Which Dog Is Right for You, According to Your Lifestyle and Personality
Falling in love with a cute dog is easy. How could anyone with a heart resist those big, ole’ please-love-me eyes? Or its sweet, tilted gaze?
But if you’re looking to give a pooch its forever home, picking one on looks alone isn’t enough. Regardless of whether it is coming from a shelter or a responsible breeder, it’s important to assess if your new dog will be well-suited to your lifestyle and personality. Too many times, people overlook these factors and give up their four-legged friends because of it.Truth is, getting a dog requires serious thought and plenty of research—a task that can be overwhelming for some. To help inform your decision, we’ve created a quiz to determine which dog may be right for your household.
The quiz is based on a list of common scenarios and includes a list of five popular dog breeds under each category.
Which Dog Is Right For You?
1. Where do you live?
2. How active are you in a week?
3. Which one of these scenarios is ideal for you?
4. If you were to choose, what is the most important quality a dog should have?
5. If there is one “negative” quality you don’t want your dog to have, what would it be?
6. Why do you want a dog?
If you answered…
Mostly A’s: THE QUINTESSENTIAL FAMILY DOG
Looking to add a furry new member to the pack? You’ll want a friendly dog who is loving and affectionate towards the whole family.
Mostly B’s: THE SOCIAL BUTTERFLY
If you’re hardly ever alone, your pooch should love to socialize as much as you do. Your dog should play nice with other pets and happily welcome visitors into your home.
Mostly C’s: THE PLAYFUL EXPLORER
You are an endorphin junkie looking for a pup who can keep up with you. Your dog should be able to accompany you on runs or on adventures in the great outdoors.
Mostly D’s: THE EVER-LOYAL COMPANION
You are a creature of habit, and prefer nights in to night out. You want a dog who can curl up by your side and enjoys holing up at home as much as you do.
THE QUINTESSENTIAL FAMILY DOG RECOMMENDED BREEDS:
1. Labrador Retrievers
Labs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States—and it’s no question why. They are the very definition of “friendly,” socializing well with both their furry and human counterparts. Aside from being friendly, labs are playful by nature too. They thrive in an active household, as they require plenty of exercise to stay healthy and happy.
2. Golden Retrievers
Like their short-coated cousins, Goldens are naturally sociable dogs. They are like fur-balls of sunshine and often maintain a puppy-like disposition into their adulthood. In short, they love to play. To bond with Goldens, playing outdoors, swimming, and marathon games of fetch, are some of the best ways to do it.
If Labs are the most popular retriever in the United States, Beagles are the most popular hound among American pet owners. Bred to be in packs, Beagles are happiest in company. Most are excellent with kids too, especially if treated with respect. Just don’t leave them to their own devices: they may become mouthy due to boredom.
4. French Bulldogs
Frenchies are charming, well-tempered, and adaptable. They can live with a single person or family, in the city or country, with anyone, anywhere as long as they’re showered with loving attention. That being said, they shouldn’t be left alone for long periods, as they’re prone to separation anxiety—Frenchies are most at home with their owners.
There’s no better way to describe Pugs than the Latin phrase “multum in parvo.” Small in size but full of personality, Pugs have an expressive, almost human, face that will bring a smile to the most hopeless Scrooge. They are bred to please others and have a particular affinity with young kids, thanks to their mischievous but kind-hearted disposition.
THE SOCIAL BUTTERFLY RECOMMENDED BREEDS:
1. Basset Hounds
While they look as if they’re expecting the worst, Basset Hounds are pleasant dogs who maintain their jovial personality in whatever situation they’re in. Because they were developed to work in a pack, they quickly befriend other pets and are steadfastly loyal to their humans.
2. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
In spite of their size, Corgis have the vivacity of larger breeds. Many are protective of their households and may be wary of strangers. That’s why they should be exposed early on to other people and pets so every new occurrence isn’t met with their big-dog bark. Once you win over their hearts though, Corgis will let you know how much they love their “pack.”
3. Cavalier King Charles
Spaniels Cavaliers seek constant companionship, always tailing their owners wherever they go. They are happiest around humans and other dogs, and for this same reason, cannot be alone for long periods of time. Cavaliers are very dependent dogs and when they feel abandoned, they express their displeasure by chewing on furniture or barking excessively.
