Looking for a puppy? Click on the tags that describe your perfect dog.
What’s Different About This Guide
- It’s Completely Transparent: There are no hidden calculations; you can see how I assessed each breed and agree or not (let me know below if you disagree).
- It’s Evidence-based: You get access to health insurance costs for each breed (and therefore an idea of vet costs) plus the latest studies on lifespan and dog bite in children.
- It’s Relevant: We haven’t included rare breeds you can’t easily get in Australia that we don’t see in Adelaide. We have included dogs like Cavoodles, Schnoodles or Spoodles that are usually left out of dog breed selectors. I’ve tried to use pictures showing adult dogs how they really are, not cute puppies and not highly groomed dogs for showing.
How The Dog Breeds Were Assessed
- Size data comes from our page on average weights of dog breeds but note that female dogs will be smaller if desexed. Sizes were: small (less than 13kg), medium (13-26kg) and large (more than 27kg).
- Longevity data comes from three recent studies on canine lifespan here.
- Expense figures come from insurance data found on our page on the cost of keeping dogs. Costs were called high if premiums were more than $90 per month.
- Noisy breeds were modified from a list published elsewhere.
Temperament tags are all a bit rubbery and just represent one person’s opinion. There’s no way I can predict any dog will behave in a certain way. Here’s how I did them:
- ‘Independent’ and ‘affectionate’ tags were used to assess dogs for their ability to be happy if left alone, for example, in homes where everyone is out on weekdays.
- ‘Courageous’ is used to identify dogs less prone to anxiety
- Kid friendly dogs were selected from multiple sources, via the link. If this is important to you, please also read our guide to raising dogs with children.
- Other tags represent the opinions of myself and multiple other sources. Why haven’t I included ‘hypoallergenic dogs’ or ‘good with other animals’? There’s actually no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog (it’s just trial and error) and there isn’t a dog breed that never attacks other animals (though sighthounds, terriers and Arctic breeds are usually worse). For both, you need to use common sense and be careful.
- All dogs need daily human contact and exercise, the only difference is how much.
- Non-shedding and long coats require frequent grooming.
- Personalities are only guides. Assessment of a puppy’s parents is much more accurate.
- All dogs bark and all dogs protect. It’s breed differences I’m talking about.
Have something to add? Comments are welcome below and will appear within 24 hours of lodging.
By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. These help topics are from a series regularly posted on Facebook and Twitter. The information provided here is not intended to be used as a substitute for going to the vet. If your pet is unwell, please seek veterinary attention.