What's the Best Dog Breed for You?

Whether you're a first-time dog owner, have allergies or simply like to snuggle on the couch with your pooch, we've got your perfect four-legged match.

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If You're a First-Time Dog Owner...

If you're a first-time dog parent, you want to choose an easy breed that will help ease you into your new role. It's difficult to find a more friendly and happy-go-lucky breed than the Labrador retriever. Vet Street asked 218 veterinarians and animal professionals which breeds they thought were best for newbies, and Labs were tops on the list. Often chosen as service or therapy dogs, Labs are smart, easily trained and deeply loyal. They are great family dogs, which is why we're not surprised that they're considered the most popular breed in the U.S. MORE: U.S. Labrador Retriever Rescue Groups

If You Have Allergies...

According to the American Kennel Club, certain breeds of dogs are considered "hypoallergenic," and poodles are one of those breeds. Poodles are broken down into three size classes: standard, miniature and toy, so you have lots of choices depending on you and your family's needs. Poodles are known for being incredibly intelligent and affectionate. They have a coat that can get quite long, but you can also easily keep their fur short, which means much less maintenance. MORE: Poodle Club of America National Rescue Directory

If You're a Runner...

If you're a runner who's looking for a new canine companion, we think an adorable, spotted Dalmatian might be the pick for you. Runner's World Magazine rounded up their list of the perfect run-buddy dog companions, and Dalmatians fit the bill. They love long, steady runs, so they would be great marathon-training partners. They do tend to run pretty hard, pounding the pavement as they go, so if possible, softer trail running is a great idea for these sweet, exercise-loving pups. MORE: Dalmatian Club of America Rescue Resources

If You're a Couch Potato...

Not all of us want to hit the running trail with our pups. Sometimes a snuggle buddy is what we're really looking for. If this sounds like you, a cute-as-a-button French bulldog is a great fit. All dogs need exercise, including Frenchies, but according to Vet Street's roundup of the best couch potato pups, these guys and gals are truly happy curling up in your lap to watch an all-day Fixer Upper marathon, too. Normally, Frenchies weigh less than 28 pounds, so they're also a great choice for anyone living in an apartment. MORE: French Bulldog Rescue Network's Available Dogs for Adoption

If You Have a House Full of Kids...

Many breeds of dogs have trouble acclimating to the craziness of a young, loud, growing family but not beagles. Expert dog trainer Cesar Millan thinks these friendly, clever hounds are the perfect dog for an active family who is always on the go. They love to exercise and can easily run around the yard with the kids for daily play sessions. They also have a lot of patience, which works well with kids who are learning what life is like with a pup in the family. Remember: Beagles are hound dogs and can easily wander off if they get a scent of something they want to follow, so fenced yards are best for these pups. MORE: National Beagle Rescue Group Directory

If You Live Alone...

If you're looking for a companion and a dog who will help you feel safe and protected, a German shepherd is an amazing breed to go with. Brazilian vet and animal behavior expert Dr. Mark thinks that German shepherds are perfectly suited to anyone living alone, as they have a deep, loud bark and are very protective of their owners and homes. They can weigh up to 90 pounds, and they are extremely intelligent and trainable. The breed does tend to have some common medical issues, such as hip dysplasia, so if you go with this regal pup, make sure you visit your vet regularly. MORE: All Shepherd Rescue Organization

If You Have a Cat...

If you already have a cat at home and you're looking to add a pup to your family, you need a breed that is patient, easy-going, and lovable: meet the basset hound. According to Catalogical Magazine, bassets are an ideal cat companion because of their typical happy-go-lucky demeanor and "nothing bothers me" attitude. They'll usually give a cat as much space as they need and won't need to be constantly entertained. It's a misnomer that these dogs don't need much exercise and are all couch potatoes; however, they definitely have less stamina than many other breeds, so their walks and play time can tend toward the brief. Note: If you're a clean freak, bassets might not be the best fit for you; they slobber, drip water everywhere and drag their ears around in the dirt. But they're also one of the most lovable, sweet pup companions you could ever hope for. MORE: Basset Hound Club of America National Rescue

If You're a Neat Freak...

Mud tracked into your house, slobber, dog hair everywhere...pups are not necessarily known for their neatness. However, there are certain breeds that are better suited for those that fall more into the "neat freak" category at home...and chow chows are one of them. According to the AKC, this breed might actually win the "cleanest" dog award. They don't tend to have much in the way of doggie odor, and they're very fastidious about keeping their coat clean. They do shed, but it's only at certain times during the year. They also don't need a ton of exercise, so they're a great fit for smaller homes or for slightly older human companions. MORE: National Chow Chow Rescue Organizations

If You Live in a Small Space...

Tiny home and apartment dwellers love pups just as much as the rest of us, but not every breed is well-suited for smaller spaces. Pugs, however, are a great fit. Reader's Digest polled some vets, and pugs were at the top of the list for pooches they recommended most for tiny-space living. They're compact in size, so they don't take up a lot of room, and they love relaxing at home. They also seem to get along well with adults, children and even other animals, so they're a versatile pick for almost any type of small-space family. MORE: National Pug Rescue Groups

If You Work From Home...

If you're lucky enough to work from home and have a bit more flexibility in your daily schedule, consider adopting a special needs or a senior pup who might require a bit more attention and care. Often, these types of dogs will sit in a shelter or a foster home because many people aren't willing to take on the extra responsibility of caring for these pups. Adding an older or special needs pup to your family might just be the most rewarding thing you ever do. While it's true that these dogs might sometimes have some special medical requirements (such as daily meds, shots, etc.), oftentimes caring for them is not much different than caring for any other average pup. And almost universally, when you bring a senior or special needs dog into your family, they're so grateful and happy to be in a wonderful home. In addition to doing good, it's also an amazing way to teach your kids about true compassion and patience at an early age. MORE: Benefits of Adopting a Specially-Abled Dog

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