Becoming a pet parent is no easy decision. While it may be tempting to pick out a dog according to appearance, you can make a more informed decision by studying breed temperaments and needs.
When deciding what type of dog to adopt, think about how each breed’s personality aligns with your preferences. Do you prefer an athletic runner? Perhaps you’re keen on a pet that loves to lounge. Whatever the case, you’ll want to consider these popular breeds below.
When it comes to popular family-friendly companions, the fiercely loyal Labrador Retriever continues to reign supreme. Hardworking and good-natured, Labs fully epitomize the meaning of “Man’s Best Friend.”
These companionable housemates will get along with younger children and other pets. They are also enthusiastic athletes who require regular exercise.
Who They’re Best For: Outgoing families who can keep up with high energy levels
Fun Fact: These reliable dogs are a top choice for rescue missions.
Much like its Labrador counterpart, Golden Retrievers are famed for their friendly dispositions and ability to socialize well with people and pets. Both silly and loyal, these dogs are a family favorite for a good reason.
These eager-to-please dogs are easy to train and will always be up for an outdoor adventure. If you are an avid swimmer, hiker, or runner, a Golden Retriever will bring you nothing but pleasure!
Who They’re Best For: Active families who love the outdoors
Fun Fact: Golden Retrievers are a Hollywood favorite, appearing in films such as “Air Bud.”
Despite their intimidating appearance and status as a law enforcement favorite, the German Shepherd is just as playful and curious as other non-working dogs.
Thanks to their sensitive nature and impressive intelligence, German Shepherds make for natural guardians. They are known to be highly protective of their families.
Who They’re Best For: Families with the patience for obedience training
Fun Fact: German Shepherds are the most utilized police dogs in the world.
These beloved snow dogs dominate more than just the Alaskan wilderness. Siberian Huskies are friendly and agile dogs that will do just as well with adventurous families or individuals.
With natural guarding tendencies, the Siberian Husky will not hesitate to protect its family. These born pack dogs will thrive with a loving, active household.
Who They’re Best For: Active households that can dedicate ample time to regular activity
Fun Fact: These dependable dogs served as search and rescue dogs in WWII.
Even-tempered and patient, Beagles will do well with sociable owners. This hardy dog masks its big, boisterous personality in a little body. Don’t underestimate a Beagle’s voice!
Beagles have a natural hunting instinct and will likely go after small animals in your garden.
Who They’re Best For: Families who can monitor curious behaviors’
Fun Fact: Beagles don’t drool!
Docile, laid back, and a little lazy, Bulldogs will satisfy couch potatoes who love spending afternoons in front of the television. These gentle, loving, and easy-to-please dogs won’t require too much exercise—but a daily walk should still be in order.
Bulldogs love to nap and eat. You’ll want to keep an eye out for their voracious dining habits!
Who They’re Best For: Families or individuals who spend a lot of time indoors
Fun Fact: These hefty animals can weigh up to 50 pounds.
Small but fierce, the Yorkshire Terrier is a big personality that comes in a tiny package. Without the appropriate training, these dogs can be aggressive—and even a little bossy!
Still, Yorkshire Terriers are relatively easy to train, despite their loud and raucous dispositions.
Who They’re Best For: Families without younger children or patient individuals
Fun Fact: This stylish pup was the most prominent fashion statement in the Victorian Era.
Bred in standard, miniature, and toy sizes, there is a Poodle for every family. Active, intelligent, and a little naughty, Poodles can’t get enough of daily play sessions.
Once notable hunters, they also make an excellent angling or hunting partner. At home, you’ll want to be mindful of their coat—Poodles require frequent grooming!
Who They’re Best For: Patient owners who can dedicate time to grooming
Fun Fact: Poodles are surprisingly agile swimmers.
Don’t be fooled by their supposed reputation as an aggressive police dog—Rottweilers will never reject an afternoon cuddle.
These highly trainable dogs are often calm and collected but occasionally confident when they need to be.
Who They’re Best For: Pet parents who have time to socialize their dogs
Fun Fact: Rottweiler parents had their very own club in 1971!
Despite their diminutive frame, Dachshunds—popularly referred to as “weiner dogs”—have a big bark! These little dogs are surprisingly sturdy and will do well with moderate exercise.
Challenging and a little stubborn, Dachshunds can be tricky to train.
Who They’re Best For: Owners who can dedicate ample time to training
Fun Fact: Dachshunds were bred in Germany to hunt badgers.
The Bottom Line
While there is no “perfect” breed, many of the ones listed above remain persistent fan favorites. If you find that one of these breeds is the one for you, familiarize yourself with their needs and common health problems.
Pet parenting is a rewarding job and something you want to be well-prepared for!
About the Author
Mike is a proud dog owner and founder of Dog Embassy. His mission is to provide access to resources about nutrition, care, and training.