Thinking about owning a dog? Owning a dog comes with a great deal of responsibility. There are dozens of factors that come into play when choosing the right dog breed for your home. So what’s the best breed to own? Here is a list of some of the best dog breeds to own.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Bulldog (American & English)
- 2 The Doberman Pincher
- 3 The Basset Hound
- 4 The Great Dane
- 5 The Cocker Spaniel
- 6 The Dachshund
- 7 The Rottweiler
- 8 The Husky (Siberian, Malamute)
- 9 The Shetland Sheepdog
- 10 The Maltese
- 11 The Poodle
- 12 The Chihuahua
- 13 The Beagle
- 14 The Yorkshire Terrier
- 15 The Pitbull
- 16 The Border Collie
- 17 The Golden Retriever
- 18 The Pug
- 19 The German Shepherd
- 20 The Labrador Retreiver
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The Bulldog (American & English)
Generally, Bulldogs are known for getting along well with children, other dogs, and pets. They can become so attached to home and family, that they will not venture out of the yard without a human companion. They are also more likely to sleep on someone’s lap than chase a ball around the yard.
Bulldogs are spontaneous, adventurous, and some even like to skateboard! Breeders have worked to reduce/remove aggression from these dogs. Most have a friendly, patient nature. Bulldogs are recognized as excellent family pets because of their tendency to form strong bonds with children.
The Doberman Pincher
Doberman Pinschers are well known as intelligent, alert, and tenaciously loyal companions and guard dogs. Personality varies a great deal between each Doberman, but if taken care of and trained properly they tend to be loving and devoted companions. The Doberman is driven, strong, and sometimes stubborn. Owning one requires commitment and care, but if trained well, they can be wonderful family dogs.
Unlike some breeds (such as the German Shepherd), Dobermans are eager to please only after their place is established in their pack and that place is not as an alpha. With a consistent approach they can be easy to train and will learn very quickly. As with all dogs, if properly trained, they can be excellent with children. Dobermans adapt quickly, though they take their cue from their leader and value attention.
The Basset Hound
The Basset Hound is a friendly, outgoing, and playful dog, tolerant of children and other pets. Basset Hounds have large pendulous ears, (known as “leathers”) that do not allow air to circulate inside them, like other breeds with erect or more open ears.
This can result in infections and ear mites if their ears are not kept clean and dry. If their ears are allowed to dangle on the ground or in food on a daily basis, they may develop chronic and potentially fatal ear diseases. Young puppies trip over their long ears and may bite their ears accidentally if they dangle in their food. This can lead to infection if they break the skin.
The Great Dane
The Great Dane’s large and imposing appearance belies its friendly nature. They are known for seeking physical affection with their owners, and the breed is often referred to as a “gentle giant Great Danes are generally well disposed toward other dogs, other non-canine pets, and familiar humans. They generally do not exhibit extreme aggressiveness or a high prey drive.
The Great Dane is a very gentle and loving animal and with the proper care and training is great around children, especially when being raised with them. However, if not properly socialized then a Great Dane may become fearful or aggressive towards new stimuli, such as strangers and new environments.
Great Danes are a breed recommended for families provided that they get trained early and onwards, regarded by animal experts due to their preference for sitting on and leaning against owners as “the world’s biggest lapdog”
The Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels were originally bred as hunting dogs in the United Kingdom, with the term cocker deriving from their use to hunt the Eurasian woodcock. When the breed was brought to the United States, it was bred to a different standard, which enabled it to specialize in hunting the American Woodcock.
Further physical changes were bred into the cocker in the United States during the early part of the 20th century. The two modern spaniel breeds are susceptible to several health problems. Issues common to the two breeds include ear infections, and a variety of eye problems. A large number of breeds are susceptible to hip dysplasia.
Dachshunds are playful, but as hunting dogs can be quite stubborn. Dachshund are known for their propensity for chasing small animals, birds, and tennis balls with great determination and ferocity.Many dachshunds are stubborn, making them a challenge to train. Dachshunds are burrowers by nature and are likely to burrow in blankets and other items around the house, when bored or tired.
Dachshunds can be difficult to housebreak, and patience and consistency is often needed in this endeavor. Many dachshunds do not like unfamiliar people, and many will growl or bark at them. Although the dachshund is generally an energetic dog, some are sedate. If raised improperly and not socialized at a young age, dachshunds can become aggressive or fearful. They require a caring, loving owner who understands their need for entertainment and exercise.
Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well-developed genetic herding and guarding instincts. Potentially dangerous behaviour in Rottweilers usually results from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialisation and training. However, the exceptional strength of the Rottweiler is an additional risk factor not to be neglected. It is for this reason that breed experts declare that formal training and extensive socialisation are essential for all Rottweilers.
According to the AKC, Rottweilers love their owners and may behave in a clownish manner toward family and friends, but they are also protective of their territory and do not welcome strangers until properly introduced. Obedience training and socialisation are required.
A 2008 study surveying breed club members found that while Rottweilers were average in aggressiveness (bites or bite attempts) towards owners and other dogs, it indicated they tend to be more aggressive than average toward strangers. This aggression appears correlated with watchdog and territorial instincts.
The Husky (Siberian, Malamute)
The Husky is known to howl rather than bark. They have been described as escape artists, which can include digging under, chewing through, or even jumping over fences. Because the Siberian Husky had been raised in a family setting by the Chukchi and not left to fend for themselves they could be trusted with children.
Siberian Huskies have a high prey drive due to the Chukchi allowing them to roam free in the summer. The dogs hunted in pack and preyed on wild cats, birds, and squirrels, but with training can be trusted with other small animals. They would only return to the Chukchi villages when the snow returned and food became scarce. Their hunting instincts can still be found in the breed today.
The Shetland Sheepdog
The general appearance of the Sheltie is that of a miniature Rough Collie. They are a small, double coated, working dog, agile and sturdy. Blue merle Shelties may have blue eyes or one brown and one blue eye, but all others have dark colored eyes.
Their expression should be that of alertness with a gentle and sometimes reserved nature. They are often very good with children. They carry their tail down low, only lifted when alert and never carried over the back. They are an intensely loyal breed, sometimes reserved with strangers but should not be shy or showing timidness as per the AKC breed standard.
Maltese are bred to be cuddly companion dogs. They are extremely lively and playful, and even as a Maltese ages, their energy level and playful demeanor remain fairly constant. Some Maltese may occasionally be snappish with smaller children and should be supervised when playing, although socializing them at a young age will reduce this habit.
They also adore humans, and prefer to stay near them. The Maltese is very active within a house, and, preferring enclosed spaces, does very well with small yards. For this reason, the breed also fares well in apartments and townhouses, and is a prized pet of urban dwellers. Some Maltese may suffer from separation anxiety.
Poodles are known as a highly intelligent, energetic, and sociable breed. They require both physical and intellectual activities. Of note is this breed’s keen sense for instinctive behavior. In particular, marking and hunting drives are more readily observable in poodles than in most other breeds. A typical poodle should be reserved with strangers upon first introduction, but after a while should slowly reveal a warm and personable disposition.
Snappy, vicious behavior is considered a serious fault in the breed. Poodles are highly trainable dogs that typically excel in obedience training. A poodle will do well at many dog sports, including dog agility, flyball, dock diving, field tracking, and even schutzhund, and can follow owners on hiking trips or any trip involving swimming, as long as the dog is accustomed to water and swimming.
The temperament of its owner can make a difference in the temperament of the pup. Tempered Chihuahuas can be easily provoked to attack, and are therefore generally unsuitable for homes with small children. The breed tends to be fiercely loyal to one particular person and in some cases may become over protective of the person, especially around other people or animals.
If properly managed by older children, 13 and up, they can adapt to this kind of living with a dedicated owner. They do not always get along with other breeds, and tend to have a “clannish” nature, often preferring the companionship of other Chihuahuas or Chihuahua mixes over other dogs. These traits generally make them unsuitable for households with children who are not patient and calm.
The Beagle has an even temper and gentle disposition. Described in several breed standards as “merry”, they are amiable and typically neither aggressive nor timid, although this depends on the individual. They enjoy company, and although they may initially be standoffish with strangers, they are easily won over.
They make poor guard dogs for this reason, although their tendency to bark or howl when confronted with the unfamiliar makes them good watch dogs. In a 1985 study conducted by Ben and Lynette Hart, the Beagle was given the highest excitability rating, along with the Yorkshire Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, West Highland White Terrier, and Fox Terrier. Beagles are intelligent but, as a result of being bred for the long chase, are single-minded and determined, which can make them hard to train.
The Yorkshire Terrier
The ideal Yorkshire Terrier character or “personality” is described with a “carriage very upright” and “conveying an important air.” Though small, the Yorkshire Terrier is active, very overprotective, curious, and fond of attention. Mentally sound and emotionally secure ones should normally not show the soft submissive temperament seen in lap dogs.
