Introducing Our Dog Breed Guide

By: Orvis Staff

We created our Dog Breed Guide to help you decide which breeds are the best match for your family, lifestyle, and home. Though every dog is unique, and their personalities are influenced by socialization, a particular dog breed’s tendencies, traits, and general temperament are helpful to know in advance. You’ve got your laid-back charmers, your high-strung goofballs, and your courageous protectors. Throw in the mixed breeds and rescue mutts who represent the combined qualities of two or more breeds, and the furry options are endless.

If you love to hike or hunt, for example, a Labrador Retriever or Lab mix would be raring to join you on your adventures, while a Pug would take a pass on those excursions. If you live in an apartment, the gentle and quiet Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an excellent option, while the vocal Beagle—not so much.

We’ve answered the most common questions people ask about dog breeds, and then some. Are they protective? Do they shed a lot? Are they compatible with kids or other pets? Are they energetic, or low key? Will they gnaw the couch legs if you leave them alone for a few hours? Do they make good running pals?

We’ve covered every breed’s responsiveness to training, their common health issues, personality quirks, and exercise needs. You’ll also learn their unique histories—including ancient stories of pampered lap dogs keeping royals company, or of fluffy sled dogs helping nomadic tribes navigate the Arctic. As you explore these pages, you’ll learn more about your own beloved dog, or about the breeds that interest you.

The decision to invite a new dog into your home and heart is a momentous and joyful one. It can also be a bit overwhelming—whether this is the first dog to join your family, or the tenth. You are doing nothing less than choosing your newest best buddy. Ready to take the first steps on a journey that introduces you to your new best friend? Here goes!

Discover everything you wanted to know about your favorite dog breed in our Dog Breed Guide.