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Top 10 Most Popular Dogs in Canada for 2016

Wondering about the most common dogs in Canada? Perhaps thinking about a new dog for your family? Here is a list of the most popular dog breeds in Canada as compiled by Global News along with some points to ponder to help you make a more educated decision.

1. Labrador Retriever

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is large and bouncy, with an enthusiastic attitude toward life.
– Has a short easy-care coat.
– Has a cheerful, tail-wagging nature.
– Thrives on exercise and athletic activities.
– Is steady-tempered and dependable with everyone.
– Is peaceful with other animals.
– Is eager to please and responsive to training.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Providing a goodly amount of exercise (not just a couple of short walks around the block).
– Potential rowdiness and exuberant jumping when young or not exercised enough.
– Mouthiness: carrying and chewing objects, mouthing your hands in play.
– Heavy shedding.

2. German Shepherd Dog

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is strong, athletic, and natural-looking.
– Thrives on challenging activities and exercise.
– Looks stern and imposing, so makes an effective deterrent.
– Is exceptionally intelligent, loyal, and versatile (when well-socialized and well-trained, can learn and do almost anything.)

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– An extremely careful search to find a stable-tempered German Shepherd with a decent chance of staying healthy.
– Providing plenty of exercise and interesting things to do.
– Providing careful socialization.
– Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough.
– Potential aggression toward other dogs.
– Constant heavy shedding – 365 days a year.
– Legal liabilities (public perception, future breed bans, insurance problems, increased chance of lawsuits).
– Concerns about a multitude of serious health problems.

3. Golden Retriever

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is large, athletic, and natural-looking.
– Has a pretty feathered coat.
– Has a cheerful, tail-wagging nature.
– Is steady-tempered and dependable with everyone.
– Is peaceful with other animals.
– Is eager to please and very responsive to training.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Providing a goodly amount of exercise.
– Exuberant jumping, especially when young.
– Mouthiness: chewing on things, carrying things around.
– Regular brushing and combing to avoid mats and tangles.
– Heavy shedding.
– A distinctive doggy odour.
– Concerns about a multitude of serious health problems.

4. Poodle

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is medium to large, combining sturdiness and athleticism with elegance and grace.
– Has a short curly coat that is virtually non-shedding (poodles of any size are the best dog breed for people with allergies).
– Comes in a variety of colours
– Is lively and playful
– Is one of the brightest and most attentive of all breeds, such a skilled reader of body language and expression, that he often appears telepathic.
– Is easy to train and housebreak.
– Is usually polite to strangers and sociable with other animals.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– A careful search to avoid the high-strung lines.
– Vigorous exercise requirements.
– Exuberant jumping, romping, and bounding about, especially when young.
– Skittishness in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Emotional sensitivity to stress, tension, and loud voices.
– Clipping the curly coat every six weeks.
– Barking.
– Serious potential health issues.

5. Havanese

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is small but sturdier than his tiny Maltese cousin.
– Doesn’t need much outdoor exercise (just daily walks, plus romps in a fenced yard).
– Is playful and entertaining.
– Makes a good watchdog, but is not aggressive.
– Has a long coat (which can be clipped short for easy maintenance).
– Doesn’t shed much (one of the best breeds for allergy sufferers).
– Is good with other pets.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Separation anxiety: destructiveness and barking when left alone too much.
– Shyness in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Frequent brushing and combing (unless regularly clipped short).
– Mild stubbornness.
– Housebreaking difficulties.
– Barking.

6. Shetland Sheepdog

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is conveniently-sized, light on his feet, and graceful.
– Has a lovely feathered coat in a variety of striking colours.
– Is athletic and animated, a swift light-footed runner and jumper.
– Has a soft personality (sweet, gentle, sensitive).
– Is peaceful with strangers and other animals.
– Is bright and attentive and learns very quickly.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– A careful search to avoid high-strung, neurotic individuals.
– Providing sufficient exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom
– Separation anxiety: destructiveness and barking when left alone too much.
– Shyness or fearfulness in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Excessive sensitivity to stress and loud voices.
– Chasing things that move (instinctive herding behaviours).
– Barking.
– Frequently brushing and combing.
– Heavy shedding.
– Potential for serious health problems.

7. Bernese Mountain Dog

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is large, heavy, and powerful.
– Has a thick furry coat that does well in cold climates.
– Is gentle-natured, polite, and non-aggressive.
– Is usually peaceful with other pets.
– Loves pulling carts and sleds and romping in cold weather.
– Is responsive to training in a slow, good-natured way.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– A bulky dog who takes up a good amount of space in your house and car.
– Separation anxiety: Destructiveness when left alone too much.
– Fearfulness or timidity in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Some stubbornness and dominance problems, especially in young males.
– More than average shedding.
– Potential for slobbering/drooling in individuals with loose lips.
– High price tag.
– Serious health problems and a short lifespan.

8. French Bulldog

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is smallish but very sturdy — not a delicate lapdog.
– Has large expressive eyes.
– Has a sleek easy-care coat that comes in many colours.
– Is usually polite with everyone, including other pets.
– Typically loves to play games and chase balls.
– Doesn’t need much exercise.
– Doesn’t bark much.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Snorting, snuffling, wheezing, snoring, some slobbering.
– Gassiness (flatulence).
– Stubbornness.
– Slowness to housebreak.
– Quite a few potential health problems due to his deformed face.
– High cost.

9. Yorkshire Terrier

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is small, fine-boned, elegant, easy to carry, and doesn’t take up much space.
– Sheds very lightly (one of the best breeds for allergy sufferers).
– Is lively and inquisitive, and moves swiftly with light-footed grace.
– Doesn’t need a lot of exercise.
– Makes a keen watchdog – won’t fail to announce strangers.
– Is peaceful with other pets.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– The fragility of toy breeds.
– The fine line you need to walk with toy breeds, where you need to protect their safety, yet requires them to stand on their own four feet and be well-behaved.
– Notorious housebreaking difficulties.
– Regular brushing and combing, or regularly trimming the coat short.
– Suspiciousness, shrillness, and high-strung temperaments in some lines, or when babied or spoiled or not socialized enough.
– Excitable chasing instincts.

10. Schnauzer (Miniature)

Right for you if you want a dog who

– Is conveniently-sized and sturdy, yet also elegant, graceful, and light on his feet.
– Has a wiry coat that doesn’t shed too much, and a whiskery face with a wise expression.
– Plays hard and thrives on vigorous athletic activities.
– Makes a keen watchdog and an effective deterrent – stands firmly on the ground with boldness and confidence.
– Is very intelligent – can learn almost anything.

Not right for you if you don’t want to deal with

– Vigorous exercise requirements.
– Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young.
– Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough or left alone too much.
– Suspiciousness in some lines, or when not socialized enough.
– Aggression toward other animals.
– Strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge.
– Regular clipping and trimming of the wiry coat.

Written by Chris MacDonald, DVM

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