dog personality types

A review of dog personality types


There are a lot of different dog breeds making it difficult to make an informed choice. In this article you will discover a vast selection of dog personality types. Some of them will surprise you!

From the tiny Yorkshire Terrier to the gigantic Dane, dogs may be part of the same large family, but they are still fundamentally different from one another, and their temperaments vary as much as their physical characteristics.

Six major dog categories

There are six categories of dogs, each determined by the characteristics and genetic background of each breed.

dog personality traits

Pointing dogs

  • Cocker spaniel
  • Point
  • Golden retriever
  • Labrador retriever
  • English Setter
  • Irish Setter
  • German Shorthaired Pointer and others

The breeds in this category are perfectly suited to hunting, since their role is (or was) to bring a prey back to their master hunter. They are dogs that need a lot of exercise, but are willing to let themselves be trained to become excellent companion dogs. They are very gentle and generally friendly and they make good family dogs (in general they tolerate children well).


  • Afghan hound
  • Basset
  • Beagle
  • Dachshund
  • English Greyhound
  • Wolfhound
  • Whippet

These dogs are more suitable to apartment living, but scent hounds still aspire to a working life. They are often too energetic to accept four walls captivity and have a need for exercise.

major dog categories

As they keep their hunting instinct, they usually have a hard time getting used to the presence of animals smaller than themselves, cats for example. They need very firm training to learn to be happy in this life of luxury and comfort that you want to offer them.


  • Airedale
  • Bull terrier
  • Fox terrier
  • Irish Terrier
  • Scottish
  • West Highland

Most terrier breeds originate from the British Isles where these dogs were used to hunt down pests that dig dens, such as foxes, badgers, rabbits and groundhogs. So don’t be surprised to see your dog digging into the ground in your yard as if he is looking for a buried treasure.

They generally get along quite well with other animals and are patient with children. However, they need extensive training with a balanced approach between soft and firm.

pointing dog

Miniature dogs

  • Bichon
  • Chihuahua
  • Dwarf spaniel
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • Yorkshire Terrier

This category is made up of the most ancient breeds selected as companion and social dogs. These are therefore dogs that could be entered in different other categories (the Yorkshire is a Terrier, the Miniature Spaniel is a pointing dog, etc.) but whose small size is the main characteristic. They are dogs that often have character and a strong personality.

Working dogs

  • Boxer
  • Collie
  • Doberman
  • German shepherd
  • English shepherd
  • Rottweiler
  • Saint Bernard
  • Samoyed
  • Shetland Sheepdog

In general, the raison d’ĂȘtre of dogs were first determined by hunters (except for miniature dogs), and in this case, the category of working dogs is made up of all dogs that do not hunt, but can perform other tasks, such as sheepdogs, fighting dogs, draft dogs, etc.

These days, some of these dogs are trained as guide dogs for the blind, scout dogs, and police dogs. Most make excellent companions, although some tend to get bored when they don’t have enough to do. Daily exercise is therefore essential.

miniature dog

Companion dogs

It is truly amazing to see dogs so different from each other classified under the same category. This is because it includes dogs of all shapes and sizes that do not fall under the strict definition of other dog personality types. Their temperament is therefore also very diverse.

For example, the Dalmatian is a high energy dog which needs to be physically active, while the Bulldog is a couch potatoe!

As you can see, the above dog categories bring together breeds that have similar dog personality types but there are also some important differences between them.

working dog

How is a dog’s personality built?

You have to distinguish between what is innate (therefore due to genetics) and what is acquired, that is to say influenced by the education of the dog. Socialization is a very important step in building a dog’s personality. This is what will allow you to have a balanced dog since it will have lived through many different situations.

For example, guide dogs should be aware of all possible situations from an early age. As a result, they are not afraid of the unknown and can stay focused on their mission under all circumstances. However, it’s clear that if you adopt a dog who has not been properly socialized or who has had traumatic experiences, you can improve his character by providing him with the appropriate education and training, by yourself or with the help of canine behaviorist.

Link between dog personality types and owners

Now that you know the different dog personality types, you are probably wondering which one would suit you best. We recommend that you choose a doggie that will suit your own character and lifestyle, to avoid major disappointments. Learning about different breeds is always helpful, even if you are adopting a crossbreed dog. Indeed, as we said, genetics have an important role in the construction of the personality of the dog.

Basic selection criteria

If you have a hectic life, it will be better to choose a small dog who will not need long walks and can easily follow you on your travels. If you are a great athlete, choose a dynamic dog of medium to large build, such as the Labrador or the German Shepherd.
Finally, if your life is rather calm, a quiet and independent dog will suit you more.






Leave a Reply