There are lots of benefits to having a dog. For one, they provide us with companionship. After all, there’s a reason why they’re called, “man’s best friend!”
Dogs can help relieve stress and anxiety while also encouraging you to move. A 2019 British study demonstrated that dog owners are about four times more likely than non-dog owners to meet daily guidelines for physical activity.
They can even help seniors with cognitive function and social interaction!
While there is a lot to love about each and every breed of dog, the fact is that some breeds have unique medical or lifestyle needs that you may not always be able to accommodate, depending on your own personal situation.
Regardless of where you’re at in life, consider these top types of dogs - and know that you’re making a great decision in getting a dog!
Best Dog Breeds For First-Timers
If you’ve never cared for a dog before, you might find yourself feeling a bit intimidated about all that goes into it. Do yourself a huge favor and choose a dog breed that’s easier to train and is known for its more agreeable nature.
- Golden Retriever - You will find the Golden Retriever at the top of many “best dog breed” lists because it’s easy to train, friendly, and fun-loving. These pups aren’t prone to many health problems either.
- Bichon Frise - This happy-go-lucky dog is a great companion and adapts easily to any lifestyle. Plus, it only needs a small amount of exercise to stay healthy.
- Labrador Retriever - Another popular pick is the Lab. Whether you choose chocolate, yellow, or black, you’ll love playing with this intelligent, low-maintenance breed.
- Mixed Breed - Don’t be afraid of giving a mixed breed a try, either! These dogs make excellent companions, and if you find a new friend at a shelter or rescue group, you’ll be giving a great dog a second chance.
One more tip? Consider getting a dog that’s already an adult. Although you’ll miss out on that awesome puppy stage, you’ll also be able to skip all the stressors of being a first-time puppy owner.
Best Dog Breeds for Seniors
Next, let’s take a look at some of the best dog breeds for seniors.
As a senior, it’s important to look for dogs that are easy to travel with (so you can finally visit those grandkids!) and are lower-maintenance. Finding an even-tempered dog might be important to you, too.
Some of the best choices for seniors include:
- Shi Tzus - These affectionate dogs love to cuddle and they’re friendly around other pets and people.
- Pugs - They are lackadaisical little pups who enjoy taking naps!
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi - These sociable dogs have a bit more energy and require more exercise, but they’re great for active seniors.
- Poodle - The Poodle requires a bit more grooming and exercise than other dog breeds yet is low-shedding and hypoallergenic for seniors with allergies.
- Maltese - The Maltese rarely sheds, meaning minimal clean-up, and it just takes a quick walk around the block to help this breed burn off its excess energy.
Best Dog Breeds for Families With Young Kids
Having young kids means a couple of different things. For one, you’re going to want a dog that’s relatively easy to care for. You likely already have your hands full!
You should also look for a dog that can handle the rough-housing and rough and tumble nature of life with kids.
Here are some of the best breeds:
- Bernese Mountain Dog - Despite their large size, these dogs are actually gentle giants.
- Beagle - They have a ton of energy and love to play. Beagles are great for families with kids!
- Golden Retriever - Again, there’s a reason why this dog will keep coming up in top dog rankings. It’s so friendly and easygoing!
Best Dog Breeds for Individuals Living in Apartments
Just because you live in a crowded apartment doesn’t mean you can’t have a dog! You just need to find the right dog. Some of the best breeds for people who live in apartments include:
All of these breeds are smaller and require less space than big breeds like Boxers and Great Danes. Of course, they also are content with less exercise, too.
Best Dog Breeds for Outdoor Enthusiasts
Whether it’s running or hiking, swimming or camping, if you like to be outside, you may want to consider one of these active breeds to be your new companion:
Best Dog Breeds for People With Allergies
Do dogs have a tendency to leave you watery-eyed (and not in the good way)? If so, you might be sensitive to pet dander - and in that case, choosing a hypoallergenic dog breed might be the way to go.
In truth, no dog is really 100% hypoallergenic (that’s just a marketing term). However, there are some that shed less or don’t have hair at all. You might want to consider breeds like:
Dogs with a prominent beard and eyebrows are known to shed less in general, as are wire- or curly-coated breeds - so if these dog breeds don’t do it for you, feel free to consider some of those other options, too.
Best Dog Breeds for Families With Other Dogs
If you already have dogs at home, your primary concern in getting another pup should be to find one that mixes well with your current dynamic.
Of course, a dog won’t always be friendly just based on his breed alone. However, these top breeds are good places to start your search:
Finding the Right Dog: Not One-Size-Fits-All!
Finding the right dog for your family, lifestyle, and personal preferences can be challenging - and there’s no breed that will work best for everyone. Consider the sampling of breeds listed above and start your search today. There is a dog out there that’s just waiting for a hug from you!
Rebekah Pierce is a writer in upstate New York, just north of the Adirondack Mountains. She holds both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Education degree. In addition to writing, she also owns a farm, where she grows a variety of plants and raises chickens, pigs, and sheep. Her writing interests cover everything from farming and gardening to education, health and wellness, and business. She writes regularly for her own blog, J&R Pierce Family Farm, as well as for California Mobility.