Dogs are fantastic pets to have around your home. However, there’s a wide variety of dog breeds out there that can be chosen from based on character traits, temperament, looks, food and grooming needs. Moreover, a lot of mix dog breeds are also being produced to get the most desirable traits in one dog.
Many family-friendly dog breeds have become popular in certain regions due to their specific personalities and skills. Every breed varies based on its energy level, sociability, aggressiveness, health, and intelligence.
It’s a mutual relationship between you and your dog. If it’s your first time to become a pet parent, the article will be of great help to you.
There are a lot of Buzzfeed quizzes that will help you find the best-suited dog breed for yourself. But, those quizzes cannot give you real reasons behind the dog breed that results will show you!
Table of Contents
A Comprehensive Guide to Go Beyond Quizzes
Why it’s important to not rely on quizzes? It’s because they only focus on your personality. They ignore the dynamics of dog’s needs, your living conditions, and family member’s requirements.
With a wide range of dog breeds in the market and each having unique potentialities, it becomes difficult for a first-time dog parent to select one from the crowd. Going through each breed’s information is not just hectic and time taking but also confusing.
Labradors are amazing companions for people of all age; Collies feel safer in their own space so they’re perfect for the recluse and introverted people; Gun dogs are obedient and social so they suit well to a disciplined owner; Beagles are well-suited for adventurous people; Terriers with a lively and bold personality attract children; Dachshund are good companions for elderly people; German Shepherds are good guard dogs; and so on and so forth.
The dog owner should not simply focus on family dynamics and personality match. There are other factors that should be kept in mind including grooming and exercise needs of the dog. How often the dog sheds its coat, how often he has to be given bath—hyperactive breeds often get dirty, what are the food requirements, what possible diseases the breed is prone to develop, etc.
To make the choice easier for you, the article provides a comprehensive view of different breeds, their needs, and your personality types.
7 Groups of Dogs
Kennel Club has categorized pure-bred dogs into seven groups based on their skill-set:
1. Terrier Group
2. Hound Group
3. Toy Group
4. Supporting Group
5. Non-supporting Group
6. Herding Group
7. Working Group
1. Terrier Group
Terriers are small, hyperactive, and cute furballs. They are brave hunting dogs. Common Terrier breeds are Jack Russell, White Terrier, and Bull Terrier.
2. Hound Group
Hound group breeds are highly energetic dogs with an enormous amount of determination. In the past, they were considered suitable for the hunters. They can easily survive on homemade foods and BARF diets. Common breeds include Beagles, Greyhounds, Dachshunds, etc.
3. Toy Group
It’s the most lovable and cute toy dog group. They are friendly, hyperactive, and attentive dogs that can adjust well in small apartments. They love to cuddle up on your lap and require less amount of exercise. Toy group breeds are Pug, Chihuahua, etc.
4. Supporting Group
The gun dogs or supporting dogs are retriever, flushing and pointing breeds that have their specific ways of hunting. They are alert, hyperactive and friendly dogs. They can digest home-made foods and BARF diets more easily. Supporting Group includes Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel, etc.
5. Non-supporting Group
It includes different breeds, personalities, and appearances. They include Dalmatians, Poodles, and Bulldogs.
6. Herding Group
They include breeds that were used to herd sheep in the past. These breeds are highly obedient, alert, bold, and disciplined dogs. So they are easy to train and friendly towards children and family members. Common Herding dogs are Collies, Sheepdogs, German Shepherd (as the name suggests), etc.
7. Working Group
They are good ‘service dogs,’ ‘guard dogs,’ ‘farm dogs,’ and ‘war dogs.’ They are intelligent, highly-trainable, and sturdy dogs. They require a lot of mental stimulation because of their high intelligence levels. Working group includes Boxer, Great Dane, etc.
How to Find the Perfect Dog for You?
You have to consider the following things to find the perfect dog breed that matches your personality:
Your temperament has to match perfectly with your future dog first. It should match not only with your temperament but also with other family members. A hyperactive dog will not be suitable for a house bound writer; an aggressive dog will irritate a depressed owner; and a hair-shedding long haired dog
If you have got some older or disabled family members at home, it’s better to avoid bringing home aggressive or boisterous dogs. A house with toddlers and infants is not fit for keeping aggressive or energetic puppies. So family first, personality second and then select a dog breed that’s a perfect fit!
I know people rarely care about these little facts and figures because of their busy routine, but I would suggest that if you have got a choice, why not choose the best! Everything is never a perfect fit.
2. Residence and Surroundings
Lifestyle has to match first! While some dogs can adjust in indoor apartments and small spaces, but some need to play outside for hours each day. Hyperactive dogs are required to spend their energy positively outdoors or else their energy will get negatively channelized into unwanted behaviors. Like humans, dog’s libido energy has to be appropriately channelized. Dogs develop negative behaviors out of boredom or ignorance from the owner’s side.
Consider your yard space before buying any hyperactive dog breed. The climatic conditions also matter for the dog’s survival and health.
Fun-loving and lively people would love the company of a hyperactive dog who can engage them at all times. However, the pet owners who are short-tempered and enjoy peace in their surroundings can look up for dogs that can stay in their lap for hours without complaining.
