The Best Dog Breeds

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Looking for the perfect dog can be "ruff." Do you want a dog that will easily learn to fetch your paper, live the longest or perform Lassie-level heroics? Perhaps you want the best of everything and seek a pup that is a jack of all doggy trades.

Many pet-seekers choose to adopt purebred dogs because they tend to exhibit traits unique to their breed. A mixed-breed mutt brings a wild card quality that some potential owners choose not to explore. If you have decided on adopting a purebred dog, the next step is to sift through the overwhelming variety of dog breeds (the American Kennel Club currently recognizes 189).

To streamline this process, the team at PetBreeds looked at key factors that go into choosing the optimal furry companions. Our data scientists created a "Best Dog Breed" index that takes into account a dog breed's standard characteristics. The index is on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the highest.

The attributes were weighted as follows:
  • popularity American Kennel Club rankings (25 percent)
  • talents (17.5 percent)
  • health (17.5 percent)
  • personality traits (15 percent)
  • life expectancy (10 percent)
  • trainability (10 percent)
  • As a result of these curated qualities, the top-ranking dog breeds are generally talented, healthy and well-liked by owners. PetBreeds ranked all the purebred dogs according to their "Best Dog Breed" index score and created a list of the top 25 breeds, with the lowest index score going first.

    #25. Finnish Lapphund

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 35.9
    Notable Rankings: 10th in Life Expectancy, 7th in Temper

    #24. German Pinscher

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 36.0
    Notable Rankings: 19th in Life Expectancy, 11th in Temper

    #23. Irish Setter

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 36.1
    Notable Ranking: 17th in Health

    #22. Jack Russell Terrier

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 36.2
    Notable Rankings: 11th in Talent, 10th in Life Expectancy

    #21. Border Collie

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 36.5
    Notable Rankings: 33rd in Talent, 4th in Temper

    #20. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 37.1
    Notable Ranking: 22nd in Popularity

    #19. Cane Corso

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 37.3
    Notable Ranking: 5th in Talent

    #18. English Springer Spaniel

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 37.8
    Notable Ranking: 28th in Popularity

    #17. Poodle

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 38.0
    Notable Rankings: 7th in Popularity, 17th in Health, 11th in Temper

    #16. Boerboel

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 38.2
    Notable Ranking: 11th in Talent

    #15. Australian Shepherd

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 38.4
    Notable Rankings: 18th in Popularity, 11th in Talent, 19th in Life Expectancy

    #14. American Bulldog

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 39.0
    Notable Ranking: 21st in Temper

    #13. Miniature Australian Shepherd

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 39.1
    Notable Ranking: 12th in Health

    #12. Weimaraner

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 39.5
    Notable Rankings: 18th in Talent, 17th in Health

    #11. Belgian Malinois

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 40.1
    Notable Ranking: 1st in Talent

    #10. Boxer

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 40.3
    Notable Rankings: 8th in Popularity, 17th in Health

    #9. Rottweiler

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 40.4
    Notable Rankings: 10th in Popularity, 18th in Talent, 7th in Health

    #8. German Shorthaired Pointer

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 40.7
    Notable Rankings: 12th in Popularity, 23rd in Health

    #7. Doberman Pinscher

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 43.0
    Notable Rankings: 14th in Popularity, 11th in Talent, 17th in Health

    #6. Shetland Sheepdog

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 45.1
    Notable Rankings: 12th in Health, 7th in Temper

    #5. Cocker Spaniel

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 45.7
    Notable Rankings: 19th in Life Expectancy, 1st in Health

    #4. Rat Terrier

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 46.6
    Notable Rankings: 1st in Talent, 1st in Life Expectancy

    #3. Golden Retriever

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 51.3
    Notable Rankings: 3rd in Popularity, 3rd in Health

    #2. German Shepherd

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 63.8
    Notable Rankings: 2nd in Popularity, 3rd in Talent, 2nd in Health

    #1. Labrador Retriever

    Best Dog Breed Index Score: 79.0
    Notable Rankings: 1st in Popularity, 5th in Talent, 7th in Health, 1st in Temper

    Compare Other Dog Breeds on PetBreeds


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