What’s Your Favorite Dog Breed?

Do you have a favorite dog breed? I think it’s a factor of being human. We like certain things better than others. Sometimes there’s a reason for our preferences. Sometimes it’s just that we like what we like.

When it comes to dogs, people often have preferences about what dogs they like.

Favorite dog breeds

For me, I like big dogs rather than small ones. Short hair better than long. Older dogs better than puppies. Beyond that, I want a pretty calm—some would say lazy—dog.

I would say I don’t care about the type of dog, or breed, but I realized I actually do.

I was talking with one of our hiking friends recently about how Baxter is slowing down a bit and not as interested in long walks.

She has a border collie and she remarked that she had no idea what it was like to skip a walk.

This is the reason that when we were looking to adopt a dog, I disqualified every border collie—even if the dog was only part border collie.

Border collies, with their energy, their drive and their need to “work,” intimidate me. I want my dog to be fulfilled and happy, and I knew the type of fulfillment that most border collies need wasn’t the best fit for me.

See our post: Socializing your herding breed

Rightly or wrongly, a lot of dog breeds come with a lot of bias.

Breed-specific legislation (BSL)

There’s the obvious case of pit bulls, who face actual bans or breed-specific legislation (BSL). Ontario, where I live, banned pit bulls in 2005.

See our post: Are pitbull memes doing more harm than good?

But there are lots of other opinions and stereotypes about breeds out there. These perceptions influence how we act around dogs and how we choose the dogs that join our families.

I’m interested to hear from you That Mutt readers about some of your opinions about dogs and what qualities you gravitate to.

When people hear that Baxter is a boxer-lab mix, they usually say something like, “Labs are such friendly dogs.” Or “I thought boxers were energetic.”

Baxter is a friendly fellow. Although he can occasionally be a crotchety old man. And energetic? Not so much.

Baxter curled up on a chair

Breed specific characteristics

Breeds come with specific characteristics. These dogs have been bred for years to accentuate certain qualities and suppress others.

There are exceptions to every “rule,” but the breed of a dog is usually a pretty good barometer of what to expect from a particular dog.

At the same time, it’s important to see dogs as individuals. Initially, I was concerned that Baxter’s boxer side would make him overly energetic. But after talking with his foster mom and meeting him, I realized his energy level was a perfect match for us.

While I don’t think I will ever adopt a border collie, it is important to see dogs as more than just their breed and keep an open mind about who is the best fit for our families.

Although I have to say that I definitely have a favorite dog. He’s a Baxter.

Now I’d love to hear from the rest of you!

  • What biases do you have about dogs?
  • Are you loyal to a particular breed?
  • Has a dog ever surprised you by behaving differently than his breed?

Let me know in the comments!

Julia Thomson is a blogger at Home on 129 Acres where she writes about her adventures of country living and DIY renovating. She and her family live on a 129-acre farm in Ontario, Canada.

Related posts:

What do you want people to know about your favorite breed?

Do you own a breed people are scared of?

How to piss of a Labrador owner

46 thoughts on “What’s Your Favorite Dog Breed?”

  1. Hands down, my favorite breed is the Great Dane. I’m too old now and live in a condo with 100lb max dog allowed, so I can no longer indulge in a Dane but having raised several, they will always be my favorite. Danes are much like a human toddler. Some are smarter than others. Like any other breed, how you raise them determines the outcome.

    1. I agree with you about Danes. They are very smart and beautiful. I had a Harlequin Dane. She had very large bones to chew from our company who supplied bones when they brought the side of beef we ordered. I gave her the bones outside to prevent messes on the floor. One day she brought the bone in the house without me seeing it. When I did end up seeing it, I told her,”You can come in, but the bone has to stay outside.” She took the bone outside, laid it down and came right back inside!

  2. I’ve always had big dogs of all sorts, mostly golden retrievers, but now as I’m getting older I’ve fallen in love with papillons! Great attitude, friendly, portable and good agility buddy!

  3. My current dog is a Belgian Malinois and I have to say she is my favorite. I had mastiffs before and while i loved them they did not like to move. We were always leaving them behind on hikes, bike rides and walks because they couldn’t keep up. My Mali can do everything! We do a sport together since they breed has a high drive and is a working breed. She is the best dog.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      They are great dogs. I’ve thought a lot about getting one but just not sure if I’m up for the challenge and if I can provide a mal with the right home.

