How to Choose the Best Dog Breed for You

Offering an abundance of companionship and loyalty, it’s no surprise that dogs are often referred to as man’s best friend. And with dog ownership at an all-time high – with over 8.5 million in the UK alone compared to just 7.4 million cats – dogs have proven themselves to be the most popular pet of choice.

But, much as they differ in looks – from handbag-sized Chihuahuas to Germanic Great Danes – they also vary when it comes to personality. New dog owners often make the mistake of choosing a dog purely based on their appearance, and while factors like size do come into the equation, temperament, energy levels and grooming are also really important to consider.

So whether you’re looking for a faithful four-legged friend or a high energy exercise playmate, we’ve sought out the best breeds for you. 

The Most Affectionate:

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

It would be hard to find a slushier and more lap-loving and affectionate dog than the Cavalier King Charles. If you’re looking for a pet whose love for you will know no bounds, this breed will be the perfect pooch for you; undeniably intelligent, sensitive and understanding, the Cavalier King Charles will be a loyal companion for life. 

Best For First-Time Dog Owners:

Golden Retriever

Loving, cheerful and easy-going, the devoted Golden Retriever gets on well with both humans and fellow pets alike. Eager to please and easy to train, these enthusiastic pups offer first-time owners a great foray into life with a four-legged friend. Known for their warm nature and patience with people few dogs would be better suited to a first-time buyer.

Best for Energy and Enthusiasm:

Siberian Husky

After a breed that will keep you entertained for hours? Then the Siberian Husky is for you. Aesthetically appealing, with a thick coat and almond eyes, they are known for having an abundance of energy and make great work-out buddies. Due to their strong predatory instincts, they prefer their owners’ undivided attention and are fun-loving, adventurous, alert and independent.

Read: 13 of the Best Dog Breeds for City Living

Most Easy Going:

British Bulldog

Known – and loved – for their signature droopy skin, gentle disposition and affectionate nature, Bulldogs are one of the most popular breeds of dogs. Dependable and well behaved, Bulldogs are as content to lounge indoors as they are to go on leisurely strolls and get along well with both children and other animals.

Best for Kids:

New Foundland

If you already have a herd of children to look after, the last thing you want to do is invest in a dog that needs integrating into the family, or training to deal with a gaggle of kids. Due to their sweetness of temperament, calm nature and general quietude, New Foundlands make great family pets. They might require daily walks, but it offers owners the perfect excuse to get their children involved in some regular exercise. 

Read: How to choose the right rescue dog for you

image: Buzzfeed

The Most Misunderstood:

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Most commonly associated with dog fights and dark alleys, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is undoubtedly the most misunderstood pup of our time. Easy to train and eager to please, Staffies are actually defined by their impeccable behaviour and endearing nature. They make the perfect partner for someone looking for a loveable playmate with bundles of energy.

Do you have experience with any of these breeds or know of others our readers might love? Share with us in the comments below! 

Lucy is a Sydney-based book and travel writer, formerly from the UK. She grew up with three sisters and a house full of pets, including a beloved black Labrador. Since moving to Australia she likes nothing more than dog-sitting for friends, and heading out to explore the city's many walks with a furry companion in tow.

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