A dog can be man’s best friend or his worst nightmare! Every year dogs are given back to the breeders, or handed over to animal rescue centers because the owner just couldn’t cope…
It’s true – a dog is for life – and it can sometimes be a handful, but there is a way to make sure that you have the best possible relationship with your doggy companion. All you need to do is a little research and a little thinking.
Dogs have different personalities, and these will be shaped to some extent to by you and the environment you create for you puppy. But you can predict the in-born personality of a dog (to some extent) by looking at the common traits of each dog breed. The bottom line is that you can minimize any trouble, by simply taking the time to choose a dog breed that suits your personality and your lifestyle.
Here are the top 10 dog breeds (by popularity) and their most common traits to help you decide what type of dog is the best for you:
1. Labrador Retriever.
Labradors are intelligent and family friendly dogs of medium size. They are arguably the most popular dog breed in the world and it’s no wonder. Labrador retrievers are the perfect dog for families with small children. They are not overly sensitive or moody and they love being around young children.
If you’re the type who’s into loving dogs, choose a Lab retriever. If you have a family with young children – this may be your best bet.
2. Yorkshire Terrier.
Affectionately known as Yorkies, they are small dogs but with big personalities. They are considered to be a “Toy Breed” but they are terriers – so they are still brave and energetic.
Yorkies are beautiful, but can be high-maintenance, mainly due to their appearance. They’re very independent and very smart. But they will need your daily attention – so if you are the type who has a lot of time in his hands, Yorkies would be perfect for you.
3. German Shepherd.
German Shepherds are medium sized herding dogs. They are mainly used in police trainings and obedience schools, as they are highly intelligent, and have well developed guarding instincts.
This breed is extremely loyal and very protective. German Shepherds are highly active dogs and would require larger spaces to live and for exercises. Also – because they are highly intelligent, you would not have any difficulties in training them. If you want your own watchdog, your best bet is to buy a German Shepherd.
4. Golden Retriever.
Same as a Labrador retriever, this breed is one of the friendliest, if not THE friendliest, around. Affable and good-natured are the best descriptions for this type of dog that’s why children tend to like Golden Retrievers the most among all breeds. However, they are poor guard dogs because they can be very sociable even to strangers.
Beagles are scent hounds. Medium-sized and low-maintenance, they can make a perfect house pet.
They love to bark and howl so you have to think twice if you live in a small apartment. They are neither too aggressive nor too friendly. But once you get their trust, Beagles can be one of the most loving breeds. Just remember, that like all dogs, Beagles are pack animals so they should not be left alone for too long or they will suffer from separation anxiety.
This breed is usually entered in show dog contests because of its stature and physique. Boxers are alert and sporty, and are excellent as companions or guard dogs. Despite its intimidating appearance, boxers are one of the friendliest dog breeds especially with children. Boxers love to be around with people whom they trust.
Choose this breed if you have an already existing active lifestyle, where you can afford to take your dog out to exercise at least 1 to 2 times a day.
This breed is also known as “wiener” dogs because of its similarity to a hotd og in regards to its shape. Don’t be deceived by its appearance though – dachshunds can make a terrific watchdog. Small but brave – that’s the perfect way to describe this breed.
Dachshunds in general are active dogs – hunters. They love to chase anything that moves so you have to keep up if you want to own one. They’re very lively and will even challenge any dog twice their size. There would never be a dull moment if you live with a dachshund.
Because of their appearance (their curly coat to be precise), poodles are regarded as high-maintenance breeds. But this is a perfect example of never judging a book by its cover, or in this case, by its coat.
Poodles are one of the MOST intelligent breeds. They’re easy to train, agile and very perceptive. But they also get bored easily, so they often find themselves in trouble. Poodles are one of the only dog breeds that come in all three sizes – small, medium, and large – so you can take your pick.
Poodles make for good companions, but are not excellent with small kids, so make sure you pick the right one…
9. Shih Tzus.
They are small and compact, and fearless (as their name suggests – Shih Tzu = lion). Shih Tzus combine bravery and beauty, which usually means that you have to have a lifestyle which allows you to spend time daily not only walking him, but to groom them. Their long flowing coats usually need daily attention.
They are playful, active and clever. However, they are very difficult to housebreak – so it’s likely you’d need extra bit of patience and time with them.
Bulldogs are stocky and medium sized dogs. They are not usually perceived as lapdogs (and with their physical disposition who would) – but they would like to be… Their somewhat grumpy expression, may make you think that they are moody and hard to deal with, but you wouldn’t be further from the truth.
Bulldogs are very lovable and friendly, albeit with a bit of stubborn streak. They’re good with children and get along well with other pets. So if you have a cat at home, bulldog might be the perfect companion not just for you, but for your cat too.
At the end of the day, selecting the best breed for your personality and lifestyle is like choosing a mate – you have to match or things will be difficult. Please don’t be tempted to buy a puppy just because it looks cute – do him and yourself a huge favor and learn a little about each dog breed.
If you’re an active person – choose an active agile dog. If you spend your days in front of the TV – get off your but and exercise… OK – I’m kidding… If your lifestyle is filled with long work days, or too much leisure time, get a pooch that doesn’t need too much attention or exercise (although all dogs need attention – so if you are too busy to give it to them, rather consider a cat).