It's important to adopt a dog that will fit your lifestyle. All breeds are different, and some may be good dogs for one person but not another. Not every one of these best dog breeds for women is an appropriate choice for everybody.

For example, if you're an active woman, you will get an active dog. If you're more sedentary, you will adopt a lazier lap dog to cuddle with in front of the TV. Or maybe you need a large dog for guarding the home and protection on your daily walks. Below best dog breeds for women are ranked in different categories based on each woman's needs.

For Women Who Want a Workout Partner

Dog Breeds for Women


1. Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers (pictured above) are loyal, energetic, and always ready to play. They're also one of America's most popular breeds.

Suppose you want a companion to take with you on adventures, look no further. This breed loves to swim, hike, and do anything outdoors.

Most Labs retain their puppy-like nature long past the point of maturity.

Labs are also very affectionate and rather unfazed by chaos, making them excellent family dogs.

Siberian Husky

2. Siberian Husky

Huskies are wonderful dogs for athletic, adventurous women who want to enjoy the great outdoors with their pets.

They are one of the best dog breeds for women who don't mind the extra grooming and care needs of a Siberian Husky but would take advantage of staying active.

These dogs want to be best friends with everyone and can even overwhelm some with their excitement.

Siberian Huskies are free-spirited and playful, and because of their very high energy needs, they require proper nutrition and frequent exercise to avoid destructive behavior resulting from boredom.

Golden Retriever

3. Golden Retriever

Like the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retrievers are energetic, affectionate dogs who love being with people and get along well with all ages.

They're one of the most popular dog breeds in America and are statistically often adopted by women pet owners.

These dogs have glorious, long coats that require regular brushing to remain healthy.

Being retrievers, they can spend hours playing Frisbee in the park and love a long walk with their female human companions.


4. Boxer

Boxers are a bouncy and rambunctious breed. They are sweethearts with children and occasionally smaller animals like cats but can be prone to dog aggression if not socialized early.

They would do well in a home where they can hog all the attention and playtime for themselves.

This breed tends to calm down significantly as they age and match a personality that equally values physical activity and snuggling.

Boxers are known for their silly personalities.

They are certainly one of the best dog breeds for women and can often be seen protecting their female companions.

Jack Russel Terrier

5. Jack Russel Terrier

Smaller than many of the dogs in this section, but you'd never know it from the way a Jack Russel behaves.

These dogs are intense, determined, and intelligent.

They're a great pet for women who enjoy both a lap dog and a very energetic companion who rarely stays still.

Not only do they thrive on physical exercise, but they are at their best when they are mentally stimulated as well.

They are normally friendly but have a strong prey drive and may be aggressive with other dogs or smaller animals.

Australian Shepherd

6. Australian Shepherd

Originally bred as herding dogs, Australian Shepherds are highly intelligent and trainable.

Naturally, they make wonderful farm dogs, but they are a great pet for anyone compatible with their affectionate and energetic nature.

This breed also craves mental and physical stimulation and would be great for an owner who wants to train them to compete in agility.

They're easily one of the most popular best breeds for women.


7. Vizsla

The lean Vizsla is swift and high-energy. They make amazing jogging partners for women who are serious runners.

This is another one of the best dog breeds for females who enjoy the outdoors, are athletic, and are active daily.

Because of their short coat and low shedding, it's also one of the hypoallergenic breeds.

The Vizsla is affectionate, often to the point of being clingy.

They love to follow their people wherever they go and are prone to separation anxiety.

Vizslas are friendly with other animals but tend to be timid around strangers and need time to warm up.


8. Weimaraner

These distinct-looking hunting dogs possess great endurance and athletic ability. They are wonderful companions for women who like to go on long hikes, camping, and similar outdoor activities.

Naturally, being a gun dog breed, these hunters have a strong prey instinct and do best as only dogs.

Loyal to their families and wary of strangers, this breed is happiest when they have plenty of space.

They like to interact primarily with those they already trust, and you'll often see women owners hanging out with their Weimaraners in dog parks.

Shiba Inu

9. Shiba Inu

At number 9 on our list of the best dog breeds for women is the Shiba Inus.

These dogs are independent, clever canines that are often described as being a part cats.

These guys are very speedy with a high prey drive and make great jogging buddies as long as they are kept on a leash to prevent them from wandering.

Shibas are a wolf-like breed and are generally clean dogs and do well in apartments as long as their owner gives them plenty of exercises to prevent destructive behavior.

These dogs are an ideal fit for someone who wants an athletic dog but doesn't need to be overly affectionate with their pet.

Border Collie

10. Border Collie

Border Collies are notoriously intelligent and hard working. Aside from being wonderful herding dogs, these guys are excellent at agility.

