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How to Choose a Dog Breed in 7 Simple Steps

Breed chart Dog

 Choosing Dog Breeds

So, you’ve decided to get a four-legged, wet nose buddy to warm your heart.  Owning a dog will no doubt fill your world with lots of love and laughter.  In fact, it’s been proven that having one around can lift depression and may actually add years to your life. 

Becoming a pet parent is a huge commitment.  It’s a responsibility that requires a lot of commitment on your part.  It’s always wise to paws before you leap so you can be sure the fur-baby you bring home is the best fit for you and your family, and for the pup too. 

Table of Contents

7 Things to Consider

Here are seven things you’ll want to take into consideration when choosing a dog breed:

  1. Your Lifestyle

The reason your lifestyle is the first thing to examine when choosing a dog breed is that you will want to pick a breed that’s a good fit for the life you already lead.  Many people have gone into pet parenting with quite the opposite in mind. 

“I’ll become more active if I get a Greyhound,” one might say.  But, more often than not, the change of lifestyle is only temporary or doesn’t happen at all.  Guess who suffers for the mistake?  It’s by far better to not own a dog than to own one you cannot properly tend to.

Are you physically active?  Do you like to take jogs in the park and go hiking up mountains?  If so, a Basset Hound is probably a little too laid back for you.  But there are lots of dogs that would love to hike or jog right by your side like an Australian Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Border Collier, or a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Perhaps you travel a lot.  If you commute by plane and your travels allow for a furry companion to go along, a pint-size pup might be your perfect match.  French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Havanese are excellent frequent flyers.  Simply pack them into a comfy airline approved carrier and the sky is the limit.

Think about what you do on a day-to-day basis.  If you work more than the normal person, o your annual calendar, choose a breed that will adapt to your work setting.  If not, is there another family member or members who will be home to keep him company? 

Dogs are social creatures, some more so than others.  Most Bull Terriers can handle some solitude when home alone.  Toy Poodles and American Pit Bull Terriers may not tolerate being by themselves for long.

In addition to your daily routine, think down the road to your annual calendar.  If you spend summers at the lake cabin, fishing and swimming, why not consider getting a water-loving dog like a Lab or an Irish Setter?

Taking a good look at what your life entails will help you find the ideal furry companion.

  1. Your Housing Situation

Something many potential dog owners don’t think about is their living arrangement.  Most consider their current situation - like if they live in an apartment or have a home on a ranch.  Your housing set-up isn’t always permanent though.  Dog parenting is. 

If you are renting and are elated that your landlord approved the Rottweiler you have your eyes on, you might reflect on the fact that the next landlord might not be so agreeable to such a breed. 

Many apartments and other rentals have strict breed restrictions.  All too many fuzzy hearts are broken when their owners have to surrender them due to living arrangements.  Think ahead!

If you live on a large spot of open lands like a ranch or farm, you may want to toss the thought around of getting a working breed dog.  Great Pyranose and Anatole Shepherds can help you guard your flock if you have one.  Cattle dogs, like Blue Heelers, Collies and Australian Shepherds will even herd your cattle or sheep for you. 

Another consideration many prospective pet parents don’t think of is the climate in which they live in.  Long, hot summers in Texas are very grueling for a dog that was bred for pulling sleds in the tundra such as a Siberian Husky. 

Other dogs have a sensitivity to the heat too like Chow Chows, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers.  Neither do you want to bring a hairless breed (like a Mexican Hairless or Chinese Crested dog) into a housing situation in the mountains of Colorado, if you plan for your dog to spend much time outdoors in the winter months.

The amount of space you will be able to provide for your dog, the location, landlord or city breed restrictions, and the environment are all important factors to consider when choosing a breed.  Remember to be fair.  Having a large dog such as a Great Dane in an apartment just isn’t right.

  1. Your Household

It is imperative to think about the other members of your family when selecting a breed.  Do you have young, rambunctious children?  If so, rule out breeds with short fuses.  Instead, opt for those that are notorious for being especially good with kids such as

The age and temperament of your children and the age and temperament of your dog should be compatible.  Tiny dogs tend to be fragile and may not be comfortable in the presence of rowdy kids. 

A little puppy might not be a great idea around very young children either.  Papillons, Corgis, Boxers, Beagles, and many more breeds have great reputations as being gentle, loving, and tolerant with children.

There may be other things in the equation also like if any family members suffer from dog allergies.  Some breeds are more allergy-friendly like American Hairless Terriers, Afghan Hounds, Bedlington Terriers, Hairless Chinese Crested, and Basenjis. 

If you have timid family members who are not likely to step up and be alpha leaders, it wouldn’t be smart to come home with a strong-willed dog like a Chow Chow or American Bulldog. 

Dog breeds with dominant natures will require a solid human pack leader and family members that back up the guidance. 

You are doing yourself, your family, and your dog a favor when you assume the alpha role and have all of the family on board.  Dog’s take hesitance to do so very seriously and may become aggressive, extremely disobedient, and downright unhappy.

Don’t forget to count other pets in the family in.  Some dog breeds have natural instincts that lend to being loving towards other dogs and even a cat or two while others may do best at being the only pet in the household. 

While much is determined by the individual personality of the dog, there are some characteristics common to breeds such as the fact that Salukis generally like cats best as snacks to prey on and Manchester Terriers like to give chase to most all small creatures. A bird dog might not be a good option if you have pet birds.

Sure, there are many exceptions to the rule but at least know the teaming of some breeds with your other pets may be challenging. When you adopt a dog, you are bringing it into your home as a member of the family. 

Be sure he is a good candidate to do well with everyone in the family, including other pets. It is also important to properly introduce your new dog to the other family members, both human and animals.  

  1. Your Health

Along with taking into account any allergies you or your family members may have that a dog might stir up, considering your overall health is important too. 

If you are disabled or elderly, certain breeds like Dalmatians or Jack Russells are probably out of the question.  Breeds that are settled down and are naturally prone to care-take such as French Bulldogs, Maltese, Poodles, and Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

The breed of dog that will complement your health, not hinder it.  Some breeds are ideal for people who tend to get depressed.  Golden Retrievers and American Staffordshire Terriers make excellent therapists. 

If you have food allergies, a Poodle may help because they have the ability to detect such conditions.  German Shepherds, Collies, Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers have characteristics that make them ideal candidates for service dogs.

