Introvert and Extrovert Dogs

(From my coursework for the Diploma in Canine Psychology course with the ISCP. The question was about different personality traits on dogs – introverts vs extroverts. In a sense, our furry four-legged friends are very like us humans. Something to consider, perhaps, when selecting a dog. A match made in (Doggy) Heaven would be when a person’s personality and level of activity/lifestyle matches the dog’s own personality.

An introvert dog can be seen as aloof, the type that doesn’t come up to you with his tail wagging looking for a treat or praise. He prefers to do his own thing, doesn’t compete with other dogs, doesn’t demand attention from humans. As long as he knows he has a safe place to sleep, food and a shelter from the elements, he’s quite happy in his own company. Introvert dogs don’t relish the idea of being cuddled or made a fuss of, and are not inclined to return the favour to their humans. That doesn’t mean introvert dogs are unfriendly or hostile; they simply want to be left alone. Introvert dogs would prefer not to have their routine or lifestyle changed.

An extrovert dog is the one that bounds right up to the fence or door, tail wagging enthusiastically, waiting to jump up on people and welcome them. He loves to play with both humans and dogs, often demonstrating with play-bows and excited barking, or running around in circles like a goofball, falling over himself with anticipation. Extrovert dogs have lots of energy to expend, and require routine exercise, and would do well in agility exercises, playing Fetch, going to the dog park or dog beach. They thrive on making friends with everybody they encounter. Extrovert dogs love new experiences.


If you’re interested in studying for any of the ISCP’s online courses, check out their website. I’m really enjoying the course, reading has always been a pleasure for me, and now reading books about canine behaviour is really a totally engrossing and fascinating experience.

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