7 Dog Personality Types – Which One is YOUR Dog? (Quiz)

If you are picking a new puppy for your family, you will need to consider the personality type of your preferred pooch. What personality type should your dog have to fit in well with your family and your usual recreational activities?

You can find out the answer to that question by reading my guide on the seven most common dog personality types below. I have found that intelligent pups and social and fun-loving dogs are the best types. They fit in well with children, the elderly, and single individuals.

dog personality types
7 Dog Personality Types – Which one is your dog? (Quiz)

If you’re ready to learn what type of dog works best for your home, check out the information below.

The Adaptable Dog

Some dogs get bred to become hunters, while others get bred for companionship. However, the adaptable dog can adjust to nearly any environment. These dogs can fit in well in a small apartment, a large farm, a house with a yard, or a condo with a small porch.

Dogs with adaptable personalities tend to have a more open mind and a carefree attitude. These dogs work well in situations with all sorts of people and other pets or animals. For example, the adaptable canine can live in a quiet environment with one owner or a home with plenty of kids and noise. 

These pups are also easy to train and have greater focus than other dogs. Nonetheless, you will need to follow basic steps to train your puppy so that your home stays clean. 

white maltipoo dog sitting on couch
A white adult Maltipoo sitting on a couch. Photo by Mitchell /CC BY

The Social Pup

Social puppies love to spend time with people. They will adore spending the day with your children or playing catch with their owners. However, these dogs may have a more challenging time alone at home.

These pups are also more likely to sleep right up next to you and follow you around the house.

They might depend more on the people around them and may need a friend to spend time with. You might want to get another dog or a friendly cat for them to play with if you have to go to work for most of the day. Otherwise, the social pup may not work well for you, as they may suffer from separation anxiety.

Nonetheless, the social dog loves to play games and will run around with your kids in the backyard or local dog park. For example, a game of fetch will get his attention.

French Bulldog playing
French Bulldogs play with their guardian at the park.

The Intelligent Canine

If you get a smart dog, you will have an easy time training the puppy. However, the most intelligent dogs get bored quickly, so you must include plenty of toys and games for the pup to interact with throughout the day. 

You must have the pup’s brain working if you don’t want your home destroyed. If the smart canine has nothing to interact with, he will start breaking things apart because of boredom. Yet, these pups like orderly behavior from others and act accordingly. 

Since the intelligent canine may provide some challenges, you must talk firmly yet lovingly to ensure the pup knows who is in charge. If you want a brainy pup, pick a Poodle or a Border Collie.

dog agility training
Dog agility training with his trainer.

The Independent Pooch

A more independent pooch might work well if you don’t work from home and spend much of the day in the office. These dogs are satisfied to spend the day at home alone while their owners are running errands or stuck at the office.

The independent dog can happily sleep in her own spot instead of in your bed or on your lap. These pups don’t need lots of attention, unlike the social dog. The independent pooch will bond with the “pack leader” but won’t rely on creating friendships with other family members.

You will need to ensure your independent puppy gets exposure to other dogs to prevent them from becoming hostile in the future.

Staffordshire Terrier sleeping
A Staffordshire Terrier sleeping soundly on the couch.

The Fun-Loving Dog

A happy-go-lucky or fun-loving dog can get mischievous since they tend to act more hyper and live in the moment. These dogs don’t always pay attention to their behavior when they’re having fun. Even when they grow into adult dogs, fun-loving pooches can act like puppies.

These dogs are more playful and curious, making them a great choice if you have young children who need a pet to play with. Yet, you may find these dogs are more challenging to teach tricks or train to behave in particular ways. Nonetheless, the fun-loving dog will show you and your family plenty of love and affection.

These pups are far from shy. 

Beagle plays with a girl
Beagle plays and jumps with a little girl.

The Shy or Nervous Puppy

Shy or nervous dogs are usually afraid of strangers or do not want to spend time with new people. Yet, the shy dog is friendly with its owners and others in the nuclear family. If you have friends over that the shy pup hasn’t met before, he may end up curled up in a corner or hiding under the bed to stay away from strangers.

