Around the world, there are AT LEAST 537 dog breeds. Did You know that? And I’m just talking about purebreds!

Ten Great Dog Breeds to Get Friendly With

Welcome

Hello.  Welcome back to Wet Nose Central. 

Today we are going to talk about 10 Great Dog Breeds to Get Friendly With. There are 537 different dog breeds in the world!

There are hundreds of types of dogs. Did you know that? 

As recently as 2018, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (“FCI”), the European dog registry, recognized 344 breeds.  That’s right!  344 breeds! 

And as of 2020, the American Kennel Club (“AKC”) recognizes 193 dog breeds. 

https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/behavior-appearance/how-many-dog-breeds-are-there

So, around the world, there are AT LEAST 537 dog breeds.  And I’m just talking about purebreds – that doesn’t even include wild dogs, designer cross-breeding and accidental mixed breeds (you know – the ever-favorite Mutt).

Some of the breeds on this list will work well with Seniors or Retired Persons. A lot of the dog breeds that are considered “perfect” for seniors are in the American Kennel Club class called “Toy.” 

Toy Breeds

Toy, or Companion, breeds are “very small-to-small sized” groups of breeds.  Several dog types fall into the Toy dog category, as we will see. While Toy breeds are little or small or even tiny, some of them have huge personalities! 

Size ain’t everything! 

Even though they are not large, ferocious or scary, some of these breeds have serious protective instincts.  They also tend to be affectionate, social and easy-going enough to adjust to any lifestyle.  A smaller dog is good for people who live in apartments, as well as those who want a sweet, little lap warmer.

Before you make a choice, follow ASPCA and Humane Society guidelines. 

Get your pooch from a reputable, good breeder. 

Be very careful where you get your new friend!

O.K., let’s get started!

1.  Pug

Want a pet that’s affectionate, super-gentle, playful, inquisitive, endearing and loveable? 

Well, that perfectly describes the Pug, a small sturdy little package of personality!

Pug dog
StandingPug dog, facing the camera

With their muscular appearance, this Toy breed kind of looks like Bulldogs – but not so tough. 

They usually stand about 10 to 11 inches tall, weigh between 14 and 18 pounds, and often live 13 to 15 years. 

While they are moderately active and like to go for walks, strenuous activity should be avoided because they are prone to breathing concerns.  They really like to snuggle up with you. 

A generally healthy breed, they are voracious eaters, so it will be up to you to keep an eye out for weight gain. 

Pugs are not hypoallergenic.  They are a short-haired breed that requires minimal grooming.  That means they are pretty low-maintenance and a relatively economical companion.

2.  Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terriers – nick-named “Scottie” – are in the Terrier group, because “terra” means earth, and they were bred to bravely and ferociously tunnel into the ground to get rid of rodents.  So, expect he will probably dig up your yard – but you won’t have rodents.  Keep your cat in a safe place, too, just in case. 

Since the 1950s, Scotties are recognized for being a playing piece in the game of Monopoly. 

Scottish Terrier
Scottie in front of brick steps

Standing about 10 inches tall and weighing in at 18 to 22 pounds, this breed can live 11 to 13 years, with relatively few health problems.  They don’t shed much – their coats are hypoallergenic – but they do have a double coat that must be groomed every week.

Scotties make great apartment dogs.  They are quiet, low energy and fairly calm inside.  While they do not readily embrace strangers, they are polite with other residents. They have to warm up to strangers! 

Scotties Are Companions

Scotties don’t jog – although they will walk with you – and they don’t play “Fetch.”In fact, they don’t consider themselves a “pet.”  They are your Companions. 

They are said to be territorial and feisty, and that makes them good watchdogs.  Small in stature, they have a powerful bark – known to give burglars a good scare!  Scottie is no “yapper”!

Family loyal, it’s his job to protect the family.  Don’t just “drop by.”

They are intelligent and independent, so training requires some extra effort and patience.  Unlike many other breeds, just pleasing you is not their main goal.  They need a reason to obey – not just ‘cuz you said so. 

Never, ever relent in training.  Luckily, they are easily bribed with treats.  Praise and blame also work – and Scotties really don’t like to be ignored. 

A Scottish Terrier has lived in the White House with three Presidents – Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower and George W. Bush. 

3.  Beagle

I mean, Snoopy is a Beagle.  ‘Nuff said, right? 

The Beagle is not a Toy breed.  Beagles are part of the Hound dog group. 

They have short hair, they are not hypoallergenic, and they are easy to care for.

Beagle
Black, brown and white Beagle

An average-sized Beagle stands about 13 to 16 inches, weighs up to 24 pounds, and lives about 14 years. 

(When you think about Snoopy, it seems like a Beagle would be bigger, though, right?) 

