The Golden retriever is known as a loyal family companion, playful and energetic, as well as easy to train.
Breed Purpose: This athletic dog was originally bred to retrieve waterfowl for hunters and usually enjoys playing games like catch and fetch because of this. A member of the sporting group, the golden retriever needs daily exercise to manage his energy.
Average Size: 55-75 pounds
Average Lifespan: 10-13 years
Common Health Issues: Lymphoma, canine hip dysplasia, hemangiosarcoma (a type of cancer that forms in the blood vessels) and skin problems.
Requiring little grooming and with a special fondness for children, boxers are popular with families. They are known to be both patient with and protective of their human companions.
Breed Purpose: The boxer was originally bred in Germany for dog fighting and hunting large game like wild boar and bison. This member of the working group needs daily exercise.
Average Size: 55-70 pounds
Average Lifespan: 8-10 years
Common Health Issues: Canine hip dysplasia, boxer cardiomyopathy (irregular heartbeat) and subvalvular aortic stenosis (congenital heart murmur). The breed is also known to be sensitive to heat.
The poodle comes in three sizes: standard, miniature and toy. Their curly coat requires professional grooming but might reduce allergic reaction in people with dog allergies. This intelligent dogs makes a good pet and is known to excel at obedience training.
Breed Purpose: The original standard poodle was first bred in Germany as a water retriever. Both the miniature and toy varieties were derived from the standard poodle as companion animals.
Average Size: 4-8 pounds (toy), 15-17 pounds (miniature), 45-70 pounds (standard)
Average Lifespan: 12-14 years (toy), 13-15 years (miniature), 10-13 years (standard)
Common Health Issues: Toy and miniature poodles are prone to progressive retinal atrophy (which leads to blindness), epilepsy, Legg Perthes disease (which affects the hip joint) and kneecap dislocation. The standard poodle can suffer from gastric torsion, Addison's disease (a malfunction of the adrenal glands) and sebaceous adenitis (an inflammatory skin condition).
This breed has a well-earned reputation as a guard dog, but rottweilers are very affectionate with their families.
Breed Purpose: The rottweiler is a working dog, originally bred to guard the sheep the Romans brought with them when they invaded Europe, then further developed in Germany. Because of their size, these dogs need to be socialized and trained early and require daily exercise.
Average Size: 77-132 pounds
Average Lifespan: 8-11 years
Common Health Issues: Canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteosarcoma (cancerous bone tumor) and subaortic stenosis (a genetic heart condition). Because of their barrel-shaped chest, they can also develop gastric torsion. Continued ›