Because this breed can be hyperactive and sensitive, it is imperative to ensure they have an outlet for their excess energy.

This breed is certainly one of the best dog breeds for women, but they are also a high-maintenance dog that will require a lot of your time, and they're also perfect escape artists.

Border Collies are best-suited for a home in a rural area where they have lots of space to run and play.

Dog Breeds for Women

For Women Who Want Loyalty and Protection

Best Dog Breeds for Women Who Want Loyalty and Protection

 11. German Shepherd

German Shepherds have a very intimidating look and can be suspicious of strangers, perfect for someone seeking a protective companion.

These dogs are deeply loyal to their owners, make great family dogs, and need lots of attention.

Like many working dogs, German Shepherds are highly intelligent and need exercise and even a purpose of being content.

Though the German Shepherd likes to be inside with his family, they will be happiest in a home that has a spacious yard.


12. Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is smart and likes to think for himself, but obedient and eager to please.

Combine this with his massive size, and you have a wonderful guard dog.

In contrast to dogs like the German Shepherd, Bullmastiffs are pretty independent and don't require much attention.

They are super mellow and do not need more than simple, regular exercise to stay happy. Because of this, they can make surprisingly good apartment dogs despite their large size.

These dogs are quiet and highly protective. They are naturals with children and consider it their job to keep them safe.

Not only are these one of the best dog breeds for women, but they are also one of the best family dogs.

Bernese Mountain Dog

13. Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a combination of alert intelligence and calm affection. As guard dogs, they would serve more to give the illusion of danger than actually dangerous.

Even though they are one of the most beautiful and graceful-looking dogs, their size is often a deterrent to strangers.

While these dogs tend to be aloof with people they don't know, it is unusual for them to behave aggressively, making them a perfect dog breed for women.

That said, this breed is very protective and will jump to their women's owner's defense if they feel threatened.


14. Rottweiler

Rottweilers look tough with their strong muscular builds and blocky features and are devoted to keeping their people out of harm's way.

Unlike the above-mentioned Bernese Mountain Dog, this dog is actually strong with a serious bite force and can cause serious harm when protecting its owner.

Normally, while not ideal for first-time owners, Rottweilers are calmly confident and quite aloof to strangers, making them pretty intimidating to be around but with a good balance.

They are great one-on-one companions and great family dogs, making them one of the best dog breeds for women.

Korean Jindo Dog

15. Korean Jindo Dog

Loyalty is the Korean Jindo Dog's defining personality trait. These dogs are highly people-oriented and need to be part of the family. Statistically, they are most often adopted by women.

Their cleanliness and quiet nature make them excellent apartment dogs.

Because they are so protective of their people, it is important to socialize them early in life not to feel overly threatened by everyone who comes to your home.

Doberman Pinscher

16. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers are a watchful and devoted breed.

These dogs are very active and intelligent and need frequent exercise and careful feeding.

They would be a good fit for an active woman who would like a protective dog to alert them to danger.

Like many loyal dogs, Dobermans are not only one of the best dogs for women, but they also make wonderful family pets as they are good with children and always want to be included in activities.

These animals are one of the best dog breeds for women who enjoy being active and want a watchdog who looks intimidating and can be a protector when needed.

Akita Inu

17. Akita Inu

Akitas are large dogs with a striking and unique appearance.

They are extremely loyal and devoted to their people and need a disciplined owner to respect as pack leaders.

Any woman who adopts Akita will need the extra time to spend on this dog's training, exercise, and playtime.

Intelligent and willful, if not trained with strict routines, Akita Inu will run all over a first-time dog owner and likely end up with behavioral problems if you are not firm enough with them.

These dogs are trusting of family, cold to strangers, and make great guard dogs for women.


18. Komondor

This breed is fiercely territorial and protective.

They are one of the best dog breeds for women, as they will watch over their owners diligently.

Komondors need a firm master who won't let them dominate.

These dogs are fairly low energy and have minimal exercise needs.

However, their grooming needs are extensive and unique.

Komondors tend to be dog aggressive and suspicious of strangers, so they need early socialization to avoid feeling easily threatened.

Plott Hound

19. Plott Hound

The Plott Hound is both protective and affectionate. They are one of the more rare dog breeds adopted by women but make a great companion for them nonetheless.

This pooch takes his job as a defender very seriously. These dogs are true hunters by nature.

They have a pack mentality and thus are pretty tolerant of other dogs they have had time to warm up to.

While Plott Hounds love to be with their women owners, they also need plenty of space to roam, so a house with a large yard would be ideal.

If your Plott Hound doesn't get enough exercise, he may develop bad habits, like chewing, to entertain himself.

