Which Breed of Dog Best Suits My Personality?

Searching for a new best friend, or a new member of your family? Choosing a breed of dog that suits you and your lifestyle can be a bit trickier than it seems. Dogs have been selectively bred for countless centuries, favoring different traits in each individual breed. This selective process has worked remarkably well, and now there seems to be a breed of dog that suits any person or situation perfectly. There are two things to remember first and foremost before choosing your new friend: The more selective inbreeding done to create your chosen breed, the more likely it is to have health complications – and always get your new dog from a shelter! You may be pleasantly surprised to see the vast amount of pure breed dogs available in shelters that are not too far from home.

Active Personality

People that take walks or jogs often, people that live near large recreation areas that are dog friendly, and people that live a generally healthy and active lifestyle will usually find the most joy out of a breed of dog that loves to be active as well.

The Basenji was originally bred as a hunting dog in Africa, but has now become a favorite among active families and singles all over the world. This dog’s personality meshes well with children, and it’s a dog that loves to chase and sprint. Sometimes seen as overactive, the Basenji can be difficult to keep control of at first, until leadership can be established. This breed seems to have constant energy, and have been known to be able to make clean leaps over fences. The Basenji need lots of room to run and play, but can be kept in large apartments if you take very frequent walks, or live near a recreation center that is dog friendly.

The Siberian Husky is another great choice for lovers of active dogs. This breed is sturdy and alert, and is just as an effective guard dog as it is an affectionate companion. Huskies are large dogs, and require as much space as they do love. They also shed…a lot! Huskies are also known to be rambunctious and disobedient if left alone for too long, so this may not be a good breed to have if you work long hours and live alone. They also aren’t good apartment dogs, as they are big and have impressive stamina that needs to be exercised.

The Alaskan Malamute, often mistaken for the Husky, is another great dog for taking long walks and being otherwise active outside. This breed can be a lot stronger than the husky, making it a more effective guard dog. They also shed, and are actually known to be one of the breeds of dogs that sheds the most. Malamutes should not be kept in an apartment. These dogs are tricky to train, but not so bad if you start off early.

Calm Personality

Many singles, couples, or quiet families like to own a dog that’s just like them; docile, calm, and obedient.

Golden Retrievers are what comes to mind to many dog owners or enthusiasts when they think of a reliable and loyal dog. They’re great with families, and easy to train. These dogs make wonderful playmates and protectors of children, and are agile and fit enough to be considered a very active dog as well as being docile and calm.

The Pug is also a good breed of dog for low activity households or singles that work, however it’s better to have them with another animal, as they don’t like to be alone very much. Pugs aren’t built for exercise, so one brisk walk a day should be plenty for your Pug. They also have a habit of overeating, so make sure you know how much food they should be getting before you let them stuff their adorable face to their heart’s content! Pugs are friendly with people, and very good with children. They are perfect for apartments, condos, and even big families.

Cocker Spaniels and Springer Spaniels are two very affectionate breeds that love to give and receive attention from humans. They dislike being alone for too long, but if trained well from when they’re a puppy, they can be incredibly obedient. These dogs are great for single people or couples, as they provide plenty of cuteness to love, and are almost too easy to get attached to. Both breeds are often considered some of the most loving, but they differ in that the Springer Spaniel seem to have more boundless energy, and might be more likely to get into trouble when you aren’t around. It always depends more on the trainer though, and keeping an eye on them is always a good idea.

The Basset Hound is an adorable dog, slender and tiny with a face anyone could fall in love with. This makes them great for singles or younger couples, as babying this dog is exactly what it wants. Basset Hounds vary in size depending on the size of the parents, and sometimes can get very small. These dogs have a wonderful temperament, and are friendly to friends and family alike.

One of the most sought after breeds of dogs by singles and couples without families is the bulldog. Bulldogs are loveable and calm, but stubborn and lazy. They love attention, and love to sit beside people as if they were one of the gang. Bulldogs are prone to chewing up shoes and slippers, and they drool and slobber more than other breeds. They also sometimes snore, and it’s thought by most Bulldog owners to be more humorous than it is a nuisance.

Protective Personality

Dogs that can protect your family and your stuff – it’s one of the reasons humans began selectively breeding dogs from wolves in the first place. Some protective “guard dog” breeds are great for families, and some are better for singles. Either way, if you’re looking for a breed with bite to match the bark, you’ll want a breed with a protective personality.

German Shepherds are an amazingly popular dog, and rightfully so. They’re agile, great with children, very smart, and easy to train. They are also very protective, and bark at strangers more often than they should if not trained otherwise. They shed a lot, and are sometimes so fearless that they get in over their heads. Establishing leadership early on with a German Shepherd, a male especially, is key if you don’t want it to think it’s the boss. These dogs are very active, and can sometimes have a mean temperament if not trained to be kind to people other than the trainer. This can be dangerous with singles that don’t see many strangers, as the German Shepherd is quick to think anyone other than their owner is a threat.

The Bull Terrier is very protective of children – very, very protective. This breed is sometimes known as the “babysitter dog”, because if a child is hurt or in trouble, this dog will alert you, and fast! They also have been known to get children out of harmful situations themselves, which is very impressive and sought after by families with young children that like to explore. Careful though, the Bull Terrier’s inquisitive nature can cause it to get itself into trouble without the help of your children.

Mastiff breeds also make fantastic guard dogs, and certain mastiff breeds are even great with large families. These dogs can be just as scary as they are loving, but some of them warm up to people fast as long as they are “cleared” so to speak – once a mastiff learns you aren’t a threat, it can become your best pal. Some mastiffs have been known to let children tug on their ears, pull at their floppy folds of skin, even ride on their backs, without the dog even flinching – but should a threat approach, the hair stands on end and your mastiff will show it’s true abilities as a guard dog.

Family Breeds

For small or large families, protection, friendliness, and affection are important characteristics in a canine companion. It’s essential to get a dog that won’t harm children, will be friendly to friends of the family, and will protect you and yours when it has to.

Labrador Retrievers are a commonly chosen breed by families with children age 6 and up. The Labrador is actually the most popular breed of dog in the United States and Canada, and are known to have one of the best temperaments of all the dog breeds out there. These dogs are great with children, but can get rather large, so it’s best to have a bigger home for it to run around in along with the kids. Labs are very affectionate and really aren’t suited for singles, as they seem to be the most happy and healthy when they have an environment filled with different people and different activities.

Most breeds of terriers are fantastic family dogs – the Jack Russel Terrier, the Lakeland Terrier, the Fox Terrier and the Border Terrier especially. These dogs have a mix of traits found favorable by mostly everyone; they’re loyal, affectionate, active, friendly, and fun to play with. They are also known to have bad barking habits, unless trained otherwise from a young age.

A Beagle makes a great dog for a small family. These dogs have great tempers, but can be extremely territorial when it comes to their “pack leader”. Even though they don’t have much bite with their adorable bark, it’s easy to tell that they’d to anything to defend their families if treated with love and care. These dogs can often overeat if not on an observed diet. Even though the Beagle is cute and seems almost irresistible, remember that this breed is one of the hardest to train. Even when they seem the most obedient, many Beagles are just too clever for their own good; they may find ways to get into your closet for your shoes, or into the fridge for a yogurt.

For more information on dog breeds, their potential health risks, their compatibility with you and your home, and details on their care and personalities, visit www.justdogbreeds.com.

It’s always smart to get your dog from a shelter. Try visiting a shelter’s website to see what dogs are available there. For a list of shelters near you, visit http://www.animalshelter.org/shelters/.

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