For some families, one dog is enough. Despite being pack animals, certain breeds of dogs tend to do better as the queen or king of the house. The following is a list of dog breeds that either prefer life as the only dog in the house or can do well as the only pet in the family.
Cairn terrier. These are small, sturdy dogs that are ideal either on a farm or in an apartment. They stand 9 to 10 inches at the shoulder and love being king of the house. Although they require daily grooming, there really isn’t much dog there to groom. They are active, however, and will require a good, stress-relieving play session when you get home from work.
Chinese crested. These dogs are slowly gaining popularity. Not completely bald, the Chinese crested has some puffs of hair on the head and may have a very spotted skin. Despite his weird appearance, the Chinese crested is a great single family pet.
Shar-pei. The wrinkled look of this breed is instantly recognizable. The shar-pei is easily housetrained and enjoys being the only dog in the house. In a way, the breed’s fastidiousness and attitude is a little like a cat’s; they can be a little standoffish and will act like king or queen of the household if the owner lets them.
Chow chow. The chow is one of the most easily recognized breeds. Popular because of his thick fluffy coat, the chow can thrive outdoors, even in the coldest of weather. During the hot summer months, outdoor chows greatly appreciate a drastic haircut. They love their families and prefer to be the only pet.
Dandie Dinmont terrier. This little active terrier is related to the Scottish terrier, cairn terrier and West Highland white terrier. With a specialized hair coat that makes the dog look a little goofy to the novice, this breed is an excellent companion and family dog.
French bulldog. The French bulldog is not into barking, but will alert the family to strange noises. Ideal for apartment living, the French bulldog is fun loving and friendly but doesn’t always get along with other dogs.
Great Pyrenees. The Great Pyrenees is happiest when he has a job to do. Whether guarding sheep, pulling carts or protecting his family, the Great Pyrenees seems to thrive outdoors, especially in winter.
Japanese chin. Described as elegant yet comical, the chin is not well known in the United States. This breed is considered part of royalty in Japan, but in this country has been referred to as the Japanese terrier. This is a dog whose function is strictly that of a companion. Not too interested in sharing his home with another dog, the chin is content to be with his owner.
Lhasa apso. The lhasa apso hails from Tibet, where the dog is called apso seng kye (bark lion sentinel dog). In fact, the lovable Lhasa’s keen hearing and intelligence make him a good watchdog. However, the small furry breed is even more exceptional as a lapdog. Easily trained and very friendly, the lhasa likes people more than other dogs.
Maltese. As the name suggests, the small Maltese originated on the island of Malta, in the Mediterranean. This diminutive breed looks fragile but is quite resilient. The long flowing white coat needs daily care. These dogs are smart and extremely affectionate.
Mastiff. This giant and imposing dog was used as a hunter and protector. Content to patrol his home and guard his family, the mastiff can do well as the only dog in the house but needs and craves human companionship.
Pekingese. Legend has it that this native of present-day Beijing, China, is the offspring of a lion and a monkey. The Pekingese is a bold, regal toy dog that has an enthusiastic bark rivaling the Chihuahua’s. The breed expects to be pampered and doesn’t enjoy sharing the spotlight with other dogs.
Pomeranian. If you are looking for a spunky, perky little dog, look no further. Believed to originate in Pomerania, Germany, the Pomeranian is an alert, docile but lively companion. This compact little breed has quite a fuzzy hair coat and resembles a cuddly teddy bear.
Pug. Weighing in at 10 to 25 pounds, the pug is great as the only household pet. Small and compact with a pushed-in face, the pug is a clown at heart. With a short hair coat, this breed does not need special care and is a loving member of any family. As long as he is taken for brief walks, he is happy to sleep the day away.
Golden retriever. As one of the most popular breeds, the golden retriever is an excellent family pet and does well as the only dog in the house. All he needs is plenty of exercise and human companionship.
Labrador retriever. Similar to the golden retriever, the lab always tops the list of most popular dogs. This breed loves to be outside and needs plenty of exercise. All he asks in return is a lot of hugs and kisses and time with his human family.
Rottweiler. Despite his current reputation, the Rottweiler was originally developed as a herding dog. His size and strength quickly led him to a more productive life as a protector and guardian. Not too interested in spending time with other dogs, the Rott loves being with his human family.
Saint Bernard. No other dog has been as strongly linked to a barrel of whiskey as the Saint Bernard. Companions of monks, the Saint Bernard has saved many people who have been lost or injured in the frigid Swiss Alps. This dog is content to be the only dog in the family.
Samoyed. The Samoyed is an ancient breed who has spent the majority of his life in the company of humans. Used as a sled dog, these dogs are able to pull about 1 1/2 times their own weight in equipment and supplies. Known for his smiling face, the Samoyed is a happy and highly intelligent dog that readily protects his home.
Irish setter. The Irish setter is a beautiful, friendly, energetic dog. The setter will bark to let you know someone is at the house, but don’t expect more than that. This beautiful red dog prefers human companionship over other canines.
Whippet. As a moderate-sized greyhound look-a-like, the whippet enjoys racing around a track just as much as he likes to cuddle next to his owner. A faithful family member, the whippet isn’t the greatest watchdog. Be aware that many whippet owners have found that owning just one isn’t enough. Content to be the only dog in the house, the whippet will tolerate other dogs, as long as they understand who is boss.
Yorkshire terrier. The Yorkie is a tiny dog with lots of spunk. They are happy to spend their days lounging on the sofa, but these calm dogs require regular grooming.