40 Best Dog Breeds: Finding the Perfect Canine For You

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38 Minute Read
Updated June 30, 2023

We love dogs, and so do you! Why else would you be here? When it comes to finding the perfect dog for your family, it's a good idea to research different dog breeds and figure out which is the best dog breed for you.

 

Every breed has different qualities that might make them a suitable fit for your family, your home, and your lifestyle. You might feel inclined to choose a dog based on how cute they are, but if you do, you might end up with a dog that is too active, too lazy, or generally unsuited to your lifestyle or schedule.

If you want to provide your new dog with the best life, research different dog breeds and find out what is the best dog breed for you.

 

Which Dog Breed is Best For You?

If you are wondering - what is the best dog breed for me? You will find our list of the best dog breeds helpful in your research. You'll find some of the best dog breeds for families, the best dog breeds for apartments, the best dog breeds for seniors and many more.

When asking, "What is the best dog breed," or "What dog breed is best for me," there is much to consider. For starters, no one dog breed is better than the rest. Every breed has pros and cons, and while you might have your own preferences on breeds, it's smart to learn more about what you can expect from the breed before bringing him home. 

Whether you are looking for the best-behaved dog breeds, the best hunting dog breeds, or the best dog breed for couch cuddles, we know you'll find the right dogs to make your family and your home feel full.

 

How to Choose the Best Dog Breed

So, you are ready to add a new dog to your clan? Dogs are more than just pets. They are family, and choosing a dog that is a good fit for your family is important. 

Before you run to your local shelter or start checking out breeders, take some time to figure out what you can offer a dog and what you can't. This will help you choose a breed that best suits your lifestyle and ensure that you can give your new pet the best possible life. 

Here are a few things to consider:

Size

Sometimes, size does matter, and it's a good place to start when choosing a dog breed that will be right for you, your environment, and your lifestyle. How big or small do you want your dog to be when they're fully grown?

If you prefer a cute little teddy bear of a dog that is easy to scoop up and cuddle, then you'll want to look for dogs under 30 lbs. If you prefer a dog that can be the big spoon when you snuggle in bed, then a giant breed will be more your style. 

Make sure you research the breed and understand how big your dog could get so that you aren't surprised when they reach their full size. 

Activity Level

Sometimes, the dog we want just isn't well suited to our lifestyle. If you are not overly active, getting a high-energy or working breed could end in disaster and lots of destructive chewing. It's better to look for a breed that compliments your activity level.

Don't expect a lazy dog to be able to keep up with you on a hike, nor should you expect a hyper dog breed to be satisfied with only one short walk per day or some casual indoor playtime when you feel up to it. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole often leads to frustration and can limit your bond with your furry pal.

Grooming Needs

The floofier the dog, the more grooming you'll need to do on a regular basis. Daily brushing, deshedding, or even trimming dog fur might be more than some pet parents are willing to do. Professional grooming services can help but are also costly.

When choosing the best dog breed for you, consider how much the dog will shed, how long their fur is, how wrinkly they are, and how much time and money you will need to invest into keeping their skin and coat healthy.

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Socialization

Some dog breeds are naturally social butterflies. They love everyone and everything and have a higher need for social interaction to keep them mentally stimulated. This might mean going to dog parks, competing in dog sports, or setting up regular playdates with their favourite people or doggy pals. 

Even breeds that are more aloof can still benefit from regular socialization. This helps them learn to safely and calmly meet new people or pets, even if it's just those that come to your home. 

Training

Dog training is an important part of your relationship with your pooch. It helps to strengthen your bond and encourage healthier and safer behaviours, and it can curb annoying or destructive behaviours and less annoying behaviours. Keep in mind some dogs take to training better than others. 

Many stubborn breeds prefer to push boundaries and act defiantly instead of taking to simple routines. These breeds require a bigger commitment to training and may even need some professional training to help. 

Make sure the breed you choose is suited to your training knowledge, your patience level, and the resources available to you. 

Health

Different dog breeds can have predispositions to certain illnesses, diseases, or conditions that develop as the dog ages. While some are minor and manageable, others can affect your dog's quality of life and lead to some expensive vet bills. 

Short-snouted breeds, like pugs and bulldogs, are likely to have some breathing issues and may struggle with hot temperatures and strenuous physical activity. Many small breeds with slim and straight back legs are prone to hip, joint, and knee cap issues.

Not every breed is destined to fall victim to common breed issues, but you need to know that it's a possibility and make sure you take the best steps to prevent these issues as your dog ages.

Your Lifestyle

Lastly, before you run out and adopt your new pooch, make sure you are prepared for all the responsibility being a dog owner entails. Are you ready for a dog? Can you invest the time, love, and money required to give a dog a happy and healthy life?

If you are, then you'll need this new puppy checklist to help you prepare your home and your family for a fuzzy new addition.

