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10 Best Dog Breeds To Own As Pets



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By Riley Santoso
Copyright 2009

Top Ten Best Dog Breeds To Own As Pets

When selecting a dog for a pet there are a few questions you need to keep in mind. Such as how frequently and how long will the dog be left alone? Are you an active or inactive person? Do you have children? Do you have other pets? How will your new dog fit into your budget?

Obviously, answers to these questions vary for each potential dog owner. This means comprising a list of the 10 best dog breeds to own as pets can be problematic. Perhaps our number one is too big for your apartment but our number nine fits your living situation perfectly. Maybe the first couple of dogs are too active but our number eight is more of your speed.

Individuals taste will vary and not all dogs are created equally. However, we ignored the particular needs of particular owners and conducted our rankings with broad and general strokes. In comprising our top ten we considered the totality of a dog’s breed giving the most weight to intelligence, loyalty, and personality.

Another major factor in our selection process was the breed’s affability towards children. That may not be a concerned if you live in a household without children but what’s a better indicator of a dog’s disposition?

Hopefully, our list will assist you in choosing your next pet and not cause any undue aggravation because your favorite breed was ranked too low. Certainly disagreements will arise over which dog should be where but we can all surely agree that each of the ten breeds listed below make great pets.

#1 Collie

The collie is a large active dog that’s probably the canine-world’s smartest representative.

These sweet and loyal dogs get along with everyone especially children. They love their family and don’t enjoy being away from them for too long. Basically, this breed craves to be around people.

While never one to shy away from a lazy afternoon they do require plenty of walks and physical activity.

Collies are also very sensitive. If they do something wrong you shouldn’t yell and scream. Instead, be patient and show them what they’re doing wrong. They are so smart they’ll understand.

Rough Collies have long hair that requires weekly grooming. Smooth Collies have shorter stiff, coats and are much easier to groom. That’s something to think about if you have an aversion to wallowing in dog hair.

Regardless of type, collies are very clean and are known for lacking that typical “doggie odor.”

The collies’ intelligence, sunny disposition and loving nature make them a terrific dog. Throw in their cleanliness and generally inoffensive aroma and they might be the perfect pet.

#2 Irish Setter

Irish Setters’ gorgeous red coat makes them one of the most indelible dogs in the canine world.

These large athletic dogs are kind, smart and full of charisma. They love being around people and need plenty of room. They do not thrive in kennels or small apartments unless they get plenty of exercise.

If properly trained, Irish Setters are great around other pets, even cats. They seldom, if ever, show “dog aggression” and if they do mix it up with Fluffy it will be nothing more serious than a chase.

Despite their size they are gentle around children and will even respond to their commands.

If you need a guard dog keep looking. When the Irish Setter barks at a visitor it’s more than likely saying “hello” than warning the family.

A large dwelling with a fenced yard is perfect for this breed. Even if that’s not your situation the Irish Setter is still make a great pet if you’re willing to give it your time and love.

#3 Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is another great family dog. They are super-friendly and eager-to-please. While their excitability may be dangerous for really young children, they are typically gentle and accepting of other pets.

The Golden Retriever’s double coat is water repellent which is good because they love the water.

If you’re looking for a guard dog the Golden Retriever isn’t it. They do bark but they care more about getting-to-know the stranger than warding off any potential danger.

Don’t let them get bored and don’t keep them away from their families for too long, both lead to unhappy and destructive Golden Retrievers.

Overall, this breed is easy to train and great with people. They are often used as guide and therapy dogs.

Golden Retrievers are a great breed for dog lovers with other pets, children and boats.

#4 Labrador Retriever

Annually battling the Golden Retriever for most popular breed in the U.S. is the Labrador Retriever. Their gentle, sporting and incredibly family-friendly behavior makes them a favorite with pet owners.

These large muscular dogs have floppy ears and a longish nose. They come in three hues: yellow, black, and chocolate.

Like Golden Retrievers, Labs love the water. Their web feet and otter-like tail makes them natural swimmers.

They have the reputation for being thick but they are actually quite intelligent. The problem is they get so excited they appear to act foolish. Also, they remain mentally immature for the first three years of their life.

The Labs’ over exuberance means small children should be supervised when in their presence. A Lab will never intentionally harm a member of the family but since they are known for getting riled up they may accidently be too much for some children to handle.

Be prepared to train and discipline your Lab. An untrained or poorly trained Lab can be a nightmare. So inexperienced dog owners beware. If you think cooing, giving it a treat and going on a quick walk is enough to keep your Lab happy you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

They will bark at strangers but beyond slobbering on them they won’t do much to protect your home or family. They are just too friendly to be fierce.

Labradors are extremely popular and if not for the attention they demand as puppies would be higher on our list. If you’re looking for a large, cuddly, active dog, you’ve found it in the Labrador Retriever.

#5 Poodle

Poodles have a reputation that is quite different from their reality. Poodles are generally not seen as “man’s best friend” but as fashion accessories. In actuality, poodles are highly intelligent, loyal, and often described as having a great sense of humor.

The poodle is very territorial making them great guard dogs.

They are also the only breed that comes in three different sizes: standard, miniature and toy. Poodles have a short, dense, curly coat. While it seldom sheds it does need regular grooming.

When a precocious poodle gets in trouble (as dogs this smart usually do) they tend to make their owners chuckle. The dog takes their master’s laughter as praise. This phenomenon has earned them the reputation of having a great sense of humor. Bottom line, having a poodle as a pet will put a smile on your face.

