They’ve remained the most popular dog breed for decades for a reason. Labs love kids, adults, other pets, and just everyone in general. Their sweet demeanor makes them instant BFFs with whomever they meet, but don’t underestimate their high energy levels. This exuberant breed needs serious exercise every day, and they can grow up to 80 pounds.
For those who enjoy more of a laidback lifestyle, a loyal bulldog might prove a better fit. Besides regular walks, these dignified pups love a good snooze. While their wrinkled mugs might win you over, take care if you live in a warm climate. The short snouts make them prone to overheating.
Another all-American favorite, Golden Retrievers live up to their status as a great family dog. They’re quick learners that require lots of physical activity: running, swimming, fetching, and plenty of playtime. In return, they’ll give you joyful companionship with plenty of silliness thrown in for good measure.
Cute? Check. Friendly? Check? Totally lovable? Check and check. Beagles absolutely thrive on companionship; long days alone won’t work for these pack animals. Those pleading expressions can hide some another potential challenges however. The hounds can become daring escape artists if they come across a captivating scent.
Just like humans, pugs love eating and sleeping. You have to watch their diets (no table scraps allowed!) and activity levels, but look no further if you want a couch companion to snuggle up and watch movies with. At just 15 pounds or so, this is a breed that doesn’t need a huge backyard, but appreciates a play session with the kiddos.
Just imagine walking one of these beauties around the neighborhood. Irish Setters are total showstoppers, but as a member of the sporting group, gifted athletes in their own right. An active lifestyle (and an endless supply of tennis balls) is a must. This is a work-out partner that’ll motivate everyone in the family to get moving.
One of the smallest dog breeds in the AKC, the Brussels Griffon can’t handle roughhousing. But if your kids are up for gentle play, they’ll be rewarded with a loyal, intelligent pet that packs more personality than its size suggests.
On the other end of the size spectrum, the Newfoundland can tip the scales at a jaw-dropping 100 to 150 pounds. These gentle giants excel at swimming, but they’ve also earned quite a rep as “nanny dogs” thanks to their patient and watchful nature. According to the breed standard, a sweet temperament is the most important trait, so if you have the space, this fluffy creature could win you over.
No backyard, no problem. City dwellers adore these quiet and low-maintenance pups, although it’s the trademark “bat ears” that physically distinguish them from their larger bulldog cousins. The prototypical Frenchie exhibits an alert, playful attitude married with easy-going adaptability.