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40 Best Dog Breeds

Choosing the best dog breed isn't always easy. There are so many to choose from; even if you find the right breed, welcoming a new dog into your home is a big responsibility. Some dogs are good pets for families with young children, while others are better suited for working farms. 

Choose a breed or breeds that mesh with your home and your lifestyle. Not every dog is defined by their breed characteristics, especially in mixed breeds, but trying to fit a square peg in a round hole can make pet ownership more challenging.

Even the best behaved dog breeds need training, a high-quality diet, and a consistent routine of exercise, playtime, and mental stimulation. 

You also need to decide whether you want to invest in a purebred dog from a responsible breeder or provide a loving home to a rescue dog that needs a forever family. 

No matter which way you go, researching the best dog breed can help you make the right choice and help you create a loving, safe, and appropriate environment and routine for your new pooch.

 

Most Popular Dog Breeds

When you are considering adding a new pooch to your pack, you might wonder - what are the best dog breeds? We love all dogs, and we're sure you do too, but sharing your home with a pet means finding the best breeds of dog for your home, lifestyle, and schedule.

Your options are nearly endless, but you will most likely be able to narrow your search down to find just a couple of breeds that stand out as a match for you and your family.

Here are 40 of the best dog breeds for different lifestyles, environments, and needs:

Rescue Dogs

Mixed-Dog-Breed

Rescue dogs are one of the most popular choices for pet parents. With the help of Canada's excellent rescue and shelter network, more and more rescue dogs are finding their forever homes, and many of those dogs are mixed breeds, crossbreeds, or the good old-fashioned Heinz 57 variety. 

While some people prefer to pick their dog breed to get certain traits or qualities, rescue dogs are often mixed breeds that can benefit from all of their combined breed characteristics, giving you a well-rounded pet.

Looking for a rescue dog to add to your family? Here are some of our favourite rescue partners in Canada:

 

Best Small Dog Breeds

If you are looking for a dog that is easier to handle, can be picked up and carried, or is more suitable for a smaller living space, then you should consider small dog breeds. These little guys can have plenty of positive traits and even play and exercise just as well as bigger dogs. 

A small breed dog is often better suited for seniors and apartment life, and many of the best small dog breeds can make great family pets. Some small breed dogs can run, play, and explore just as well as their larger canine cousins. Here are a few of the best small dog breeds.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke-Welsh-Corgi

If you are looking for the best small dog, the Corgi quickly comes to mind. They are a small breed by height, a medium breed by weight, and a large breed in spirit!

They make excellent companions because they love people. Both affectionate and curious, Corgis make great pets for first-time pet parents and those looking for a somewhat low-maintenance breed. They require regular brushing, daily exercise, and plenty of playtime, but they love being around their humans and are comfortable following your lead.

Corgis can be quite athletic, so they make great partners for more active people, but remember that they have short legs, so don't push them too hard or be prepared to carry them when they get tired. 

American Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

Another candidate for the best small dog breed is the Cocker Spaniel. While they are on the large side of a small breed dog, they still make our little dog list because of their short stature and cuddly, playful personalities. 

Technically a sporting breed, cocker spaniels are one of the best small family dogs and companion dogs. They are very affectionate, love people and pets, and easily adapt to different lifestyles and routines.

They are not big shedders but need regular grooming to prevent mats and messes. Paw and face trims are highly recommended, so this breed might need professional grooming if you are uncomfortable doing it yourself. 

West Highland Terrier

West-Highland-Terrier

Our next best small dog breed is the Westie or the West Highland Terrier. These little white teddy bears are a highly intelligent breed that loves to play and adventure. They make excellent companion dogs for people who are comfortable going on daily walks and playing in the yard. 

When properly trained and stimulated, Westies are among the best behaved small dogs, but be aware that they also love to chase and bark. A consistent training routine will be necessary to overcome their independent and curious nature.

Their white coat is a breed feature, but keeping them clean can be time-consuming. Regular grooming, bathing, and trimming are necessary to keep this breed looking well-kempt.

 

Cutest Medium Dog Breeds

Looking for the best medium sized dog? Choosing a mid-sized dog can give you the best of both worlds. Not too big, not too small, but just right for people who want a dog that is easy to manage but big enough not to be underfoot. 

Medium-sized dogs are often excellent companion dogs and are well-suited as adventure companions. Check out the best medium sized dogs to help you find the perfect furry companion.

Australian Shepherd

Australian-Shepherd

A bit of an Aussie craze is happening in Canada, and for good reason! Australian Shepherds and Mini Aussies have seen a big boom in popularity over the past few years because they are adorable, playful, highly intelligent, and make great family dogs.

These medium breed dogs are a lot of fun if you have the time and patience to train them. They are sometimes too smart for their own good and can get into trouble if they do not get daily exercise, mental stimulation, and attention.

