Shiba Inu
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Best for: Those in search of a low-maintenance, independent presence, especially one that's not demonstrative with affection.

Want a challenge? These 15- to 25-pound Japanese mountain dogs are highly intelligent but stubbornly independent, so much so that they have no problem ignoring orders. Still, they are very loving and loyal defenders of their home turf. Quiet and neat – their coat actually repels dirt – they can be terrific city dogs.