After working at a vet for many years, I’ve developed some very strong opinions on dog breeds. These opinions are purely my own, and are based off of how the average American raises, and trains their dogs…which is minimally.
Here’s the current top ten list from the Americal Kennel Club (AKC:)
1. Labrador Retriever
2. German Shepherd
4. Golden Retriever
5. Yorkshire Terriers
So now onto my list.. **What I’m about to write is for the majority of the breed based on what I’ve seen. This doesn’t mean that every specimen of this breed is that way. There are exceptions to everything! When choosing a breed for your family, do your research, know what you can realistically devote to this dog. Example: If you work long hours and don’t have hours to devote to mental, and physical stimulation DO NOT get a working breed dog. That means no Shepherds for you, so sorry.
1. Golden Retriever - Great family dogs, very willing to please. The willingness to please lets them be trained very easily, with minimal hard headedness. They adapt easily, love to play, and aren’t as bouncy as Labradors. They also love to sit in your lap and steal snuggles! They aren’t the sharpest crayon in the box, and tend to have a lot of allergies. Their love for you will more than make up for the allergies and dumbness.
2. French Bulldogs – Loving, stout little creatures who will snort their constant delight with you. They can be a bit stubborn, but for the most part they are a very easy going breed. They are small enough to be portable when necessary, but sturdy so unlike toy breeds (chihuahuas, yorkies, etc) they don’t get carried constantly, and act like a real dog because of it. They are a bully breed, so they are stubborn but not as stubborn as true bulldogs, or pit bulls, which makes them more ideal for those who aren’t as strict with training. Plus they look like Yoda, who doesn’t want a dog who looks like Yoda?! The short face/snorting aspect does cause them to have sinus issues, and they are bouncy for the first few years but calm down as they age. I’m trying to convince my husband he wants one when our current dogs start kicking the bucket…. he’s not biting that line though.
3. Boston Terrier – These are hyperactive little buggers! But they are so sweet, and endearing. They will steal your heart with just one look from their beady eyes. They are also snorters, so if you don’t want a possibly snoring dog next to you, don’t get this breed. They are on the large size of the small breed spectrum, which makes dealing with their bountiful energy easy – you can just throw a ball across the room over and over from the comfort of your couch. Definitely food motivated, and eager to please. To me their positive personality makes them a great addition to any family.
4. Labrador Retriever – Very similar to the Golden. Allergies, easy going, easy to train, fantastic family pet…but add ADHD to the mix. These dogs have a LOT of energy! If you have very active boys then this may be the dog for you, but if you’re looking for something more down-to-earth just keep on looking. Labs don’t calm down for many, many years.
5. Standard Poodle – smart, intelligent, great running partner, this breed is awesome. They are prone to ear infections and need to have regular grooming sessions. I promise though, you can have them groomed so they don’t look dumb. They don’t have to look like Georgette from Oliver & Company! They do need some exercise, but nothing too outrageous. It is another breed I’m trying to convince my husband we want down the road.. Again he’s not on board, go figure. I’ve never met a standard poodle I didn’t fall in love with.
As always be sure you fully research the breed before bringing it into your home. These are recognized breeds only, there are plenty of mutts out there in shelters who need good homes, too. You can also adopt purebreds, for a lesser price then buying from a reputable breeder. No matter what you do, make sure it’s the right pet for your family. Pets are forever, be ready for that commitment, and enjoy the love they will give you!