Their thick, fluffy coat makes them higher than average shedders, and daily brushing will be needed to prevent knots. As a working breed, Aussies can't help herding anything that moves, including kids, pets, and you.

This breed is best for active people who are willing to put in the time to train them properly.

Border Collie

Border-collie

The next best medium sized dogs on our list are Border Collies. Like Aussies, Border Collies are very smart and need pet parents willing to keep them active and engaged. Collies take well to training because they are very eager to please. 

As a working breed, these dogs crave purpose, so they will need plenty of training and are well-suited to owners who love outdoor adventures and who can channel that energy. They will constantly look to you for instruction.

Without a full and consistent routine, collies will find other outlets to satisfy their need to keep busy, which can lead to unwanted behaviours.

They will also need regular grooming and deshedding unless you want their thick fur all over your house. Their double coats help keep them insulated in cool weather, but they can also be sensitive to extreme heat. Invest in tools to keep your dog cool on hot days

Dog-Cooling-Gear

 

American Staffordshire Terrier

American-Staffordshire-Terrier

Am Staffs tend to have a bad reputation, but when treated with love and given a safe and engaging home, American Staffordshire Terriers are one of the best medium sized dogs. They are goofy, playful, and loyal dogs. 

There are many reasons why American Staffordshire Terriers made our list of the best medium sized dogs. They are well-suited to families with active lifestyles and the time to invest in training good behaviours and a consistent routine.

They may be medium sized in stature, but they are a strong muscular breed, so they are more than comfortable playing with bigger dogs. Regular socialization, especially during puppyhood, can help your American Staffordshire Terrier become a social butterfly at the dog park.

 

Best Large Dog Breeds

The bigger the dog, the more to love! Large breed dogs are very popular in Canada. There is something about these big, loveable goofs that we just can't say no to! Many big dogs are still just as playful and cuddly, and if you don't mind the drool, they make excellent housemates!

Large dog breeds aren't for everyone, but if you don't mind sharing your space with one of these big beasts, we have a few recommendations for the best ones.

Weimaraner

Weimaraner

It's common to think of large breed dogs as big furry, slobbery beasts, but big dogs can be sleek, athletic, and regal too. One of our top picks is the Weimaraner. This handsome breed is big and goofy but also makes an excellent adventure companion.

They are smart, athletic, and friendly, making them well-suited for a variety of lifestyles, like hunting, hiking, and even families with kids. As a high energy large breed dog, Weimaraners need plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy and out of trouble. 

English Mastiff

English-Mastiff

A fun subset of the large breed category is giant dog breeds. Giant breed dogs are typically over 90 lbs when fully grown, and the English Mastiff can easily breach 100 lbs. Don't let their size intimidate you, though. They are gentle giants and great family dogs.

Their impressive mass makes too much activity challenging, so don't plan on taking these monsters on long hikes. Instead, they are better suited to daily walks, dog park adventures, and backyard playtime. Oh, and plenty of naps.

Word to the wise for this enormous dog breed, if you can't handle drool, then this giant dog breed is not for you. English Mastiffs are basically drool factories.

As a short-haired breed, they don't need much grooming beyond normal maintenance, but their wrinkly faces and excess drool may require some spot cleaning throughout the day.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese-Mountain-Dog

If your idea of the best big dog breed is a giant fluffy bear that loves to play and snuggle with the whole family, then the Bernese Mountain Dog might be just the breed for you. They are highly affectionate with people and pets, making them one of the best family dogs.

The Berner, as it's colloquially called, loves a well-balanced routine of fun, exercise, and plenty of naps and couch cuddles. They love being outdoors and handle both heat and cold very well due to their natural insulation.

As natural herders, Bernese Mountain Dogs will likely corral children and other pets, keeping them safe on any adventures.

German Shepherds

German-Shepherd

Are you looking for a highly intelligent large breed that you can train to do just about anything? German Shepherds are one of the most popular and best large breed dogs because they are smart, athletic, loyal, and so darn cute!

German Shepherds are a high-energy breed that needs plenty of exercise to stay fit but also don't mind some downtime and couch cuddles. As a high-performance breed, German Shepherds do well with activities like running, hiking, and canine sports.

German Shepherds and shedding are synonymous. Their medium-length double coat means some amount of daily shedding and tons of coat blowouts during shedding seasons in spring and fall. So, keep the vacuum close by. 

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Safest Family Dogs

What better way to complete your family than to add a furry kid to the mix? Many dog breeds make great family members, but the best dog breeds for families are those that are comfortable in high-traffic and high-energy homes, like those with young children.

Whether you are looking for the best dog for kids or just a dog that can handle your busy family schedule and high-traffic home, here are a few of the best family dogs that might fit your home. 

