Welcoming a dog into your life is one of the greatest joys on earth. But with great joy comes great responsibility, especially if you’re looking to adopt a puppy. Deciding which dog is a good fit for you is a daunting task, and shouldn’t be based on looks alone. The following breeds are known for their easygoing personalities and, often, trainability. In addition to a reputable breeder, you can also adopt from breed-specific rescue groups or find wonderful mixes at shelters.
1. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, and it’s no secret why! They’re adorable, affectionate, and eager to please. Their personality and intelligence make them easy to train and even easier to love. Golden retriever owners have a reputation for being absolutely obsessed with their dogs. Just look up #golden on Instagram for proof.
Papillons have a high chill factor for such a small dog. As the number one toy breed in obedience competitions, they’re known for being highly trainable. Although their coats are quite fluffy, they’re actually easy to maintain and have minimal shedding. Papillons love children and live well into their teens, making them a great addition for families with young kids.
3. English Bulldog
Colleges all around the country want you to believe that the Bulldog is a fighter, a force to be reckoned with! This couldn’t be further from the truth. Bulldogs are some of the laziest and kindest dogs you’ll ever meet. As an extremely loyal dog, there is nothing a Bulldog loves more than their person… well, except maybe sleeping. Bulldogs are a great companion for anyone looking for a lounge-around-the-house buddy.
Poodles are the teacher’s pets of the dog world. They’re highly intelligent, eager to please, and fast learners. As a non-shedding breed, they’re a great choice for anyone with allergies. Poodles can sometimes be associated with stoic behavior due to their ever-growing list of best-in-show achievements in dog show rings, but most of the time, they’re playful and affectionate.
5. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are known for their loyalty. Their sweet, easygoing nature has made them the most popular breed in America for 25 years running. In chocolate, black, and golden varieties, they make a steadfast family pet. Labs have a lot of energy, so be sure to make time in your schedule for plenty of play.
6. Basset Hound
Originally bred as pack dogs for hunting, basset hounds all share a natural sense of loyalty. They enjoy spending time with their family members, including other pets. Bassets are generally well-mannered and relaxed. They do need regular exercise in order to avoid obesity, but around the house, they’re happy to just lounge. They make a great companion if you can handle the drool!
7. Bichon Frise
Cute and smart?! Yep, Bichons are the total package. They’re hypoallergenic and generally quiet. Bichons love attention and can act sassy to get it. They’re not afraid to let you know when they need to eat or go to the bathroom. Their portable size and good-natured disposition make a Bichon the perfect city dog.
8. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are another small breed with a big heart. They were originally bred to be a friendly companion to Chinese royalty. Naturally, they don’t usually exhibit any sort of aggression, because they don’t have any hunting or herding instincts. Their tiny size and friendly demeanor make them adaptable to almost any living situation.
We all know that person who is just obsessed with their pug. This is another breed that has a huge following in pop culture and on Instagram. And for good reason! Pugs have a ton of personality. They love to show off and gain the affection of everyone around them. At home, they’re the perfect lap dog. If the idea of organized play dates with Pug-enthusiasts appeals to you, then you might be a Pug person.
Vizslas are great first-time dogs for active dog owners. If you enjoy running or hiking, a Vizsla might be the one for you. Along with lots of exercise, they also enjoy spending time with other dogs, and would probably be over the moon if you decided to add another dog to your brood later on. Vizsla’s are not only affectionate towards other dogs, they also love their human counterparts and are docile with other animals, such as cats.
Always do your research before adopting a dog to make sure that their habits will mesh well with your lifestyle. And don’t forget that there are a lot of mixed breeds in shelters that need love, too. The most important characteristic in any dog is their bond with you.