12 Best Dog Breeds for Every Type of Household
Home owner or apartment-dweller? Family or single? Active or couch potato? Don’t just look for a dog, look for the right dog that matches your lifestyle.
By Chad Taylor Updated April 29, 2022 Advertisement Pin FB More Tweet Email Send Text Message Print
We can all agree that dogs make some of the best companions we could ever hope for, regardless of breed or origin. However, when you're able to make the best possible match between your lifestyle and your dog, those connections are stronger and more fulfilling for human and dog alike.
Whether you live in an apartment, love to camp and hunt, want a quiet lap dog, or are looking to get into dog competition training, there's not just a dog for you, there's a perfect dog for you. And while there's never a wrong answer for "Which dog should I get?" these recommendations will help point you toward a dog who will love doing exactly what you do.
The Best Dog Breed for Apartment Dwellers: French Bulldog
gray french bulldog snuggling with young girl Credit: Rebecca Nelson / Getty
Described by many as the perfect apartment dog, the French bulldog is well-suited for urban life. Small and light, Frenchies don't take up a lot of space, and a daily walk or some light play on the living room rug will be plenty to meet their exercise demands. Additionally, they are quiet dogs, barking only when absolutely necessary, making them great for your neighbors or any napping children as well.
The Best Dog Breed for Families With Kids: Labrador Retriever
chocolate labrador retriever headshot Credit: Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty
The most popular breed in the United States over 30 years and counting, the trusty Labrador retriever is a true jack of all trades. Calm, easygoing, and highly trainable, this breed is also large enough to not be hurt by the rough-and-tumble play of youngsters. Labs are going to retain the well-earned title of "family favorite" for years to come.
RELATED: 12 Great Dogs Who Make Instant Playmates for Kids
Best Dog Breed for Seniors: Bichon Frise
white bichon frise standing in grass Though they became popular in Europe, the bichon frise roots are in the Mediterranean during the 13th century. | Credit: MilanEXPO / Getty
Another excellent choice for people in apartments, the bichon frise is well-suited for seniors and people with mobility issues thanks to their friendly, people-centric personalities, low-maintenance coats, and relative ease to train. They are also small enough to fit into just about any living situation and are never going to get so large or heavy as to be unmanageable for people with arthritis or mobility challenges.
Best Dog Breed for First-Time Owners: Beagle
The beagle is a great choice for any first-time dog owner—single dog owners and families alike. They're generally easy to train and their gentle, playful demeanor means they're just as happy snuggling on the couch as they are going on outdoor adventures—as long as their favorite people are by their side.
The Best Dog for Runners: Vizsla
vizsla dog running grassy field Credit: Mint Images / Getty
Perfect dogs for people with an active lifestyle, this energetic gundog's long, loping gait makes them tremendous endurance runners, capable of keeping up for long distances and over the varying terrain of trail running. As slender, short-coated dogs, Vizslas also do well in higher temperatures, not only endearing them to runners in warmer climates but making them well-suited to distance running, where overheating can become an issue for other breeds. Just make sure you take along plenty of water and take breaks to let your pup cool off in the shade every now and then.
RELATED: How to Safely Start Running With Your Dog
The Best Dog for Swimmers: Boykin Spaniel
boykin spaniel in grass field Credit: BestSide / Getty
Born and bred in the USA, the Boykin spaniel breed was honed specifically with an eye for the swampy wetlands of the Carolinas. With his waterproof coat, webbed feet, and spaniel endurance levels, this guy will beat you to the water and still be swimming like a seal when you're ready to head home again.
RELATED: 12 Water Dogs Who Will Splish and Splash Their Way Into Your Heart
The Best Dog for Campers: Australian Cattle Dog
australian cattle dog profile Credit: Paulo Hoeper / Getty
Agile, clever, and loyal to a fault, the Australian cattle dog is a great trail runner, mountain climber, and fireside companion. Happy to carry a pack or watch your back while you fish, these guys are just begging to come along camping and spending time with you in the great outdoors.
RELATED: Everything You Need to Go Camping With Your Pup
The Best Dog for Couch Potatoes: Bulldog
english bulldog lying on rug on his side Credit: Getty
With his big, lovable mug and stout frame, the bulldog is a fellow who requires minimal exercise to stay healthy and happy. A daily brisk walk or some spirited play in the living room should be plenty. That aside, this is a rather lazy breed that is going to love nothing more than laying on the couch, curling up in a dog bed, or making you their pillow while you read—especially in warmer months, when they should be kept inside as much as possible to prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke as they overheat easily.
Best Dog Breed for People With Allergies: Poodle
two rust-color miniature poodles Credit: dragon for real / Getty
While no dog is truly hypoallergenic, there are several that can reduce the chances of allergic reactions significantly. The poodle's tight, low-shedding curls earn the nod for this "best of" list over hairless breeds like the Xoloitzcuintli or Chinese crested because of the higher maintenance requirements that come with all that exposed skin. And while breeds like the Portuguese water dog have similar hair, the poodle has an edge thanks to also being one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, making them easy to train and adaptable to different living situations.
Best Dog Breed for Agility Competitions: Border Collie
border collie catching a frisbee Credit: Katerina_Brusnika / Getty
Incredible natural athletes, border collies have been dominating agility competitions at all levels for years. Intelligent, nimble, and eager to please, these dogs love to compete and learn new tricks. In fact, regardless which competition sports you prefer, border collies are consistently some of the most solid all-round choices, proving themselves more than capable for obedience, flyball, and herding competitions.
Best Mixed Breed Dog for People Who Want the Best of Both Worlds: Cockapoo
Cockapoo portrait Credit: Hannah Boyd / Shutterstock
OK, there's no science behind this pick … just look at that cute face! While all mixed breed dogs have a place in our hearts, the lovable cockapoo ranks high on our list of favorites for her low-shedding coat, intelligence, and the fact she looks just like a teddy bear.
Best Dog Breed for People Who Also Have Cats: Basset Hound
Basset hound and cat snuggling outside Credit: bodza2 / Getty
Who can resist a basset hound's long, floppy ears and wrinkly face? While they're known for making great hunting dogs, they're also just as talented at keeping a laid back profile next to the couch.
With plenty of positive reinforcement training and socialization with people and other pets from a young age, your basset hound won't have any trouble becoming best friends with anyone they meet. Just take the necessary steps to introduce your dog to your cat slowly, and they'll get along just fine.