Popular Dog Breeds by Characteristics
Temperaments and Characteristics of Modern Dog Breeds
Choosing the right dog for your home and family depends on a number of different factors.
Size and weight can be important considerations, especially for those who live in apartments, condominiums or other residences with limited room to run and play.
However, the most important criterion for choosing a canine companion should be the dog’s overall temperament and personality.
Spending time with a prospective pet during the adoption process can provide you with specific information regarding its likes and dislikes, personality traits and overall fit with you and your family.
Here are some general guidelines on choosing the right dog to suit your personal preferences and your lifestyle perfectly.
Easy-to-Train Dog Breeds
These highly trainable dog breeds combine intelligence with an eagerness to please that provides plenty of motivation for learning new tricks and getting the most from obedience training.
Some of the most popular dogs in this category include the following:
- Labrador and golden retrievers are bright and affectionate dogs that can easily be trained to perform simple tasks. They quickly understand the connections between commands and actions and are highly treat-motivated, making it easy for owners to achieve outstanding results from training efforts.
- As working dogs, German shepherds have been bred to take instructions and to follow the commands of their owners. Their high degree of intelligence allows them to learn and remember commands given one at a time or sequentially.
- Poodles are exceptionally smart and affectionate. As a hypoallergenic breed, these dogs and puppies are ideally suited for families with allergies and can learn numerous tricks to delight and amuse their adoptive families.
Most easy-to-train dog breeds are treat and praise-motivated.
Taking time each day to reinforce their current repertoire of tricks and skills and to teach new commands can allow you to bond more effectively with your pet and can allow your pet to perform more reliably in shows and demonstrations.
Family-Friendly Dog Breeds
For families with children, selecting a dog that is tolerant and understanding of the behaviors of babies and toddlers can ensure a more harmonious home life.
Some of the most popular and family-friendly dog breeds include the following:
- A member of the hound family, the beloved beagle is patient and long-suffering. Beagles bond deeply with their adoptive families and are loyal and loving pets for children and adults alike.
- Bright and sociable, pugs can hold their own against most small children and are remarkably even-tempered. These toy-sized dogs can be stubborn and persistent, however, and may need a firm hand and solid training to ensure the most positive relationships with you and your family. Their small size allows pugs to thrive in apartments and smaller living quarters.
- The popularity of Australian shepherds has increased significantly over the past few years. These herding dogs are both intelligent and gentle, making them excellent companions for even the youngest children.
- Thanks to the television show “Lassie,” the rough collie has been consistently in demand as a companion for younger children. Collies have strong herding and protective instincts and are gentle playmates for toddlers and babies.
Proper training is required even for the most gentle and affectionate dogs.
By helping your new pet to feel secure during the initial introduction into your household, you can set the stage for years of happy companionship and play.
Guard and Watch Dog Breeds
Strong, loyal and tenacious, guard and watch dogs provide protection for people and property against intruders and uninvited guests.
These pets require strict discipline and extensive training to thrive as both a family pet and as a reliable guardian for your home, family and belongings.
- The sheer size of the English mastiff can deter most would-be intruders. Loyal and dignified, English mastiffs are naturally motivated to watch over their families and can provide a winning mix of affection and protection for most homes.
- Boxers are playful and intelligent dogs that exhibit little or no fear and can provide solid protection for members of their family. Their boisterous behavior and need for constant exercise may make them less suitable for families with very small children.
- Strength and agility are primary characteristics of Doberman Pinschers. For years, these dogs have been used to guard property and to provide added protection for people. A strict training regimen may be required to curb the natural enthusiasm and high activity level of the Doberman pinscher breed.
- The Basenji is one of the rare hypoallergenic breeds suitable for watch dog duty. Curious and intelligent, these dogs were originally bred as hunting companions and require a good deal of exercise to stay healthy. Warm and affectionate with their families, Basenji dogs can be aloof or even aggressive toward strangers.
Guard and watch dogs should undergo training to ensure that they do not become overly aggressive and that they obey commands immediately.
This can prevent accidents and can ensure the safety of your family and your guests at home and in public places.
Smartest Dog Breeds
Identifying the smartest dog breeds is no simple matter.
Opinions vary widely due to the different types of intelligence demonstrated within the canine community.
Problem-solving skills, ability to learn and remember commands and general social grace have all been considered as critical elements of intelligence and are primary criteria used to determine the smartness of a particular breed.
- The border collie is rated tops on most lists for its exceptional ability to assess a situation and resolve problems quickly. Border collies were originally bred to herd sheep and put that same intelligence to work in escaping enclosures, playing with children and generally outsmarting other animals and people.
- Shetland sheepdogs, also known as Shelties, look like miniature rough collies and share their herding tendencies and their sweet and gentle temperaments. Small, agile and clever, Shelties are outstanding choices for families looking for a trainable and affectionate pet.
- Poodles are generally hypoallergenic and can learn tricks and commands readily. These sweet-tempered dogs are available in a range of sizes to suit most homes and lifestyles and can quickly adjust to changing situations with a little love and patience.
- Often selected to serve on police departments or as guard dogs, German shepherds are highly motivated to please and are quick to catch on to the requests of their owners. As family pets, German shepherds enjoy performing assigned tasks and require regular exercise to stay in peak physical condition.
Providing positive reinforcement and spending quality time with your pet can help to increase memory retention even in the smartest dog breeds.
By motivating your pet appropriately, you can produce the best results for your training regimen.
Understanding the temperaments and traits of various dog breeds can help you narrow down your choices to select the perfect pet for you and your family.
This can allow you to enjoy years of friendship, fun and unconditional love with your new four-legged family member.