Beagle

Beagle

Another best dog breed for young families is the Beagle. They are a playful breed that will have no trouble keeping up with young kids. They often aren't the most cuddly dog breed, but they love playing games and walking with their families.

Beagles are adorable family dogs that are the perfect size for children. They are not too big or too small to get in on all the playtime action. They often get along well with other pets, too, which makes them perfect for a large and diverse family.

Keep in mind that Beagles are quite vocal. They are very perceptive to their surroundings and will bark, howl, or yelp when they hear outside noises, see a potential friend out the window, or just want some attention.

Golden Retriever

Golden-Retriever

There is a reason that golden retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds Canada and one of the best big dog breeds for families. They are fun, playful, and energetic but not so high energy that they need a rigorous workout schedule.

These goofy and loveable dogs are the best dog breeds for kids and big families because they love people and love to play, which kids are great for! For Golden Retrievers - the more, the merrier! Just make sure you provide them with a consistent routine of daily walks and playtime.

As a longer-coated breed, Golden Retrievers do need regular brushing and trimming, especially around the paws. They also aren't afraid to get messy, and with young kids, mess is inevitable, so be prepared for doggy bathtime or have a groomer on speed dial.

Labrador Retriever

Black-Labrador-Retriever

As the number one dog breed in Canada for over two decades, it's no surprise that Labrador Retrievers are also one of the best dogs for kids. These gentle giants will have no trouble keeping up with rambunctious kids but are still gentle enough to learn how to play safely with younger children.

Labradors are just big furry kids, so they quickly fit in with your human pack. They love to play and make great companions for wherever your family's outdoor adventures take you.

As long as your lab gets daily exercise and playtime, they'll be more than happy to spend evenings snuggled with your family on the couch.

Their grooming needs are limited. Regular brushing and nail trims are important but rarely require more intense grooming. These family dogs can be quite drooly, so pet wipes can be an extremely useful tool for lab families.

 

Perfect Apartment Dogs

The best dog breeds for apartments can range in size and activity level. It's not just lazy dogs that can be well-suited for apartment life. All dogs need plenty of exercise and attention, but the best apartment dogs are comfortable with plenty of indoor activities and dog games in between walks and adventures.

Smaller spaces, especially those without a yard, can make dog ownership a bit more challenging, but many dogs can learn to adjust to apartment living. If you are looking for the best apartment dog breeds, then we have a few top picks! 

Pug

Pug

Pugs are the perfect companions for small living spaces and not just because of their size. They are friendly, patient, and just a little goofy, so sharing your smaller home with a pug will surely be entertaining.

Pugs aren't the highest-energy breed, but they need regular exercise. They are one of the best dog breeds for apartment living and can thrive in a smaller environment, but daily walks and playtime should still be prioritized. Inactive pugs can get chubby, contributing to hip and joint issues.

Havanese

Havanese

Whether you're in need of a loyal and loving companion or a playful and energetic playmate, Havanese dogs possess all the qualities that make them the best small dog breeds for apartments.

What makes them the best apartment dogs? As a small breed, Havanese don't take up much space, so they don't mind a small apartment or house. Also, they are a low-shedding breed, which makes keeping your small home tidy and clean.

Greyhound

Greyhound

From their gentle nature and adaptability to their low-maintenance grooming and exercise needs, Greyhounds are one of the best big dog breeds for apartments. That's right, the dog breed known for racing professionally is actually well suited to apartment life. 

While they can have bursts of energy and need daily exercise, they are perfectly content with spending plenty of time napping on the couch and playing indoor games.

 

Best Hunting Dogs

If you are looking for a hunting companion, then check out some of the best hunting dog breeds. Hunting dog breeds are working dogs that thrive when given a job, like retrieving prey. 

These professional hunters and retrievers are born with the natural instincts needed to assist you in your favourite hunting activities. Hunting breeds are very loyal and respond well to training, often making them great family dogs too.

Brittany Spaniel

Brittany-Spaniel

From its humble beginnings as a hunting companion in the French region of Brittany to its widespread popularity as a beloved family pet today, the Brittany Spaniel has left an indelible mark on the world of canines. 

With a rich heritage dating back centuries, the Brittany Spaniel is a remarkable dog that has captured the hearts of hunters and companions alike, making it one of the best hunting dogs breeds Canada. 

This intelligent breed takes well to training and has the energy and stamina to thrive in a variety of activities like dog sports, hiking, and especially hunting. They are popular bird dogs and are determined retrievers, making them a top choice for many hunters. 

Pointer

German-Short-Haired-Pointer

One of the most popular and best hunting dog breeds is the Pointer. Named for their unique pointing stance used to alert your attention to your fallen game, this breed is often regarded as the best hunting dog breed. English Pointers and the German Short-Haired Pointer are the most common.

