I’m missing my dog these days, now that the weather is warming and I can’t take her for a walk. I still like the Brittany breed, so we may try to get another when we decide to add a dog to the family again.
Mutts are just great in their blended gene health and unique blend of features. But for this post, I’m focusing on traits of a type, so I’ve selected my top five picks for ideal dog breed.
My choices are based on overall package–appearance (cute, elegant, leggy), intelligence (smart but not too smart), affection level (almost too affectionate is good), trainability (must be trainable), size (medium to medium-large), energy level (medium), character (unique, charismatic), maintenance level (low to medium–hair mainly), overall health trends (few or manageable genetic issues), and expense/availability from a breeder or rescue (why go halfway across the country when there are good dogs in need back home?).
See my previous post on dog shows and breed aesthetics.
Top Choices of Dog Breeds (includes mixes with one or more of these in them):
- Welsh Springer Spaniel or English Springer Spaniel
- Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever: similar to Brittany’s structure but more rare
- German Short-Haired Pointer
- Black and Tan Coonhound
Honorable mentions include:
Samoyed – great but just not in the top 5; maybe a bit too small
Image credit AKC website, Vizsla breed profile page
Vizsla – gorgeous and sweet; just a little too energetic, less commonly available
Flat-coated retriever – also less common and only found in black-colored coat
Belgian Tervuren or Belgian Malinois – like a German Shepherd in appearance; working dogs, equally energetic
Labrador retriever – a bit too stocky and shed too much; kinda boring (too common)
Kuvasz – too rare
Golden retriever – plentiful; I just don’t like them as much, even the pretty coat
Shetland sheepdog – perhaps a bit too small and feisty
Siberian husky – too energetic, too work driven for our lifestyle
Maltese – too small and fast (gotta be able to wrangle it!)
These would all be lovely pure breeds to have, but that doesn’t mean we’re averse to a good fit from a shelter. My husband’s list would probably include Pembroke Welsh Corgis and Dachshunds (he likes sausage-shaped dogs he can laugh at when they run), and if I were willing to go for smaller dogs, my choices would be more like West Highland White Terrier or Miniature Schnauzer.
Check out the side-by-side comparison tool at the AKC website. Pretty handy.
Really, though, at this point, I still just want my dog back. . . .