Certain breeds are excellent for those who are elderly, seriously ill or homebound.  Many actually get a dog to keep them company and to lift their spirits because they are terminally ill, disabled, or are going through chemotherapy for cancer. 

Pugs and Schnauzers have good bedside manners, love to snuggle, and require little exercise so they are good companions for those who are not able to care for more active breeds.

Your health determines how much energy you’ll be able to put into exercising and exercising your dog.  It also may limit or increase the amount of quality time he’ll get with you.  When deciding on a breed, be sure to weigh your health heavily in the matter.

  1. Your Pocketbook

No matter what breed of dog you adopt, it is going to cost money.  Even free dogs must eat and have regular check-ups at the vet.  Your dog might get sick or become injured.  Then, of course, there are toys, treats, and other things you’ll want to buy him.

Some breeds of dogs are money magnets.  Pomskis are adorable and that is reflected in their price tag.  Not only do most cost a good sum to purchase, but they also require very frequent grooming. 

Grooming needs definitely need to be considered because many breeds don’t just get groomed for good looks but for their health and well-being too.  Some Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, and other high-maintenance breeds actually get depressed when they are not regularly groomed.

Some breeds will eat you out of house and home.  Saint Barnard adults consume about 6.5 cups of food per day.  Basset Hounds love to eat and will grossly overeat if you let them.  The dog food bill could be astronomical. 

If you rent, you may be surprised at the hefty dog deposit management companies and landlords demand.  Some even have you pay rent for your pet. 

Many go by size or breed to determine the amount of deposit you have to put up.  For homeowners, some towns require insurance to be carried on a dog, especially those of certain breeds that are thought to be more likely to be threats like Rottweilers and American Pit Bulls. 

Most all towns and cities demand pet owners license their animals and some, like Denver, Colorado, don’t allow certain breeds to reside within the city limits. 

How heartbreaking to find out such a law exists after sealing the adoption!  Do your homework and find out what the facts are beforehand.

Definitely consider all aspects of each breed such as how much they eat, their grooming needs, pet deposits, the likelihood of having medical conditions, etc.  As best you can, know what you are getting into and be sure you can financially afford it.

  1. Your Time

How much time you are able and/or willing to put into dog ownership is imperative to analyze.  Do you work a lot?  Do you have other hobbies, interests or obligations that will take time away from the time you’ll be able to spend with your new furry friend? 

Even if you have ample time, you may not want to invest it into a dog.  Or, you may not feel up to long walks and teaching him new tricks. 

It’s a given that some breeds require tons of time and others are almost self-sufficient.  Border Collies demand a lot of attention.  If you hold back from spending time with a Husky, he’ll let you know by getting into trouble and becoming even more stubborn than usual.

Puppies, in general, have the need to be house-broken and must be socialized, etc.  More mature dogs may come already trained.  Knowing the amount of time a breed generally requires and comparing to how much time you intend to put into the deal can make all the difference when selecting a breed.

  1. Your Patience

Let’s face it, dog parenting is all fun and games until someone chews the sofa up or shreds the brand new rug.  When your slippers are missing and you’ve just stepped in a big pile of pooh, things get real. 

Owning any dog takes a certain amount of perseverance.  You need to teach them the rules of the house.  Even older dogs who are trained are not used to your rules and expectations.  Time and patience are required.

Certain breeds take more patience than you may have.  Stubborn, strong-willed dogs are awesome companions once they submit to your leadership, but before that, they can wear you down. 

If you have nerves of steel and the patience of Job, you don’t have to think twice about a headstrong breed like a Chinese Char Pei.  Otherwise, if your patience tends to be short, you might think about getting a Dachshund or Bichon Frise.

The Best Dog Breed

Character Qualities of Popular Dog Breeds

Now that you have reflected on the seven important things above, you probably have a better idea of what characteristics you are looking for in a dog.  Maybe you want an athletic, active dog to share in your adventures. 

Or, you may want a snuggle-bug to keep your lap warm.  Whatever your needs and desires in a dog breed are, this compiled list of dog breed traits can help you find the best, custom fit, furry friend for your situation:

Active, Athletic Dog Breeds

Hiking, biking, jogging, running, swimming...the adventure never ends with some dogs that are all about following you to the ends of the earth in your extreme adventures.  Some like the water, some dig the mountains, and some even love the snow.  Here is a list of some of the best breeds of active and athletic dogs:

Jack Russel Terrier

Love to jump?  So do Jack Russel Terriers.  They are lively creatures with a stern independent streak.  But when paired up with an athletic parent, they are absolutely awesome pups who can keep up with the best of runner, sprinter, jumper, and all around Olympic-level athlete. 

Bred to hunt foxes, this little guy is also a fabulous ratter.  If you live on land, all the better.  A Jack Russel is a good hand on the farm or ranch too.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Quick as a rabbit, the Rhodesian Ridgeback hails from Africa where he wrestled against wild animals and...babysat the children of the tribe while their parents worked.  He’s an all-star, for sure and will accompany you in your athletic adventures of most any type. 

At the end of the day, he’ll make sure the family is protected then curl up beside you while you sleep.  Flexible in more ways than one and good to the bone, this dog is an athlete’s BFF, for sure.


The Weimaraner is a German hunting dog that is full of vigor.  He can go the distance, that’s for sure.  Intelligent and fearless, he will climb the highest mountain with you or accompany you on a hunt.  He will also jog in the park with you.  If you are the athletic or sportsman type, you may find your perfect companion in this breed.


This red-coated gentleman is an athlete through and through.  Bred to accompany hunters in Hungary, these dogs are graceful, quick, and agile.  Lightning fast and tough as nails, their love for trotting make them excellent work-out partners for joggers and bikers. 

Don’t think you can stick a Visla in the backyard until your next jog or bike outing though.  This breed is tightly bonded with his pet parents and despises being alone.


Oh, the spotted firehouse dog that we all fell in love with when the movie “101 Dalmatians” debuted.  They are spirited, super quick, and ready to roll on most any physical adventure you wish to embark upon with them. 

The popularity of the movie and with each time it re-immerges, people flock to adopt this dotted dog breed.  Much to their dismay, however, they soon find that the Dalmatian can be a handful.  They not only like to be exercised, they demand plenty of it or they are sure to get into trouble. 

