How to Choose the Perfect Dog Breed For You!

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How To Choose The Perfect Dog Breed For You! 

Basset hounds, and Labradors, and Great Danes, oh my! With 400+ dog breeds to choose from, how do you know what will be the right dog breed for you? Rover-Time is here to help you pick the perfect dog breed for you!

Since the start of the pandemic there are more first-time dog parents than ever before. But before you rush off to nab that cutie-pie puppy, you should take some time to look into the different kinds of breeds to find that perfect match for you!

Does Breed Matter?

Although each dog has its own special and unique personality, a dog’s breed type can give you some clues into what to expect from your new furry friend. 

Rover-Time is here to help break down some breed types and guide you to the purrr-fect pal that will fit your lifestyle and needs.

The American Kennel Club divides dogs up into 7 groups based on occupation for each breed. 

  • Sporting
  • Hound
  • Working
  • Terrier
  • Herding 
  • Non-Sporting
  • Toy

We will go through the top 10 dogs of 2019 and tell you a little bit about their origin and personality as well as some pros and cons to help you find the right dog for you! 

#10 Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Corgis are part of the Herding Group. The Corgi was bred to be a ‘heeler’, to nip at the heels of livestock to move them forward. Even a tiny cute little corgi can get a herd of cows moving! 

Nowadays Herding dogs, especially in the city, don’t have much call to move livestock, but they may still have a herding instinct and try to herd their humans- especially children.

Fun Fact: The Corgi name comes from the Celtic word for dog

Corgi Pros: 
  • Good with children! A great companion for a family. 
  • Good with other pets, even cats. 
  • Small-only 10-12 inches and they weigh up to 30 pounds
  • Super cute. Those ears! That smile!
  • They are a lot of dog in a little package. They are compared to mini German Shepards. (Both herding dogs.) So if you are interested in a German Shepard but don’t want a large dog, check out a Corgi. 
  • They live a long time – the average lifespan is 12-14 years. 
  • Eager to please, they love trying new tricks. 
  • Super intelligent – they are quick learners. 
  • A sweet and agreeable personality. 
Corgi Cons: 
  • Corgi’s need lots of daily stimulation and exercise, based on their smaller size and short legs, some might think that a Corgi would be a sleepy lap dog. They do love snuggles, but they were bred to do an energetic job, and it’s important that they get a lot of attention and exercise. 
  • They can’t be left alone for a long period of time – Corgi’s do best with someone with a consistent schedule. If you do need to leave them alone, make sure to give them lots of puzzles and toys. Or you might come home to find your shoes destroyed. 
  • Sensitive tummies – You will want to invest in high-quality food with a Corgi. 
  • Shedders – Corgis have a double coat and there will be a lot of shedding. 
  • Not quiet – If they don’t get enough stimulation during the day they will let their displeasure be known. 
  • Stubborn!  Corgis have minds of their own. Their herding instincts can kick in and they can hyper-focus on another animal/task and ignore you. 

A Corgi will thrive best with a family with a consistent schedule, though an apartment might not be the best fit for this dog. If you have a backyard and have the time to put into training, this adorable and clever companion will be a great fit for you! 

#9 Pointers

Part of the Sporting Group, Pointers were bred to locate or “point” to locate game. Sporting dogs tend to be active and alert. They excel in field and water sports. Most Sporting dog breeds do require vigorous and regular exercise to stay happy campers. 

Fun Fact! Pointers’ water-resistant coats can repel debris as they swim, while their spoon-shaped webbed paws help paddle the water

Pointer pros: 
  • Very good-natured, sweet dogs. 
  • High energy – this dog will thrive with an athletic owner who enjoys vigorous outdoor activities. 
  • Likes most dogs. Very friendly. 
  • Not an aggressive dog. 
  • Their coats are sleek and very easy to care for. 
  • Likes kids and makes a great family pet, they love being around people and are loyal to their family. 
  • Love running around outside and swimming in the water.
  • So handsome! 

POINTER CONS:

  • They were bred to be hunters so they might chase cats or smaller animals; generally pointers have a high prey drive. 
  • Pointers need an above-average amount of exercise. If they are under-stimulated they might act out by barking a ton and chewing the furniture/your stuff. 
  • Although they are agreeable they are also easily distracted, which can make training difficult. 
  • They tend to be more disposed to separation anxiety. 
  • Especially as puppies they have a bouncy energy. They might be jumpy so you’ll want to be careful if you have young children. 

A Pointer will thrive best with an outdoorsy family, ideally with a backyard. They need an owner that can devote lots of time and attention to them. They are a perfect dog to hang out and go on adventures with! 

#8 Rottweilers

Rottweilers are part of the Working Group of dogs. As their name suggests, these dogs were bred to be workers. They tend to enjoy having a job to do. Rotties are LARGE dogs. Their size alone means that training is extra important. 

Fun Fact! Rottweilers are named after the German town ‘des Rote Wil’ from when ancient Romans brought their herder dogs to Germany. 