  4. I like the larger breeds, especially the mastiff type. I really used to not like little dogs. But, because we have a ‘problematic’ dog, I did a low level dog behaviour course. It is since then that I view every breed and individual dog on its own merits. The course if you like opened my eyes and I learnt to respect every breed and individual dog. I still would choose a big dog over a small dog. I especially fancy a wolf hybrid but I think they would be too much of a challenge and we aren’t living in the best of places for one.

    1. I am a dog walker. I love all dogs. I’ve had Siberians and currently have a Border Collie. Years ago I heard a talk by someone who worked in a wolf rescue compound. They took in wolves and wolf dog mixes. I will never forget her saying that she never suggested a wolf dog mix to anyone. She said with the wolves you knew not to forget they were wild animals. With the wolf dog mixes you never really knew which side of them would come out.
      We also had a customer with a wolf dog mix. My boss was the only one that could
      walk it. It did not like the rest of us. I did not feel safe around it at all.

      1. I agree about the Wolf dogs. I am a biologist and understand how different dogs and wolves really are in temperament. I also know someone (a dog trainer) that rescues wolf dogs and have seen how some are people aggressive, some dog aggressive many have anxiety problems and a few turn out like normal dogs. I was once bitten by one of her dogs that ended up having to be pts because of aggression on people. I was lucky in that I never trusted that dog and always wore high leather boots and heavier clothes and stayed close to the fence, so the bite only caused
        a lot of bruising.

  5. I own a Labrador Retriever, my favorites breed. But I really love all big dogs! Especially if they have soft ears for petting

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Labs are nice! I’m trying to decide what kind of dog to get next and a Lab is high on my list. I miss my old Lab mix! They are all different but I view labs as “easier” than a weimaraner in many ways.

  6. For me it is most Hounds in the hound group, I am smitten with the larger hounds. My dream Hound is the Borzoi and my next. I currently have Black&Tan Coonhounds who will be 4 yrs in October.

      1. Any canine can be taught NOT to talk. I have never had an issue with teaching that to Hounds, I have had both sight (the silent Hounds) and scent Hounds, the chatty ones. I L-O-V-E peace and quiet. My current scent Hounds are only allowed to ‘talk’ to squirrels and rabbits, they do engage and they keep it short on walks it is their simple pleasure. They are not allowed to hunt. We live in a city with plenty of wildlife roaming and they have learned what makes me happy: silence. Note: no harm was used to teach, just my voice and mood. LOL…

  7. Golden retrievers are by far our loves. They are loving, loyal, and easy to teach. We’ve always had at least 2 goldens as part of our family for over 45 years. One of the best documentaries ever on loving and raising all kinds of breeds is, Life in the Dog House, currently on Netflix and Amazon Prime. It is the true story of Dave and Ron rescuing over 11,000 dogs in the United States. A must see for all dog lovers! (Thank you, Lindsay, for your Thatmutt blog. I’ve been following it for years!)

    1. Oh yes Goldens are a blessing!!! I have 3….their love and happiness is contagious!…. except when a dog on side of the interstate needs rescued! THAT love and loyalty is unbelievable!

  8. I’ve had several dogs (none tiny), and I loved each of them – but they were all different. I’ve learned not to get them too highly bred…they tend to make poor family pets in my experience. Our current dog is my favorite (but that might always be true) — a big ole coon hound that is smart, loyal, happy, stubborn, and just wants to be around his people…unless he smells something to chase. 🙂

  9. Hi Julia,

    If I had to pick, I’d probably pick the golden retriever as my favorite breed. There’s a reason they’re showcased in so many ads and movies. They’re gorgeous, smart and relatively “easy” to train. And their loyalty is unsurpassed. If I sound a little biased, I am. We’ve had three.

    I like big dogs best. Having said that, our next one will be on the smaller side. I think. As I get older, I don’t want to struggle with all that pulling nonsense! ha. And smaller dogs are just easier to travel with.

    Of course, it’s hard to beat a mixed breed too. All I have to do is think about Ace, aka That Mutt. Your Baxter looks and sounds pretty special too! Bottom line, and as you said, each dog is an individual, so there will never be a guarantee regarding how your particular dog will turn out. Bringing a dog into your family is a bit of a crap shoot, regardless of breed. Fortunately, most times it works out.