All too many Dalmatians end up in shelters and in rescue centers because of their undying spunk so if you are thinking about getting one, connect the dots and be sure you are active enough to handle this all-star.

Laid Back Dog Breeds

If you are a couch potato or simply like to relax after a long day at work and take life in, you will want to get a dog breed that is able to do the same. 

If you don’t, you will both end up frustrated and disappointed so take a look at these chill breeds and maybe one will suit your fancy:


Although they are large dogs, Bullmastiffs fit the bill for a breed perfect for laid-back living.  They don’t need much grooming and don’t even shed much. 

They make excellent guard dogs just because of their size.  Bullmastiffs don’t require much in the way of exercise either although, of course, any breed of dog has to have some on a daily basis.

When a little round of exercise is over though, they are very content to join you on the sofa to snuggle up and watch television or are usually down for a good nap.

English Bulldog

Chances are good an English Bulldog won’t be standing at your front door, begging to be walked. 

In fact, you may have to coax him out to get a daily walk.  While the breed does need some physical and mental stimulation, they also love to sleep and snuggling beside you is their idea of heaven. 

They don’t require much grooming either so for a chill dog, consider an English Bulldog, also known as “the lover”.

Shih Tzu

This small breed is so gorgeous, one could be content to just admire him for hours at a time.  With flowing long silky hair and a trainable temperament, the Shih Tzu doesn’t like being outdoors much at all. 

They do have a high maintenance coat though and that requires lots of brushing, but many people actually find tending to their grooming needs is relaxing and pleasurable.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This pint-sized toy dog is attractive, loving, and very gentle.  Although he is an athletic dog, his energy comes in spurts and then...he is all done and ready to settle in for a long nap. 

With just a few rounds of exercise, like an indoor game of fetch, he’ll be more than willing to snuggle up to you for hours.  This breed has a silky, long coat which will need to be brushed but he doesn’t mind at all when you groom him and he is so stunning it makes tending to his needs a pleasure.

Working Dog Breeds

Got chickens?  Need a helping hand herding cows, horses, or sheep?  Maybe you need a bird dog to help you in the hunt. 

Whatever it is you are looking for in a working dog, you are sure to find a wet-nosed, warm-hearted helpmate.  Here’s a list of the best of the best working dogs around:


Akitas are AKC registered working dogs and many double as therapeutic dogs too.  In fact, the first one came to North America in 1937 and was brought over by the deaf author, Helen Keller. 

Dignified and very courageous, Akitas are double-coated and love the cold so if you have any work you need to be done in the freezing cold, no problem.  They are pro hunters and all around great dogs.

Anatolian Shepherd

Muscular yet agile and nimble and extremely focused, the Anatolian Shepherd is a working dog through and through. 

Weighing up to 150 pounds on a frame of up to 29 inches tall, this dog takes guarding the flock and property to heart and will defend to the death if need be. 

He is one of the oldest breeds of dogs in existence and was bred for a purpose - to guard.  And that...he does!

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees is very large.  They can get up to 160 pounds.  They are long coated and gorgeous but don’t let their beauty fool you. They double as a work and guard dog. 

Guarding runs thick through their blood and whether it’s the flock of sheep, the herd of cattle, the chickens, children, or lawn furniture, they are devoutly dedicated to making sure there are no intruders, like fox, wolves, or robbers, and will pick the highest spot on the property as a perch to keep watch, especially by night.


With deep roots from France, the Bloodhound line was bred for tracking wild game.  In modern days, he is such a good tracker that his abilities even hold up in judicial courts of law.

The Bloodhound’s olfactory bulb is a whopping forty times larger than the brain relative size of human olfactory receptors. Even if you’re not tracking down a fugitive, this bionic-nosed dog can help you out.  He’s an excellent hunting partner. 

Leaning on the independent and willful side when left to his own devices, the Bloodhound is certainly trainable and with some loving yet stern guidance, this nosey guy shines like none other.

Labrador Retriever

This guy is a workhorse.  Adored for his friendly personality, the Labrador Retriever is a dog owner’s dream.  He’s versatile enough to fit right in with the family but it awesome help as a working breed as well. 

Often employed for jobs such as search and rescue or a medical service dog, this guy is a go-getter.  He is super smart and eager to please.  They love the water so if you’ve got water-logged tasks at hand, he’ll certainly jump in with you, feet first. 

At the end of the day, he’s happy to be by your side as a trusty couch-therapy counselor.

Guard Dogs

Guard Dog

Many people get a dog to serve as a protector.  Some breeds are excellent at guarding the home front.  Others guard the flock and still, others are willing to risk life and limb to protect their parent and families. 

If you are a jogger and want a trusty guard dog to run with you, be sure to look for dual-duty work dogs.  Dog breeds who protect the herds and flocks may not be worth squat as human protectors.  Take a look at the breeds below to find their guarding specialties:

German Shepherd

When thinking of getting a guard dog, it’s important to consider his temperament outside the boxing ring too.  You want one that is capable of being rough when the need arises.  But, you also want a breed you can trust with your family and friends.  Meet the German Shepherd.  This breed is very friendly and protective as well. 

This breed protects from his heart, you might say.  He is also extremely intelligent and easy to train which is vital for a guard dog.  He listens well too.  It’s hard to find a more suitable dog than a German Shepherd when it comes to meeting all the requirements of an awesome protector.  That’s the reason you see so many on police forces, in the military, and even working for the FBI. 

Doberman Pinscher

Created to be the ultimate guardian, the Doberman Pinscher is definitely that!  With German roots, this dog can get down to business.  Chances are, just one look at him and his pearly whites and any intruder in his right mind couldn’t drop their evil intentions and run away quick enough.  You’ll need to train him well though to make sure he is not aggressive and protective unless the situation warrants such.

Great Dane

 If you want a huge sense of protection around the house, farm, or ranch, this guy’s your dog...and he IS huge!  Weighing in at up to 175 and standing about 28-30” for females and 30-32” for males, this giant can get the job done. 

Just one peek at the towering beast is usually all it takes to send a person of ill intent scrambling.  While Great Danes are friendly with family and highly trainable as well, they are very imposing with their gigantic size and won’t hesitate to put an intruder on the ground, if necessary.


