If you're looking into adopting a dog but don't know where to begin, animal expert Julia Szabo decodes the pros and cons of different dog breeds to help make your decision easier.

By Rachael Ray Every Day
November 01, 2005

Bernese Mountain Dog

This iconic dog is a symbol of Switzerland because its heavy fur allows it to stay warm in the Alpine region. If you live in a chilly climate, this dog will thrive there.


Also know as the English bulldog, this pup isn't classically handsome, but Julia says he's so ugly he's adorable!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Named and popularized by King Charles II of England, this regal breed has gone on to be great companions to even more royal figures. Julia thinks their cheerful and joyful spirit is why they're such loyal friends.


As the smallest known dog breed, these little teacups can sometimes be bossy. But Julia says that just comes from a place of vulnerability because of their small size in a big world.


Probably the most famous breed because of a little moved named Lassie, Julia says the collie was portrayed accurately as hard-working, loyal, family-friendly pups.


The Dachshund, as part of the hound group, is built with a long body, short legs and sharp teeth -- perfect for burrowing and hunting!

Doberman Pinscher

If you're athletic and active, the Doberman Pinscher is a good choice for you and your family.

French Bulldog

This small, but tough breed are adorable little guys that are so popular with their owners that most cities have meet up groups for French Bulldog owners -- talk about a great way to make some new friends!

German Shepherd

Super cuddly, these pups get very attached to their owners and are wonderful companions. Find out why the German Shepherd has a special place in Julia's heart.

Great Dane

Known as the gentle giant, this breed can getas big as 180 lbs which Julia points out is basically a mini horse!

Labrador Retriever

Labs are the most popular breed in the world. Plus, they have an amazing ability to detect a diabetic's low sugar, so they make a great service dog.


As a standout beautiful dog, Julia says this breed's goal in life is to love and be loved. Find out why the Maltese used to be a fashion accessory!


A mix of different breeds, mutts make for a versatile and laidback pet that can match a variety of personalities. Plus, they're super easy to find! Just check out your local animal shelter.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

This herding breed is also Queen Elizabeth's favorite! Even without the queen, Julia thinks this would be a popular pick because they're super cute and hard workers.

Pit Bull

Despite being the most-feared breed due to their loyalty to their owner almost to a fault, Julia says the pit bull is her favorite! The key is being firm but gentle and he'll be a versatile and friendly dog.


Poodles shouldn't be dismissed as frivolous dogs -- they're intelligent and athletic, too.


These little dogs are very appreciated because of their cute looks and endearing personality, but can also be strong-willed. P.S. You might recognize this pup from the movie "Men in Black."


Though the Rottweiler might have a reputation as a strong working dog that can become aggressive, Julia says it all depends on their training.

Shih Tzu

One of the most ancient breeds from China, this breed was bred to look like a "little lion" and to be its owner's companion.


A German breed that was created to accompany diplomats when hunting game, these dogs can actually be clowns and fun, despite their dignified appearance.

Pet Gallery

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