Also from the toy Spaniel family, Papillons have a characteristically outgoing nature. Their happy and curious personality allows them to socialize quickly with both dogs and cats, seeing neither as a threat. They also enjoy playing with children. However, kids should avoid roughhousing with Papillons due their smaller size and more fragile body type.
With the friendliness of a Golden and the wits of a Poodle, Goldendoodles have the best of both worlds. They are social dogs that do well with other animals, and like their parent breeds, make a great family companion. This is especially true of Goldendoodles that have been raised around people and pets early on. Bonus: they’re hypoallergenic, too!
THE PLAYFUL EXPLORER RECOMMENDED BREEDS:
1. Australian Shepherds
Boasting smarts and energy in equal measure, Aussies love an environment where they’re able to put their best qualities to use. They excel at dogs sports, like obedience, herding, or agility trials, taking on every activity head on. Because Aussies have no short supply of energy, they need exercise—and plenty of it.
2. Border Collies
A dog that lives to work, Border Collies are intelligent animals who like to think two steps ahead of their owners. Not suited for new pet owners or people who live a sedentary lifestyle, Border Collies require physical stimulation and ample training. Otherwise, they may resort to entertaining themselves, leading to unwanted outings or broken furniture.
3. Cattle Dogs
Australian Cattle Dogs are esteemed for their boundless energy and intelligence. Originally raised to herd livestock, Cattle Dogs are born to move. They would make wonderful companions for active owners who live in a home with outdoor space. Owners who engage their Cattle Dogs with lots of physical activity are promised lasting loyalty.
4. Jack Russell Terriers
Don’t let their size fool you: Jack Russell Terriers are punchy, little dogs that require as much, if not more, physical stimulation than many larger breeds. They are virtually tireless and must be taken on several walks per day or have a large yard to run through and play. Perfect for individuals who have time to stimulate this energetic breed!
5. Boston Terriers
While Bostons don’t require as much as physical activity as Jack Russells, they move with a bold and agile gait that allows them to keep up with their caretakers. While they love walks outside, they like to snuggle up on warm laps too. This makes Bostons ideal for active urban dwellers who live in smaller spaces.
THE EVER-LOYAL COMPANION RECOMMENDED BREEDS:
1. Bichon Frise
Full of affectionate yearning, Bichons are driven by love. They enjoy performing tricks, but are just as delighted to sit by their owner’s side. Because they need a significant deal of companionship, Bichons cannot be left alone or ignored for extended periods. Otherwise, they may resort to incessant barking to get their master’s attention.
The Maltese is small and devoted, making them the picture-perfect lap dogs—which is exactly where they want to be. Because of their loyalty to their loved ones, Maltese often suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. But if their owner is an introverted homebody, they won’t ever be lonely.
3. Chow Chows
Often described as proud and aloof towards strangers, many Chow Chows are said to have a cat-like disposition. While some aren’t overtly affectionate, many are fiercely loyal to their preferred owner. Often, Chows attach themselves to a single person, but if they’re introduced to other people in puppyhood, they may develop a bond with others.
Although Dachshunds enjoy playtime just like any other pooch, they don’t need much to get in adequate exercise. They would much rather curl up beside their owners to nap into the afternoon. For this reason alone, Dachshunds are the pup for people whose ideal Friday night is watching Netflix and ordering in food.
They may be the smallest of all dog breeds, but Chihuahuas have a lot of love to give their caretakers. They are clever, have charm in spades, and will adapt quickly to any situation as long as they have their owner close by. Chihuahuas are the perfect match for introverts who run in small circles, as they can be suspicious of new people or strangers.
A Final Note
All that being said, it’s important to keep in mind that these are simply guidelines, all of which should be taken with a grain of salt.
Every dog is different and we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the breed you’re interested in through conducting more research about your potential pooch and meeting him or her if possible. You may even want to consider adopting a mixed breed. Even though it may be difficult to tell a mixed breed’s origins, reputable shelter workers and fosters can give you insight into a potential dog’s personality and whether it will mesh with your lifestyle or not.
At the end of the day, the responsibility of choosing a dog falls on you, and you alone. Take this responsibility seriously, and your life—and your pet’s—will be better for it.