Although they can certainly be loving and affectionate, Rottweilers are massive and have a reputation to live down that isn’t exactly fair for the breed but sure helps keep the bad guys away.   

The Rotty was originally bred in Germany for pulling carts of meat the market.  They are large dogs, weighing in at up to 135 pounds and standing up to 27 inches.  They are extremely devoted to their families and are prepared to fight tooth and nail for them if the situation arises that they need to do so. 

Not many intruders are up for tangling with one. Their eagerness to please makes them great students when it comes to training.  If you need a robust, fierce, yet gentle soul to guard you, your property, and your family, this dog is the one to do all of the above.

Designer Dog Breeds

Designer dog breeds are all the rave.  Imagine creating a dog to fit your fancy.  That’s what dog breeders have done and the end results are nothing short of amazing. 

The following list will give you a glimpse at some of the most awesome designer dog breeds in existence:


This designer breed, the Pomsky hails from an unlikely mix of a Siberian Husky and a Pomeranian.  The goal of the union was to create a breed that had all the attributes of the Siberian Husky in a pint-size package that could dwell in small quarters and possess other desirable traits of a small dog. 

The mix was an instant hit.  This adorably cute, silky, long-haired dog may be the perfect fit into your apartment or small space but only if you are willing to provide him with at least one hour per day of brisk exercise.


What do you get when you mix a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle?  You get the Cockapoo, an awesome designer dog that is intelligent and friendly.  This breed is ideal for small spaces and is family friendly too. 

And, talk about a looker! With all the best traits of both the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle, how could you go wrong?


Beagles and Pugs are two of the most popular breeds of dogs so it’s only right to mix them into one fine package.  While the designer dog is fun and oozing with personality, he does love to be vocal, barking more than you may like for him too. 

He isn’t the best student for extensive training because he has a streak of stubbornness.  But, he’s very intelligent and fits right into most families, even those with small children.  He is super cute too, as you might imagine.


Highly social and extremely popular, this designer dog, the Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.  They are excellent with families and are not aggressive in the least. 

They do, however, tend to have a lot of issues with separation anxiety.  The breed is easy to take care of and don’t shed much.  If you and your family are ready to open your doors to a lover of people and have a lot of time to spend with a furry friend, this may be the perfect match for you.


With a little breeding ingenuity, you can now have the long and short of the awesomeness in designer dogs right in your own living room. 

The lazy, lumbering Basset Hound has teamed up the lively, energy-ridden Labrador Retriever to bring you 50-70 pounds of pure personality. 

Good natured and super friendly, this hunk of a great dog is the perfect addition to families except may be a little too much for young children and toddlers.

Low Maintenance Dog Breeds

If your heart is big but your time and pocketbook are not so much, a low maintenance dog breed might be just the ticket for you. 

While some dogs cost a small fortune to keep up for one reason or another, the following low maintenance dog breeds do not:


If you want almost no maintenance at all in a dog, the Chihuahua is one to certainly consider at the top of your list.  Although he should be walked regularly, he doesn’t need to go far and he’s sure not going to be into running. 

This tiny dog is both physically and mentally easy to own.  His pint-size makes him an ideal candidate for small spaces like an apartment.  Despite their big bark, Chihuahuas can be delicate.  They tend to have muscle and joint issues and have fragile necks too. 

Sometimes, it can be comforting for a pet parent to have a dog that “feels their pain” so if you are the right fit for this teeny dog, the two of you might become lifelong friends.

Pocket Beagle

This small hound dog is friendly and well-mannered.  He will easily flow smoothly into your routine and will become an important member of the family in no time.  He needs very little in the way of grooming. 

If you want to take him somewhere, as his name can fit him right into your pocket.  Beware...his pleading big dark eyes will simply melt your heart.

Rat Terrier

Rat Terriers are such good ratters, one lived in the White House.  He’ll take care of himself, and your rats.  This pup doesn’t require a lot of exercise as long as you let him dig a little (even in a sandbox). 

When the digging’s all over, he’ll jump in your arms and be ready to be your lap dog.  The only issue you might have is that he does like to bark.  Once he gets used to a certain noise, however, he calms and isn’t as vocal. 

In apartment living, he is likely to figure out that there will be noises now and then but they are nothing to be alarmed about.

Boston Terrier

You won’t have to worry about dressing this guy, he’s already wearing his natural tuxedo! Boston Terriers are very low maintenance in that they require very little grooming at all.  They don’t demand much attention (although they certainly don’t complain when you give them some).  

Whether you’re busy or lazy, this dog breed is worth checking into if you want a pup that is content to perch in your lap or spend a cozy night by the fire while you read. 


A lovable mix of sweet and stubborn, the Dachshund is very adaptable.  The short-haired versions of the breed need little in the way of grooming.  The long-haired Dachshunds need a tad more attention but still not a lot. 

Weighing in at around 11 pounds, the miniatures in this breed are ideal if you live in a snug spot or want a lap dog.  Even the standards make good small-space roomies and can fit comfortably in your lap at about 16-32 pounds.

Small Space Dog Breeds

Did you know that size isn’t necessarily the determining factor when it comes to dog breeds that are good candidates for small space living?  There are many small dogs that are far too energetic to be cramped up and some larger dogs that adapt to tight quarters too. 

Here are some breeds to consider if you live in an apartment, condo, or even a tiny house:

Basset Hound

Although the Basset Hound is not a small dog at all and males can weigh up to 60 pounds, all in one short, long body, they can make nice, very chill, roommates in small living spaces.  The catch?  You need to be home all or most of the time with this breed.  He often suffers from three issues that prevent him from being a good candidate otherwise - separation anxiety, vocalization, and rebellion. 

If you leave, he is likely to pee on the floor out of spite (or the sofa), howl loud and long, and, in his mind, might die of a broken heart.  If you are homebound or are a homebody, you’ve got the perfect buddy in a Bassett.

Australian Terrier

The Australian Terrier is the perfect compact size for small places.  He will be a good watchdog for you too because he has a dynamic temperament and is feisty enough to follow through with eating any intruder that enters.  His positives can be his negatives as well though. 

You will need to curb his spunkiness with ample exercise and you will need to be able to step up to the plate as his leader to put his bossiness in check.  If you are willing and able to help this little guy smooth out some rough edges, he might be the best small space companion for you.