Because of this, it is advised that a Yorkie would not be suitable for a home with typical young children. Instead, they make ideal companions for older families with many more reputable breeders routinely only homing to families with children older than about 8 years for the comfort of the dog, but more so for the benefit of the child. Yorkshire Terriers are an easy dog breed to train.
Pit bulls were created by breeding bulldogs and terriers together to produce a dog that combined the gameness and agility of the terrier with the strength of the bulldog. Pit bulls successfully fill the role of companion dogs, police dogs, and therapy dogs. Pit bulls also constitute the majority of dogs used for illegal dog fighting in America. In addition, law enforcement organisations report these dogs are used for other nefarious purposes, such as guarding illegal narcotics operations, use against police, and as attack dogs.
In an effort to counter the fighting reputation of pit bull-type dogs, in 1996 the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals renamed pit bull terriers to “St. Francis Terriers”, so that people might be more likely to adopt them. 60 temperament-screened dogs were adopted until the program was halted, after several of the newly adopted pit bulls killed cats. The New York City Center for Animal Care and Control tried a similar approach in 2004, relabeling their pit bulls as “New Yorkies”, but dropped the idea in the face of overwhelming public opposition.
The Border Collie
Border Collies require considerable daily physical exercise and mental stimulation. The Border Collie is an intelligent dog breed; in fact, it is widely considered to be the most intelligent dog breed. Although the primary role of the Border Collie is being a livestock herding dog, this type of breed is becoming increasingly popular as a pet. In January 2011, a Border Collie was reported to have learned 1,022 words and acts consequently to human citation of those words.
Due to their working heritage, Border Collies are very demanding, playful, and energetic. They are better off in households that can provide them with plenty of play and exercise, either with humans or other dogs. Due to their demanding personalities and need for mental stimulation and exercise, many Border Collies develop neurotic behaviors in households that are not able to provide for their needs.
The Golden Retriever
The temperament of the Golden Retriever is a hallmark of the breed kindly, friendly and confident is a standard. Golden Retrievers make good family pets, particularly as they are patient with children They are not “one-man dogs” and are generally equally amiable with both strangers and those familiar to them.
Their trusting, gentle disposition makes them a poor guard dog. Any form of unprovoked aggression or hostility towards either people, dogs or other animals, whether in the show ring or community, is considered unacceptable in a Golden Retriever and is not in keeping with the character of the breed, nor should a Golden Retriever be unduly timid or nervous. The typical Golden Retriever is calm, naturally intelligent and biddable, and with an exceptional eagerness to please. Golden Retrievers are also noted for their intelligence.
The breed is often described as multum in parvo, or “much in little”, alluding to the Pug’s remarkable personality, despite its small size. Pugs are strong willed but rarely aggressive, and are suitable for families with children. The majority of the breed is very fond of children and sturdy enough to properly play with them.
Depending on their owner’s mood, they can be quiet and docile but also vivacious and teasing. Pugs tend to be intuitive and sensitive to the moods of their owners and are usually eager to please them. Pugs tend to have a somewhat lazy nature and spend a lot of time napping. They are often called “shadows” because they follow their owners around and like to stay close to the action, craving attention and affection from their owners.
The German Shepherd
German Shepherds are moderate active dogs and described in breed standards as self-assured.The breed is marked by a willingness to learn and an eagerness to have a purpose. They are curious, which makes them excellent guard dogs and suitable for search missions.
They can become over-protective of their family and territory, especially if not socialized correctly. They are not inclined to become immediate friends with strangers. German Shepherds are highly intelligent and obedient. Well-trained and socialized German Shepherds have a reputation of being very safe.
The Labrador Retreiver
The Labrador’s temperament is a kind, pleasant, outgoing and tractable nature. Labradors’ sense of smell allows them to home in on almost any scent and follow the path of its origin. They generally stay on the scent until they find it. Navies, military forces and police forces use them as detection dogs to track down smugglers, thieves, terrorists and black marketers. Labradors instinctively enjoy holding objects and even hands or arms in their mouths, which they can do with great gentleness (a Labrador can carry an egg in its mouth without breaking it).
They are known to have a very soft feel to the mouth, as a result of being bred to retrieve game such as waterfowl. They are prone to chewing objects (though they can be trained to abandon this behavior). The Labrador Retriever’s coat repels water to some extent, thus facilitating the extensive use of the dog in waterfowl hunting. Labradors have a reputation as a very even-tempered breed and an excellent family dog. This includes a good reputation with children of all ages and other animals.
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