So you want a dog? Don’t know which kind to get? Look no further! Every dog breed has its own unique biological and behavioral characteristics. Do you have kids? Do you live in a big house or small apartment? Depending on your lifestyle, schedule and preferences, certain types of dogs will fit you and your family better than others. Here is a list of the 10 best dog breeds for homes of all kinds:
Bulldogs are built tough but have dispositions of gold – making them perfect for a house full of playful, mischievous kids. Requiring minimal grooming and exercise – they’re also one of most low-maintenance breeds around. This slightly lazy dog can easily live in a small apartment or large house. If you live in a warm climate however, be careful about the dog’s exposure to sun and heat (mostly in the summer) – they’re very sensitive to both.
9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
These dogs, of the spaniel family, are extremely loyal and love to please. Therefore, they’re easy to train and mild-natured – perfect for a first time owner. Keep in mind that this breed loves attention and companionship and has quite a bit of energy, as well. So, if you plan to leave your dog at home alone for long periods of time – this might not be the best breed choice.
Celebrity dog trainer Cesar Milan credits the collie as the breed of dog that inspired him to devote his life to working with canines. While they require a bit more serious grooming because of their long coats, collies are tremendous people-pleasers with very strong capacities for training and agility exercises. Because of this innate energy, they will do better in a house with a yard.
The Newfoundland, originally bred as a fishing and rescue dog, is well-known as the best breed for children – it is a natural caretaker and nurturer. Their personalities are big and loving, but so are their bodies! Be prepared for a lot of shedding and drool with this breed. Because of their large size, an apartment might not be the best setting for a Newfoundland.
While pugs will not score big points in training or intelligence, they make up for it in devotion and sweetness. Their size and minimal energy levels make them great for apartment life. Like bulldogs, their respiratory systems are encumbered and they will do best with small amounts of exercise and cooler temperatures. They’ll be happiest relaxing on the sofa with their owners.
5. Irish Setter
The Irish setter has a gorgeous, deep-red coat that requires a decent amount of attention. It is also a high-energy dog that will need to get plenty of exercise every day – lest it become bored and start exhibiting unwanted destructiveness at home. These dogs are great with kids and do well with training.
Poodles consistently rank as the smartest dogs in the world. This makes them great for anyone who enjoys training dogs for obedience and/or tricks. There are two general types of poodles: standard and miniature. While the bigger standard poodle is a good family dog, miniature poodles sometimes suffer from “small dog syndrome” if not properly trained and socialized. Both types are loving and gentle and shed little to no hair. If you love dogs but want to keep a meticulously clean house – this is your breed!
3. Shih Tzu
This beautiful breed, with its history in the imperial courts of China, is small, non-shedding and very warm-hearted. Perfect in an apartment, a shih-tzu is a lap dog that wants to be with its owners as much as possible. With low to moderate energy levels, all they need is a few walks per day to stay healthy and fit. Their gorgeous coat deserves weekly care and like many small dogs, they need some basic socialization and training, in order to avoid “small dog syndrome.”
2. Labrador Retriever
There’s a reason why this breed is the most popular around the world. Labs are the all-around greatest dog in existence! They make great pets, therapy dogs, police dogs and seeing-eye dogs for the blind. They’re energetic, loving and wired to please their owners; they LOVE to be trained! A lab is the perfect dog for a first-time owner. While their shedding and grooming requirements are average – they do have a tendency to chew on everything in sight when young, so keep an eye on them!
1. Golden Retriever
This is the classic American family dog. A close relative of the Labrador retriever, the golden is equally as loving, loyal and eager to learn. Great with children, they are also frequently used as therapy and service dogs, helping disabled and blind people around the world. One disclaimer: goldens shed A LOT! They will require regular grooming. Also, make sure that you don’t mind a bit of “doggy smell” in the house, as this breed tends to have more of a scent than others.