Looking for a new member of the family? It’s important to spend time researching different dog breeds before you make any commitments or spend any money to make sure when it’s time to introduce the newest member of your family to the rest of the family, they’re a good fit. Whether you’re single and looking for a new best friend to hang out with, a couple looking for a dog that is equally as happy going for a run with you as it is snuggling on the couch, or a family with children, these are five of the best breeds of dogs you can buy, based on personality.

5. Portuguese water dogs

Officially recognized as a breed in 1983, Portuguese Water Dogs are loving, independent and intelligent. They are hypoallergenic so are good for people with allergies. They are friendly towards strangers and enjoy being petted. While Portuguese Water Dogs are loyal workers and companions, they are also athletic, spirited and adventurous, which means that they can be destructive if they become bored.

4. Newfoundland dogs

Officially recognized as a breed in 1886, Newfoundland dogs are highly loyal, are famously good companions and are also known as “nature’s babysitters”. Remember Nana, the sweet dog that looked after the children in "Peter Pan"?

In addition to these qualities, Newfoundland dogs are also known for their life-saving instincts and their docile, patient temperament.

They are easy to train because they’re eager to please and because of their size, they like having some room to romp around. Newfoundland dogs are also good with children as well as with other dogs, with supervision.

3. German Shepherds

German Shepherds tend to get a bad rap because they are often trained as police dogs and, then, can be quite ferocious.

While it’s true that these dogs are courageous and require regular mental and physical exercise, because they were bred to work, they are also very obedient and will be loyal to your family. Officially recognized as a breed in 1908, German Shepherds are eager to learn and very intelligent. They have steady personalities and want to serve a purpose, such as keeping their family safe.

The only downside to this breed of dog is that they can be destructive when they experience separation anxiety from their owners or when they’re bored. Like the other dog breeds on this list, German Shepherds are good with children and other dogs, with supervision, and they only bark when necessary.

2. Golden retrievers

Golden Retrievers are known for their sweet, gentle and patient personalities, and they make great companions, especially for children. Officially recognized as a breed in 1925, Golden Retrievers love everyone, are friendly, tolerant, even-tempered, exuberant and silly. Dogs of this breed are active and energetic and need daily exercise, but they are also eager to please, and so are easy to train.

Dogs of this breed are also good with other dogs and with children, and typically only bark when necessary.

1. Labrador Retrievers

Labradors are definitely one of the friendliest, most lovable dog breeds, based on personality. Officially recognized as a breed in 1917, Labradors have been described as devoted, obedient, and even-tempered with other animals and children, which makes them very family-friendly. The fact that they’re eager to please, stable, gentle and smart is why they’re often trained as guide and services dogs. However; Labradors can also be playful, high-spirited and social. They like to say hello to others and enjoy interacting with other humans and dogs, and typically only bark when necessary.

According to AKC registration standards, Labradors are the most popular dog breed in the US, so it’s no wonder they made the top of this list!

Ready to take the next step in adding a new fur-child to your family? Make sure to visit your local animal shelters to adopt or foster rather than shopping in pet stores, so that you can find your perfect match and provide them with the forever home they’ve been looking for.