When you’re out in public, the nervous puppy tends to keep its distance when she sees a stranger on the street. You shouldn’t push your pup into social situations she’s not okay with. Otherwise, the dog may stop trusting you and even become somewhat aggressive.

To gain their trust, you must exhibit patience and take time to get the dog acquainted with other family members.

Boston Terrier looks scared in blanket
Boston Terrier looks scared in a red blanket.

The Confident Pooch

A confident pup doesn’t have any problems meeting other dogs, pets, and new people. If you’re out in public, a confident dog is fine with getting a pat from a child or even playing with another dog at the local park.

These dogs can handle multiple different settings. They enjoy going on hikes or camping, spending time at home, visiting a friend’s house, or even going on a road trip. Often, the confident pooch is the pack’s leader among a group of dogs. 

The canine should not experience consequences for exhibiting confidence. Otherwise, the dog can get more hostile over time. As such, you don’t want to change your dog’s actual personality to keep them happy and peaceful.

owners caressing their dog
Dog owners spending time with their dog.

Below, I have put together a table showcasing what type of dog breeds align with each of these seven personality types.

Dog Personality TypesDog Breeds
Adaptable PersonalityTibetan Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier
Social PersonalityLabrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Beagle, Border Collie, King Charles Cavalier Spaniel
Intelligent PersonalityPoodle, German Shepherd, Border Collie
Independent PersonalityBasset Hound, Tibetan Spaniel, American Foxhound, Pug, Greyhound
Fun-Loving PersonalityFrench Bulldog, Bichon Frise, Great Dane, Beagles, Labrador Retriever
Shy PersonalityGreyhound, Dalmatian, Chihuahua, Maltese
Confident PersonalityLabrador Retriever, Jack Russell Terrier, Mastiff, Golden Retriever

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In the next section, I cover some of the most common questions about the typical dog personality types.

What is the most common dog personality?

There is not one specific personality type that most dogs fall into. However, dogs bred to become family pets tend to have similar traits. These traits include:

  • Happy and calm behavior.
  • A playful and peaceful attitude.
  • Sociable yet not overly playful.

Essentially, the typical dog has a good temperament when interacting with children. Another common trait is affection. Most dogs will show affection to their owner.

However, you will still need to socialize your dog at a young age to ensure they showcase good behavior. 

happy dog jumps
A happy dog at the park is jumping.

Are dog personalities genetic?

Both genetics and the environment tend to impact animal development. However, according to Psychology Today, a big part of their personalities depends on their genetics. In addition, the same dog breeds tend to have similar personalities.

For example, Spaniels all have a very friendly nature.

Newfoundland dogs also have an easygoing nature and tend to remain loyal to their owners. Border Collies, however, are focused on their task at hand. As a result, they may not pay as much attention to owners and the people around them. 

Doberman puppies with different colors
Four Doberman puppies with different colors.

What traits should you look for in a dog?

The traits you should consider when picking out a dog for your family include:

  • Friendliness around people and children.
  • Remains calm if left alone for a short while.
  • Acts relaxed when being handled.
  • Doesn’t get too rough when playing.
  • Affectionate nature without acting too needy.
  • Strong adaptability and go-with-the-flow attitude.
  • Playful with other dogs.
  • Friendly with other animals.
  • Effectively follows owners’ commands like sitting or staying. 
Jack Russell Terrier petting
Petting Jack Russell Terrier by his owner.

Final Word on Dog Personality Types

Now that you have learned about the typical dog personality types, you and your family are more prepared when picking out a dog breed and the perfect puppy for your home. You can get a great pooch with the right personality that fits well with your spouse and kids.

Talk to dog breeders or the local dog shelters to find out what kind of puppies and breeds are available. Before you know it, you’ll bring home a lovely dog you can take to the park. Your kids will love playing with the new dog.