A dog can be man’s best friend or his worst nightmare! Every year dogs are returned to the breeders or handed over to animal sanctuaries because the owner just couldn’t cope anymore…
It’s true – a dog is for life – and it can be a handful at times, but there is a way to ensure you have the best possible relationship with your canine companion. All you have to do is a little research and a little thought.
Dogs have different personalities and these are shaped to a certain extent by you and the environment you create for your pup. But you can predict a dog’s innate personality (to a certain extent) by looking at the common traits of each dog breed. The bottom line is that you can minimize any problems simply by taking the time to select a dog breed that suits your personality and lifestyle.
Here are the top 10 dog breeds (by popularity) and their most common traits to help you decide which type of dog is best for you:
1. Labrador Retriever.
Labradors are intelligent, medium-sized, family-friendly dogs. They are arguably the most popular dog breed in the world and it’s no wonder. Labrador Retrievers are the perfect dog for families with young children. They are not overly sensitive or moody and love to be around young children.
If you’re the type who loves dogs, choose a Lab Retriever. If you have a family with young children, this might be your best choice.
2. Yorkshire terrier.
Affectionately referred to as Yorkies, they are small dogs with big personalities. They’re considered a “toy breed,” but they’re terriers – so they’re still brave and energetic.
Yorkies are beautiful but can be high maintenance, largely because of their looks. They are very independent and very smart. But they will need your daily attention – so if you’re the type to keep a lot of time on your hands, Yorkies would be perfect for you.
3. German Shepherd.
German shepherds are medium-sized herding dogs. They are primarily used in police training and obedience schools as they are highly intelligent and have a well-developed guard instinct.
This breed is extremely loyal and very protective. German shepherds are very active dogs and would need larger spaces to live and exercise. Also – because they are highly intelligent, you would have no trouble training them. If you want to have your own guard dog, your best bet is to buy a German Shepherd.
4. Golden Retriever.
Just like a Labrador Retriever, this breed is one of the friendliest, if not THE friendliest in existence. Agreeable and good-natured are the best descriptions of this type of dog, which is why children like the Golden Retriever best of all breeds. However, they make poor watchdogs as they can be very sociable even with strangers.
Beagles are hounds. Medium sized and easy to care for, they can make a perfect family pet.
They love to bark and howl, so you’ll have to think twice if you live in a small apartment. They are neither too aggressive nor too friendly. But once you gain their trust, Beagles can be one of the most affectionate breeds around. Remember that like all dogs, Beagles are pack animals and should not be left alone for too long or they will suffer from separation anxiety.
This breed is usually entered in show dog competitions because of its stature and build. Alert and athletic, Boxers make excellent companion or guard dogs. Boxers, despite their intimidating appearance, are one of the friendliest dog breeds, especially around children. Boxers love to be around people they trust.
Choose this breed if you already have an active lifestyle where you can afford to exercise your dog at least 1 to 2 times a day.
This breed is also known as the “Wiener” dog because of its resemblance to a Hotd Og in terms of shape. Don’t be fooled by their looks, however – dachshunds can make excellent watchdogs. Small but bold – that’s the best way to describe this breed.
Dachshunds are generally active dogs – hunters. They love to chase anything that moves, so you’ll have to keep up if you want to own one. They are very lively and will challenge even a dog twice their size. There is never a dull moment when you live with a dachshund.
Because of their appearance (their curly coat, to be precise), poodles are considered a low-maintenance breed. But this is a perfect example of never judging a book by its cover, or in this case its coat.
Poodles are one of the smartest breeds. They are easy to train, agile and very sensitive. But they also get bored easily, so they often get into trouble. Poodles are one of the few dog breeds that come in all three sizes—small, medium, and large—so you can take your pick.
Poodles make good companions but not great with young children so make sure you pick the right one…
9. Shih Tzus.
They are small and compact and fearless (as their name suggests – Shih Tzu = lion). Shih Tzus combine bravery and beauty, which usually means you need to have a lifestyle that allows you to spend time on a daily basis not only walking them, but also grooming them. Their long, flowing coat usually requires daily attention.
They are playful, active and smart. However, they are very difficult to break into – so you will probably need a little more patience and time with them.
Bulldogs are stocky, medium-sized dogs. They aren’t typically thought of as lap dogs (and given their physical makeup, who would) – but they’d love to be… Their slightly grumpy expression might lead you to think they’re moody and difficult to handle, but you would don’t be further from the truth.
Bulldogs are very lovable and friendly, albeit with a slightly stubborn streak. They are fond of children and get along well with other pets. So if you have a cat in your home, the bulldog could be the perfect companion not only for you but also for your cat.
Ultimately, picking the best breed for your personality and lifestyle is like picking a mate—you have to be a match or it will be tricky. Please don’t be fooled into buying a puppy just because they look cute – do them and yourself a huge favor and learn a little about each breed of dog.
If you are an active person, choose an active, agile dog. If you spend your days in front of the TV – get off your butt and exercise… OK – I’m just kidding… If your lifestyle is characterized by long work days or too much free time, get a pooch that does They don’t need too much attention or exercise (although all dogs do need attention – so if you’re too busy to give it to them, consider a cat).