The Right Types of Dog Personalities to Match Your Lifestyle

Looking for a new best friend and want to learn about the different types of dog personalities so you can find your best match?

As most pet parents, you might want a pooch that matches your energy, right? One that can keep up with your hussle and active lifestyle, or one that can just chill on the couch with you as you binge the whole season of Wednesday?

While all dogs are unique and any dog you choose will dip into the whole rainbow of personality traits, there will usually be a dominant trait that sticks out. For dogs, it tends to be one of these top 7 dog characteristics.

(And enjoy some funny TikTok videos from @jauncydev to to get a feel for different breeds’ unique personalities.)

The Top 7 Dog Personality Types

Do dogs take on their owners’ personalities or do we simply find dogs that match our personality? (Because we all know that dogs are just furry people – we can relate.)

If you’ve ever owned multiple animals at once, you’ll know it’s the latter. It just makes choosing the right dog for you all the sweeter.

You can anticipate some of their quirks, faults, and interests, and maybe even some of their hassles (ex. Positive– they’re a cuddle bug, negative– they cuddle so much you’re going to be covered in pet hair a lot).


If dog breeds were people part 6

♬ original sound – Jonny

With that in mind, here are some of the top dog personality traits:

1: The Goofball

Ever see a dog that’s just… goofy? There’s no other word for them. Their tongue flops out of their mouth, they are always dropping their toys, running into things without seeming to notice, and maybe even slightly imbalanced.

If they try to jump onto the couch their legs catch something or they’re too short of the cushion and have to take a few tries.

These doggies are typically high-energy. They have so much energy, that they can’t seem to make coordinated moves.

Other goofy personality traits in dogs:

  • They spin a lot
  • They’re rollers
  • Kicking while being scratched
  • They eat grass and other odd things

Dog breeds that typically have a goofy personality:

  • French bulldog
  • Siberian husky
  • Corgi
  • Boston & Yorkshire terriers
  • Bichon frise

2: The Guardian and Loyal Pal

Maybe you want to get a dog for security purposes. You live alone… you have a family to protect… or you just like keeping your property safe.

You’re looking for a guard dog (not always the same as a watchdog).

The kind of dog that allows you to put up the “beware of dog” sign, and know that you can back it up.

These dogs are typically imposing, large, and have resting bite face. On the other hand, when they’re with their pack (you and your family), they’re loving, social, and maybe even cuddly. They’re simply loyal and territorial of their family.

Signs of a guard dog:

  • Watchful
  • Shy towards strangers until familiar
  • Often freeze and listen
  • Watch out windows
  • Very trainable

Guardian dog breeds:

  • Rottweiler
  • Pitbull
  • English & Tibetan mastiff
  • Schanuzer
  • Boxer
  • Golden retriever
  • Labrador retriever
  • Poodle
  • Great Swiss mountain dog
  • Akita
  • Samoyed
  • Pug
  • Greyhound
  • German Shepherd

3: The Hard Worker

Thousands of years ago, dogs were domesticated for use on farms and for use in hunting (and because they’re cute and cuddly).

The process likely looked something like this…


How humans domesticated wolves probably

♬ original sound – Jonny

Kidding. But maybe not. We don’t know. All we know is that some breeds of dogs are still the workhorses of the dog world.

They have boundless energy (for all those long runs herding sheep), are great at finding their way, comfortable with towing loads, and getting rough and dirty. They do tend to be overly energetic for some owners, and need to be outdoors more often than not to feel content.

Other characteristics of working dogs:

  • Versatile
  • Trainable
  • Natural herding instinct
  • Energetic
  • Intelligent

Working dog breeds:

  • Border collie
  • German shorthaired pointer
  • Tibetan mastiff
  • Dutch shepherd
  • Australian shepherd
  • German shepherd
  • Belgian Malinois
  • Doberman pinscher

4: The Territorial “Tough Guy” (or Gal)

You might think this coincides with the guardian dog personality, but there is a difference between guarding your family and being a bit…. feisty.

The latter is more likely to demonstrate aggression toward anyone who bugs them. It may happen when your hand gets in the way of their food, or when you’re trying to take a toy (or not toy) away from them.

That’s not to say that these dogs are mean or will always snap and snarl, or that they will be aggressive toward everyone. They may be very calm and laid back with their family.

