Although dogs are man’s—and woman’s—best friends, choosing the wrong breed of dog can sour your dreams of canine companionship. Don’t select a dog on a whim, or you and the dog may be miserable for a long time to come. Consider how eager the dog is to please, their friendliness, and their ability to get along with all creatures in your household.
At Dope Dog, we love them all. But no one type of dog will be ideal for everybody. Some people like playful, active companions, others prefer cuddly lapdogs, and still others want canines who will not only tolerate but welcome the embraces of toddlers.
Fortunately, there’s a dog to satisfy every taste on this list. Read on for the top 10 types of dogs to consider.
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Topping the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) list of popular dog breeds in 2018 for the 28th year in a row, Labradors are America’s favorite dog breed for good reasons. Smart and willing to please, these versatile dogs excel at hunting and search-and-rescue, but they’re also popular service, therapy, and companion animals. These sociable canines love just about everybody, from kids to strangers, but you may want to sidestep this breed if you think a dog can be overly affectionate.
Although these dogs aren’t one particular breed, but rather a mixture of breeds, you may still seriously considering adding a mutt to your household. By adopting this type of dog, you’ll avoid some downsides of purebreds, including often-high prices and an increased risk of genetic disorders.
The AKC cautions that you can make better predictions about a dog’s traits if you know her pedigree. That said, you can usually make an educated guess as to what type of ancestors a mutt has based on looks, temperament, and input from others.
If you’re willing to consider a non-purebred pooch, you may be able to adopt a housebroken dog from a shelter rather than buying a puppy from a breeder. You can rest assured knowing that purebreds and mixed-breeds show no significant differences in terms of their trainability.
Of course, just because a dog comes from a shelter doesn’t mean it’s a mixed-breed. Some rescues restrict themselves to certain breeds, such as greyhounds, and a surprising number of purebreds wind up in shelters, too.
Like the Labrador retriever, the Golden Retriever is an excellent choice not only as a hunting dog but a family companion. Since Goldens are devoted and obedient, they are usually exceptionally trainable. Kids love on Goldens, and Goldens love them back. In fact, Goldens love everybody, so if you’re looking for a watchdog, look elsewhere.
You may think “greyhound” is synonymous with “dog racing,” but greyhounds, especially rescued ones, can be calm, relaxed family pets that mingle easily with people and other dogs. These dogs tend to be reserved with strangers and learn best with consistent, predictable training.
Although greyhounds easily adapt to apartment life, you’ll have to make provision for them to run. Also, they might chase after cats or other small creatures, so households with small creatures might want to consider other breeds.
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No list of beloved dog breeds would be complete without the “Lassie dog.” Traditionally, Collies have been sheepherders, but they’re also protective of young humans. Collies are smart, sensitive, loyal, and affectionate. They need calm environments, and are easy to train.
The list so far has been skewed toward big dogs, but, especially if you live in an apartment that has a strict weight limit for dogs, you may need or want a smaller dog, like the adorable Bichon. These small, white, four-pawed powder-puffs are even recommended by some doctors as being somewhat hypoallergenic.
Bichons are gentle, cheerful family dogs. However, note that they tend to do better with older children, and that they can be a bit higher-maintenance than other dogs due to coat care.
Another iconic dog breed that’s high on the cuteness charts is the basset hound. According to the American Kennel Club, these dogs are “easygoing, laid-back, and even a bit lazy.” So if you prefer a medium-size couch-potato dog that’s especially good with kids, consider a basset hound.
You’ll still need to walk these dogs daily, since they’re prone to piling on the pounds. Otherwise they’re fairly healthy, though. Another plus about these dogs is that although their short coats shed, they don’t need much grooming, so they’re generally all-around low-maintenance dogs.