Cocker Spaniel

This little pup is as cute as a furry bug.  He’s a lover and he’s quite compact so you can easily fit him into tight living quarters.  Don’t let him fool you though. 

He is not to be trusted alone for extended periods of time, especially in small spaces.  This breed loves people and wants to be near someone all day and night.  If you work from your home or don’t work at all, you’d be hard pressed to find a better companion. 

If you have a family, you might consider taking shifts.  Yes...being with someone most of the time is THAT important to him!

West Highland White Terrier

This wee little dog is the ideal size for pet parents who are apartment and small space dwellers.  He originated in Scotland and is quite the looker.  He’s also an entertainer so you’ll never, ever get bored with him around. 

If you think he has short dog syndrome, think again.  He is very confident, even in his antics.  You’ll liven up even the tiniest of spaces when you bring this character home.

Brussels Griffon

This handsome toy breed comes from Brussels, Belgium.  At the max, he weighs in at only 10 pounds and stands right under 10” high. 

He has a smooth coat, a square muzzle, and sports a beard.  He’s got the moves too.  This breed walks with somewhat of a trot and likes to go for brisk walks but then is able to settle in and get comfy. 

He is quite friendly and family oriented too.  This sweetheart is sure to brighten up any quarters, large or small.

Easy-to-Train Dog Breeds

Eagerness to please, intelligence, physical ability, and a friendly personality all help to make certain breeds of dogs more trainable than others.  Here are some of the best:

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is so cheerful and friendly, he lives to please his people.  His intelligence and gentleness add to the scenario too. 

He is one of the most trainable breeds in existence.  You’ll want to get some energy out of a Lab puppy before attempting class time, but once you do, you’ve got the best student ever.

German Shorthaired Pointer

Ask anyone who has ever had one or trained one, German Shorthaired Pointers are one of the easiest breeds to train, hands down.  This hard-good-looking, devout worker is fast, agile, and enduring. 

He is a beautiful large dog but very fit and is happy and generally healthy too.  He loves to run, swim and has plenty of energy to spare.  He’s very willing to do what you ask and is intelligent beyond belief.

If you are looking for a highly trainable dog and have the time and energy to accommodate his need for speed, this might just be your guy.

Golden Retriever

Along with being eager to please, super intelligent, and obedient, the Golden Retriever has one more attribute in his favor - he is loaded with self-confidence. He knows he can do just about anything you ask him to and usually does it with his whole heart. 

He thinks he can and therefore, he can. This breed is a notorious one for being excellent service dogs like police and military helpers and for therapy use as well and it all goes back to his great personality and his trainability which will simply amaze you. 

Sometimes, he even amazes himself.  No matter what specifics you are looking for in a dog breed, doing a little research will certainly pay off. 

You can find the most affectionate breeds, exotic breeds, care-taking breeds, terrific traveling breeds, allergy-friendly breeds, all around awesome breeds, and any other kind of breed you are wanting with a quick search online. 

Shetland Sheepdog

Submissive almost to the point of shyness, the Shetland Sheepdog is a great student for training time.  He sometimes appears as if he’s hiding behind all the long, shaggy hair he has. 

You will want to make sure to boost his self-confidence to help him be the ultimate student he can be and to make sure he is well bonded with you but once that is done, it’s a wrap.  Small in stature only, this dog has a huge heart and is an excellent herding breed. 

His long, silky coat is beautiful to behold giving him a somewhat regal appearance.  He’s a great worker so you might give some thought to choosing one if a tireless workhorse is what you are looking for.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Bright and sensitive, this breed is known for being very affectionate and easy to train.  He is as strong as a bull and athletic as well.  His small size makes him an excellent housedog. 

Since he was bred to herd cattle, he is fearless, independent, active, and knows how to take instruction.  There is no limit to what you can teach him to do from cute little tricks, obedience, and working jobs as well.

How to Choose a Dog Breed

Affectionate Dog Breeds

One of the most important things most pet parents hope to get from their dog is affection.  Most breeds have affection for their humans but some breeds shine when it comes to showing it.  Here are some of the top affectionate breeds alive:

Old English Sheepdog

Originating in England in the 19th century, this dog just wreaks of affection.  From his large size body and droopy ears to his furry warm heart, the breed was created to guard and herd livestock. 

Over the years, this gentle giant has wormed his way into the family of many because he is a lover indeed.  His shaggy and fully coat makes him all the more loveable and adorable too. 

A novelty of sorts, you can’t take this boy out in public without stirring up some smiles.  He’s a definite contender to being the most affectionate dog breed ever.

Labrador Retriever

This dog is an all-around top pick for many households because he has it all.  He is easy to train and also makes the list of most affectionate because let’s face it...he is exactly that. 

This dog is quite flexible and loves to do whatever his people are doing.  He will hike a tall mountain without a second thought or crawl into bed with you for a nice, long nap.  If you are looking for a dog who will return your affection, this may be the ideal breed for you.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Once a tireless working dog, the American Pit Bull Terrier is now often found on the sofa, curled up beside one of the kids in the household or even with the family cat. 

Somewhere down the line, he got a bad reputation for being vicious but that was mostly due to dog fighting rings and other abusive situations.  He does have a tendency to show aggression towards other dogs if the situation warrants (in his opinion). 

The American Pit Bull is a very loving, gentle, and kind companion dog who would lay down his very life for his beloved family.  One thing is for sure and for certain, he’s going to return all the affection you dish out...and then some.

Border Collie

As long as this pup gets plenty of exercise and stimulation, he is one incredible dog.  He is intense with his emotions and is adoring, playful, and as loyal as they get. 

He even gets his feelings hurt quite easily and will pout for long periods of time.  With just a look, he can share his very soul.  When herding flock, he keeps them in line with his eyes and he’ll keep you in line too. 

This dog will follow you to the end of the earth and back if given the chance.  He’ll take the rest of the family into his heart to, even the cat.


You can’t talk about affectionate dog breeds without bringing up the Pug. His squishy little nose beckons you to love him.  He is known to sit for hours in his human’s lap, just soaking up all the love. 

And he’s sooo wrinkly, you’ve simply got to love him.  This dog was born to make people happy and he takes his job very seriously.  He’s an easy breed to maintain and an easy dog to love as well.