It just so happens that a lot of small dog breeds are feisty and may tend to bark – but the bark is usually bigger than their bite.

Other personality traits of aggressive dogs:

  • Snarling
  • Showing teeth
  • Growling
  • Snapping
  • Excessive barking

Dog breeds that are more aggressive than others:

  • Chow chow
  • Chihuahua
  • Pomeranian
  • Long-haired collie
  • Miniature poodle
  • Miniature schnauzer

5: The Peaceful Pup

You know those dogs that like to sit on the porch all day and stare off into the horizon?

The ones that’ll walk quietly and slowly by your side, content with the slow walk?

Yes, the peaceful dog and the individual. They don’t need a lot of attention. They don’t beg for affection. They just like being in your presence.

These are ideal dogs for most older people looking for a companion that isn’t rambunctious and high maintenance. They’re also ideal for people that have physical ailments or aren’t able to get outside often.

(If you or someone you know has a physical disability, check out this blog about service dogs and therapy dogs.)

More personality traits in the peaceful dog:

  • Calm or easygoing
  • Quiet
  • Sleepy
  • Lap lovers
  • Sensitive to human emotions
  • May not be interested in guests, other humans during walks, or other dogs

Dog breeds that are typically peaceful:

  • Saint Bernard
  • Great Dane (Looking for big dogs that don’t shed? We’ve got you covered).
  • Bullmastiff
  • Newfoundland
  • Leonberger
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Shiloh shepherd
  • Bulldog
  • Cocker spaniels (and several other spaniel breeds)

6: The Smart and Curious One

Ever know a dog that just has to sniff everything, lick everything, and see everything? Every wrapper, fire hydrant, person…

This is actually a very healthy sign. It means your dog can easily adapt to new environments, and maybe a bit more social than other dogs.

Most puppies are quite curious. Everything is new to them, and just like a human child, they’re exploring their senses and their boundaries. As they grow older, they’ll become less curious and calmer.

That said, there are some dogs that’ll always be curious, and maybe even a little nosy.

More often than not, it’s the hunting dogs, the working dogs, and those with a bit more energy than most.

Other character traits of very curious dogs:

  • Loves new toys (and anything else new)
  • Smells everything
  • Has to greet everyone that visits
  • Has to smell and greet everyone on walks
  • Easily distracted
  • May not appear to listen all the time
  • May pull on the leash often to get to what they’re interested in

Dog breeds that tend to be curious:

  • American Stratford terrier
  • Australian shepherd
  • Border collie
  • Bloodhound
  • Chinook
  • Doberman pinscher
  • German shepherd
  • Golden retriever
  • Labrador retriever
  • Papillon
  • Newfoundland

7: The Adventurer

Some dogs thrive on being outdoors, wandering through the woods, traipsing through the river, and camping in the woods overnight. These are the perfect dogs for the adventurous human.

Whether you’re an avid camper and hiker, a biker or runner, or a full-time traveler, these dogs are up for anything.

They don’t mind change, and in fact, they thrive on it. Just like you do.

They may be a bit more curious than other dogs, and maybe a bit more social too, and that may cause them to wander a bit away from you (but they always find their way back).

On the other hand, they could be a more independent dog, as well as very trainable, and loyal, so they stick by your side and aren’t interested in other people and dogs. But they’re still up for a long hike through the woods.


How dog breeds order at a drive thru! @sundays #sundaysfordogs #sundayspartner #dogbreeds #ad

♬ original sound – Jonny

Other characteristics of an adventurous dog:

  • Controllable outdoors
  • Civil at home
  • Often itch to get outside
  • Aren’t comfortable with long stays indoors
  • May need more exercise than other dogs
  • Alert
  • Focused
  • Friendly

Dog breeds that are often adventurous:

  • Beagle
  • Golden retriever
  • Irish setter
  • Bearded collie
  • Boston terrier
  • Boxer
  • Labrador retriever
  • Maltese
  • Brittany spaniel

Weighing a dog’s behavior and their overall lovability AND picking the next member of your family (!!!) can be a challenge. (It’s a big decision!)

Good luck!


How dogs interact with Roombas! Thank you @irobot for sponsoring this video! #roomba #ad #dogbreedsoftiktok #dogbreeds #dogs

♬ original sound – Jonny

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