    Fun piece. Thanks for writing it.

  10. Lindsay Stordahl

    I don’t have a favorite breed and my favorites seem to change over time. Right now, I love weimaraners of course and similar breeds like vizslas and German shorthairs. I love their personalities – the high energy and goofiness and eagerness to work. I do like larger dogs best and sleek, shorter hair. I think boxers and pitbulls are great. I do also love German shepherds and dobermans. Basically, I can’t pick a favorite!

    Trying to decide what type of dog to get next and it’s very hard!

  11. I grew up with a smallish 30 lb terrier mutt from the humane society who was amazing, but I’ve only had large dogs in my adult years. All my dogs (and cat) have been rescues, but the lab mixes might be my favorite. A lab/golden mix had the perfect temper and was the most loyal dog ever. My current three dogs include a black lab mix who has my personality in a dog body (obviously my favorite). My next black lab mix turns out to be a pitbull mix. She came as a welcome surprise after swearing off pit’s before getting to know them, we’ve found she is honestly the sweetest dog we’ve ever had. The third dog looks like a white german shepherd/coyote mix, rescued from a reservation. She’s a sweetheart, but a lot of work. I have to run her at least once a day and she still has incredibly high energy. I’ll stick with a little lower energy dog in the future!

  12. Patrice Gerrish

    I have to say my miniature Schnauzer is my favorite. She is very loyal, feisty, guards the house like she’d eat up a stranger until they get inside the door, then she is friendly. She loves to walk with me and also run in the fields when loose. I had a beagle but he just couldn’t go unleashed because he would follow his nose into the woods to chase rabbits until he was exhausted. The schnauzer doesn’t leave the doorstep unless I’m with her. Her only fault is she doesn’t always like other dogs we meet, so I make her sit until they pass.

  13. My favorite is definitely the Vizsla. I have had two and occasionally volunteer for local Vizsla and Weimaraner rescues. Before I got involved with the Vizsla rescue through a friend, I just really liked the look of various “bird dog” breeds. Once I started fostering a Vizsla I saw how affectionate, people pleasing and athletic they were, I fell in love. My partner and I have and have had other breeds including Blue heeler, Labrador, bully mix and chi the V’s are just more affection and people oriented. I would adopt all those breeds again but do not ever see myself without a Vizsla is my pack.

  14. Pitties! They just have a soul about them that I don’t find in other dogs. On the broader dog spectrum, I definitely prefer larger, short-haired dogs as well who are satisfied with a really long peaceful walk but also have the drive the learn tricks because I really love to teach them fun things! My current dog is a pit-mix who has a crazy drive for smells and scent-work has been an amazing bonding activity. He’s not hyper at all and just loves to work-at anything.

  15. I love border collies but I also love all dogs. I completely know why people are intimidated by borders. However, I’ve grown up with them and each one is so different! My current dog is a border collie kelpie cross and she’s the best yet. I love her! So incredibly smart, super loyal and loving, and she’s very mellow for a border. For anyone who thinks Borders are more work than a Golden or Lab, I really don’t think they are. Give them a go and might be surprised. I find the reputation of being manic comes from inexperienced and lazy owners who fail to stimulate the high intelligence and/or give them at least one walk a day (or just a visit to the park to chase the ball around).

  16. I feel like at any given time my favourite breed is the the breed of dog I have. I grew up with Golden Retrievers and for so long I thought they were the perfect breed and that I would never get another breed. Then after my last Golden’s death I was so heartbroken that I couldn’t get another one, so I got a Bernese Mountain Dog. Now I love Berners!!But I would love to have a Great Dane in future. I think my favourite breed is always going to change but I will always be a giant dog sort of person!

  17. Tracey Sherman

    My favorite breed is a Boxer. We’ve had 2 of them and they are wonderful, gentle, smart dogs! We had to put our last one down over a year ago..and we just decided a few weeks ago, its time to get another one!! 😉

  18. Definitely loyal to GSDs! There’s not much I don’t like about the breed tendencies.

    I admit to being a little biased against gun dogs in the sense that I generally expect them to be way more outgoing than I’d prefer. Don’t get me wrong, they’re utterly charming to meet. Just friendlier than I would want to own. But I did meet a Golden recently who was a really polite, reserved dog. Very nice, and very pleased to meet me, but he was more about his handler. He wasn’t what I’d have expected but I liked him very much.

