Find Your Match
Some people are able to form lasting and warm relationships with their dogs. But, others don't get much joy from their pets. Stanley Coren, professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, believes that this occurs because people are not matched correctly to their dogs. The best matches happen when the personality of the person fits to the behavioral traits of the dog. The following system is Dr. Coren's way to look at dog breeds, illustrated in his 1998 book, Why We Love The Dogs We Do: How To Find the Dog That Matches Your Personality (published by The Free Press).

Here are all the dog breeds grouped by behavioral characteristics and temperament. After checking them out, click here to Take the Test!

Group 1. FRIENDLY DOGS  (includes affectionate and genial dogs)
Friendliness and approachability are the defining traits of this group. All of these dogs like people and tend to seek them out. They tend not be be particularly dominant or protective, and thus useless as guard dogs.

Bearded Collie Collie Flat-Coated Retriever Portuguese Water Dog
Bichon Frise Curly-Coated Retriever Golden Retriever Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Border Terrier English Cocker Spaniel Keeshond Vizsla
Brittany English Setter Labrador Retriever Welsh Springer Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel English Springer Spaniel Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Cocker Spaniel Field Spaniel Old English Sheepdog  

Group 2. PROTECTIVE DOGS  (includes territorial and dominant dogs)
This group is the opposite of the Friendly group. These dogs make pretty good watchdogs, and the larger ones make good guard dogs. They tend to establish a territory, which is usually their home, and act quite protective about it.

Akita Bullmastiff Giant Schnauzer Rhodesian Ridgeback
American Staffordshire Bull Terrier Gordon Setter Rottweiler
Terrier Chesapeake Bay Retriever Komondor Schnauzer (Standard)
Boxer Chow Chow Kuvasz Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Briard German Wirehaired Pointer Puli Weimaraner

Group 3. INDEPENDENT DOGS  (includes personable & strong-willed dogs)   
This group is quite accepting when it comes to interacting with people. However, they don't seek out human companionship the same way that the dogs in the Friendly Group (1) do. They also may be a bit pushy or dominant around other dogs. These are dogs with their own minds, who will appear to be often more interested in their own plans than in those of their human masters.

Afghan Hound Borzoi Pointer Otterhound
Airedale Terrier Chinese Shar-Pei Greyhound Pointer
Alaskan Malamute Dalmatian Harrier Saluki
American Foxhound English Foxhound Irish Setter Samoyed
Black and Tan Coonhound German Shorthaired Irish Water Spaniel Siberian Husky

Group 4. SELF-ASSURED DOGS  (includes spontaneous, sometimes audacious dogs)
This group's dogs are mostly compact in size, yet quite sure of themselves. They make good watchdogs since they will readily sound the alarm when anyone approaches their home. Spontaneous and outrageous in their behaviors, they are often amusing to watch. 

Affenpinscher Miniature Pinscher Cairn Terrier West Highland White Terrier
Australian Terrier Miniature Schnauzer Irish Terrier Wire Fox Terrier
Basenji Norfolk Terrier Shih Tzu Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Jack Russell Terrier Norwich Terrier Silky Terrier Yorkshire Terrier
Lakeland Terrier Schipperke Smooth Fox Terrier  
Manchester Terrier Brussels Griffon Welsh Terrier  

Group 5. CONSISTENT DOGS  (includes self-contained and home-loving dogs)
This group's dogs are very predictable. Whether timid or pushy, calm or jumpy, their behavior from day to day will be the same regardless of the time or situation. Small, self-contained dogs, they will allow you to be affectionate, but can live happily with little caressing. They like being at home & are often content to rest quietly across the room from you. 

Bedlington Terrier Dandie Dinmont Terrier Sealyham Terrier Lhasa Apso Tibetan Terrier
Boston Terrier English Toy Spaniel (King Charles) French Bulldog Maltese Whippet
Chihuahua Pomeranian Italian Greyhound Pekinese  
Dachshund Pug Japanese Chin Skye Terrier  

Group 6. STEADY DOGS  (includes solid, good-natured and tolerant dogs)
This group's dogs vary in size but all tend to be quiet indoors and will settle in easily and not fuss if confined for long periods. Agreeable around people, they like human company. They are also somewhat predictable in their day-to-day behavior, as seen with the Consistent Dogs (Group 5).

Basset Hound Bloodhound Clumber Spaniel   Irish Wolfhound Saint Bernard
Beagle Bouvier des Flandres Great Dane Mastiff Scottish Deerhound
Bernese Mountain Dog Bulldog Great Pyrenees Newfoundland  

Group 7. CLEVER DOGS  (includes observant and trainable dogs)
These intelligent dogs have a serious work ethic and willingness to learn. This makes them the easiest breeds to train for most tasks. Always scanning their environment for new things, they make good watchdogs. And being people-oriented, these dogs make good workmates and companions.

Australian Cattle Dog Belgian Tervuren German Shepherd Shetland Sheepdog
Australian Shepherd Border Collie Papillon  
Belgian Malinois Cardigan Welsh Corgi Pembroke Welsh Corgi  
Belgian Sheepdog Doberman Pinscher Poodle (Toy, Miniature & Standard)  


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