3. Security Needs
Some dogs are protective, specifically, bulldog breeds. They often mark their territory. The only way to train them is to make them feel secure by giving them lots of time and attention. Even in a crowd of people or other pets, you have to focus on these over-protective yet loyal dogs.
If you want loyalty in a dog and can afford to give time and attention to your dog, you can search out for Guard dogs having “protective traits” in them. Such dogs are often very friendly with family members, not always with the outsiders. For travelers, protective dogs are good to have as they can keep safe your possessions well-enough where ever you go!
For adventure-friendly people, among small breed dogs Chihuahua, Pomeranian, and French Bulldogs, etc. are good companions while among large breed dogs Dachshund, Labrador Retriever, etc. are great travel companions.
4. Grooming Needs
Long haired dogs need to be groomed a lot. They are prone to a lot of skin allergies and skin infections. If you are interested in buying a cute, fluffy, and long-haired dog, make sure to give time to it for regular grooming and bathing.
If the long-haired dog is a hyperactive one, he can create great trouble for you by getting the hair dirty all the time.
Patient owners who can spend hours with their pet-child can take the risk of buying long-haired dogs. Some long-haired dog breeds are aggressive too, so make sure that you know what you are paying for.
According to Kennel Club reports, non-molting dog breeds include Yorkshire Terrier, Poodles, Shih-Tzu, Miniature Schnauzer, and Maltese. If any of the family members are allergic to hair, then it’s best to choose a non-molting breed that includes a hairy dog rather than a furry one.
If you cannot bear to see hair sticking everywhere on your furniture and carpet, then bring home a long-haired dog. Bongiovanni says, “Long hair sheds but is easily removed with a daily vacuum. Short hair, on the other hand, will weave itself into clothes and upholstery and is impossible to remove. So you have to learn to live with it.”
5. Children at Home
If you have got children at home, consider their age and temperament before giving in to their “favorite dog breed”. Many parents only bring home dogs to make their children happy. But, unfortunately, they are unable to provide the required amount of care and training to the new pet, which leads to worse consequences later on.
Often, dogs are not a perfect fit for children at home; they can become aggressive attention seekers who can knock down your toddlers every time they come close to you.
Family-friendly dog breeds like Labradors, bulldogs or breeds mixes as pitbull dachshund mix can be a perfect pick for your lifestyle. Labrador Retriever is quite a responsible dog, but it’s high energy needs have to be satisfied.
6. Health Issues
Most of the popular dog breeds are prone to a lot of diseases. So, before selecting a dog, make sure that it’s more of a healthy dog breed and wouldn’t test your patience a lot. Taking your dog to the vet is sometimes a burden for the owners, and they behave harshly in return with the dog. So, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
7. Exercise Needs
If you can satisfy the needs of hyperactive dogs by providing them different ways of physical exertion, then you can get the benefits of the friendliness, fun, and entertainment they bring. Exercise is important for health, fitness, and happiness of a dog.
Young people who love to have fun, and do exercise a lot can go for hyperactive toy dog breeds that are cute, fun to be around and have high energy needs.
On the opposite, if you are a passive owner, you can go for less-active and calm dog breeds.
8. Social Needs
Dogs are pack animals, and most of them like to stay in contact with people and other dogs. Being left alone for a long time can lead to problems like separation anxiety, destructive behaviors, etc.
Consider the hours that you are away from home and then choose a dog breed. Some dogs can be confined and crate trained as well. But, dogs with high social needs can show destructive behavior in return.
Are you in need of a guard dog or a friendly dog who welcomes every visitor? Dog breeds differ in their attitudes towards outsiders, so consider it as well!
9. Nutrition Needs
Hyperactive and larger breed dogs often require more food to keep them going throughout the day. While passive, cozy and small breed dogs do not require much food.
Consider the bills as well. The grooming, health and fitness, and nutrition needs collectively can mount up your monthly bills. Dogs can be a burden to your household budget. Be wise, plan it out, and then choose the best from all of them.
10. Training Needs
Highly intelligent dog breeds are easy to train. They are responsive to obedience training. For example, Labradors are very obedient to commands while toy breeds such as poodles are quick learners.
There’s a common misconception among first-time dog parents that large breeds require more training drills than small breeds. But, that is not the case. For example, little furballs are so cute that dog parents accidentally allow them to develop unwanted behaviors. A poodle’s nipping is ignored as it doesn’t hurt but a German shepherd’s nipping will never be overlooked. For heavy chewers, you can get indestructible dog toys; find more about chew toys here.
Every dog requires training and supervision in spite of the intelligence and obedience level. Moreover, positive training requires you to reward the dog behavior consistently to keep the dog distracted from bad behaviors. Without training, a dog will only turn out to be an imperfect and unwanted pet.
The guide will help you locate the dog group that’s best suited for your household. You will definitely find a perfect dog breed according to your personality, needs, and affordability!
About the author: James Shore is a part-time dog-trainer and dog behavior consultant. He is a professional freelancer with years of experience in dog training. He is interested in finding out fun ways to handle dog behaviors, specifically, Labradors to help dog-owners enjoy their companions at all times. His pet-passion led him to develop https://www.labradortraininghq.com/ to help people.