Allergy-Friendly Dog Breeds

When your best furry friend makes you sneeze non-stop, it’s a miserable and sad situation.  If you are reluctant to get a dog due to your allergies, it’s completely understandable.  But, did you know that there are dogs that are allergy-friendly? 

Most that are known to not set off allergies have either no hair or are singled layered in their coat so they shed little or none at all and don’t have the dander build-up that double coated dogs have.  Check these breeds out:

American Hairless Terrier

As the name implies, this little fellow has no hair.  The American Hairless Terrier actually comes in a completely bald version and a coated version.  A great option for those who suffer from allergies, this dog is native to Louisiana. 

He is quite courageous, intelligent, playful, and curious.  He’s also a family lover and is good with young children.  There won’t be any dull moments with this guy in your life and not many sneezes either.

Bedlington Terrier

You might not guess at first that this breed is easy on allergies, but he is.  This breed has a thick, curly wool coat that looks a lot like a lamb’s.  He is fairly maintenance free, needing just a little exercise to keep him healthy and happy.

Bred to hunt for vermin, this dog is super quick and excels in dog racing.  His one-of-a-kind looks are as attractive as his personality and his allergy free qualities.

Afghan Hound

This breed stands tall and dignified.  He is very unique in appearance and is a perfect choice for those who suffer from allergies and don’t mind brushing him and bathing him, about two times per week. 

His hair is very silky and for those who are used to not being able to be close to a dog without exhibiting allergic reactions, tending to his grooming without symptoms is a welcome change.

Bichon Frise

This dog isn’t just good for your allergies, he’s good for your soul too.  Friendly, playful and downright adorable, the Bichon Frise has hair that grows on a continual basis but doesn’t shed. 

That means he’ll need grooming on a regular basis so he doesn’t mat up but he never seems to mind and he’s so gentle and easy going, you’ll doubtfully mind either.

Lagotto Romagnolo

This Italian rooted dog is a water dog, through and through.  He has a gorgeous fluffy wool-like coat that is ideal for those who are generally allergic to dogs.  He has very little molt is the reason for he is so hypoallergenic.  He’s a happy dog with plenty of spunk and energy. 

He will require some regular trimming to keep mats at bay.  With this dog though, grooming him is a pleasure.  He seems to enjoy it and chances are, you will too.

Exotic Dog Breeds

Although all dogs are unique in their own way, there’s something extra special about knowing your dog is rare and exotic.  Going out in public with one is the perfect way to socialize because they make good conversation starters.  Here are some breeds you may not have ever even heard of.

Tibetian Mastiff

This pup has a massive body atop a body of over 100 pounds.  He stands about 26 muscular inches.  Even his head is big.  Agile and quick, it’s no wonder this dog is outstanding at guarding flock and family. 

He’s a gentle loving dog too though, for those who know him though he can be a bit stubborn at times.  If you’ve never owned a dog before, this breed may be too challenging for you but if you are good with dogs and would like to take on a beautiful, unusual breed, this guy might be your best match.

Bouvier des Flandres

Extremely protective and loyal, this cow herding breed is simply regal.  Hailing from France, their name even means Fandres cow herder.  One of the most striking visual attributes of this breed is their mustache.  Their beard accentuates it. 

Their heads are massive which comes in handy because although they were bred originally to work with cows and other animals that needed to be herded on the farm, they are commonly used for police work and guard duty now. 

If you are willing to take him on and give him love, attention, and plenty of exercise, this exotic breed will make you an excellent dog.


With origins in West Africa, the Azawakh is a sighthound type of breed which means he uses his keen eyes to help him get his prey.  The head of an Azawhakh is likely to have a black mask which adds even more elegance and mystery to this tall and fine coated dog. 

There are many color combinations his coat can be.  This dog requires a good deal of exercise to get his energy out but if you choose this excellent companion and guardian, chances are you won’t mind taking him out for a brisk walk or good run.


Weighing in at 33 pounds or less, this dog is unmistakable.  He has a look all his own with his corded long coat that looks a lot like dreadlocks.  Family friendly and especially good with children,  the highly intelligent, active, and agile, Puli is ideal for small space living as long as he gets a good dose of daily exercise to burn off some of this bounding energy.  He loves to go for a good jog or hike so if you are active and athletic, the Puli would love to accompany you.


Talk about a nosey dog!  The Catalburun is quite the sniffer because he has not just one nose...but two.  The very exotic, one of a kind Turkish pointer can follow any scent you wish him to. 

Susceptible to palate cleft issues, the intentional breeding for this double nosed dog is all but obsolete so if you find one, you might want to take him home if you are wanting a true, blue, one-of-a-kind pup.  Do be sure to have cleft repair work done though if he’s in need of any.

Adaptable Dog Breeds

If you are a mover and a shaker or just have an unusual or haphazard lifestyle, you’ll need a dog that can adapt to the unpredictability.  Here are some dog breeds that roll with the changes with great versatility:


At first glance, you might think a Boxer is a ferocious dog.  Many mistake them for breeds that have reputations as being on the aggressive side.  Nothing could be further from the truth, however. 

Boxers are playful, friendly, and adaptable.  If you want to go job, he’ll be right beside you.  If you want to visit a friend, he’ll be mannerly.  Got kids?  He’s great with kids. 

He’s very even-tempered, intelligent, and he obeys well.  He does like his share of attention so you’ll need to make sure he has plenty.  That shouldn’t be much to ask because, in return, you’ll get the champ of adaptability. 


Beagles are as American as apple pie.  They remind us of Charlie Brown movies and give us the warm fuzzies.  Beagles are simply adorable and they are quite adaptable too. 

The happy hounds are one of the most popular breeds and it’s not a wonder.  They are loving family guys that seem to fit right in no matter where you go.  They can gladly go camping or hiking or snuggle in your lap for a nap or to simply hang out. 

The only caution to take is that they like to be vocal at times (such as when you leave them alone).  Their baying bark can be annoying but it can be nipped in the bud when you train your puppy because they are quite trainable.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russells are very adaptable when it comes to being in all sorts of different environments.  They can be rugged, out on the farm, feisty and bold.  He’s a jumper who will jump right into your heart. 

They love to be agile and quick and were born to chase foxes.  They can also be snuggled up beside the fireplace on a cold winter’s night or riding in the car right along with you. 

