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Are these the best dog breeds in the world?

From life-affirming mischief makers to actual life-saving heroes, these are the breeds that Reader’s Digest readers have declared the most loyal, most fun, kindest, cutest and Best Dogs in the World. See if you agree…

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Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog
Pixabay

“It’s got to be a Berner. The Bernese Mountain Dog is the best breed to have for a family. Affectionate, intelligent and protective. I have had four of these beautiful animals. The last one, Tori, used to sit in front of me and give me that Bernese look. I would say ‘up!’ and he would put his front paws on my shoulders and know that he would get a reward. Unfortunately, they have a short lifespan.” – Drew Armstrong

If you like big dogs, you'll love these photographs of gentle giants.

Working dogs
Working dogs
Wikimedia

“Working Dogs are tops. Blue Cattle Dogs, Kelpies and Border Collies are known for their work ethic but I love their loyalty and absolute devotion to their human families. My all-time favourite will always be the Blue Cattle Dog, in particular our dog ‘Trigger’, who was my confidante during those tumultuous pre-teen years. He was always there for me, licking up my tears if I was upset, joyously playing when I was jumping out of my skin and quietly steadfast, keeping me company in my reflective times. Fiercely devoted and protective of the entire family it was a sad day when we left New Guinea to return to Australia without our loyal and loving ‘Trigger’.” – Cheryl Noud

Working dogs find their calling in life at a young age. Like these cute police dog puppies.

Cavoodle
Cavoodle
Greg Barton

“Cavoodles – because they don’t shed, they don’t smell and are just crazy happy all the time.” – Greg Barton

Cavoodles make good family pets. Here's what you need to know about choosing a pet for your kids. 

Beagle
Beagle
Pexels

“Beagles are my favourite breed! They’re mischievous, kind, cute, the perfect size, and so great with the kids!” – Sarah Coetzee

The longest living beagle, Butch, passed away in 2003 at an amazing 27 years old. Just how can you ensure your treasured pooch lives a long and healthy life?

West Highland Terrier
West Highland Terrier
Wikimedia

“West Highland Terrier. Just the cutest dog around and an ability to communicate with humans like no other. These dogs get into your heart and under your skin.” – Tony Trembath

Terriers and other similar dogs that are big on personality and small in size are highly suitable for keeping in apartments and small spaces.

Toy poodle
Toy poodle
Pexels

“Toy poodles because they are one of the few breeds that children and adults with allergies like asthma etc can have, and they are so very intelligent and loving – and my Peggy Sue is truly my soul mate. She is so intuitive and let me know when I had skin cancer on my lip and again when I had problems with my gall bladder – which led me to get a doctor’s referrals and eventual operations.” – Dale Ann Dowden

Poodles, like these other animals, are renowned for their intelligence.

Finnish Lapphund
Finnish Lapphund
Pexels

“The Finnish Lapphunds because they are soft, cuddly and loving. But they also have a spark of mischief to make them the perfect fun dog.” – Barbara Laurin

How close are you really to your soft, furry best friend?
 

Dalmatian
Dalmatian
Max Pixel

“The Dalmatian. Why? They are clean, do not have a ‘doggie’ smell; they are low maintenance; they love people, particularly children; they are great watchdogs but hopeless guard dogs; they are very protective but most important they are the most affectionate dogs we have owned – and we have owned ten dogs of different breeds over 55 years. They are also very aristocratic-looking dogs but that is not so important if you don’t want them to act as coach dogs.” – Kevin Page

Dalmatians like to exercise and get out and about. But is your own dog well-behaved around people and other pets?
 

English Staffordshire
English Staffordshire
Pixabay

“English Staffordshire. Staffies are the most gentle and loving of dogs to humans, not the aggressive muscle monsters some people take them for.” – John Goodwin

Otterhound
Otterhound
Wikimedia

“The Otterhound. A large, smelly, lovable dog that is unfortunately dwindling in numbers across the globe! I would love one of my own one day.” – Annemarie Withycombe

Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhound
Pixabay

“Irish Wolfhound because even though they are giants, they have the heart of a teddy bear.” – Kate Moore

Fox Terrier
Fox Terrier
Wikimedia

“Fox Terriers. Loving and lovable, playful, strong, good runners, good protectors despite their size, loyal and portable!” – Marty Dennison

Great Pyrenean
Great Pyrenean
Pixabay

“My absolute favourite dog is the Great Pyrenean. Although they have a thick double coat, grooming is never a problem if you do it every day. They have been known to bark in a residential environment, but only when an ant walks over the carpet. They are very bright and take training right out of your hands because they decide which commands are worth following. Socialising them is a breeze because they ignore most strangers on the street and tell other dogs to keep their distance. Above all I love mine because he knows when I am in pain and when I’m having a flashback, you see I suffer from PTSD and Big Bear takes great care of me!” – Ross Adams

Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retriever
pxhere.com

“Labrador Retrievers, because of their loyalty, intelligence and good nature.” – Stephen Sanger