For centuries, pointer dogs have been carefully bred to harness their natural instincts, resulting in a breed that is not only highly skilled but also deeply loyal. With their keen sense of smell and acute hearing, pointer dogs are able to detect the presence of birds or other small animals from quite a distance. 

 

Dogs That Love to Hike

Calling all adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts! Are you tired of hitting the trails all by your lonesome? Well, fret no more because we have the perfect hiking companions for you - dogs! The best hiking dogs make the perfect adventure companions for your favourite outings.

Many dogs would enjoy joining you on your next hike, but some dogs are better built for adventure. Here are a couple of the best breed of dog for hiking, camping, and many outdoor adventures

Vizsla

Vizsla

If you are looking for the perfect four-legged adventure buddy to match your active lifestyle, then look no further than the Vizsla. Another breed in the Pointer family, these sleek and athletic dogs are the best breed of dog for hiking. 

Vizslas are known for their intelligence, trainability, and unwavering loyalty, making them excellent partners for various activities such as obedience training and agility competitions.

If you're ready to embark on thrilling escapades with a furry friend by your side, consider adding a Vizsla to your life and experience the joy of having the ultimate adventure buddy.

Jack Russel Terrier

Jack-Russel-Terrier

Another of the best hiking dogs may surprise you. Jack Russel Terriers are an excellent fit for active individuals. They may be small, but Russels have big dog energy. They are fearless and tenacious, making them a devoted and enthusiastic adventure companion. 

In addition to their physical prowess, Jack Russells are also highly trainable and eager to please, making them a joy to work with in obedience training.

So, if you're looking for a lively and loyal companion who will keep you on your toes, the Jack Russell Terrier might be the perfect match.

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Best Dog For First Time Dog Owners

What is the best dog breed for first time owners? If you're a first-time dog owner, choosing a breed that matches your lifestyle and personality is important. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice. 

The breeds below are known for their friendly nature, adaptability, and trainability, making them the best dog breeds for beginners and those with little pet experience. 

Whether you're looking for a loyal companion, an energetic playmate, or a gentle family pet, these dog breeds are sure to steal your heart and become your new best friend. 

Boxers

Boxer

Known for their playful energy, unwavering loyalty, and distinctive cheeks and snout, Boxers have captured the hearts of dog lovers all over the world. We think they are one of the best dog breeds for first time owners because they are eager to learn and are devoted to their humans.

Boxers are a high-energy breed, so new pet parents should only consider this breed if they are comfortable walking daily and offering plenty of games and playtime. Luckily, Boxers are very adaptable and will be more than willing to follow your lead.

Another reason that Boxers are great dogs for 1st-time owners is they have minimal grooming needs. Regular brushing is more than enough to keep their coat clean and reduce shedding. They are on the droolier side, though, so be prepared to wipe their face daily.

Shih Tzu

Shih-Tzu

These pint-sized pooches are playful and affectionate companions that will brighten up your days and warm your heart. As an ideal family dog breed, these pups will quickly adapt to your routine and take to training very well, making them one of the best dogs for first time owners who prefer a small breed.

From their striking appearance and luxurious coat to their friendly and affectionate nature, Shih Tzus possess a unique charm that is hard to resist. Whether you're looking for a loyal and loving lap dog or a playful and energetic companion, the Shih Tzu might be the best first time dog breed for you.

 

Best Dog for Seniors

As we age, companionship and care become increasingly important in maintaining a happy and fulfilling life. For many senior citizens, a furry friend can provide the perfect solution. Dogs, in particular, have been proven to offer a multitude of benefits to older individuals, including companionship, emotional support, and improved physical health. 

However, not all dog breeds are the best dogs for seniors. It is essential to find the right four-legged companion that matches their lifestyle, energy level, and specific needs. 

The best dog breeds for seniors are those that have low to moderate exercise needs, a friendly and affectionate temperament, and are affectionate and patient.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier-King-Charles-Spaniel

With their adorable floppy ears, expressive eyes, and wagging tails, Cavaliers are not only visually charming but also possess a temperament that is perfectly suited for seniors looking for quiet dog breeds.

As one of the best small dogs for seniors, King Charles Spaniel is a gentle and affectionate breed with a temperament well suited for a more relaxed lifestyle. They love going for casual walks and can be easily entertained and stimulated by puzzle toys and indoor games.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature-Schnauzer

Miniature schnauzers are one of the best small dogs for seniors. They are small in size, easy to handle, and have a friendly and affectionate personality making them one of the best breed of dog for seniors. Schnauzers also come in standard and giant sizes, but miniature schnauzers are the top choice for seniors.

Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent and social dogs that thrive on human interaction. Make sure they get plenty of attention and mental stimulation to keep them happy and engaged. Spending quality time with your pup, whether it's through training, playing, or simply cuddling, is crucial for their overall well-being.