Rottie pros:
  • Intelligent and love to work!
  • Often used as police, service, and therapy dogs. 
  • Protective – you will always feel safe with a Rottweiler by your side! 
  • Super devoted to their owners. 
  • Love to play and solve puzzles.
  • Their temperament is usually calm and confident 
  • Rottweilers love kids – although they may try to dominate or herd them if not trained properly 
  • Rottweilers love cuddles and snuggles with their family.
Rottie cons: 
  • Some Rottweilers are protective and devoted to a fault, it might take a while for a Rottweiler to trust outsiders. This can be difficult if you have a lot of different people coming in and out of your house. 
  • Rottweilers can have delayed triggers, it might not be obvious what will upset your Rottie. 
  • These dogs need a lot of training/enrichment and exercise every day. 
  • They tend toward resource guarding. 
  • Shedding – these dogs shed a LOT.

Rottweilers may thrive best in a household used to dog training and care. They need a lot of training and attention to make sure that they don’t dominate the household. When properly trained they are wonderful companions, guard-dogs, and snuggle buddies. 

#7 Beagles 

Part of the Hound Group, and known for their tracking, chasing, and of course, their distinctive bray. 

Fun Fact! The Beagle’s signature white-tipped tail is a “flag” that helps their humans see them, even while they track a scent through grass or dark woods. 

Beagle pros: 
  • Lots of personality! 
  • They tend to be sturdy dogs with iron stomachs. 
  • Medium-sized.
  • Friendly and sweet personalities. 
  • They enjoy the company of other dogs, Beagles have a pack mentality. 
  • Those floppy ears. 
  • Not super shedders.
Beagle cons: 
  • They can be mischievous and STUBBORN. 
  • Since they were bred to track and hunt they are able to find all of the most tasty street treats. 
  • Don’t leave a Beagle alone with garbage, they will get into it. 
  • Super prey and scent driven – cats are not their friends. 
  • The Beagle bray can be overwhelming and very, very loud.

Beagles will thrive in a relaxed household with maybe a couple of other dogs and lots of humans around. Try to keep your Beagle mentally stimulated or they get nervous and noisy. Beagles tend to be treat/food motivated, this helps with training, but make sure to keep an eye on them for unauthorized street snacks. They can be a great addition to a large family that’s looking for another dog to sniff out some adventures!  

#6 Poodle 

Poodles are part of the Non-Sporting Group – a diverse and varied group of dogs. Poodles come in three different sizes; standard, miniature, and toy. 

Fun Fact! Although these fancy fluffs may have a French connection, they actually hail from Germany. Their name comes from the German word for puddle “pudel”. 

Poodle pros:
  • Highly intelligent – Poodles are good at puzzles and tricks. 
  • They love to be out in the water.
  • Poodles are highly trainable. 
  • Their coat is hypoallergenic! 
  • A sensible and calm disposition.
  • Good with most other animals. 
Poodle Cons: 
  • Because of their high intelligence, Poodles need advanced training, daily exercise, and mental stimulation. 
  • Can be high-strung and nervous – especially when left alone. 
  • Easily startled. 
  • Some Poodles can have serious health risks. 

Poodles do best in a household with an owner that’s devoted to their care and training. Their hypoallergenic fur makes them a favorite, even when an owner is allergic to other dogs. If you are looking for a whip-smart sensible friend the Poodle might be the dog for you! 

#5 Bulldogs

It’s easy to see why these wrinkle-faced cuddle monsters are a favorite! Part of the Non-Sporting Group, Bulldogs can be a great (and cuddly) addition to the family. But there is a lot to know about the upkeep and health issues that most Bulldogs experience. 

Fun Fact! Bulldogs were originally bred for bull-baiting, resulting in their distinctive look. As bull-baiting went out of vogue, Bulldogs started being bred for their gentler and more cuddly traits. 

Bulldogs pros: 
  • Playful, sweet, and gentle. These dogs are happiest curled up and snuggling with their favorite people.
  • They are great family dogs, they bond easily with their families. 
  • Independent thinkers! Bulldogs are able to figure out puzzles all on their own without human guidance. 
  • Minimum exercise required. Unlike a lot of dogs on this list, Bulldogs don’t need a ton of exercise every day. 
  • Not super shedders, their coat is fairly low-maintenance.
  • Their big heads! Those wrinkles! And under-bites! 
Bulldogs cons: 
  • Stubborn – if a Bulldog gets an idea in their head, it’s hard to distract them. 
  • Keep those wrinkles clean! Although adorable, the wrinkles can get infected.
  • Short-nosed dogs like Bulldogs can have a lot of respiratory issues and don’t do well in the heat. 
  • Between the infections and the illnesses that Bulldogs are prone to, those vet bills can start to add up. 

A Bulldog is a great addition to a family or for someone who lives in a smaller space. A Bulldog will be delighted to spend hours snoozing and playing indoors. Anyone who owns a Bulldog should be aware of the health issues that might come up and be prepared to pay for and monitor the issues as they arise.  

#4 French Bulldog

Another addition from the Non-Sporting Group. Bred to be lapdogs, French Bulldogs are a perfect cuddle companion. 

Fun Fact! French Bulldogs can’t swim. They are the perfect beachside companions but don’t try to take them in the water with you. 