Chow Chow are one of banned dog breeds

20. Chow Chow

Chow Chows are highly territorial and protective.

They make wonderful guard dogs with their bear-like appearance and loyal nature and perfect protective companions for women.

These dogs tend to bond with a single person in particular, so they would be one of the best dog breeds for women who live alone.

Dogs of this breed are not usually physically affectionate, and their heavy coat requires regular brushing.

Dog Breeds for Women

For Women With Allergies

Best Dog Breeds for Women With Allergies

 21. Poodle

This distinct-looking and the non-shedding dog comes in a few sizes: toy, miniature, and standard.

They are lively and playful dogs and one of the most intelligent breeds.

They would be a great fit if you struggle with pet allergies but want an athletic dog to participate in active exercise and training.

Poodles can be sensitive to stressful situations. While they are affectionate with their owners and people they trust, they can be skittish with strangers if not properly socialized.

It's easily one of the best dog breeds for women with allergies.

Maltese Dog Breed

22. Maltese

The Maltese is a friendly, people-oriented dog with hair-like fur that very rarely sheds. Because of this, they require regular grooming to avoid tangles. So while they're considered hypoallergenic dog breeds with little shedding, any woman adopting a Maltese needs to enjoy grooming their pet often.

They are a small breed and are highly affectionate and should not live in a household where owners will frequently leave them.

Separation anxiety might be a real problem for these canines. Maltese are fearless, vocal, and will bark when people enter your home.

Chinese Crested

23. Chinese Crested

An obvious choice for allergy sufferers women, the Chines Crested hardly has any fur at all. Because of this, they will get sunburn-like people and need sun protection.

These dogs are the definition of lapdogs, and any woman who enjoys cuddling with her pet will have this breed as one of the first on the list.

Statistically, these pups are adopted and are one of the best dog breeds for women that want a truly affectionate lap dog who loves spending time with the owner.

They are intensely loyal and loving, and while they may take time to warm up to new people, with proper socialization and patience, they can be friendly with strangers as well.

Bichon Frise

24. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is good for women with allergies in a unique way.

These dogs are double-coated, so loose hairs are caught in the undercoat instead of flying everywhere. They need intense grooming to remove the loose hairs and keep them from matting.

If you are inexperienced with this kind of dog, we would recommend a professional groomer.

The Bichon Frise is a good choice for a woman who wants an entertaining and affectionate dog and doesn't mind the grooming commitments of this breed, which are quite high.

Portuguese Water Dog

25. Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog has no undercoat and rarely sheds at all.

Like most other best hypoallergenic breeds, his hair-like fur needs regular brushing, and it's non-negotiable.

These dogs are very energetic and need plenty of exercise, so they're perfect for allergic women who enjoy being outdoors and athletic.

As suggested by their name, they love to swim and would be an ideal fit for an active woman in particular who will take them on water-related adventures.

Afghan Hound

26. Afghan Hound

Elegant and regal, these dogs have a very distinctive look and are one of the more rare breeds.

Their long, silky fur is similar to human hair, and though it occasionally sheds a bit, it doesn't fly around like most pet hair.

Afghan Hounds need frequent bathing and brushing. They are independent and not overly affectionate once they reach adulthood.

Afghan Hounds are among the best dog breeds for women who live alone with no other pets, as they prefer to remain calm and aloof.


27. Schnauzer

Like Poodles, Schnauzers come in many sizes. They have a unique bearded look and a short, wiry coat that rarely sheds.

These dogs are territorial and protective, making them one of the best dogs for women who need a real and loud guardian.

They will alert you to anything out of the ordinary.

With a strong prey drive and high energy, these guys need frequent exercise and a strong-minded pack leader so that a push-over dog owner will have a hard time.

Bedlington Terrier

28. Bedlington Terrier

This lamb-like dog possesses a short, curly coat that infrequently sheds.

They require regular grooming as well as frequent exercise.

They are rarely seen in the U.S., but when adopted, it's often by women.

A strange-looking breed, these dogs are intelligent and lively. Though they will be outgoing with you and those you live with, they will likely be timid with new people.

These are among the best dog breeds for women who live by themselves and don't mind spending a lot of time with their pets.

Dog Breeds for Women

For Women Who Want Companion Dogs

Best Dog Breeds for Women Who Want Companion Dogs

 29. Pug

Pugs are affectionate to the point of clinginess and very friendly to new people.

Overall, they tolerate everyone but will get jealous if they see another dog on your lap.

They are prone to overeating if they are not disciplined with their food regimen, require proper Pug food, and are known, beggars.

These guys love to nap and will cuddle up to you any time you sit down, even for a minute.

Pit Bull

30. Pit Bull

This may not be the first breed that comes to mind when you think of the best dog breeds for women, but you may be surprised.

