When we fill out applications for employment, many times it’s page after page of material for the employer to get to know us; our history, our present thoughts and of course our goals for the future. Online social media profiles ask us about our favorite movies, sports, and music. Dating sites? I can only imagine how organized and thorough those are!

Caring and reputable breeders, long-standing and successful adoption centers, and community rescue organizations work tirelessly to ensure the continued health and safety of the dogs they breed, rescue or foster. When they require you to fill out a detailed questionnaire, consider this your application to your potential dog.

Think about all the requirements most of us have in our daily lives for a moment. There are a lot. Are you ready? Here are just a few: we put thought into our vehicle – and not just the type – but the color, the sound system and the upholstery. Our phone type, which includes the carrier, the case and all of our apps. Our house location, career, home decor, gym and we definitely put thought into who our significant other will be. In fact, some people are so picky about who their partner should be they might stay single until they know they’ve found “the one,” no matter how long it takes.

Don’t you want to be your dog’s “the one?”

If I were a dog, I know I would have a few requirements; How long do you plan to leave me at home alone? When will you be back? Am I going for long walks by the beach or will you be sending me a dog walker? If so, can I pick someone that likes to hike? How about sleeping arrangements? Are you going to be one of those “no dogs in the bed” people? If so, I can’t guarantee that I won’t continue to whine hoping to convince you to change your mind.

Whether a dog has been down a few rough roads, or has been bred to carry on a trustworthy lineage, the least we can do is research to find the right type of dog best for us.

According to the American Kennel Club, there are over 180 canine breeds. Considering that fact, the list below is quite general, but fun and helps you get the idea! If you are considering a mixed breed you would combine these categories to get some insight as to the main traits your dog may have.

Working Breeds – Examples: Doberman, Akita, Malamute, Husky or Great Dane

Smart, loyal and determined. These guys might jump out of an airplane for you. If you’re not up for that, they’ll at least have your back when the doorbell rings. If you’re looking for a lifelong companion that would pass up a cheeseburger just to be near you, then this is your dog partner! If you like to exercise, keep busy and crave learning this pup has been waiting for you.

Hound Dogs – Examples: Coonhound, Beagle, Bassett, Basenji, Rhodesian Ridgeback

They can smell the potato chip you dropped under the couch yesterday and will refuse to let their discovery go unnoticed. The strong will and determination of a hound dog won’t stop until you positively acknowledge their finds. If they aren’t discovering birds, bunnies, treats or lost  potato chips, then they’re most likely deciding when and where the next find might be. If you are always contemplating where your next adventure might be, you will spend a lifetime discovering together.

Terriers – Examples: West Highland, Airedale, American Staffordshire, Jack Russell, Scottish Terrier

These dogs are sassy, funny, smart, can be quite vocal, and might be a little needy. They’re  affectionate most times (usually on their terms) and loyal to their family. Terriers always keep you on your toes! If you would run (and/or burrow) for those you love, this is your lifelong friend.

Sporting – Examples: Spaniels, Retrievers, Setters, Pointers

These pups are smart and generally very happy dogs. They’re lovable, but can be a bit stubborn. They may be a tad bit aloof with strangers, but very trainable. Their keen sensitivity mixed with a little bit of bossiness needs regular attention and guidance. If you have to size someone up a bit before they win your heart, this might be your pup. You can win hearts together!

Herding – Examples: Collies, Shepherds, Corgis, Sheepdogs and Berger Picard

Smart, curious, fun-natured and lovers of learning describes these types dogs. If you enjoy learning new things and relish in the company of various other animals (especially farm animals that can be herded), then this is the choice for you. Be sure not to disappoint this breed or break their spirit, they won’t soon forgive, they tend to hold grudges. If you are a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type of person, you will herd through life together beautifully.

Non-Sporting – Examples: French Bulldog, Dalmation, American Eskimo, Boston Terrier and Bichon Frise

This group is your classic “little bit of this, little bit of that”. This diverse group of dogs includes intelligent and fun breeds such as the French Bulldog, could be a Lhasa Apso or perhaps a Chow Chow. Maybe the spotted Dalmatian melts your heart. No matter how you look at it, if you are ready for anything life has to throw your way, this is your group. Day-to-day you’re probably pretty breezy, and your dog would be too!

Toy – Examples: Chihuahua, Maltese, Pomeranian, Poodle, Pug, Yorkie and King Cavalier Charles Spaniel

Oh, don’t let their size fool you! They may be little on the outside, but most times they’re big on the inside. If you live in a small space or live a fairly inactive lifestyle, these cuddle bugs will keep you company and at the same time be high and mighty when needed. If you’re looking for a buddy true and true, this might be your match!

Christine Fox: Writer and Top Dog of Wag ‘N’ Tails Dog Activity Center in Shelby Township, Michigan.

Email: christine@wagntails.net

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Do you have a purebred or a mixed breed with a little bit of everything? Tell me in the comments below, I would love to hear your stories!

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