mastiff at number nine. They may look like like big teddy bears, but they value being in control, which likely comes from the breed’s history guarding monasteries against bears and wolves.

Beautiful Tibetan mastiff on the background of the winter landscape of nature. Breed of dogs.
This Tibetan mastiff looks cuddly but takes its guarding job very seriously (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Here Kamal’s full ranking of the dog breeds that aren’t typically affectionate.

  1. Cane Corso
  2. Poodle
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Beauceron
  5. Shetland sheepdog
  6. Afghan hound
  7. Basenji
  8. Briard
  9. Tibetan mastiff

So before you next pet one of these pups, be aware they like to do things on their terms.

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