30 of the best dog breeds for your lifestyle
Every now and then you come across a dog so cute and adorable that you think to yourself: “Man, I have to adopt that pup!” Unfortunately for us, there are so many dogs like this it’s hard to know which is best. Here, we show you the best of the best, all depending on your specific needs. Prepare for the adorable.
1. Basset hound
There are many factors that go into choosing the best dog breed. And really, the factors you should care about depend on your specific lifestyle. Here, however, we show a dog that is good for many: the basset hound.
The basset hound is relatively small, requires little grooming, and is considered laid-back and even a little lazy. While for those with an active lifestyle — we’re looking at you, Alex Honnold — the dog wouldn’t work, for most other normals, it would.
The beagle is another dog that many will rate as one of the best. And why, exactly, is this? Well, there are multiple reasons. The first is that the dog is extraordinarily easy to train. Second, however, is that this pooch is outgoing.
While an outgoing dog might not be for everyone, the quality makes this pup especially amenable to families where the dog will have to get along with newcomers — and to do so often. When combined with trainability, these traits make for a lovely pooch.
3. Bichon frise
The bichon frise is another pup you might want to consider if you’re looking for something friendly. While perhaps not the best dog for active young children, the pup is great for those who are a little bit older.
But beyond its friendly qualities, it hosts a litany of other desirable traits: It is small, curious, and full of fun. If you’re looking for a dog that is both cuddly and ready to relax, this might be a dog you want to consider.
4. Border terrier
The border terrier is a pup that is both extremely cute and extremely trainable. Because of this, it is ranked highly on all lists for pups that are great for families. Other traits that help describe this dog are “affectionate” and “obedient.”
The latter of these traits is especially important. While many people might think they want a smart dog, for instance, the intelligence does not always come with trainability. Though this is OK for some, it can be problematic for others.
Despite its name, the bulldog is very dissimilar to a bull. It is not temperamental, it is not domineering, and — perhaps most importantly of all — it is not likely to run you down on your upcoming trip to Spain.
But in all seriousness, the bulldog is considered quite mellow. Rather than tromp around your house with the boundless energy of a hyena on steroids, the doggo is more likely to want to sit in your lap and just chill. This makes it one of the easiest dogs to own.
6. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
British imperialism has a long list of places that it claimed and named. While this history is certainly not anything we’re trying to repeat (old imperialism, thank goodness, is not as common as it used to be), the names have stuck.
Here, however, we have a pooch that bears the name. But the name is not given for any imperialistic reasons. Rather, the friendly and congenial breed got its name because King Charles II loved them so much. If you want a dog with nothing but love, consider this one.
While the Chihuahua might have been given a bad rap because of people like Paris Hilton and the movie franchise Legally Blonde, the pup is actually quite own-able. And by that, of course, we mean that it is family friendly and all-around lovely.
While the barks of the dog can be considered a little irksome, the breed is (for the most part) tempered and mild-mannered. If you want a dog that will get along with the family and guests, this might be the dog to get — so long as it’s well-trained …
You’ve probably been asking yourself up until this point, “What about Lassie?” Well, here we have just the resolution: the collie. Famously easy to get along with and just as easy to train, the collie had to make this list.
The reasons the collie has gained this fame should be obvious to many — the dog is pretty, affectionate, easy to get along with, and even stars in movies. What else could you want?! Ultimately, the dog is the perfect addition to any family.
For those looking for a smaller dog, the corgi is often one of the best options. Because the dog is small and easy to manage, many consider it a plus if they’re trying to maintain easy control of the household.
But other than that, the corgi offers a long list of palatable traits that make it one of the most popular dogs around. Of these are qualities like a calm personality, high energy, and a lot of pep. While some might consider the latter two traits a downside, training can do wonders.
10. Bernese mountain dog
If you want a dog with both the capabilities to save your life and to be cute and cuddly, the Bernese mountain dog might be the pup you want to get. While it is both as cute as can be and a bit bigger than its more wily compatriots, the pooch offers a nice mix of traits.
