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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Augustana chapter.

Following my previous article of “6 Dog Breeds I Do NOT Recommend,” I wanted to make an article about dog breeds I actually do recommend. To establish my experience once more, I have worked at a dog kennel/doggie daycare/dog grooming facility for almost six years now, as well as having dogs at every point in my life. I am an avid animal lover, and knowing about the ins and outs of breeds is one of my specialties. So, if you’re looking to get a dog anytime soon, here are some dogs that I, based on personal experience and ONLY personal experience, do recommend getting! 

I will clarify that the list can be read in any order, as I recommend them equally. 

6. Bernese Mountain Dog

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Photo Courtesy of American Kennel Club 

The Bernese mountain dog is a beautiful dog breed that was bred for the purpose of laborious work. However, their personality is not always centered on the work they strive to complete, but also the family they belong to. Their loyalty makes them one of the best breeds to have around simply because they live to please their owner, and will stop at nothing to accomplish this. Their calming, sweet nature also makes for great family pets, gentle with small children and playful with the more-grown members of the family. I have never met an ill-willed/ill-intentioned Bernese mountain dog, and I doubt I ever will. 

5. Brittany 

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Photo Courtesy of American Kennel Club

The Brittany is a kind dog breed. Full of energy and spritely attitude, the Brittany is a perfect dog to keep your family entertained and active. They often need a lot of exercise and outdoors time because they were bred to be hunting dogs/gundogs, and like to tap into those active habits they have. They’re smaller than setters, yet bigger than spaniels, making the perfect medium sized dog for those stuck on which size they want their companion to be. Brittanys are also incredibly intelligent, able to pick up on tricks and commands with efficient ease. Another fun fact about this breed is that they participate in dog-sports more often than most other breeds, simply because of their outdoor-loving, upbeat nature. 

4. Shih Tzu


Photo Courtesy of American Kennel Club

Shih Tzu’s are one of the funniest breeds I have ever encountered. I owned a shih tzu until he passed away at 14 years old, and he made me laugh constantly. They give the impression of having nothing but two brain cells floating around in their little brains, but then the minute you open the door they book it as if they’re not spoiled and pampered. The “two brain cell” thing is a front for their cleverness. However, there are times when a shih tzu will want nothing more than to cuddle with their favorite human, and will absolutely always suck up to that human. My mom was my shih tzu’s favorite, and he wouldn’t go a single night without sleeping in her bed with her, even when I tried to get him to sleep in my bed. Shih tzu’s are often referred to as “yapper dogs” because of their high-pitched barking, but if you look past that, they make great companions. 

3. Golden Retriever

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Photo Courtesy of American Kennel Club

Golden retrievers are the “golden children” of the dog world. Often praised for their poise, friendly nature, and aloofness, they are one of the most popular dog breeds, and have been for years and years. I would argue that golden retrievers are only perfect if they are well-trained. They tend to spazz out because they cannot contain their energy when they see humans, often leading to injury. And even though someone like me, well-versed in the “being barreled over constantly in daycare” universe, can take that kind of injury, children or elderly can’t. Luckily, golden retrievers are easy to train, and learn quickly. They also adapt to their surroundings and climate well, able to go from a swim in the lake to a romp in the snow with no problem at all. They do have a gentle side, and this is more prevalent when they are around young ones, making them a very good “nanny” dog. 

2. Pitbull

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Photo Courtesy of PetPlace.com

I should mention that pitbulls are not recognized by the American Kennel Club because they are usually a mix of breeds. They are often mixed with the American Staffordshire terrier and the American bulldog (not to be confused with the English bulldog). I placed this dog as a pitbull in order to encompass everything they’re mixed with, the same way I did with the doodle in the previous article. Pitbulls are often regarded as “dangerous,” “deadly,” or downright “vicious.” They get a bad reputation due to the kinds of owners or breeders they end up with. Pitbulls were usually used for fighting when they first started appearing in society, and this led to a generational distaste for their breed. The idea of having a pitbull often leads to an argument of “nature VS nurture,” which I will not debate in this article. Instead, I would like to point out the positives of this breed. Pitbulls were often “nanny” dogs back in the day, and have loving, affectionate personalities. They’re loyalty is their most important trait, and can prove to be beneficial if the owner of a pitbull is ever in a pickle. There are hundreds and hundreds of pitbulls and mixed breeds like pitbulls alike that desperately need to be adopted, as they are often the breed that fills up shelters the most. 

1. Labrador Retriever 

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Photo Courtesy of American Kennel Club

It should come as no surprise that labrador retrievers ended up on this list, because of their versatile nature. They are one of the most popular dog breeds overall, being fun, loving, and reliable in every way. They are often medium to large dogs, making them the perfect pet for a family home not looking for something too small or too big, and have enough loving for each and every member of the family. Another appealing aspect of the labrador retriever is the fact that they come in all different colors as well. Well-exercised labs are outgoing and energetic, looking for any outlet to run, play, and jump around when they can. They also love to swim, and often are bred to be hunting dogs too! They fulfill a lot of roles in the family they belong to, from entertainer, a reason to get outside, and somebody to snuggle up with after a long day. 

I hope this list can come in handy if you’re ever debating on what kind of dog you’d like to adopt. Either way, it’s important to keep in mind that to a dog, you are their whole world, and the dog you choose will need the same kind of tender loving care that you would want if you were in their paws. 

Bryn Hansmeier

Augustana '25

I am a junior at Augustana College! I am a double major in management and marketing, as well as a double minor in communication studies and philosophy. I am on the pre-law track. I am a co-correspondent in HerCampus!