Picking a Dog Breed

Written by: Jodie Lindop

Picking a dog breed is an exciting process, but one that should be handled with careful consideration. If you are still in the process of deciding whether or not you’re ready for a dog, take a look at our blog post Am I ready for a puppy?

If you’ve already made the decision that you’re ready for a dog, great! It’s now time to pick your breed. Canines come in all shapes and sizes, which all require different levels of care and attention, therefore the breed you choose should also reflect your lifestyle, so it is important to do your research.

One of the main reasons that people tend to sway toward one breed or another is because of the way the dog looks and sometimes its size. This is nothing to be conscious of, many things that we are drawn to in life begin with a visual attraction, whether it is a partner or items that we purchase.

It is important to learn about the temperament and the physical needs of the breed you are considering. You can do this by educating yourself beforehand by finding out what the dog was originally bred to do and then learn how this could impact the daily interaction with those in your household.

Here are some of the main categories of dog breeds to help you decide which is the right one for you.


These types of dogs are generally small in size but according to the Blue Cross “tend to be high maintenance in their own way” this can be for both grooming and exercise regimes. These dogs are funny, bright and devoted to their owners. Despite their size, many of them have huge personalities.

Popular toy breeds include:

Pugs, Yorkshire Terriers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas and Chinese Crested.

Gun Dogs

This group was bred to work alongside man. They make excellent family dogs and train very well. However, they do require a lot of exercise and relish any opportunities to run off-leash. They also thrive off having ‘playtime’ with their owners such as playing fetch with a ball or a dog-safe Frisbee.

Popular Gun Dog breeds include:

Retrievers, Spaniels, Setters, Pointers, Weimaraners and Vizslas.


These dogs were bred to herd and protect, making them great family dogs.

Popular Pastoral breeds include:

Border Collie, Collie, Australian Cattle Dog, Old English Sheepdog, German Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog, anything with “shepherd” in the name


These dogs are full of energy and are extremely cheerful. They tend to be stubborn and feisty with other dogs. Terriers are hard work to train, but also great fun to be around.

Popular Terrier breeds include:

Airedale, Australian, Bedlington, Border, Bull, Cairn, Irish, Jack Russell, Kerry Blue, Miniature Schnauzer, Norfolk and Norwich, Scottish, Skye, Smooth Fox Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten and others with “terrier” in their names.


There are two categories in the ‘Hound’ breed. These are Sight Hounds and Scent Hounds.

Sight Hounds
Sight hounds are generally beautiful, graceful and extremely fast. They originally hunted in packs, so they are sociable with other dogs. They are very sensitive dogs that respond well to gentle training, therefore it is important that you are never too rough or loud with them.

Popular Sight Hounds include:

Afghan, Basenji, Borzoi, Greyhound, Ibizan, Irish Wolfhound, Pharaoh, Saluki and Whippet.

Scent Hounds
Most scent hounds are difficult to housetrain, they are known to be noisy barkers/howlers, however they usually have no intention of using their vocalisation to work as watchdogs. Making friends with other dogs is what they love the most. These dogs make perfect, gentle additions to the human family.

Popular Scent Hounds include:

Basset Hound, Beagle, Bloodhound and Foxhound.


Working dogs tend to be larger in size and bred for specific jobs. They require a lot of exercise and are very intelligent. Although many working dogs were bred to guard, according to the Blue Cross among the working breeds there are some gentle giants who, despite their large size, can make great family dogs provided they are well-trained, well-socialised and that they get enough exercise.”

Popular Working breeds include:

Bernese Mountain Dogs, Rottweilers, Dobermans, Saint Bernards, Boxers, Siberian Huskies and Douge de Bordeauxes.


Images: Pets4homes

According to The Kennel Club “This group consists of miscellaneous breeds of dog mainly of a non-sporting origin, including the Bulldog, Dalmatian, Akita and Poodle.” They require a lot of hard work and patience to train, but despite this they are extremely affectionate and devoted dogs.

Popular Utility breeds include:

Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Bulldog, Chow Chow, Dalmation, Finnish Spitz, Pomeranian, Poodle, Shiba Inu, Samoyed and Siberian Husky.


One very important factor to consider is whether the breed you desire gets along with children. All dogs have different temperaments and will have different reactions to the unpredictable behaviour of children. For example, some breeds may be very sensitive to loud noises or sudden outbursts of crying, which could be alarming for some dogs. A good breeder should be able to advise you on whether the breed you’re interested in is compatible with children.

That being said, if you bring up a dog around children and make a conscious effort to teach the children to respect the dog, such as teaching them the correct body language and level of affection to use, you can generally expect a positive outcome.

About Jodie: Jodie starting working for Orvis UK in August 2016. As Digital Marketing Executive, she has the opportunity to be involved with a wide range of opportunities in the business. Her main responsibilities include managing the Orvis UK social media channels and blog, as well as providing support to the wider Marketing team. She has previously worked in a number of creative roles and has enjoyed writing from a young age, so is a regular contributor to the Orvis UK blog.


(The Blue Cross)
(The Blue Cross)
(Dog Breeds Picture)
(The Kennel Club)

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