So, they are compact and well-built. 

Independent and Energetic

Anyway, at the same time that they are small and sweet and gentle, they are independent and energetic. 

They can also be stubborn.  Did we mention Curious?  These can present issues when training. 

Beagles are basically healthy and social, high-energy pets that do well around families with kids, and other dogs!  They thrive on lots of attention.

Since they really do love their food, Beagles require multiple daily walks or regular hikes. 

YOU like hikes, right?

4.  Otterhound

The Otterhound originated in Medieval England in 1775.  The AKC recognized Otterhounds in 1909; of course, the Otterhound is in the AKC Hound group. 

The Otterhound is today an endangered species.  There are fewer than 1,500 Otterhounds in the entire world! 

An Otterhound is a large, shaggy dog that kind of looks like a Labradoodle or a Goldendoodle– except the Otterhound is a purebred, not a Designer Breed.

 

Otterhound
Liver and tan Otterhound

He has silly facial expressions, which attract a lot of attention. 

Standing about 27 inches and weighing approximately 115 pounds, he’s friendly, rowdy and even-tempered. 

This breed has a life expectancy of approximately 12 years. 

He’s independent, inquisitive and will insist on investigating all smells, following his nose wherever the trail leads – so uncontained spaces are not recommended.

Water Activities

Coming in a number of colorings, with a rough water-repellent double-coat and webbed toes, Otterhounds are well-suited for water activities.

Relatively healthy, they are not hypoallergenic, but they shed minimally and require only moderate brushing and grooming. 

5.  Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

With her silky coat, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an affectionate pooch that weighs between 13 and 18 pounds and has a life expectancy of 9 to 14 years.

Generally speaking, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is docile. 

She doesn’t bark a lot and usually doesn’t show any aggression, or bark at new people or other dogs.  Mostly, they enjoy the company of others.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a playful, adaptable and sociable pet that will be a great companion, whether you’re in a rural setting or your city apartment.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Red and white Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Although she has good watchdog abilities and will definitely alert you to any gatecrashers, this little lady is very gentle and friendly.

This Toy breed is also not hypoallergenic.  Her long, silky coat can easily become matted, so it demands regular brushing, combing and other sprucing up.

Always Get Your Dog From a Reputable Breeder

As with every breed we’ve discussed, this breed must be adopted from a reputable breeder, so you are as sure as you can be of the pet’s physical and mental health. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels require some activity and thrive with moderate exercise. 

20 to 30-minute walks around the neighborhood will be appreciated! 

If you have a good-sized backyard and are reasonably active, this dog could be perfect for you!

6.  Maltese

Our next breed is the Maltese.

The Maltese breed is in the small Toy group; in fact, it is among the smallest toy breeds. 

With a seemingly aristocratic air, this little dog is 4 to 7 pounds of fluff, lively and playful, a good family pet whose life expectancy is 15 to 18 years. 

Maltese
Maltese – Ready to Play!

She is gentle and affectionate, but she can be curt with boisterous children.  I mean, if you weighed 7 pounds, you’d probably be kinda quick to snap at a big, unruly kid, too!

The Maltese is an elegant and affectionate breed. 

He is known for the silky white hair that covers his body.  He sheds very little and is often referred to as hypoallergenic. 

Hypoallergenic

In fact, the low-shedding aspect makes her a great choice for someone with allergies. 

Because of her hair, though, the Maltese requires a certain amount of grooming, so a lot of pet owners have the groomer give her a “puppy clip” to reduce grooming time and cost. 

Some Maltese are prone to excessive barking, but positive training can eliminate that problem, so you can have a “quiet” dog. 

As with all pets, it is important to keep your pup healthy by maintaining proper weight, diet, and exercise! 

7.  Chihuahua

Named for the State of Chihuahua in the Country of Mexico, the Chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog. 

They rarely stand taller than 9” and weigh between 3 and 6 pounds. 

However, this very small and seemingly fragile breed can live as long as 20 years.

Smooth Coat or Long Coat

The Chihuahua is included in the AKC’s Toy group of dogs, and she comes in two styles:  Smooth Coat or Long Coat. 

3 Chihuahuas
3 Chihuahuas on a Sofa

There are no other distinctions for a Chihuahua.  

Chihuahuas fit nicely into families, but they need to be treated with respect, and they do have a history of barking and (even) snapping at strangers or small children who may seem threatening to their diminutive size. 

They seem to do better with kids over 12 than with younger kids. 

Like many small dogs, they may be more prone to barking than some larger dogs.

Chihuahuas prefer sunshine, the warmth of blankets, and a comfortable human lap.

