Ranking the 25 best dog breeds based on temper, health, and more

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Looking for the perfect dog can be “ruff.” Do you want a dog that will easily learn to fetch your paper, live the longest or perform Lassie-level heroics? Perhaps you want the best of everything and seek a pup that is a jack of all doggy trades.

Many pet-seekers choose to adopt purebred dogs because they tend to exhibit traits unique to their breed. A mixed-breed mutt brings a wild card quality that some potential owners choose not to explore. If you have decided on adopting a purebred dog, the next step is to sift through the overwhelming variety of dog breeds (the American Kennel Club currently recognizes 189).

To streamline this process, the team at PetBreeds looked at key factors that go into choosing the optimal furry companions. Our data scientists created a “Best Dog Breed” index that takes into account a dog breed’s standard characteristics. The index is on a scale of 0-100, with 100 being the highest.

The attributes were weighted as follows:

  • popularity American Kennel Club rankings (25 percent)
  • talents (17.5 percent)
  • health (17.5 percent)
  • personality traits (15 percent)
  • life expectancy (10 percent)
  • trainability (10 percent)

As a result of these curated qualities, the top-ranking dog breeds are generally talented, healthy and well-liked by owners. PetBreeds ranked all the purebred dogs according to their “Best Dog Breed” index score and created a list of the top 25 breeds, with the lowest index score going first.

#25. Finnish Lapphund


[findthebest id=”86CMFtiUQdL” title=”Finnish Lapphund Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/86CMFtiUQdL” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/170/Finnish-Lapphund” link_text=”Finnish Lapphund Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 35.9
Notable Rankings: 10th in Life Expectancy, 7th in Temper

#24. German Pinscher


[findthebest id=”j5XVstQZYZT” title=”German Pinscher Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/j5XVstQZYZT” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/69/German-Pinscher” link_text=”German Pinscher Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 36.0
Notable Rankings: 19th in Life Expectancy, 11th in Temper

#23. Irish Setter


[findthebest id=”2BXdgY1SgPH” title=”Irish Setter Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/2BXdgY1SgPH” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/85/Irish-Setter” link_text=”Irish Setter Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 36.1
Notable Ranking: 17th in Health

#22. Jack Russell Terrier


[findthebest id=”dBim3YzXpBP” title=”Jack Russell Terrier Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/dBim3YzXpBP” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/196/Jack-Russell-Terrier” link_text=”Jack Russell Terrier Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 36.2
Notable Rankings: 11th in Talent, 10th in Life Expectancy

#21. Border Collie


[findthebest id=”aQXzmIWr7UN” title=”Border Collie Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/aQXzmIWr7UN” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/29/Border-Collie” link_text=”Border Collie Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 36.5
Notable Rankings: 33rd in Talent, 4th in Temper

#20. Pembroke Welsh Corgi


[findthebest id=”lQiI9JuwgGV” title=”Pembroke Welsh Corgi Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/lQiI9JuwgGV” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/117/Pembroke-Welsh-Corgi” link_text=”Pembroke Welsh Corgi Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 37.1
Notable Ranking: 22nd in Popularity

#19. Cane Corso


[findthebest id=”5mhZYdFoywJ” title=”Cane Corso Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/5mhZYdFoywJ” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/199/Cane-Corso” link_text=”Cane Corso Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 37.3
Notable Ranking: 5th in Talent

#18. English Springer Spaniel


[findthebest id=”glD8LedtHiR” title=”English Springer Spaniel Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/glD8LedtHiR” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/63/English-Springer-Spaniel” link_text=”English Springer Spaniel Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 37.8
Notable Ranking: 28th in Popularity

#17. Poodle


[findthebest id=”6JsojQu9Hnf” title=”Poodle Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/6JsojQu9Hnf” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/124/Poodle” link_text=”Poodle Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 38.0
Notable Rankings: 7th in Popularity, 17th in Health, 11th in Temper

#16. Boerboel


[findthebest id=”hINx6R2eQ9n” title=”Boerboel Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/hINx6R2eQ9n” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/200/Boerboel” link_text=”Boerboel Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 38.2
Notable Ranking: 11th in Talent

#15. Australian Shepherd


[findthebest id=”1eMOVld77Zb” title=”Australian Shepherd Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/1eMOVld77Zb” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/12/Australian-Shepherd” link_text=”Australian Shepherd Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 38.4
Notable Rankings: 18th in Popularity, 11th in Talent, 19th in Life Expectancy