Australian Terrier
Australian Terrier
Pixabay

“I have had at least six different breeds in my life and my favourite breed is always the one I have at the time. They are all special and unique, with their own little quirks and personalities. At the moment I have a toy poodle and an Australian Terrier, both rehomed girls.” – Pat Lowe

Jackalier
Jackalier
Wikimedia

“Jackalier – a cross between a King Charles Cavalier and a Jack Russell. Very intelligent, cute and loving. Wants to be everyone’s friend. Our guy is nearly ten and people think he’s still a puppy. He follows us around all day and climbs a tree in the backyard to regularly check on the neighbours. He has to do this check first thing every morning, too. He likes caravanning around the country as well.” – Joan Pilgrim

Shar Pei
Shar Pei
Wikimedia

“Shar Pei. My Boofy is five years old. I’ve had him since he was five-and-a-half weeks old; tootled into the house – actually, he jumped from the breeder’s arms and made a dash across the room towards me – actually, he skidded across the room, jumped up onto the lounge and put his paws onto me in order to claim me and this has been going on ever since. He sleeps at my feet or next to me on the lounge and he, along with his ‘mum’, Missy, have looked after me ever since. They are both akin to palliative care children (dogs) and have rescued me when I have had falls. I had a massive fall in the street and wasn’t found for over five hours. Stayed with me the whole time – that is why I love both the kids!” – Janet Lee

Mixed breed
Mixed breed
Public Domain Pictures

“I love the mixed breeds. They cost less, seem to have less medical issues and are so loving. Somebody has to look out for them.” – Kay McGuirk

Maltese/Shih Tzu cross
Maltese/Shih Tzu cross
Pixabay

“I absolutely love the maltese/shih tzu cross. This isn’t a breed in itself but it should be. I’ve owned a couple of these wonderful little fur people and am an incurable devotee. They have the sparkling, cheeky personality of the shih tzu and in combining this breed with the Maltese, they don’t have the nasal difficulties associated with owning a shih tzu. This makes them an easier breed to care for. They’re out to please their human every day, with a good dose of mischief thrown in to keep life interesting.” – Gwenda Kanofski

Tenterfield Terrier
Tenterfield Terrier
Wikimedia

“Tenterfield Terrier. Loyal, loving and adorable.” – John England

German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd Dog
Wikimedia

“My favourite dog breed is the German Shepherd Dog. I find that they are highly intelligent and loyal. They are capable of protecting the family as well as being gentle enough for kids.” – Evangeline Marzan

Rottweiler
Rottweiler
pxhere.com

“Rottweiler. Beautiful nature, strong and powerful, great part of the family… Oh yeah, and one saved my life! Why wouldn’t this be the breed for me?” – Helen McMullan

Border Collie
Border Collie
Pixabay

“Border Collie. They are intelligent, loyal, hardworking, gentle, protective, responsible, empathetic. I could go on and on. They love as much as they are loved.” – Lorraine Dudgell

Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffon
Wikimedia

“The Brussels Griffon is a very easy family dog. When we take our Griffon for a walk she melts everyone’s heart. She greets every person and animal with a warm heart. Biscuit makes everyone a friend. Biscuit is very kind and gentle to babies and small children.” – Judy Quick

Corgi
Corgi
pxhere.com

“My favourite dog is a Corgi, as we had a beautiful little girl named Yogie. We had her from a little puppy until she passed away a year ago. She is missed so much by our family.” – Jeanette Wright

Poodle, cavalier, terrier cross
Poodle, cavalier, terrier cross
pxhere.com

“The mixture of dogs in one lovely bundle. I have one that is poodle, cavalier, terrier and more. He has such a wonderful, lovely personality.” – Tina Rothbury

 

Great Dane
Great Dane
Pixabay

“Great Dane. These dogs are the gentle giants of the dog world.” – John Burton

Greyhound
Greyhound
Max Pixel

“Greyhound. Truly gentle creatures, not high maintenance, quiet, not requiring tonnes of exercise but will give you unconditional love.” – Jacky Burkett

More beagles!
More beagles!
Wikimedia

“I love beagles as they are smart, super cute and their size is perfect for city living.” – Janice Fernandez

Westie/Maltese terrier
Westie/Maltese terrier
Pixabay

“Westie/Maltese terrier. She doesn’t bark, is super affectionate and friendly and I love her to bits.” – Lynda Algar

More German Shepherds!
More German Shepherds!
Pixabay

“German Shepherd. I have never had a dog so loving, smart, obedient and loyal.” – Darren Spangler

Toy poodle
Toy poodle
Pixabay

“My favourite is the toy poodle because they are smart and give you unconditional love and are a true friend.” – Carol White

Staffy
Staffy
Pexels

“Staffy, because they’re smart, sturdy and simply adorable!” – Julia Ewings

Border Collie
Border Collie
Pixabay

“The Border Collie. Extreme devotion and a willingness to please.” – Fred Millwood



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Despite their size, these gentle giants are generally loyal, well-tempered and good-natured creatures.

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