The dog is man’s best friend and for a good reason. And thankfully, man’s best friend comes in all shapes, sizes, and varieties. Whether you are looking for a dog that is good with kids or a dog that will scare off the neighbors, your best friend may be on this list of the best dog breeds.
Different breeds of dogs have different personalities, so it is crucial that you find a dog that best fits your personality as an owner.
Some of the variations within different breeds are energy, affection, IQ, and several others variations. Others will require a lot of space to live in, and some seem like they could permanently live on your lap. To help you in your search for a four-legged best friend, we have put together this list.
The Labrador Retriever is consistently ranked as the most popular dog breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club. The Labrador Retriever is gentle, fun-loving, and great with kids. They are also great companions and make ideal service dogs.
Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are balls of energy but are also great cuddlers. While probably not the best dog for children, Yorkies get along with other dogs well. They are also quick to learn as long as you provide some structure and discipline.
The Dachshund, or ‘wiener dog,’ was initially bred for hunting. Today, the Dachshund is an adventurous family dog. While small in size, the Dachshund also acts as a good watchdog, alerting its owners to any perceived mischief.
If you aren’t very familiar with poodles, you may have the misconception of thinking them to be sissy dogs. This couldn’t be further from the truth though. Poodles are very smart, athletic, and are remarkably versatile. There are three different variations of poodles based on the size of the dog. A Standard poodle is taller than 15 inches, a Miniature is between 10-15 inches, and Toy poodles are under 10 inches.
If you are looking for “big,” look no further than the Newfoundland. Don’t let their intimidating size fool you though. They are sweet-natured and very responsive. Newfoundlands were initially a working dog. They were used to help with carrying packs and hauling wood and fishing nets. So they love to be active. With the males coming in between 130-150 lbs and females coming in at 100-120 pounds on average, this is a large breed dog with plenty of lovin’ to give out.
A medium sized breed, Border Collies are known for being very agile, smart, trainable. Because of their energetic nature, Border Collies need daily exercise. So be prepared to be active with them. Border Collies are also eager to learn as well and will enjoy the mental stimulation that comes with learning new things. An interesting fact about Collies is that they get their name from the Scottish dialect where the word Collie means sheepdog.
Notorious for being great companion dogs, the French Bulldog is not only cute but also very friendly. On the smaller side of breeds, French Bulldogs originated in England. However, they got their name when they accompanied English lacemakers to France. Coming in at only a foot tall and usually less than 28 pounds full grown, this breed is perfect for smaller living arrangements and for people that enjoy smaller breed dogs.
Bred primarily for hunting, the English Pointer is going to be full of energy and very smart. This breed is best for active owners that will be able to exercise their dog regularly and for extended periods of time. The English Pointer will thrive under these conditions. English Pointer can also be sensitive, a bit stubborn at times, slightly reserved with strangers, and loving.
Originally bred for hunting and helping to handle big game like deer and bear, Weimaraners can be great family dogs as well. Weimaraners are high energy and have a require mental stimulation. So active dog owners are the best match for this type of breed. These beautiful dogs are agile, versatile, and with the right training very smart.
Large but very loving, the English Mastiff is going to come in near the top of the list when it comes to size. Don’t let their giant size intimidate you though as they are often called a “gentle giant.” English Mastiffs are very loyal and by nature guard dogs when it comes defending its territory and family. Considered very patient, this breed does very well with children. If you are looking for a gentle giant to love, give the English Mastiff breed a look.
A very active dog by nature, Vizslas are the perfect breed for owners that want a dog with high energy, athleticism, and intelligence. Vizslas are a medium sized breed (females 40-55 pounds and males 65 pounds). They were initially bred for hunting but also quickly became great companion dogs. Considered to be great with children, Vizslas need a lot of attention, or they will get bored. Vizslas also make excellent watchdogs as they are very protective.
Despite the name, Australian Shepherds originated in the United States and first got recognition by doing tricks at the rodeo. Australian Shepherds are smart, athletic, and need consistent activity to be at their peak. Also known to be great assistance dogs and even used sometimes in search and rescue situations, the Australian Shepherd can do it all. Coming in at 40-65 lbs on average this breed is medium sized.
As one of the most popular dog breeds, you might already know all the highlights of this magnificent breed. Golden Retrievers are great work dogs and do very well at (you guessed it) retrieving things. They also score high marks when it comes to hunting, tracking, sniffing out drugs, and providing therapy assistance. The Golden Retriever is very social and highly intelligent, making it a family favorite for many families.
Known the world over for their police and military service, German Shepherds also make ideal family pets. They are loyal animals and make excellent watchdogs. They do, however, require regular exercise and grooming. So make sure that you are able to provide adequate space and the necessary time to take care of this dog breed.
English Bulldogs were originally bred in England as an entertainment dog for the sport of bull-baiting. The friendly and independent Bulldog is a now one of America’s favorite dog breeds. A patient dog, the Bulldog, is excellent with children, making it an ideal family pet.
Known for its obedience, the Shetland Sheepdog, or Sheltie, is essentially a miniature working Collie. While friendly, the Sheltie’s herding background may make the dog inclined to ‘herd’ strangers. Its double coat also requires regular grooming.
Despite being small in size, the Maltese is known for being lively and fearless. It is also a very affectionate dog, making it an ideal companion dog. Be careful, however, to provide the Maltese with proper training, as “Small Dog Syndrome” can quickly set in.
Handsome and loyal, the Rottweiler is a great pet for those willing to train the dog. It sometimes does not get along with other dogs of the same sex, but an owner that knows how to direct a strong-minded dog will be fine. With its intimidating appearance, the Rottweiler also makes an ideal watchdog.
Intelligent and entertaining, the Chihuahua requires little exercise, making it an ideal city dog. Chihuahuas have a wide array of temperaments. So new Chihuahua owners may have to address some undesirable traits early on. With a little bit of patience though, a Chihuahua makes a loyal and friendly pet.
Sometimes referred to as “Velcro dogs” for their human attachment desire, Whippets are ideal companion dogs. However, they are also quite active, and like their larger relative the Greyhound, Whippets require regular exercise.
Best Dog Breeds Conclusion
While we believe that all dogs are great, different breeds as we have seen have different personalities and traits. These unique characteristics make a specific breed more or less ideal for your lifestyle.
We hope that this list of the best dog breeds has helped to narrow down your search for your future furry best friend.
If you have any personal feedback on any of these breeds, we would love to hear about it in the comments below.