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What do people mean when a breed of dog is described as 'independent'?

(17 Posts)
ArmchairActivist Wed 20-Jul-16 22:58:50

Does it mean it's less affectionate than other breeds? Or less likely to have separation anxiety? Or less people pleasing? Or more difficult to train? Or more likely to bugger off when you try and recall? Or more able to tie its own shoe laces? confused

Just wondering, as it's an adjective that often comes up when describing certain breeds, but I have no idea what it actually means.

IAmNotAMindReader Wed 20-Jul-16 23:09:02

I'd say all of the above.

SenecaFalls Wed 20-Jul-16 23:22:04

I have a Pembroke Welsh Corgi (my 4th in 40 years). They are often described as independent. All of mine were very affectionate with the family, less so with outsiders to varying degrees. They were fairly easy to train because of their intelligence but could be challenging at times because they want to do things their way. I think it depends very much on the breed and the other characteristics they have.

ArmchairActivist Wed 20-Jul-16 23:23:07

Oh dear! We have a new dog whose breed is described as independent (a type of terrier). Are we really in for all of that? shock

BombadierFritz Wed 20-Jul-16 23:24:09

Is it a mini schnauzer? If so it means 'pain in the ass' smile

ArmchairActivist Wed 20-Jul-16 23:24:27

Ah ok Seneca - that's interesting.

ArmchairActivist Wed 20-Jul-16 23:25:59

There was a naughty miniature schnauzer on The Secret Life of Puppies I seem to recall smile

SenecaFalls Wed 20-Jul-16 23:38:53

I had a Labrador with separation anxiety. I loved him very much, but I will take independence over that any day. We finally had to medicate him after he ate a sofa.

tabulahrasa Thu 21-Jul-16 07:42:53

I'd say not being fussed about making friends with strangers is aloof rather than independent, though the two traits often go together.

Independent is more...isn't as likely to follow you from room to room, can be harder to train because they very much weigh up what's in it for them...and depending on the breed might have their own ideas about what they're going to do.

MewlingQuim Thu 21-Jul-16 07:53:23

I have a terrier, she is very independent.

She loves her family but isn't fussed about other people and usually ignores them.

She is happy to be left home alone, she doesn't stress and bark or pee or chew stuff up.

She is intelligent and knows lots of commands and tricks, but only does what I say if she can see the point (e.g. bonios).

I would always favour an independent but slightly naughty dog over a clingy but obedient one. Terriers are fab smile

ArmchairActivist Thu 21-Jul-16 08:38:49

Thanks all. That gives me a better idea.

Our terrier definitely doesn't come and sit on you all the time, for example. He prefers his end of the sofa I think and likes his own space, though be does come and say hello and give you little licks and nudges with his nose, and sits near you. I wouldn't say he's cuddly though. Is that part of the 'independent' bit?

BombadierFritz Thu 21-Jul-16 09:43:07

Yes ours is like that too

Floralnomad Thu 21-Jul-16 10:24:06

I have a patterdale X , I would call him independent - he's aloof with other dogs , he has his own agenda and is sticking to it , when I'm here he follows me about but he's perfectly happy being left alone , he is well trained but most things have been adapted to suit him - for example he doesn't come back to me on recall he lays down and waits for me to walk to him , so instead of calling him I just say down and walk to him now .

SenecaFalls Thu 21-Jul-16 14:46:30

Some good examples here. One way that our Corgi exhibits her independence is that she is very much a guardian of the perimeter (a common Corgi trait). DH and I will be watching TV in the family room, but she will lying by the front door or sitting in a chair by a front window. Every now and then she will come into the room where we are to check things out. Eventually as it gets darker and later, she comes where we are and gets up on the sofa near one of us. But she is very content to be in another room, especially when she has a job to do making sure that there is no unauthorized entry into the house.

ArmchairActivist Thu 21-Jul-16 16:14:49

grin at unauthorised entry to the house seneca. I imagine him in a cute little patrolling uniform!

ArmchairActivist Thu 21-Jul-16 16:16:24

Floral well if Mohammed won't come to the mountain I guess the mountain has to go to Mohammed! smile

mrslaughan Fri 22-Jul-16 22:22:45

I have a breed described as stubborn and independent - for him that is independence of thought when it comes to training. He loves a fuss , if I am at home doing stuff he will always be in the same room , or will position himself where he can keep an eye on me as I move around.
Lives a cuddle.
However his recall is only good when he wants it to be, is not food motivated...... I have spent a fortune on trainers and so much time - it doesn't mean I have stopped trying - I just have low expectations ....... He seems to have decided at present that the compromise is he will sit and wait for me...... It is better than running over to leashed dogs, but he knows what I want...... He just prefers not to waste his energy.....

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