Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

8 Dog Breeds Least Friendly to Strangers

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on November 19, 2023

While most dogs are known for their friendliness and affection, certain breeds tend to be less friendly towards strangers. This behavior often stems from their breeding history, where traits like wariness, protectiveness, and a strong sense of territory were valued. Here are eight dog breeds that are generally considered less welcoming to unfamiliar people.

1. Chow Chow

Chow Chows are known for their aloof and independent nature. They tend to be very loyal to their family but suspicious of strangers. This breed’s wariness towards unfamiliar people is attributed to their history as guard dogs in China. They require early socialization and firm, consistent training to manage their reserved demeanor.

2. Shar Pei

The Shar Pei, with its distinctive wrinkled skin, is often standoffish with strangers. Originally bred for guarding, hunting, and later for dog fighting, they are naturally protective and can be quite reserved. Early socialization is crucial for Shar Peis to become more comfortable around new people.

3. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hounds are dignified and independent dogs known for their aloofness, particularly with strangers. Their cautious nature around unfamiliar people is a trait deeply ingrained in their personality. While they are loving with their family, they often maintain a reserved demeanor with outsiders.

4. Basenji

Basenjis, often called “barkless dogs,” are known for their selective affection. They are naturally wary of strangers and tend to form strong bonds with their families. Their reserved nature around new people is due to their hunting background, where they were bred to be independent and alert.

5. Borzoi

The Borzoi, a breed known for its elegant and aristocratic demeanor, can be quite reserved with strangers. This breed was developed in Russia for hunting and often displays a naturally cautious temperament around unfamiliar people, a trait that was encouraged in their breeding.

6. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are known for their strength and independence. While affectionate with their family, they can be standoffish with strangers. This behavior can be attributed to their history as sled dogs, where they were bred to be independent and self-reliant.

7. Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a working dog known for its loyalty and protectiveness. They tend to be reserved and sometimes suspicious of strangers, making them excellent guard dogs. This breed requires early socialization and consistent training to ensure they are well-adjusted.

8. Akita

Akitas are large, powerful dogs with a strong territorial instinct. They are incredibly loyal to their family but often aloof and wary around strangers. This breed was used for guarding royalty and nobility in feudal Japan, contributing to their cautious approach towards unfamiliar people.


These eight breeds are typically less friendly towards strangers due to various factors, including their historical roles as guard dogs, and hunters, and their natural temperament. Proper socialization and training from a young age are crucial for these breeds to help them become more comfortable around new people. While they may not welcome outsiders most, they often form deep, loyal bonds with their families.

Related: 15 Dog Breeds Most Friendly to Strangers