The dogs can weigh up to 100 pounds, which might be considered a lot. So, if you do want this dog, you will have to factor in its size. Many might not have the means to maintain such a massive pet.
11. Alaskan malamute
Loyalty is a common trait for dogs. Sometimes, however, that loyalty is misplaced or not as solid as you would like. With the Alaskan malamute, though, this loyalty is as firm as the dog is beautiful. But that’s not all.
Another of the pleasant perks of this pup is its large and fluffy tail. So, if you’re not satisfied with the traits of the dog, you can at least look to its beautiful demeanor. It will definitely ensure that you’ve made the right decision.
12. Boston terrier
The Boston terrier is famous for many of its amenable traits. Of these are things like its diminutive stature (weighing in at around 25 pounds), along with what some might call “low-maintenance” qualities.
Another thing about the dog is that it doesn’t require a lot of extensive training or attention. If you’re looking for a pooch that is relatively easy to keep and family friendly, this might be the pup for you.
13. Labrador retriever
The Labrador retriever is one of the dogs many of us would have expected to make this list. It is easy to manage, loving, and affectionate. Some might consider it one of the best dogs on the planet.
Because of these traits, including things like its famed trainability, the dog is a must-own for those in need of some fun. One thing about the Labrador retriever, however, is that it has a little bit more energy and requires a bit more exercise, so keep that in mind!
14. Golden retriever
Another retriever, the golden retriever is another of those dogs that is extremely popular. The pup is cute, cuddly, and affectionate beyond all measure. One of the traits that makes them particularly desirable is their trainability.
However, like with other midsize dogs, the golden retriever requires a lot of exercise and activity to be happy. So, if you anticipate getting a golden retriever, you’ll want to take this into consideration before adopting.
The pug is a perfect dog for many. It’s small, which makes its needs naturally a little bit different than the midsize dogs we’ve covered. Moreover, the pup is cute (in a different way). It’s so cute, in fact, it’s been crowned our mascot.
One of the most prominent features this dog might claim is the couch-potato status. If you want a pooch to hang with you as you watch TV and relax, this might be the dog for you. If you want more activity, though, you might want to look elsewhere.
16. Irish setter
The Irish setter is a dog that some avid dog lovers might not have expected to make this list. They might not have even heard of it! However, the dog is cute, loyal, and friendly, so of course it made the list!
What makes the Irish setter one of the best dogs is its precocious athleticism. If you’re an active-minded person, then, this might be the dog for you. Take it on a run, a hike, whatever! You surely won’t regret this dog if you’re active.
17. French bulldog
The French bulldog is great for those who don’t anticipate much space. For those who live in the city, for example, the dog is perfect. It is small, friendly, and not all that loud. It is perfect for that one-bedroom apartment in the Village.
But other than that, the dog has the litany of traits that we’ve so far ascribed to others. It is friendly, loyal, affectionate, and loving. Ultimately, it’s a great dog. If you’re looking for something more active, however, this might not be the pup for you.
18. Brussels griffon
The Brussels griffon is one of the more diminutive dogs on this list. While we’ve mentioned pups like the Chihuahua and pug, this guy has them beat. OK, maybe it’s comparable. Either way, to many its small size is actually a plus.
But with this small size comes certain responsibilities. One of them is that the breed really can’t play around that roughly. If you have a family with young kids that might get a bit rowdy, then, you may want to consider your options carefully.
Here, we have a pup that is decisively larger than many of the others on this list. And because of this, the pup will require a certain type of household to live in. Regardless, the dog will make for a lovely addition to any family.
In total, the pooch can weigh up to 150 pounds. That’s quite a lot. And, amazingly, these dogs are also known as excellent swimmers. If you’re a Michael Phelps-type, then, this might be the dog for you.
20. Soft-coated wheaten terrier
Another terrier has made this list — no surprise there! Like what we’ve already listed, the soft-coated wheaten terrier is friendly, lovely, and just all-around sweet. But, in addition to all of that, the pup is also soft and cuddly!
