People are as different as the seasons, and we often want a canine companion with similar values and personalities to our own. A dog is a forever friend, so it’s fair to want one that matches your lifestyle.
Some of us are up before the sun, ready to seize the day; others don’t mind a sleep in and a more relaxed approach. We find joy in so many things, like being outdoors or staying nooked up with a book. No matter how you spend your time, the right fuzzy friend will make those activities so much more rewarding.
If you’re considering adding a dog to the family, it can be tempting to pick up a breed based on looks. Remember picking the right dog breed to suit your lifestyle is vital for both the dog’s and your enjoyment in life. Depending on the dog breed, you may need to meet different exercise, space, grooming and attention requirements.
If you’re asking, “what type of dog will suit my lifestyle,” read this blog to find out:
Knowing Your Dog Types
Dogs can fundamentally be categorised into seven groups. These groups are based around the breed of dog’s original purpose, be that hunting, protection, companionship, etc. Nowadays, many dog families have grown accustomed to domestic life, so don’t be put off when you hear a term like ‘hunting dog’ or ‘working dog’. Sure, they may have a history for a particular type of job, but they can still be valued members of the home. Just remember dogs have strong instinctual and genetic traits which may affect their needs.
Places like Samford Pet Resort can help you manage the requirements of your dream dog. We provide categorised daycare and boarding services for a full range of dog sizes and temperaments. We set your dogs up in an environment sure to make them comfortable.
Want a dog with purpose? These dogs were historically relied on to perform a varied range of jobs. These were valued workers that were unrivalled at specific jobs. These jobs vary from pulling sleds to guarding property or herds. They are clever, loyal and physically strong.
Popular breeds – Boxer, Great Dane, Mastiffs, Huskies.
Pros – Protective, size, several coat options, several temperament options.
Cons – Large size, imposing, energetic.
Great For – Outdoor workers, landowners, animal owners, people who want protection.
Sporting dogs are alert, perceptive and active. They originated as bird shooting or small game hunting partners. Their speed, adaptability and trainability made them able to retrieve or direct hunters to game. They typically have balanced temperaments and can overcome instinct with the proper training. They are great additions to active families and require a lot of exercise and outdoors time.
Popular breeds – Golden Retriever, Spaniels, Pointers.
Pros – Friendly temperament, social, trainable, emotionally sympathetic, great family dogs.
Cons – Shedding, high hunger levels, high grooming needs, high exercise needs.
Great for – Families, people who want a friendly medium-sized dog, people who want long or medium-haired dogs, people who want a sociable dog.
Quick, clever and alert, herding dogs breeds are often the smartest and can learn a wide range of commands. Their name is self-explanatory as they were bred to help musterers and shepherds round up livestock. These energetic pups often have the innate ability to corral animals and are known to round up any small things like children. They are loving, loyal and great mates who love to be by your side. If you have enough land and a few animals or another dog, these breeds are driven enough to exercise themselves if they can find a job.
Popular breeds – Border Collie, German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Kelpie.
Pros – Friendly temperament, trainable, social, highly intelligent, motivated, self-sufficient.
Cons – High exercise needs, require mental exercise, often long furred.
Great for – Homes with a back yard or land, people with herd animals, farm owners, active people, families, people who want an easy to train pet.
Hounds come in all shapes and sizes. From the tall foxhound to the stout beagle, these breeds were relied on to pursue small game like rabbits, foxes, wildcats or large rodents. They have a great sense of smell and are genetically programmed to follow scents. They are charming and affectionate pets that are often food driven and may require vigorous exercise depending on the breed.
Popular breeds – Beagle, Dachshund, Bloodhound, Basset Hound.
Pros – Clever, gentle temperament, patient, low-maintenance, various size options.
Cons – Can have a low work ethic, food-driven, hard to train, known to bark/howl, known to chase after a scent.
Great for – People looking for a great all-rounder dog that can be active and enjoy downtime, families, people with a decent backyard.
Terriers are small but competent. They were bred to kill vermin and protect homes from rodents or other small pests. They are great watchdogs and protectors without taking up much space. They can have quite the personality and are known to be divas on occasion. Still, they are often sweet to their owners and fiercely loyal. Terriers are maintainable because of their size and can live in a variety of environments. They don’t take up much space and only need moderate exercise.
Popular breeds – Jack Russel, Rat Terrier, West Highlander, Bull Terrier.
Pros – Moderate maintenance, playful, intelligent, active well into senior years, need less food and space than larger breeds.
Cons – Known to have a short temper, vocal dogs, can be difficult to train.
Great for – People looking for a social/maintainable smaller dog, people looking for a good all-rounder breed, people who will be around their animals a lot.
Toy dogs are small, cuddly and loving. They were bred for the sole purpose of companionship, making them the ideal cuddle buddy. They are your typical lap dog with a big heart. Because of this, they are not accustomed to working and often are not suited for outdoor living.
Popular breeds – Pugs, Pomeranian, Chihuahua, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Pros – Friendly, various maintenance levels, small-sized, various energy levels.
Cons – High owner dependency, small-sized, can be expensive.
Great for – Apartment owners, space-locked owners, people who want an easy-to-transport pet, people who love taking their pets on daily outings.
Any other breeds that don’t fall into the above categories fall into this grouping. The Non-Sporting group does not categorise by size or purpose, instead allowing all sorts of dogs without a distinct breeding purpose into the catchment.
Popular breeds – Poodle, Dalmatian, Bulldog, Shiba Inu.
Pros – Wide range of options, various temperaments, great all-rounder dogs.
Cons – Not ideal for fulfilling certain jobs.
Great for – People wanting a good house dog or watchdog, people wanting an all-rounder pet.
Other Key Notes
There’s still so much variation in these groups, so if you think you like a dog group, consider the following to narrow down your selection:
Size – Depending on your living area, you may be better suited to looking after certain dog breeds. Small apartments can house medium to small-sized dogs. Large and even some medium dogs (depending on energy levels) may feel caged in by your small apartment. If you have a medium to large-sized backyard, you can possibly look after any sized dog, given their other requirements are met.
Type Of Coat/Coat Length – Coat type and length closely relates to grooming and maintenance. Long-haired dogs often require more maintenance than short-haired. They may also shed more depending on the environment they’re bred to deal with (e.g. Huskies shed a lot more than Border Collies).
Temperament – When picking a dog for your lifestyle, the arguably most important attribute is its temperament. This feature can affect their whole outlook, from trainability to its reaction and attention. You can get an idea of a dog’s temperament from its puppy stages and from its family history. Different breeds are known to have set temperaments, but they can vary because dogs are as independent as we are at the end of the day.
Family History – If you want a look into what your dog’s behaviour will look like, take note of its family history. You may have a herding breed that has come from several generations of domestic house dogs. This may nullify some of the signature traits other herding breeds exhibit like a high work ethic, energy levels and even herding instinct.
If you want to take the best care of your canine friend, sign up to one of Samford Pet Resort’s Doggy Daycare services. We help manage your dog’s requirements by giving it plenty of time and space to play, exercise, socialise and relax. We have several sessions available to make sure dogs of any temperament have a great time. If you ever feel limited for time and don’t want your canine companion to suffer because of it, contact us today and we’ll send them back to you grinning ear to ear.