Be prepared for some regular grooming with a schnauzer. They have a double coat, and while they are not a heavy-shedding breed, they do need consistent brushing, combing, and even some trimming to maintain their wirey coats.

 

Smartest Dog Breeds

If you're looking for a clever and trainable companion, you might want to consider one of the smartest dog breeds. A well-trained, smart dog can make for a wonderful addition to any family, bringing loyalty and endless fun.

The most intelligent dogs have a high requirement for physical and mental activity to keep them satisfied, but it can be a fun and enjoyable challenge for anyone looking for a dog that can learn just about anything. Here are a couple of smart dog breeds that are known for being clever and eager to learn.

Poodle

Poodle

Poodles are considered one of the smartest dog breeds and the thinkers of the dog world. From problem-solving skills to remarkable memory, these intelligent canines have been captivating dog enthusiasts for centuries.

Their impressive cognitive abilities and ease of training have made them a favoured choice for service and therapy duties, show dogs, hunting and sporting, or just as a fun and active companion. Additionally, their charming appearance, with their distinctive curly coats and lively ears, only adds to their appeal.

You can choose the size that best suits you, too! Poodles are bred in toys, miniature and standards. This hypoallergenic breed requires some grooming to keep them neat and clean, but they are a low-shedding breed, so you'll save time on vacuuming.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian-Shepherd-Malinois

When it comes to smart dog breeds, the Belgian Malinois is at the top of the list. This remarkable breed is not only known for its stunning appearance but also for its exceptional intelligence and versatility. 

Whether you enjoy hiking, running, or participating in dog sports, the Belgian Malinois will be your perfect partner in crime. With their boundless energy and innate and impressive agility, these dogs were bred to excel in demanding tasks such as herding, tracking, and even search and rescue missions. 

But don't let their working dog heritage fool you – the Belgian Malinois also makes a loving and loyal family pet. Their natural protectiveness and strong bond with their owners make them excellent guardians, while their friendly and affectionate nature ensures endless cuddles and playtime.

 

Friendliest Dog Breeds

What is the friendliest dog breed? Some dogs just love people, pets, and just about anyone or anything that will play with them. The happiest and safest dog breeds are versatile and can adapt to different environments, family members, and routines as long as they get regular attention and love.

These four-legged gems possess a unique combination of charm, intelligence, and a natural instinct to create lasting bonds with their human counterparts. Understanding the friendliest dog breeds can help you find the perfect match for your lifestyle and personality, whether you're a first-time dog owner or a seasoned pet lover.

Boston Terrier

Boston-Terrier

This beloved breed was sure to make our list with its distinctive tuxedo-like coat, expressive eyes, and comical personality. As one of the nicest dog breeds on our list, it's no wonder that Boston Terriers are one of the most popular dog breeds in Canada!

The Boston Terrier's playful nature is contagious, as they are always ready for a game of fetch, a romp in the park, or a friendly tug-of-war. But don't let their fun-loving demeanour fool you; these pint-sized canines are also fiercely loyal and deeply devoted to their human companions. 

Whether it's cuddling on the couch, accompanying you on adventures, or showering you with endless affection, the Boston Terrier will always be by your side, ready to brighten your day with their infectious energy and unwavering devotion.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland-Dog

These magnificent creatures, known for their immense size and calm demeanour, have a fascinating history that stretches back centuries.

Originally bred by fishermen in Newfoundland, these loyal and loving dogs were indispensable companions for their owners, aiding in tasks such as hauling fishing nets and rescuing drowning sailors. 

Newfoundland dogs are one of the most gentle dog breeds and have become beloved family pets, admired for their mellow nature, intelligence, and unwavering loyalty. Sometimes called "mommy dogs," they are gentle protectors, making them one of the safest dog breeds for kids and families.

It should come as no surprise that these big fluffy dogs have some big grooming needs. They need regular brushing to manage their shedding, prevent tangles, and reduce debris that can collect in their thick floofy coats. Oh, and the drool. Prepare yourself for the drool!

Collie

Collie

One of the most famous dog breeds, thanks to Lassie, the collie quickly made our list of the most friendly dog breeds. From its early days as a working dog in Scotland to its iconic portrayal in popular culture, the Collie has undergone a fascinating evolution.

The Collie's innate intelligence and unwavering loyalty make them the perfect companion for shepherds and farmers, but they are friendly and social enough for most pet parents looking for an active breed.

These beautiful dogs are stunning to look at with their luxurious coats and expressive eyes, but they also possess a range of traits that make them ideal for households with children. 

 

Best Mixed Breed Dogs

Are you a dog lover who can't decide between a Golden Retriever and a German Shepherd? Or perhaps you're torn between a Poodle and a Labrador? We have some exciting news for you - you can have both!

