Dog Breed FAQ

Ready to add a new family member but unsure where to start? Read our trainers’ answers to the most commonly asked dog breed questions.

How do I decide which dog breed to get?

When deciding which dog breed to get, you must consider several factors. Before buying or adopting a dog, you’ll need to evaluate your overall activity level and lifestyle. Any dog will need regular exercise, so if you don’t spend much time outside, you’ll probably want to avoid a high-energy breed like a Belgian Malinois or Border Collie. Larger breeds will generally need more exercise and space than smaller breeds, so you will want to consider how much time you want to commit each day to taking your dog out for walks or letting them out to play in a yard. Lastly, age is another crucial factor. In any breed, rescuing an adult dog may save you time and effort on general manners like housebreaking, chewing, and play-biting. An older dog will have more established behaviors. A puppy will be more work; however, bonding and training with a puppy can be super rewarding.

What is the safest family dog breed?

Many breeds are generally great with families, but a few are known primarily for getting along well with children and other pets. Labrador And Golden Retrievers tend to fit seamlessly into family life, interacting well with children and adults. It’s important to note that breed does not guarantee “safety” or certain behaviors. When deciding on a family puppy, regardless of breed, be sure the breeder allows you to meet mom and dad. Genetics can play a significant role in a puppy’s behavior and is something you’ll want to consider when deciding on a breeder. Also, be sure to work on socialization early and often. Doing so will set your puppy up for success and help decrease the likelihood of problem behaviors occurring or escalating in adulthood.

What dog breed is easiest to train?

There isn’t one dog breed that’s easier to train than others; instead, some may be more motivated. When training, it’s essential to determine what motivates your dog. Food is the most common motivator for reinforcing behavior; however, some dogs may be motivated by play or attention. It’s up to you or your trainer to determine what works best for your dog’s learning.

What is the #1 dog breed?

According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador Retriever has ranked #1 the most popular dog in the United States for thirty-one consecutive years.

What is the best dog breed for first-time owners?

Some breeds may be genetically predisposed to characteristics that are preferable for first-time dog owners; however, proper training and socialization will also help to develop your puppy into a well-rounded adult dog. As a first-time dog owner, you will want to consider your general lifestyle, home environment, breed size, and dog age when researching breeds. If you’re looking for a medium-large dog with high energy, consider a Boxer, Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, or Bernese Mountain Dog. These dogs are known for being easy-going, friendly, and adapting well to various environments. Breeds that might be more challenging for first-time owners include the Shiba Inu, Akita, Border Collie, Siberian Husky, and Belgian Malinois. Mixed-breed rescues can also be an excellent option for first-time owners as they tend to be older and more established with their behaviors and manners and may have a more moderate temperament.

What is the best dog breed for apartment living?

While some larger breeds adapt well to apartment living, a smaller breed might make more sense for a smaller space. Even if you get a small dog, it’s important to note regardless of size; your dog will need daily exercise. Popular small dogs well-suited for apartment living include but aren’t limited to the Bichon Frise, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier, and Shih Tzus. If you decide on a larger breed, you may consider taking them to daycare a few days a week or to the dog park at the end of the day to burn off some steam.