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Choosing the right dog breed

Lori Wilson is a SheKnows.com Home & Living columnist, as well as a freelance writer in Los Angeles, who after a lifetime of enduring harsh Michigan winters, relishes the warmth year round.

A perfect match

You've decided to get a dog. Now you have to figure out what breed you want. In order to chose wisely you have to take into consideration several factors. So before you buy or adopt a pet, we'll help you choose which dog breed best suits your lifestyle.

Great Dane and Lab

Best dogs for families

Since kids are often rambunctious, clumsy and rough, it's best to choose a dog that is patient, resilient and gentle. You don't want to choose a dog that might bite if he's stepped on or gets hurt if your kids haven't learned to play nicely with animals yet.

Some of the best breeds for families include:

  • Golden Retrievers because they are gentle in nature and loyal to their families.
  • Irish Setters because they are eager to please and good companions.
  • Schnauzers because they are eager to please and thrive on human companionship.
  • Labrador Retrievers because they are energetic, loyal and can keep up with the kids.
  • Poodles because they crave human interaction, enjoy playing and don't shed a lot.

Top 10 dog breeds for kids >>

Best dogs for seniors

Since many seniors live alone, having a pet around is a great way to ensure they have some companionship, which can help eliminate anxiety, improve their health and reduce boredom and depression. However, when choosing the best breed for the senior in your life, make sure the dog you choose is on the smaller side, enjoys being pet, is mellow and doesn't require a lot of exercise.

Some of the best dog breeds for seniors include:

  • Pugs because they love attention, adoration and are happy to reciprocate the affection.
  • Scottish Terriers because they are loyal, protective and compact.
  • Shih Tzus because they are alert, gentle and crave human contact.
  • Toy Poodles because they love to be around people, especially ones who are looking to pamper someone.
  • Maltese because although their coats require daily care, they are extremely affectionate and loving.

Best dogs for lazy people

So you want a dog, but don't want to exert a lot of energy in taking care of them? We understand and even got you covered.

Some of the best breeds for less active people include:

  • Dachshunds because they don't need a lot of exercise; when they do go out for walks, they tire easily; and they enjoy napping on the couch as much as you do.
  • French Bulldogs because while they should get some exercise, they don't grow bored lying around indoors. They have breathing problems that can make too much exercise in hot weather dangerous.
  • Chihuahuas because they can exert themselves just by playing with toys inside, so you can play fetch with them without having to leave your couch.
  • Greyhounds because these calm pooches are satisfied with just a short walk each day.
  • Maltese because they are also content with just playing indoors or being let loose in a fenced in backyard.

Best dogs for people with allergies

While no dog is considered ideal for people who are allergic, there a few breeds that are recommended for those who love their four legged friends even though they make them sneeze.

Breeds that do not shed a lot and are most recommended for people with allergies include:

  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Shih Tzu
  • Schnauzer
  • Poodle

Choose your dog breed wisely

Everyone's situation is different, so when choosing which kind of dog you want, make sure you take into consideration your lifestyle, living arrangements and the temperament of the dog you want. Just like with dating and friendships, the chemistry and circumstances have to be right in order for your relationship with your pet to work out.

More on choosing a dog breed

Top 10 small breed dogs
Top 10 large breed dogs
10 Things to know before getting a dog

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