Mixed dog breeds, also known as designer dogs, offer the best of both worlds when it comes to health benefits. The best mixed breed dogs combine the desirable traits and characteristics of two different purebred dogs, resulting in a fur baby that is not only cute and lovable but also genetically diverse. 

Doodles

Labradoodle

Are you tired of the same old dog breeds? A doodle breed might be just the unique and fun type of dog to fit in with your pack. Doodles are their own subcategory of mixed breeds, and you will find a variety of adorable and affectionate dogs.

Doodles, one of the most popular and best cross breed dogs, is a mix between a poodle and another dog breed. They have become increasingly popular for their hypoallergenic coats and friendly personalities.

From the whimsical Goldendoodle with its golden locks to the mesmerizing Bernedoodle with its striking black and white markings, each crossbreed offers the cuteness and benefits of each breed.

Check out our list of the Best Doodle Mixes to learn more about these adorable crossbreeds.

Shepherd Husky

German-Shepherd-Husky-Cross

Looking for a truly unique and well-rounded dog breed? Check out the Shepherd Husky. This gorgeous breed perfectly blends two already well-loved dogs to create a happy, active, and fun mix breed dog.

Combining the best characteristics of its parent breeds, the German Shepherd and the Siberian Husky, this hybrid canine is a remarkable companion for those seeking a devoted and spirited four-legged friend.

With its striking blue or multi-coloured eyes, thick coat, and muscular build, the Shepherd Husky mix is truly a majestic sight to behold. But it's not just their looks that make them special; these dogs possess remarkable intelligence and a strong instinct to protect their loved ones.

Puggles

Puggle

A unique cross between a Pug and a Beagle, the Puggle offers a delightful blend of traits from both parent breeds. With their adorable wrinkled faces and expressive eyes, Puggles are known for their undeniable charm. But it's not just their looks that make them special. 

These hybrid dogs inherit the sociable, friendly nature of the Beagle and the playful, affectionate personality of the Pug. Whether you're a first-time dog owner or a seasoned pet parent, the Puggle's adaptability and intelligence make them a wonderful addition to any household.

 

Top Guard Dogs

Are you looking for a loyal and reliable four-legged guardian to protect your property? Look no further than the best guard dog breeds. These exceptional canines are not only fiercely protective but also make wonderful companions. 

The best guard dog breeds are known for their loyalty and instinct to protect their families from any potential threats. However, it's important to remember that proper training and socialization are crucial for any dog breed to become a well-behaved and reliable protector.

Check out some of our top picks and find out what's the best guard dog breed for you!

American Akita

Akita

With their majestic appearance and loyal nature, Akitas are ideal for dog lovers seeking the best dog guard breeds. Akita dogs are known for their loyal and courageous personalities. They are often referred to as "silent protectors" because of their watchful and observant nature. 

Akitas are independent and strong-willed but also affectionate and loving toward their family. They require consistent training and socialization to prevent aggressive behaviour towards strangers and other animals.

Bouvier Des Flanders

Bouvier-Des-Flanders

Bouvier des Flandres is a majestic and powerful breed known for their unwavering loyalty and exceptional protective instincts. With their imposing size and impressive physical strength, these dogs have been a favourite choice for centuries as reliable companions and protectors. 

But it's not just their appearance that sets them apart; Bouviers possess an innate intelligence that allows them to assess situations and make quick decisions, making them one of the best family guard dog breeds. They are truly guardian angels with furry coats. 

 

Laziest Dog Breeds

Are you someone who enjoys the simple pleasures in life, like curling up on the couch with a good book or taking leisurely walks in the park? If so, then you might just be a perfect match for a lazy dog breed. These laid-back canines are experts at the art of relaxation and know how to live life at a slower pace.

Whether you're a busy professional looking for a low-maintenance companion or a retiree seeking a four-legged friend to share your golden years with, the best lazy dogs and calm dog breeds make excellent companions.

So kick back, relax, and let us help you find your perfect match for a truly relaxing life with one of these delightful, easygoing canine companions:

English Bulldogs

English-Bulldog

English Bulldogs are lovable and devoted companions that make excellent pets for those who appreciate their unique personality traits. Though playful, English Bulldogs need exercise in short doses, as they have limited stamina. 

As one of the best lazy dog breeds, don't be surprised if they prefer naps and snuggles to walks and fetch. This breed is prone to weight issues, so even if they shy away from activity, it's important to have a daily schedule of exercise and play to help them stay healthy.

With their adorable wrinkled faces, stocky build, and endearing personalities, it's no wonder why these lovable companions are so popular! This breed is particularly well-suited for families with children or other pets, as they are naturally calm and easygoing.

Basset Hounds

Basset-Hound

But don't be fooled by their laid-back demeanour, as these lovable pooches are filled with an abundance of affection and loyalty. It is not uncommon for your basset hound to be more interested in snoozing on the couch than going for a walk.