French Bulldog pros:
  • Sweet and sassy, these cuties have a lot of personality. 
  • Just the right size for snuggles and apartments. 
  • The perfect lapdog – unlike dogs bred for a job like herding, these dogs are happy to snuggle all day. 
  • Although they do need some exercise and mental stimulation, they don’t need intense exercise every day – they are not an athletic dog. 
  • Good with kids. 
  • They make very silly pig noises but are generally on the quieter side. 
  • Those ears! 
French Bulldog cons: 
  • Like other flat-nosed dogs, they can tend to have problems breathing and have other respiratory difficulties. 
  • Also like other Bulldog breeds, they have sensitive skin that requires care. 
  • Separation anxiety – Frenchies can get very nervous when their owners are away from them for too long. 
  • Low tolerance for the heat and the cold – Frenchies can very easily overheat and they don’t typically enjoy being out in the cold.

If you are looking for a fellow couch potato with a face to melt your heart, this is the right dog for you. Their sweet and goofy personality makes them a favorite with families. Come prepared for a high price tag on both the dog and their vet bills. 

#3 Golden Retrievers

Making it into the top three dogs is the Golden Retriever. They are part of the Sporting Group and, as their name suggests, they were bred to retrieve game. These sweet and gentle beauties are often used as guide and service dogs. 

Fun Fact! Golden Retrievers originated in the Scottish highlands and were bred in the 1800s by Lord Tweedmouth. 

Golden Retriever pros:
  • Very intelligent, they learn new tricks quickly and respond well to training. 
  • People pleasers, they love to perform, problem solve, and work. 
  • Active and adventurous 
  • Gentle and sweet, the quintessential family dog. 
  • Can peacefully coexist with even smaller animal siblings, like cats or bunnies. 
Golden Retriever Cons:
  • This is a VERY active dog that will require at least an hour of exercise to stay happy. 
  • It’s best to not leave this dog alone for long periods of time. They can get anxious without their owners. 
  • Golden Retrievers are known to suffer from some health problems, the breed is prone to hip dyspelasia. Hair, hair, and more hair, the Golden Retriever has a double fur coat. Good thing they have beautiful fur because it will be everywhere. 

This dog will be the perfect addition to any family with lots of people available to give them the attention and exercise that they need. Their gentle personality and aptitude for training make them a dream dog! 

#2 German Shepherds

Another member of the Herding Group, German Shepherds are bred to tend which means they move laterally to act as a living fence. We associate German Shepherds mostly with police work but they were originally bred in Germany to be farm dogs.

 Fun Fact! It’s rare, but some German Shepherds have pituitary dwarfism, which means they look like forever puppies. 

German Shepherd pros: 
  • Energetic and fun-loving dogs. 
  • Wonderful guard dogs, they will protect their family. 
  • Super intelligent, they excel at training   
  • Long lifespan 
  • Winter resilient, they do well in all different kinds of weather. 
German Shepherd CONS:
  • Although they can be good family dogs, it’s really important to spend the time to socialize German Shepherds, especially with children. 
  • Some German Shepherds can be aggressive without proper training. 
  • Super shedders! 
  • Because they are so intelligent they need a lot of mental stimulation, otherwise, they might destroy the house. 
  • German Shepherds are prone to health problems.
  • Without proper socialization, a German Shepherd can latch onto one person and act overly protective.

German Shepherds are a perfect example of a dog that can be an amazing companion if you take the time to do proper training and socialization when they are little. If you are looking for a guard dog who will excel at training, a German Shepherd is a wonderful choice. 

#1 Labrador Retrievers

Finally, we come to the number one rated dog on the AKC list, the Labrador Retriever! These sweet and beautiful sporting dogs have been rated in the top place for the past 24 consecutive years.

Labrador Retriever Fun Fact: In 1981 A Labrador mix named Bosco became elected to be the honorary mayor in a town in California. 

Labrador Retriever Pros: 
  • They are super active and excel in outdoor activities. 
  • Intelligent and gentle. That combo makes for a perfect guide and service dog. 
  • Very family-friendly. 
  • They love having a job, a reliable companion. 
  • They love the water and have a water-resistant coat. 
  • These dogs tend to not have as many health problems as other breeds. 
Labrador Retriever Cons:
  • Like all the sporting dogs on this list, they are incredibly active and need lots of vigorous exercise. 
  • Not a couch potato, they need physical and mental stimulation to stay happy. 
  • They have a double coat and that can lead to some shedding. 
  • Labrador’s are not a guard dog – even if they bark at a stranger they are likely to greet them with kisses and tail wags once they are inside of the house
  • Keep an eye on their food consumption! Labradors will eat everything and fast, if they don’t get enough exercise they can run to obesity. 

If you are looking for an active, patient, addition to your family, a Labrador Retriever is the perfect dog for you! This is not a lazy, snuggle pup. But if you are prepared to put in the time and energy to get out and about with a Labrador Retriever, you will gain a wonderful and loyal friend for life. 

We hope that this helps you and your family make the important decision about what breed of dog will be the best fit for you! 

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