They can be hilarious and love attention.  Jack Russells are bounding with energy but if you don’t mind that, this guy can fit into most any situation with ease.  He might be a little aggressive to other pets in the household so if there are any, proceed with caution.

Labrador Retriever

Labs seem to make all the “nice” lists.  They are all around great dogs who are loving and affectionate and very, very adaptable too.  This breed can easily be in a small apartment as long as they are properly and regularly exercised. 

They can shine as a worker on the ranch or even be trained for search and rescue.  If your life is a bit on the unpredictable side, this dog is able to follow right along, doing whatever, whenever and wherever you take him.


The Chihuahua is more adaptable than most people think.  Although he’s a bit too frail for working on the farm or staying outdoors all night alone, he fits into many scenes just traveling on a plane, visiting friends, taking a long ride in the car, being in an apartment, or going shopping with you.

He’s laid back as long as he gets his occasional burst of energy out and tends to like short, quick walks rather than all day outings.  If you would like a great companion who is versatile in many areas, this dog might be a wonderful addition to your family.

Need for Speed Breeds

Need for Speed Breeds

Do you want a dog that can run with the speed of lightning?  Whether you are wanting a companion to help you train for a foot race, just love dogs that are fast, or are out to find one that can quickly chase critters off your ranch, here is a list of the fastest dog breeds on earth:


This short-coated all-star dates back to.  He’s a champ, especially in the sprint department.  Clocked in at 43 miles per hour, this dog is fast! 

At the max, this dog is 30 inches high and weighs between 60 to 70 pounds and its all muscle in an inverted “S” shaped lean machine body.  Even his head is aerodynamically designed to maximize his speed. 

If you’re training for a marathon or a sprint or want to just kick back and watch this miraculous lightning bolt dash, the Greyhound is a joy to observe and a joy to own as well.


Clocking in at around 40 miles per hour, the Vizsla is a cinch to train and a breed that you’ll quickly fall in love with. 

He’s the perfect addition to any active family who will return his undying love.  Dating back to Hungarian roots in the 10 century, this rugged red dog is light-footed and lean.  

If you are training for a race, he’ll be right by your side.  The only problem with this breed is they can't stand to be away from you.  So plan on spending a lot of time with this racing partner.

Jack Russell Terrier

This little guy can fly!  Not only can the Jack Russell Terrier jump high, but he can also run up to 38 miles per hour.  Active and agile at just 18 pounds maximum, he’s a pro at Flyball sports and makes a great jogging or Frisbee partner too. 

Jack Russells are very intelligent pooches.  You’ll want to make sure he gets plenty of opportunities to let all his energy out and to be mentally stimulated but when he does, he’s a super family pet that is very affectionate and an all-around great dog.


Coming in just a few miles per hour behind the Russian Jack Russell, the Borzoi has been clocked in at 36 miles per hour.  This breed is a cross between several unidentified quick breeds and the Greyhound.   

Hunting wildlife on the plains was the original design for this dog but now, he is the perfect partner to accompany you on a jog or run.  He is a calm and friendly being but he can give a rabbit a good chase if given the chance.  His unique appearance and yet one more thing to adore about him.


This quick hunter was bred to chase dog deer and bear.  His history spans back to at least the 13th century.  If you are looking for a running companion, he’s one of the best because he is super intelligent and such a gentleman. 

Weimaraners also make excellent gun dogs.  He’ll fit right in on your hunt and will show off his running skills in the process.  This guy clocks in at about 30 miles per hour.

Terrific Traveler Dog Breeds

Going somewhere?  There’s a wet-nosed, warm-hearted furry friend who would love to go with you.  When choosing a dog, if you travel quite a bit, it would be heartbreaking for you, and for your dog, to get left behind. 

Why not pick one who can easily travel with you?  Here’s a look at some of the most portable, easy-to-travel-with dog breeds ever:


This little fellow would go to the ends of the big wide world with you.  And...he can.  Extremely versatile, the Dachshund is so small, he can fit into a crate and fly frequently with you. 

He’s also good in the car if you are going by vehicle.  Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll find he is friendly and well-behaved, the perfect house guest at a friend or family’s home or even at a hotel. 

If you have somewhere to go, this guy wants to come along.  So, why not take him into your heart and on your trips as well?  The only time this dog will give you a problem is when he doesn’t get to go.

Norwich Terrier

The Norwich Terrier is a compact, small dog.  He makes a fantastic travel companion partly due to his size as the perfect lapdog and the fact that he can easily fit inside a carrier. 

He is very alert and active though so be sure to give him plenty of exercise before the trip.  If you are going on an activity or exploration vacation, you have met the perfect travel companion.  Once bred to trail foxes, this little guy is up for most any travel destination and is quite the social fellow.

Toy Fox Terrier

The little comedian Toy Fox Terrier will provide entertainment while you travel.  He is always up to something and fits nicely in a crate for easy toting.  He’s feisty indeed so be sure to exercise him before the trip. 

If you are visiting friends or family, he’ll be a lively and fun houseguest.  He’s welcome at pet-friendly hotels too because of his size and adorable personality.  If you are looking for the ideal tiny traveler, you need to look no further.

Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkie (as this precious pint-sized dog is lovingly called) is the perfect little traveler.  Easily fit into a carrier for first class travel or a ride in the car, this dog was built to be on the go. 

Yorkshire Terriers are one of the most well-loved breeds because they are full of personality and love and also go far in being great travel buddies.  They are confident enough to like the ride and socialize well too.

Water Loving Dog Breeds

If you spend a lot of time in or by the water, like at the lake, ocean, river, or your swimming pool, why not get a dog that will lap the luxury up too? 

Some dog breeds simply love water.  They were naturally bred to dive in.  Check out some of the most water-logged dogs on the planet:

American Water Spaniel

When United States immigrants in the Great Lakes area needed a dog that could hunt from a boat and perform other water-related duties, they created the perfectly adapted, ideal sized pooch for the job, the American Water Spaniel

Just how they came up with the breed is a mystery but they did and he is an awesome water dog and swimmer.  He is also quite the obedient dog and lives to please his people.  The breed is very rare but if you are one of the lucky ones to have one, the two of you will certainly have a splash.


Another rare and rustic medium-sized breed, at least in North America, is the Barbet.  This French dog has actually been around since the 16th century where he earned his endearing name, the “Mud Dog”. 