The basset hound is a breed of dog known for their floppy ears and droopy eyes. They are friendly and social animals that enjoy being around people and other dogs. They have a laid-back personality and are often described as lazy, but they still require regular exercise to maintain their health. 

Basset hounds are known for their strong sense of smell and are often used for hunting. They can be stubborn at times, but with patience and consistent training, they can be well-behaved and obedient pets.

Dachshund

Dachshund

Dachshunds are known for their love of sleep and relaxation. They can be lazy and enjoy lounging around the house, so they are considered somewhat low maintenance dogs. However, they are still great companions and are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners. 

It's important to give them enough exercise to keep them healthy, but they don't require extensive physical activity like some other breeds. Overall, if you're looking for a cuddly and low-key companion, a dachshund may be the perfect fit for you.

 

Low Maintenance Dog Breeds

Low maintenance dogs have several benefits, making them an excellent choice for busy people or those who prefer minimal upkeep. This also means that they tend to shed less, reducing the required cleaning and vacuuming. 

In addition, the best low maintenance dog breeds are often less expensive to maintain, as they require less frequent trips to the groomer or vet. These breeds can make excellent companions with proper care and attention and provide years of love and loyalty.

Chihuahua

Chihuahua

One of the most popular low maintenance breeds is the Chihuahua. These tiny dogs require minimal grooming and exercise, making them a great choice for busy families or apartment dwellers.

They are affectionate and playful, so they thrive with a consistent routine of daily walks and indoor playtime and are happy to spend quiet time snuggling on the couch with you. 

These little dogs have big, quirky personalities that are often perceived as feisty, but chihuahuas are loyal and protective of their humans. With proper socialization and training, they make great family pets that can go with the flow of a busy home.

 

Best Dog Breeds for Cats

Cats and dogs don't always get along, but the relationship can be less contentious if you choose a dog breed that blends well with the behaviours and personality quirks of cats.

Many breeds are naturally prey-driven and often don't know their own strength, and their interactions with their feline siblings can escalate into a fight pretty quickly.

In time, most dogs and cats will learn to get along or at least tolerate each other, but maintaining a happy and safe multi-species home is easier if you choose a dog breed that is better suited to cats. 

Pomeranian

Pomeranian

You might not know this, but Pomperanians often love cats. Maybe it's because they are fluffy like a cat, or maybe it's because they are similar in size, but Pomeranians are one of the best dog breeds that are good with cats.

These little fluff balls are very playful and patient with cats and can adapt to your cat's playstyle. If your kitten is looking for a partner to wrestle with, Poms have a thick floofy coat that can protect them from accidental clawings.

For older or less social cats, these small dog breeds are patient and can learn to respect your aloof cat and their personal space.

 

Just to Name a Few

The 40 breeds above are just a small handful of the breeds you can choose from. There are tons of adorable, loyal, and affectionate breeds that we didn't name, but not because they aren't one of the best dog breeds.

Check out the Canadian Kennel Club breed breakdowns for more information on your chosen breed and to help you find the right dog. 

Any dog breed can be the best dog breed for someone. Rottweilers can make good hiking partners. Cairn Terriers are wonderful family pets. And Great Danes are excellent apartment dogs. You never know what breed is going to be the best fit for you! 

 

Frequently Asked  Dog Breed Questions 

What is the friendliest dog breed?

The Labrador Retriever is widely regarded as one of the nicest dog breeds, known for its friendly and gentle nature.

What is the best non-shedding dog breed for seniors? 

The Bichon Frise is a great choice for seniors looking for a non-shedding companion. In addition to being non-shedding, the breed also has a hypoallergenic coat and is a manageable small size.

Which large dog breed is particularly well-suited to provide companionship for seniors? 

The Golden Retriever, with its loyal and calm temperament, is often considered the best large dog breed for seniors seeking a loving and gentle companion.

Which dog breed is well-suited to thrive in cold weather conditions? 

The  Siberian Husky is a dog breed that is particularly suitable for cold weather due to its thick double coat and heritage in cold climates.  Other 'cold weather' breeds include the Malamute and the American Eskimo. 

Which dog breed is a low maintenance choice?  

The Basenji is often considered one of the best low-maintenance dog breeds, as it is a self-grooming breed (often compared to the meticulous grooming habits of cats) with minimal shedding and odour (Also, the Basenji doesn't bark in the traditional way. Instead, it chortles). Another top choice is the pint-size Chihuahua. 

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Written by

Krystn Janisse

Krystn is a passionate pet nutrition enthusiast. She has worked in the pet industry for over a decade and loves to share her passion for animal welfare with others. She is currently working for one very rebellious cat, Jack, and hanging out with a goofy but loveable doggo named Roxy.

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