      1. Nah. I really enjoy meeting friendly dogs! It’s pretty hard to not like a dog who likes you. I prefer to own and work with a more reserved dog, but I like most other dogs.

          1. Favorites would be Goldens. Love well bred, trained Springers too. Bigger better, smaller dogs have always seemed to be the indoor poopers… I’m a pet sitter so some experience with many breeds. Beagles least favorite. Always planning their next escspe!

  19. My all-time favorite dog breed is golden retriever. They are very friendly with children and are easier to train. Thanks for sharing this article. Totally enjoyed it!

  20. Cindy Siebrecht

    Like Zara, I seem to prefer whichever breed I happen to have at the moment – currently a doxie chihuahua mix. My favorites in the past have been German Shepherd (the old fashioned kind with a straight, strong back), black lab, English setter, miniature doxie, and mutts. I feel very strongly that people should carefully consider their lifestyle when choosing a breed of dog and I admire you, Julia, for your attention to that. When her old husky died, my sister was looking for a large-breed, laid-back kind of dog. Her oblivious daughter presented her with a purebred Australian shepherd puppy that she got from a friend. The puppy’s parents were talented working dogs. My sis was dismayed because she didn’t feel she had time for an active herding breed, but tried to make the best of it. And really, who can resist a cute, fuzzy puppy so eager to please. My shy, introverted pre-teen daughter formed an immediate bond with Sidney. They spent so much time together exploring the farm that my sister suggested I enroll her in a dog class associated with the local 4H club. It was the best thing ever for my daughter and the dog. Sidney excelled at obedience and agility winning purple ribbons every year. The confidence boost that gave my daughter is priceless. For that reason alone, I have to say that Australian shepherd is very high on my list.

  21. Karen Abouelsoud

    Growing up, I desperately wanted a dog. I found strays that didn’t work out and loved every dog I saw from afar. When I finally was allowed a dog, a friend had puppies to give away, a border collie-bird dog mix. I picked one little guy that came to me & wouldn’t leave me. He was the best dog ever. We did everything together. When I lost him to cancer I thought I would never want another dog, but if I did, it would have to be a border collie. Then I met someone at my new church that quickly became a dear friend. At the time she had a lab & a miniature poodle. I loved both of them but the lab was my favorite. I dog-sat at every opportunity. After losing the lab to cancer, my friend said she was going to get another poodle & I needed a dog too & suggested a poodle, We got poodles that were cousins. I had a choice between a little boy with a small head, big ears, sad eyes, his hair was chopped more than groomed properly & a puppy that was perfectly groomed , jumping up & down & seemed to be the perfect one to take. Obviously I didn’t take the perfect poodle. My Sonny ended up being a smart, loving, cute, photogenic guy that became a true soul-mate. We had a connection that only comes along once. We did everything together from trips to Petsmart, the beach or just a drive. He sold me on poodles all the way. After losing him I was devastated. Now I have a rescue poodle that I took sight unseen, except for a picture on a facebook page & a sad history. I was told he was aggressive but I learned that the problem was not aggression but resource guarding. He was immediately friends with my 2 cats, he has never been aggressive toward them or any other dog or person we have met. We’ve worked hard on training & he has become a loving cuddler, mischievous, & too smart for his britches. I couldn’t live without a poodle in my life now & wouldn’t want to.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Aww, those are great stories. Thank you. I feel like poodles are not recognized enough for their athletic ability and intelligence.

  22. Vizslas are my favorite, when I was younger I had a male Vizsla he was amazing dog, 5 years ago my female Vizsla passed away at the age of 16 she was not what I expected from a Vizsla, super calm inside the house around cats other dogs, she would get the occasional Zumiez when it’s time to go for a bike ride.

    But she can Run for hours, she also ate more than any other dog I’ve had.

    I’ve been trying to adopt a mixed breed from rescues with no such luck I’ve always wanted a mutt don’t care what mix breed just a mutt but have been denied every application I filled out.

    So now I’m waiting patiently keeping my eyes on Craigslist to see if somebody has puppies or getting rid of a dog for some reason.

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