Poodles need training or they will train themselves and that usually leads to problems. Fortunately their smart and it’s not very hard to tell what you want.

They are content to relax and take the day off. Yet, if you wish to go for walk they are more than happy to oblige.

The breed is good with children and other pooches. Unlike most dog breeds, poodles can recognize one of their own.

As for other animals, they do tend to chase, especially small critters like squirrels and rabbits. Poodles can get used to cats but it takes some training and some luck.

Their reputation may put some people off but the poodle’s loyalty and friendliness is underrated. They make great companions and great watch dogs even if your cat may beg to differ.

#6 Beagle

Beagles are one of the cutest dogs around.

They are squat and compact but very sturdy. Their short coat, which comes in a variety of colors, is very easy to care for.

These adorable and intelligence dogs are playful, sociable, loyal, and curious. They are great with children and other dogs but not so much with cats and other animals. In fact, you should keep animals (other than dogs) away from the Beagle. Still, the Beagle is known as a gentle dog with a good temper.

This breed doesn’t like to be left alone. If you’re worried about giving it too much me- time you can always get them another Beagle to bond with.

Beagles howl, especially in solitude. You may have to train them to control this noise as well as their bark.

When outside, this breed needs to be kept in a securely fenced-in area and watched carefully. They tend to wonder, explore and investigate every noise.

If they were better with other animals and didn’t need constant monitoring when outdoors, the Beagle might be in our top five. Of course you may wish to forget all about those negatives since they are so darn cute.

#7 Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small dog that doesn’t always act its size. One, it likes children—most small dogs don’t. Two, it can be taught to guard. And three, it’s not what you would call a “yapper dog.”

This small breed of dog is highly intelligent, perky, friendly, and usually described as “happy go lucky.” It will occasionally become rambunctious but generally enjoys cuddling and lying on laps.

The breed needs frequent grooming so many owners take their Bichon Frise to a professional. The upside to their coat: it’s completely hypoallergenic.

Be careful how you discipline this breed. They are very sensitive and their feelings easily get hurt. The other downside to the Bichon Frise is the difficultly it takes to house train. It’s not impossible by any stretch of the means but it will take a commitment.

The Bichon Frise is a great pet especially for apartment dwellers or someone with a more low-key lifestyle.

#8 Newfoundland

Newfoundland is a big burly breed of dog that is also sweet and loving. While they are more than willing to leap in the water, go for a ride or explore the backyard, they are extremely docile and calm.

Despite being huge, they are known for being extremely careful in tight quarters. Meaning, your knick-knacks should be safe.

Although quiet as a watchdog, they are known for putting themselves between their family and possible danger. They are great with kids and their seemingly infinite supply of patience allows them to endure even the most obnoxious brat.

Newfoundlands are easily trained especially when it comes to housebreaking (for a big dog that’s terribly good news). They do well with other dogs and take quickly to cats.

Very sensitive, Newfoundlands don’t like harsh criticism. Train them with kindness. They form strong bonds and don’t appreciate switching families or homes—then again who does.

Newfoundlands have enough independence to be left alone provided you give them plenty of attention when you return.

The adorable and loving Newfoundlands are perfect for families or those who have to leave the dog alone for extended periods of time. While they absolutely love the water and other activities, they are perfectly suited for less active owners. Keep in mind they do shed, slobber and need frequent grooming.

#9 Pug

Most articles about Pugs, and this is no exception, describe the dog with the phrase, “multum in parvor,” meaning “a lot of dog in a small space.”

They have tons of personality and are very stubborn. Somehow this mix works in the pugnacious Pug and their demeanor only adds to their charm. Too bad it makes them a bit difficult to train.

Yes they can be headstrong but they are also charming, devoted and loving. As one of the world’s oldest breeds of dogs, the Pug lives to please its family. They love to play but are seldom ever nervous or aggressive.

Males of the breed are generally more laid back while females are more alert. The breed does well with kids and other animals. However, they have a limit to how much play and exercise they can take.

Since they love people so much they make poor guard dogs. They can’t warn their owners of trouble as their bark is muffled by their cute muzzled faces.

Pugs are excellent companions for apartment dwellers and those desiring an outgoing pet. Some may find their scrunched faces ugly and they do shed and snore. Watch their weight, they are notorious for overeating.

#10 Boxer

The Boxer may be the most athletic dog on our list. They are definitely the best guard dog in our countdown.
This mid-size, powerful pup with a short coat and a slight overbite is a great family dog. They have the patience necessary to be around all types of children.

Boxers are extremely loyal and love being with their family. They are good with other pets but not very tolerant of animals outside your brood.

While large dogs tend to lose their playfulness as they age, Boxers retain their liveliness longer than most. Whether with a human or another dog, this breed enjoys a good tussle.

Training the Boxer is a challenge. They are notorious for being difficult as puppies. They remain in that rambunctious puppy phase for two to three years but reach their physical maturity in half that time. So you may be frustrated that your training isn’t working but then one day it all clicks.

Like owners of Boxers will tell you, if you can get through their puppy phase you’ll have a relaxed and loyal dog for the rest of their lives.

The Boxer is probably best suited for an experience dog owner or an owner with the time and the willingness to train.


If the list had included 20 breeds the next ten would have been populated by Basset Hounds, Bull Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dobermen Pinchers, Great Pyrenees, Pomeranians, Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, Whippets and of course, your favorite breed of dog.

One must remember that any breed of dog will make a dutiful and loyal pet if their owner gives them the love and attention they need.


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