Although cats are currently more numerous in households than dogs, dogs are still man's best friend. Mixed breeds and mutts are popular, but full bred dogs are more in demand, with Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers topping the list. Retrievers are breeds with easy going, friendly temperaments and are gentle with children. Their large size might give the appearance of a protective dog, but Retrievers are friendly to everyone.
Another popular dog breed is the German Shepherd. This breed is extremely intelligent and protective of its family. It will protect the home and love the children as its own. Shepherds are obedient and very easy to train. They must be trained when they are puppies, as they will grow to be large and potentially dangerous if not properly socialized.
Boxers and Rottweilers are popular dog breeds that are both thought to be descendants of the Mastiff. Both are very protective of their owners and loving with children. Boxers are very active and often high strung. Rottweilers are calm and quiet. Both have the potential to be dangerous and must be trained properly. If trained at a young age, both Rottweilers and Boxers will be wonderful pets with good social skills.
There are some popular dog breeds that are smaller as well. Dachshunds, Yorkshire Terriers and Chihuahuas are great lap dogs that will ride in the car, sleep on the bed, and do everything their human companions do. These small dog breeds can be aggressive and temperamental. Though they can do little harm, they must be trained or they will be moody and rude to everyone they meet. They often are frightened easily by loud noises and can be very protective of their toys.
Two wonderful mid-sized dog breeds are the Poodle and the Beagle. Poodles are known for their curly hair that can be clipped and shaped many different ways, but Poodles are also highly intelligent and easy to train. Some people just let their coats grow naturally, keeping it clipped, but not shaped. Beagles are known for their loud warning bark; a big noise from a relatively small dog. Beagles are wonderful with children and love to play.
When choosing a dog, always consider the breed; even in a mixed breed, the temperament and personality types will show through.