With his curly coarse hair and his signature beard, this dog is a real looker.  Not afraid to jump right in swampy waters, the Barbet is a natural when it comes to swimming.  He is highly energetic and has a wonderfully cheerful and outgoing personality too. 

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

This dog is so bred for the water, he comes complete with a waterproof coat!  The breed was created to be excellent duck hunters and that, they are indeed. 

He’s a rough and rugged guy that works well with families who love the outdoors and will fit in especially well if you have water and some land. This dog has an independent streak but if properly curbed, it goes in his favor. 

He’s emotional so you’ll want to bond with him and know where he is coming from.  If you hunt, that’s another plus because he’s a gundog who is strong and enduring and very loveable too.

Irish Water Spaniel

This large dog weighs up to 60 pounds and stands about 21-24 inches tall.  He swims with ease because they are what he was bred to do.

His head is chiseled and his coat is full of loose curls that make him a beauty to look at and a bit funny when soaking wet. He’s a champion swimmer even among the champions.   His rat tail is equally adorable. 

He has no problem working in the field but is most at home when he’s in the water.  If you want a terrific water dog, this guy’s got you covered.


The Newfoundland is a regal dog with not only swimming abilities but lifesaving abilities too. 

He drafts or carts when he’s on land but comes alive when in the water because he has a huge lung capacity that is amazing.  This large and gorgeous breed is used for rescuing in water. 

He is caring and kind and would make any family a great pet, especially if you have water on your land or spend time at the lake or river.

Snow Dogs

If you live in the snowy mountains, why get a hairless breed that will freeze?  Or, why get a dog that might just tolerate the weather when you can get one who loves it?  Take a peek at these snow-loving, cold weather dogs:


This cold weathered, warm-hearted dog hails from Japan.  Just the statues of this breed were given to families to bring them good fortune.  This dog has a super dense undercoat and a very protective outer coat too. 

He is bred to hunt in extremely frozen conditions and is loyal beyond belief.  He can be a bit stubborn but when bonded with a family, he will protect and serve till the bitter end.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

This dog is so huge, he once served as a horse for poor folks.  The “Swissy’ is a great worker in frozen places. 

He is a powerful help to herdsmen, merchants, and farmers.  He weighs anywhere between 85 and 140 pounds and is all muscle.  He loves family and loves the snow too. 

If you have a spot in your heart for a big guy who would love to join you in your snowy mountain village, you might do well to give the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog a go.

Bernese Mountain Dog

This spirited snow lover fares best in very cold temperatures.  He is strong, agile and fast and was bred to be a driving dog in the snow-clad mountains of Switzerland. 

He not only will carry his own gear, but he’ll also carry yours too.  This handsome snow beast is also very loving and adores his family.  He is gentle-tempered and needs moderate exercise. 

American Eskimo Dog

This intelligent snow-faring dog originated in Germany where he worked without ceasing in the cold temperatures.  He is playful and loves people. 

Built for the freezing conditions of icy temperatures, this breed has a gorgeous thick coat that doesn’t allow water to soak in and ears that are built thick to withstand the cold as well.  You won’t find a dog that’s more suitable if you live where snow and cold are the norms.

Alaskan Malamute

This workhorse used to run in the Arctic tundra and pull extremely heavy loads across it too.  He is one of the oldest freezing weather dogs in existence. 

Their coarse, thick coat helps assure they stay warm and that the brutally cold weather doesn’t inflict harm on them.  Affectionate and dignified, this dog is super tough and super attached to his family as well.

Hot Weather Dogs

If you live where it’s hot, you’ll need to make sure the dog breed you choose does well in scorching temperatures.  Some breeds were built for it while others...not so much. 

Dogs don’t sweat so it’s vital to find a compatible breed if you live where it is extremely hot.  Check out these hot breeds to find dogs that thrive in sun and heat.

Golden Retriever

Although Goldies have long coats, they are so adaptable, they do fine in hot places.  It’s not that they were necessarily bred for warm temperatures, they are just flexible that way. 

Don’t be surprised if your Golden Retriever finds a lake, pond, or puddle to jump into.  They are highly intelligent and know how to solve finding a way to cool off when the weather gets too hot.

German Shorthaired Pointer

This dog can handle the heat!  He can also hunt, swim, track, pull sleds, point, and hike.  He’s a natural pointer and was bred for the job of retrieving from water. 

His coat is water-resistant and is short and flat so he can ward off the heat more easily than other breeds because his fine coat is a temperature regulator. 

He’s a tough guy so even if he is a little hot, he’ll be alright and because he’s so intelligent, he’ll put two and two together and find some water to jump in or a nice, cool shade to sit under. 

Australian Cattle Dog

This dog is able to beat the heat partly because he’s born to weather whatever comes his way and partly because the breed used to herd cattle on long, hot drives in the motherland of Australia. 

It’s in his blood to endure.  Still, make sure if it is extremely hot that you give him plenty of water and let him rest in a cool shade every now and then.

American Foxhound

This fine breed is native to America.  He’s a thoroughbred hunter and can withstand a number of extremes like cold or heat. 

This breed likes to exercise so make sure he does so early on in the day and he’s smart enough to let his body cool while he rests in a shade or a place with good ventilation.  Because he has short hair, his body regulates naturally. 

Beware that this dog is cute indeed but a might stubborn as well.  Given the right alpha leader though, he will fit right into the family and usually does well with other dogs and maybe even a cat or two.

Airedale Terrier

This handsome hunter can stand up to the heat.  He is playful and energetic so be careful that he’s not too active when it’s dangerously hot and sunny.  Talk about intelligent, this pup is one of the smartest which can lead to boredom if not properly stimulated physically as well as mentally. 

He’s got a square jawline and a beard too, making him quite distinguished looking. The largest breed in the Terrier class, this dog’s coat can be stripped down in the heat of the summer and he’ll do fine.  Don’t cut it too short though or he might sunburn.

Make Sure Your Choice is a Tail-wagging One

Adopting a dog is (or should be) like adopting a child. 

Too many times though, too little time is taken by prospective pet parents to weigh out the pros and cons of each breed. 

Now that you know how to choose a dog breed, you are sure to find just the right dog with which to share your home...and your heart.

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