The Top 10 Best Dogs to Own as a Family Pet

List: Posted: 09/01/11

There is a continuous debate on which dog breeds are the best. From small to big, loyal to exciting, smart or simple, different dogs offer an infinite amount of possibilities to love.  I have compiled a list of the top ten family dogs to own based on a variety of important qualities.


Top Dog #10: Pug
Reason: Ease


Some things are so ugly that they are cute.  This dog fits this category along with my cousin’s recent newborn baby (just kidding….kind of).  Pugs are great for people with small homes in the city.  Because of their pug nose and limited lung-power, they can’t exercise too much, which can be a good thing for busy people.  At the same time, they are affectionate and warm. They love hanging out and don’t need to be too active.  Also, they are compact and don’t eat much food.  They shed a bit, but have short fur so it’s not bad to groom them.

Top Dog #9: Rottweiler
Reason: Guardians

Rottweilers love their families.  On the flip side, this dog has a strong physique and amazing bark.  If you want to feel both loved and protected, you can’t go wrong with a Rottie.  However, they do require constant attention and a lot of food so be prepared.

Top Dog #8: Chihuahua.
Reason: Cuteness.

Although it’s hard for me to admit this one, a Chihuahua is one of the top dogs to own.  They are downright cute and cuddly.  If you are looking to spoil a dog, this is the one to get. They absolutely dote on their owners, so much so that anyone stepping into your house will get barked at - even spouses or other family members.  The downside is they are hard to train.  They also think they are much bigger than they really are, so they will attack any threat that comes their way, even if it is a dog ten times the size of them.  They are also great escape artists due to their small size, so dog shelters everywhere are usually (and sadly) bursting with them.


Top Dog #7: Border Collie
Reason: Intelligence

The Border Collie is the smartest dog on the planet.  With a rich history, this dog was bred on the borders of England and Scotland to help herd sheep.  Most people say the Bordie Collie has an intuitive intelligence more profound than any animal they have known.  The only drawback is they require a lot of intellectual and physical stimulation or they may become bored and destructive.

Top Dog #6: German Shepherd
Reason:  Strength

A loyal and protective breed, it’s no wonder German Shepherds are used in law enforcement around the world.  This is the third smartest dog in the world, specifically bred to be intelligent and without physical defect.  With its strong black and brown colorings, noble profile and massive frame, the German Shepherd garners looks everywhere you take it.  They are perfect for organized people who want a dog to obey commands every time.  Mixed reports show that German Shepherds sometimes bite out of instinct, but one that is trained well and taken care of will become gentle and caring.

Top Dog #5: Bull Dog
Reason: Laziness

Ok, so laziness isn’t usually sought after.  But if you’re like many people, you want a dog to just relax alongside you.  Bull Dogs are like your big and slow cousin Bubba - non judgmental and fun to hang around with.  If you want a dog to relax with, this is the one for you.  They are easy to groom, feed, and don’t need much space.  However, don’t expect your new dog to do much.  This dog is content to happily sit and slobber, or just chew on anything within reach... just as long as they don’t have to go very far to get it.


Top Dog #4: Maltipoo
Reason: Affection

Let's face it: the Maltipoo is an adorable dog.  They don’t shed and are fairly easy to train.  They are less vocal than Chihuahuas but love to cuddle just as much. They get dirty easily with their longer coat, so make sure to give them plenty of baths.

Top Dog #3: Labrador Retriever
Reason: Versatility

Labs are the most popular breed on the planet. This is a perfect family dog, yet one that is also very compatible with single people.  As a social animal, this dog can get along with anyone.  But they like to play - a lot.  Getting a lab is a huge commitment.  You need to take them out every day come rain or shine, and you must keep them active.  If not, they will use whatever is in your house as a play toy: remote controls, pillows, leather couch cushions... you name it.  They are large dogs so food will get expensive.  Also, you need to have a large yard and live close to a park or beach so they can get out and burn off some energy at the weekends.  I don’t know of a single person who regrets getting a lab – that’s how amazing they are!

Top Dog #2: Poodle
Reason: Elegance

A poodle to me is like wine.  At first many people don’t enjoy the taste, but when they understand the nuances, poodles rank them high on their list.  A poodle is the second smartest dog breed, so dog training is a breeze.  They are not too high energy, and thus carry a certain kind of grace.  They are affectionate and sweet, and don’t shed!  Easy to handle and great to dress up (if you like that sort of thing).  A trained poodle is a high caliber dog and will impress anyone.  There are few drawbacks to poodles, so this is a solid choice.

Top Dog #1: Golden Retriever
Reason: Gentle Strength

Golden Retrievers top the list because of far more reasons than can be listed.  This dog is intelligent, social, comforting, and reliable.  They are used to help the blind and deaf, to detect bombs and drugs, to help in rescue missions, and to hunt.  This means they are capable of excelling at a variety of levels, using a combination of gentleness and strength.  They get along with any other dog and any person, yet can keep up with the most active owners.  If you are active and have a large enough yard, the golden retriever is the best family dog you can own.

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