This goofy, bright, and affectionate breed is happiest when shuffling around with an active family. An athletic herder by nature, the Old English sheepdog requires regular exercise or a job to flourish. Its shaggy coat needs a lot of grooming to keep it from becoming overgrown, tangled, and matted.
Bred as a hunting dog, this breed has a water-repellent double coat (an outer coat and an undercoat) that sheds seasonally and requires regular brushing. Lively and alert, with an outgoing personality, Golden retrievers demand daily exercise to stay fit and happy; homes with large fenced-in yards for running and play are ideal.
Their strong, intelligent expressions may seem serious, but boxers have a soft spot: They love attention from their families and are playful and patient with children. This breed earned its name from the way the dogs stand on their back legs and "box" with front paws during play. Requires little grooming.
With gentle, agreeable, and steadfast personalities, bulldogs are terrific family pets and bond easily with kids. This breed requires minimal exercise -- though its lumbering walk is particularly charming. Grooming is easy, but the dogs' folds need some extra care: Wipe them daily to clean them and keep them dry.
Whether smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired, these dogs are affectionate pets and determined hunters. Energetic dachshunds need moderate exercise and regular grooming. Long and low bodies once helped them catch badgers; now they make apartment living a breeze, though dachshunds love the outdoors, so walks or access to a yard are important.
Known for their full and fancy hypoallergenic coat, poodles are great for allergic owners but require regular professional grooming. This breed is intelligent and active, requiring daily exercise. Bred as a water retriever -- though miniature poodles sniffed out truffles and toy poodles were circus stars -- poodles now make great family pets.
When it comes to exercise, a brisk walk around the block will suffice for the alert and animated Chihuahua. This breed makes great city dogs in warmer climates, since they are sensitive to cold. Shorthair coats need less grooming than long coats, but both require little maintenance.
This breed requires obedience training and daily exercise to maintain its strong but gentle form and temperament. Originally used as a guard dog, a carting dog, and an avalanche dog to locate travelers trapped in the snow in the Swiss countryside, giant Saint Bernards thrive in larger spaces that let them move around. Long- and short-haired varieties shed and drool excessively.
Its weather-resistant wiry coat needs occasional brushing and stripping (when a groomer uses a special blade to remove dead hair from the coat) twice a year. Affectionate and easily trained, the border terrier is an active breed that needs regular walks and playtime to keep its mind and body in top form.
Though this breed sheds very little, a dense double coat requires regular trips to the groomer. Once used by farmers to help on hunts and to chase vermin, the Lakeland terrier is bold but gentle, with a lot of energy that makes it best suited for active owners. This breed requires regular brushing and combing that an owner can do, but let a groomer clip the dog on a regular basis.
A long, soft, wavy coat insulates this breed in harsh weather and requires frequent brushing -- every day or at least several times a week. This dog doesn't shed, which makes it a nice fit for allergic owners. Smart, lively, and affectionate, the Havanese needs daily exercise and makes friends wherever it goes.
Its short, glossy, soft coat is one of the simplest to groom. Italian greyhounds form strong bonds with their owners and like affection in return. Peaceful and gentle, this breed is easy to train and is great for small apartments, but needs a lot of exercise and playtime.
Big in spirit, this toy breed is quick and active, and barks boldly at intruders. Compact bodies make "Min Pins" great apartment dogs that still need daily play and a walk for exercise. As fun family pets originally bred as barnyard ratters, this breed is innately loyal, alert, and fearless.
A perfect size for the average suburban home, this breed enjoys family time and needs lots of activity in its life. After all, the Pyrenean Shepherd herded sheep in the mountains of southern France for centuries, and acted as search-and-rescue dogs for French troops during World War I. The full coat requires surprisingly little maintenance beyond occasional brushing.
Bred as sled dogs, Siberian huskies need plenty of activity -- more than 30 minutes of it per day. This breed is also outgoing and friendly, which makes them great family and therapy dogs. Be careful around small animals, though, since these dogs have strong predatory instincts. Thick, soft coats demand weekly brushing.
Highly independent and intelligent, these handsome animals developed in the Himalayan mountains as guard dogs. Tibetan mastiffs form strong bonds with their owners, but are very wary of others -- they may even object to guests in their home. Early socialization is crucial, and these dogs must be kept on leashes during walks. Regular brushing is required to maintain this breed's lush, full coat.
This high-energy breed needs plenty of activity on a leash or in a fenced-in space. Dalmatians are fast, clever, and alert, which explains why they were bred for hunting and coaching (among other reasons). Perhaps best known for their spotted coats, this breed requires regular brushing since it sheds year-round.
There are two types here: "hairless" dogs (with tufts of soft, silky hair on their feet, tail, and head) and those covered with a soft, straight coat. Both are easy to maintain and hardly shed at all since, well, they're practically hairless. But Chinese cresteds are prone to skin irritations, sunburns, and allergies. Bright and fun loving, this gentle dog does best with calm kids. Like many toy breeds, Chinese cresteds are delicate and can be seriously hurt if a child sits on them or drops them. So they're good for homes without children or homes with children who are well behaved, gentle, and supervised.
Brush rarely but exercise often; the active, determined miniature bull terrier is extremely energetic and needs a lot of movement to be happy. Training is required for this dog to play well with children. Not recommended for families with small pets, including hamsters and guinea pigs. (These animals were originally bred to hunt small animals such as rats, and many still have this instinct.)
This breed needs only an occasional bath and ear wash, but its folds must be wiped clean daily and kept dry. The Chinese shar-pei needs early training and socialization to best mesh with families, though it's a quick learner. A serious and aloof dog, but loyal to owners.
Either curly or wavy, this breed's thick hypoallergenic coat requires regular brushing and trimming. The coat is also waterproof, which lets the dog swim all day -- a plus, since it needs daily vigorous exercise. This breed is willful and smart, yet eager to learn good manners.
A soft, dense undercoat and long, straight outer coat mean plenty of brushing and trimming for this breed's owner -- even the long tail is prone to tangles. As a smart, lively breed with a little sass, this outgoing dog demands a great deal of attention but not much exercise.
This breed is known for its beautiful feathered coat that begs to be brushed and clipped regularly. Moving with pride and grace during daily vigorous exercise, the English setter is at its best around family. Calm and agreeable, this dog's lively tail points to a friendly disposition.