In the market for a new dog? Different breeds work better for different lifestyles and types of situations. Some breed groups do better with families, while others prefer a smaller household. Certain breed groups require lots of exercise, while others laze around all day. Some breed groups also come with behavior problems you will also want to know about ahead of time.

Don’t miss the one important piece of advice you’ll want to know before making a decision (page 7).

1. Scent hounds always follow their noses

You might not be able to get their attention once they catch a scent. | Adogslifephoto/iStock/Getty Images

  • Breeds: Bloodhounds, foxhounds, basset hounds

Sporting dogs tend to have an adventurous spirit, stemming from their early days of following animals through the woods. Once they pick up a scent, they will track it forever. That said, these loyal dogs will also respond enthusiastically when you call them. Don’t forget to train them to do so!

Next: The following breed might not work for super affectionate families.

2. Hounds can get aloof

They’re often more independent dogs. | Avondell/iStock/Getty Images

  • Breeds: Coonhound, greyhound, basenji

Hounds generally have more aloof and independent personalities. They love to scout territory, but do not have as much interest in humans as some other breeds. You might have a hard time keeping them engaged, for that reason. That said, every dog has its own personality so that might not ring true for your pup.

Next: Choose one of the following breeds if you need a hardworking dog.

3. Working dogs get very focused

They zero in on tasks. | Globalp/iStock/Getty Images

  • Breeds: Rottweiler, Newfoundland, mastiff

Working and herding dogs have more business-like dispositions than many other breed groups. They will zero in on a task and remain on it, even to the detriment of doing what you want them to do. However, that can also work in your favor if you need a dog that will not quit, even under stress.

Next: These dogs originally herded sheep, but that instinct can lead to behavior problems.

4. Herding dogs even round up children

They might herd anything in their path. | Yanjf/iStock/Getty Images

  • Breeds: Collie, sheepdog, Australian shepherd

Herding dogs come by that label honestly. These intense dogs will herd instinctively, even children and other animals. For that reason, they may not do as well with small children. They also need lots of mental stimulation, so you might not want this breed if you stay away from home for long stretches. If you value your furniture, get herding dogs lots of brain-teasing toys to avoid behavior problems.

Next: If you need protection, the following breed will work out great.

5. Guard dogs automatically protect their territory

They often want to defend their territory. | Purple_queue/iStock/Getty Images

  • Breeds: Doberman, German shepherd, Akita

Guard dogs can get very protective of their territories, even as puppies. If you need a dog to keep intruders at bay, this instinct can work in your favor. Because they can get aggressive if challenged, make sure you train your dog well. Adequate training and a nurturing environment can also go a long way with these breed types.

Next: The following dogs can play fetch forever.

6. Sighthounds tend to chase

They might want to chase everything that moves. | Ashva/iStock/Getty Images

  • Breeds: Afghan hound, Irish wolfhound, whippet

If you do not want a dog that chases everything that moves, a sighthound might not come as your best bet. These intelligent dogs have a strong instinct to follow movement, and that includes kids and other pets. They will play fetch until they fall down exhausted, and will also follow you around like a shadow.

Next: However, the following aspect carries the most weight when it comes to behavior problems.

7. But remember: Good training counts for a lot

Proper training is key. | Cynoclub/iStock/Getty Images

No matter which breed you choose, proper training goes a long way. The best-behaved dog in the world will act out occasionally, and the worst-behaved dog can improve with attention. If your dog has behavior issues, consider asking a professional trainer for help. Every animal deserves a chance.

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