Which type of dog is right for me?
Your lifestyle will largely determine which breed is right for you and your family. Some breeds need more attention and space than others. The following dog breeds are some of the most common types that you’ll find, and each has their own unique traits to discover.
Over the centuries, working dogs were selectively bred to become guard, search, and rescue dogs. As a result, they tend to be extremely obedient and independent dogs, and are more open to training than others. These big dogs need space to do what they do best – roam! If you’ve got a boxy flat with no outdoor space, this type may not be a good fit for you. Some of the breeds you might recognise are the mighty Boxer, lovable Great Dane, cuddly St. Bernard, stocky Mastiff and beautiful Husky.
The Pastoral Group consists of herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer, and other cloven-footed animals. Usually, this type of dog has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. This means that you need to brace yourself for tumbleweeds of shed fur (especially when it’s hot out). These dogs were born to run, so give them plenty of space to take off. This type includes breeds like the intelligent Border Collie, family-friendly Old English Sheepdog, smiley Samoyed and hard-working German Shepherd.
The term ‘terrier’ comes from the Latin word Terra, meaning earth. This hardy collection of dogs were selectively bred to be extremely brave and tough. Beware any foxes, badgers or rats that cross their path! Terriers are smaller in size than most other dogs and so can happily live in smaller houses. (Good news for you cottage-dwellers.) Despite their size, they need a lot of exercise, making them an ideal companion for the sporty. Terrier dog breeds include the energetic Jack Russell Terrier, friendly Scottish Terrier, and protective Bull Terrier.
Hound dogs are sharp-sighted with a keen sense of smell. Although, they may prefer the gamey smells of the outdoors to your luxury freesia candle. Many of them enjoy a significant amount of exercise, and can be described as dignified and trustworthy companions. They are best suited to medium-sized homes with access to outdoor space. Hound dog breeds tend to vary in size, from smaller breeds such as the Beagle and Dachshund, to larger breeds like the Bloodhound, Whippet, and Greyhound.
Many toy dogs have been bred for the purpose of being a small companion or a lap dog, while others are in this category because of their size. If you’re looking for a dog with plenty of personality that loves attention, this is the type for you. No mansion house or intense exercise regime required! Toy dog breeds include the gorgeous Italian Greyhound, popular Pug, bouncy Yorkshire Terrier, glamourous Shih Tzu, and fluffy Pomeranian.
The Utility group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog, mainly of non-sporting origins. This group is an extremely varied bunch, with most breeds having been selectively bred to perform a specific function, not included in the sporting and working categories. Utility dog breeds include the iconic Bulldog, playful French Bulldog, eye-catching Dalmatian, adorable Akita, and trainable Poodle.
Gun dogs were originally trained to find live game and retrieve it during hunting. Nowadays, they make good companions and their relaxed temperament makes them ideal, all-round family dogs. You may have noticed that many ‘starter dogs’ for previously petless households tend to be of this variety. That’s because loyal breeds like the Golden Retriever, Labrador, Cocker Spaniel and Weimaraner also happen to be incredibly intelligent and easy to train. Sounds like a win, win, right?
Once you’ve decided on the right type of dog for you, the next step is to buy or rehome one. Learn everything you need to know before bringing a new puppy home in our blog post or discover how to rehome a dog in this blog post.