Pit Bulls love people and truly seem to have no idea how big they are. They like to think of themselves as lap dogs.

Pit Bull owners often describe this breed as behaving very much like babies.

These dogs are friendly, great with children, and fiercely loyal.

Just keep in mind that they can be dog aggressive if not socialized at an early age.

English Bulldog

31. English Bulldog

The English Bulldog is friendly, easy-going, and bold.

Their lazy nature makes them ideal cuddle buddies, and they love napping as close to you as possible.

Like Pugs, they are prone to overeating and need a controlled diet.

One of the best breeds with children and friendly to all can be a good watchdog but has too little follow-through to make a good guard dog.

Tibetan Spaniel

32. Tibetan Spaniel

Tibetan Spaniels are loving and affectionate dogs who are sensitive to their owner's moods.

They are intelligent and intuitive but require little physical activity.

These little guys are among the best dog breeds for women living in small apartments in the city.

They are prone to separation anxiety and need an owner who can devote enough time and affection to them.

These little dogs will bark to alert you when they sense something out of the ordinary.

Basset Hound

33. Basset Hound

The Bassett Hound's temperament is the same as his appearance – easy-going, lazy, and never high-strung.

These are pack dogs and love the company of family and fellow pets.

Though they are gentle, patient, and ideal lap dogs, they require frequent bathing, special attention to their long ears to minimize the smell.

Basset Hounds are commonly used as hunting dogs. They have a powerful sense of smell, which means you won't be able to leave them outside unattended.

Shih Tzu

34. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu's are lovable, sweet, and total lapdogs.

They're often adopted by and considered the best dog breed for women who enjoy pet affection. This isn't to say that they are super low energy.

These little dogs love to play and can be quite courageous.

They are affectionate and need to be with people most of the time, or they will likely develop separation anxiety.

A good choice if you want a very small playful, and affectionate dog.


35. Samoyed

Often called Smiley Sammies, these dogs are happy-go-lucky and friendly to all. They have a high prey drive and need plenty of exercise.

If you adopt this breed, you'll need to have plenty of time to devote to daily walks and activities, or your Samoyed may find other naughty things to entertain himself.

The Samoyed's plush coat also has pretty demanding grooming needs.

These dogs are loving and good-natured. Really a great fit for anyone who wants a companion dog and isn't bothered by grooming.

French Bulldog

36. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are very playful and love to be the center of attention.

If you're looking for a companion who will shower you with affection and keep you endlessly entertained, a Frenchie is a great choice.

Even though Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has two of these,

Frenchies are still considered as definitely one of the best dog breeds for women.

They are loving, people-oriented, and friendly with everyone.

This breed will overeat if you allow it and needs a heavily monitored diet. Because of their small stature, obesity can do permanent damage to their little bodies faster than you'd think.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

37. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

King Charles Spaniel is a wonderful companion dog.

They have strong lap dog tendencies and are very susceptible to separation anxiety, but they're also outgoing and energetic.

This breed is a perfect fit if you're a woman who wants a small, affectionate companion dog that loves to go outside on adventures as long as you come too, of course.

American Eskimo Dog

38. American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog is very people-oriented and hates to be left alone.

These dogs are also active and intelligent, requiring plenty of mental and physical exercise.

They are friendly to all people, including children, but have a high prey drive, making poor choices for a household with tiny pets.

They are a perfect fit for someone who will show them affection and doesn't mind their frequent shedding.

Great Dane

39. Great Dane

Often called gentle giants, Great Danes are mild and easygoing.

Because of their massive size, they will fare best in a home where they have plenty of space.

However, they require little exercise once they reach adulthood and have no grooming needs beyond bathing.

These dogs can be particularly clingy and can frequently be found sitting on their owner's feet or leaning against their legs.

As you can see, these don't exactly lap dogs, so you'll need to get used to having a canine companion who is as big as you are.


40. Keeshond

Keeshonds make great companion dogs. They are very affectionate and like to be with their owners every second they can.

They will bark to alert you of anything out of the ordinary, but since they love everyone, they would more likely welcome them into your home than provide any deterrent.

This breed is also a seasonal shedder and requires regular grooming to avoid tangles and matting.

If you are interested in an affectionate breed and won't mind keeping up with his extensive grooming needs, the Keeshond may be the right dog for you.

READ NEXT: 25 Best Dog Breeds for Small Apartments

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Top 40 Best Dog Breeds for Women

Rachael is a writer living in Los Angeles and an alum of UNC Chapel Hill. She has been a pet owner since the age of three and began dog-walking in 2015. Her nine-year-old Pug and best pal, Ellie, is the queen of sassy faces, marathon naps, and begging.