#14. American Bulldog


[findthebest id=”ce7XIlLcgLj” title=”American Bulldog Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/ce7XIlLcgLj” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/1091/American-Bulldog” link_text=”American Bulldog Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 39.0
Notable Ranking: 21st in Temper

#13. Miniature Australian Shepherd


[findthebest id=”9tNb167FZ4h” title=”Miniature Australian Shepherd Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/9tNb167FZ4h” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/1092/Miniature-Australian-Shepherd” link_text=”Miniature Australian Shepherd Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 39.1
Notable Ranking: 12th in Health

#12. Weimaraner


[findthebest id=”kt8jO6FL7Qp” title=”Weimaraner Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/kt8jO6FL7Qp” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/157/Weimaraner” link_text=”Weimaraner Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 39.5
Notable Rankings: 18th in Talent, 17th in Health

#11. Belgian Malinois


[findthebest id=”3Z7BCAQDpGd” title=”Belgian Malinois Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/3Z7BCAQDpGd” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/20/Belgian-Malinois” link_text=”Belgian Malinois Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 40.1
Notable Ranking: 1st in Talent

#10. Boxer


[findthebest id=”eYsKpBoIysl” title=”Boxer Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/eYsKpBoIysl” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/34/Boxer” link_text=”Boxer Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 40.3
Notable Rankings: 8th in Popularity, 17th in Health

#9. Rottweiler


[findthebest id=”74KupfGQu5n” title=”Rottweiler Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/74KupfGQu5n” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/131/Rottweiler” link_text=”Rottweiler Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 40.4
Notable Rankings: 10th in Popularity, 18th in Talent, 7th in Health

#8. German Shorthaired Pointer


[findthebest id=”i45DcgeVCRv” title=”German Shorthaired Pointer Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/i45DcgeVCRv” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/71/German-Shorthaired-Pointer” link_text=”German Shorthaired Pointer Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 40.7
Notable Rankings: 12th in Popularity, 23rd in Health

#7. Doberman Pinscher


[findthebest id=”1A4V0KpNUHj” title=”Doberman Pinscher Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/1A4V0KpNUHj” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/58/Doberman-Pinscher” link_text=”Doberman Pinscher Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 43.0
Notable Rankings: 14th in Popularity, 11th in Talent, 17th in Health

#6. Shetland Sheepdog


[findthebest id=”czq3NKXT3tr” title=”Shetland Sheepdog Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/czq3NKXT3tr” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/139/Shetland-Sheepdog” link_text=”Shetland Sheepdog Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 45.1
Notable Rankings: 12th in Health, 7th in Temper

#5. Cocker Spaniel


[findthebest id=”9P5h6vkmLMp” title=”Cocker Spaniel Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/9P5h6vkmLMp” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/52/Cocker-Spaniel” link_text=”Cocker Spaniel Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 45.7
Notable Rankings: 19th in Life Expectancy, 1st in Health

#4. Rat Terrier


[findthebest id=”kOqpTvSrUyx” title=”Rat Terrier Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/kOqpTvSrUyx” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/210/Rat-Terrier” link_text=”Rat Terrier Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 46.6
Notable Rankings: 1st in Talent, 1st in Life Expectancy

#3. Golden Retriever


[findthebest id=”4kpHI03kcol” title=”Golden Retriever Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/4kpHI03kcol” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/75/Golden-Retriever” link_text=”Golden Retriever Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 51.3
Notable Rankings: 3rd in Popularity, 3rd in Health

#2. German Shepherd


[findthebest id=”fjKQv0Bplat” title=”German Shepherd Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/fjKQv0Bplat” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/70/German-Shepherd” link_text=”German Shepherd Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 63.8
Notable Rankings: 2nd in Popularity, 3rd in Talent, 2nd in Health

#1. Labrador Retriever


[findthebest id=”5HA63CS5leR” title=”Labrador Retriever Overview” width=”600″ height=”600″ url=”https://w.graphiq.com/w/5HA63CS5leR” link=”http://dogs.petbreeds.com/l/95/Labrador-Retriever” link_text=”Labrador Retriever Overview | PetBreeds”]

Best Dog Breed Index Score: 79.0
Notable Rankings: 1st in Popularity, 5th in Talent, 7th in Health, 1st in Temper

Compare Other Dog Breeds on PetBreeds

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