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When it comes to choosing the perfect dog breed, it's important to ask yourself a few questions about your own needs beforehand. What kind of house do you live in, and who shares it with you? Will you have a lot of time to walk your new best friend, or do you need a low-maintenance pup?
Here are five different personality, living and behavioral types and the most popular breeds for each one.
Great For Families
If you've got several people in the house, you'll want a dog that's enthusiastic and friendly to all family members. Of course, this is especially important if you have children. Some dogs bond closely with one owner and tend to shun others, so you'll want a pooch that enjoys showing affection to lots of different people. This will make training and daily care like walking easier if a few people will be sharing the work.
Popular breeds in this category include the American Foxhound, Bassett Hound, Beagle, Border Collie, Dachshund, Golden Retriever, Jack Russell Terrier, Poodle, Pug and Yorkshire Terrier.
Happy In Apartments
All dogs need to get out and about for walks and play. Yet, some are happier than others to spend their home time in smaller environments that don't have constant garden access. This doesn't mean they can be left alone all day, and it's a good idea to have a walker take them out at some point if everyone will be out working or at school. That said, these generally quiet, calm breeds usually adapt quite well to apartment living.
Interestingly not all are small breeds, as some larger dogs are actually low energy: Bassett Hound, Border Terrier, Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, French Bulldog, Norfolk Terrier, Poodle and Portuguese Water Dog. It turns out the latter doesn't necessarily need constant access to the White House lawns to be happy.
If your dog ownership behavior swings towards training, it's good to select canines that pick up on lessons quickly. Some dogs are more adept at responding to instruction/reward prompts than others, while others may need lots of repetition before they get it. You'll want to go for the former to speed up the process.
These breeds include the Bearded Collie, Border Collie, Chinook, Dalmation, German Pinscher, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Labrador Retriever and Whippet.
Good For Beginners
If you've never owned a dog before, it's a good idea to go for one of these low-maintenance breeds. Of course, every dog needs love and attention in addition to their basic needs, but some are simply easier to look after than others.
These breeds are also less likely to suffer from difficult temperaments and are submissive enough to rarely cause many complications for their owners: Bassett Hound, Border Collie, Chihuahua, French Bulldog, Maltese, Norfolk Terrier, Poodle, Pug, Shiba Inu and Yorkshire Terrier.
Likes Other Dogs
It's particularly important to consider how your new pet will react to the other dogs they may come into contact with. If you already have dogs or plan on having your pooch socialize with other canine buddies, then you'll want a breed that's likes other animals.
Some breeds are very affectionate with humans but less so with other dogs, so those are best avoided in this case. With any breed, they're more likely to be happy with other dogs if they spent at least their first two months socializing with their siblings and with other dogs as they grew up.
Breeds that tend to get on well with other dogs include the American Foxhound, Bloodhound, King Charles Spaniel, Dalmatian, Golden Retriever, Great Dane, Greyhound, Jack Russell Terrier, Pug and Siberian Husky.
As you'll note, some breeds cross into multiple categories. It's important to consider all your needs, preferences and limitations when selecting a new pet. It's fundamental that you show any dog the right amount of attention and ensure their needs are met, but some adapt better to certain challenges than others.
For more information, talk to breeders and fellow dog owners about the temperaments of their dogs. Finally, always be sure to buy dogs from reputable and certified breeders or shelters.
Read more: Best Dogs For First Time Owners