While the pup has a decent amount of energy, that doesn’t mean that it will wear you down with incessant attempts to get you walking. It does mean, however, if you’re looking for something soft to pet, you may have found it.
The poodle is one of those dogs that is perfect for many different types of families. It is small, cute, and easy to take care of. But other than that, the pooch has been bred for its smarts. If you want a dog that will quickly learn, then, this guy might just work.
But other than this, the dog is also something that will be fun to pet. I mean, we all know it has beautiful hair. But another thing about this pup is that you can get it in different sizes. So you don’t have to settle for small if you don’t want to.
The vizsla is for those who want something like a sporting dog but also want to stand out. It’s not like the typical retriever and labs you’ll see elsewhere. Because of this, it is one of the more unique dogs that you could own.
A few of the notable traits about this pup are its affectionate nature paired with its thorough love of exercise. If you and your family don’t have it in you to get out there and play often, then, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.
23. Cocker spaniel
If you’re looking for soft ears, look no further. This dog will literally blow your mind with how soft its ears are. It might literally drive you insane. We’d suggest you be careful. You might even want to wear gloves.
OK, just kidding about the crazy part. The dog will, however, offer a lovely companion to you as you sit and loaf around your house doing homey things. You’ll have to maintain a house with relatively little activity, though, as the pooch is not typically the most active.
24. Portuguese water dog
The Portuguese water dog differs from many on this list in that it was bred for a very specific purpose — to herd fish. Despite this very specific and unique aim, the dog has become one of the best to own.
The reasons it’s great are numerous, including their prodigious ability to learn new tricks. If you want a dog that is precociously trainable, then, this might be the dog for you. Otherwise you might be better with something else.
The Maltese is a small and manageable dog that is great for the family life. While it might not be the most active, the pooch is certainly energetic. But the pup is also sweet and adoring as any small pup should be.
Another thing that is great about this pup is that it is hypoallergenic. If you or a loved one is allergic to dogs, then, the Maltese might just be the perfect choice. Whatever you decide, the Maltese likely wouldn’t let you down.
26. Siberian husky
Huskies are renowned for their beautiful black-and-white coat. Bred to withstand frigid arctic temperatures, the dogs are good if you live in the far northern latitudes. But the dog is also great for other geographic locations.
Other traits that make the husky a must-have for certain families are its affectionate nature and energetic disposition. If you have an active household, then, this might be the dog for you — especially if you’re looking for something pretty!
27. German shepherds
German shepherds are a different breed of dog. While relatively recent compared to other dog breeds, the German shepherd is different for many reasons. Other than its beautiful coat and friendly demeanor, the dog is also extremely obedient.
Because of this, the pups are often trained as police dogs. If you want a cute pooch that can help with everything from potential home invasions to watching over the kids, the German shepherd might be the pup for you.
28. Doberman pinscher
The Doberman pinscher distinguishes itself in many ways from the other dog breeds mentioned on this list. For one, it is extremely smart. This has earned it a ranking on many lists compelled to rate the “smartest” dog breeds around.
Because of this, the pup can be trained as one of the perfect household pets. However, one important thing to note is that the dog will likely require much activity. If you’re looking for a lazy dog, then, this might not be the dog for you.
Considered a “toy” breed, this diminutive pup can provide ample love and warmth. However, because it so small, it can’t literally offer that much heat. But that doesn’t really matter — people don’t often adopt pups for their warmth.
If you’re looking for a cute dog to help take up a little space on your couch, this might be the pup for you. Not only is it easy to travel with, but the pooch is very friendly toward the family home. You might want to consider the papillon, then, if you’re a calm and laid-back family.
30. Australian cattle dog
The Australian cattle dog is another of those that is considered extremely smart. Because of that, training can make it one of the best dogs around. However, again, as we’ve seen with a few other pups, this often entails a certain amount of activity around the house.
If you’re looking for a dog that will obey commands, protect the family, and rescue you from any potential fire, this might be the dog for you. Your family might be made safer because of it. You’ll definitely want to take it for several walks, though.