Find Your Chihuahua from a Reputable Breeder

Even though the Chihuahua is a generally healthy dog, it’s always a good idea to find and procure your pet from a reputable breeder.

They are not hypoallergenic, despite their short coats and fairly simple grooming.

8.  Cocker Spaniel

Remember Lady and The Tramp?  Well, the elegant and sheltered “Lady” was a Cocker Spaniel!

Cocker Spaniel
Golden Brown Cocker Spaniel

Originated in Spain

Originating in Spain, Cocker Spaniels are a breed of dog with a long silky coat and drooping ears that fits into the AKC’s Sporting Group. 

Medium-sized, they are usually between 13½ and 15½ inches tall, weigh between 20 and 30 pounds and have a lifespan of about 10 to 14 years. 

They got their name from hunting woodcock. 

Given the right socialization from puppyhood, Cocker Spaniels get along with kids and other pets. 

Cocker Spaniels are said to be very easy to train, particularly when the training begins as puppies. 

As with all breeds, it will require loads of positive reinforcement, patience and repetition. 

They are happy to sit around, cuddling with you, but they also need some exercise.  Around 20- to 30-minute daily walks should do the trick. 

Just think:  when you get back home, you can cuddle some more.

Cocker Spaniels Have Hair

Cockers do not have fur; they have hair.  They don’t shed so much, but they do need regular trips to the groomer for maintenance.  Save yourself.  Ask for a “Puppy Cut.” 

As with some other breeds we’re talking about, they are not hypoallergenic. 

Usually, Spaniels do not have many medical problems during their lifespan.

Like company?  Good, a Cocker Spaniel will be with you for the long haul!

9.  Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers fit into what the AKC calls the Non-Sporting Dogs group – about 20 different breeds, from Chow Chows to Keeshonds, that, according to AKC, are left over from the two Original Groups:  Sporting and Non-Sporting.  

Originally Bred to Do Other Jobs

They may have been bred – originally – to hunt or do other things.  Today they may be show or pet dogs, because they vary greatly, from size to coat to personality to overall appearance. 

Since these breeds come from a wide variety of backgrounds, it’s hard to make global assumptions about them. 

Their commonality seems to be that most are good watchdogs and housedogs.

Boston Terriers are a smart, playful breed.  Just know that yours is sure to have a lively personality! 

BTs are very affectionate, gentle and friendly, making excellent companions that are happy to be with you, whether it’s walking or having a leisurely nap on the couch.

The American Gentleman

Because of appearance, they are nicknamed “The American Gentleman.”  People say that BTs look like they’re dressed in tuxedos. 

Boston Terrier
Black and white Boston Terrier, lying down

This dog with the sporty, compact body and the welcoming spark in his big, round eyes, is good-natured and gets along with other pets.

This is a sturdy dog  – standing about 15 inches tall, he’s going to weigh in at 10 to 25 pounds and be with you for around 12 years. 

His short coat is relatively low-maintenance, so he won’t shed a bunch, but he is not hypoallergenic. 

10.  Poodle

The Poodle might be France’s national dog, but there is no such thing as a “French” Poodle. 

The breed was a retriever or hunting dog in Germany.  Still, the AKC recognizes the Poodle in its Non-Sporting Group. 

You like variety?  You want a Poodle. 

Standard, Miniature, or Toy

They come in a choice of sizes! 

Standard (size) Poodle
Standard Poodle on a Bench

Toy Poodles: just under 10” tall, weighing 6 to 9 pounds and have a lifespan of up to 15 years. 

Miniature Poodles:  stand from 10” to 15” tall, weigh 15 to 17 pounds and also have a lifespan of up to 15 years. 

Standard Poodles: come in around 15” tall, can weigh 45 to 70 pounds, and their average lifespan is about 12 years.

No matter what the size, Poodles are energetic, intelligent, loyal dogs.  Poodles can learn to do any task you can present. 

All of them are active and thrive on an assortment of activities, like walking, swimming and hunting.

A Very Popular Breed!

Did you know that Poodles are the 6th most popular AKC breed out of 193!

They are generally healthy, and they can sport an assortment of “clips.”  As such, every 4 to 6 weeks they do require professional grooming, but the coat is hypoallergenic, and that curly hair sheds very little.

A Poodle could be your perfect New Best Friend!

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Resources

American Kennel Club – https://www.akc.org/

Dogtime – https://dogtime.com

Hill’s – https://www.hillspet.com

Mental Floss – www.mentalfloss.com

The Presidential Pet Museum –

PetHelpful – https://pethelpful.com/

AKC Toy Group Class (May 14, 2019) –

https://www.petnet.io/blogs/pet-breeds/akc-toy-group-class

The 25 Smallest Dog Breeds (September 30, 2014)

Toy Dog – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toy_dog

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