Choosing a dog isn’t something to be taken lightly. The average life span of a dog is around 10 years. This means that the dog you choose will be your constant companion for over a decade. With a commitment that significant, the way the dog looks can’t be the only consideration. Before you choose the breed of dog that’s the best fit for you, you have to consider:

  • The kind of behavior you expect from a dog (Will barking drive you crazy? How rigidly trained to you want your dog to be? Do you want an active dog with a big personality, an obedient dog, or one that is more laid back?)
  • The type of relationship you want to have with your pet (Do you want your dog to be a companion? A protector? An exercise buddy?)

Rowdy dogs are tough for laid-back people to handle. Similarly, docile dogs are frustrating for active and energetic people.  When the personalities of the dog and owner don’t mesh, there are big problems on the horizon.

Fortunately, just like people, animals have personalities too. Anytime that personality comes into play, DISC can help. You use DISC to find the perfect dog.

It’s important to note that the type of dog that will be right for you may not be the type of dog with the same DISC personality type as your own. Each of the four primary DISC personality styles tends to naturally conflict with certain temperaments, and naturally compliment others. The key is in knowing what to look for, and what to avoid.

Remember, too, that dogs have innate needs as well. Though it’s important to choose a dog that suits your personality style, it’s also essential to make sure that your personality style will allow you to meet the needs of the dog you choose. Depending on the breed, those needs could mean a commitment to extra socialization, vigorous exercise, intense training, meticulous grooming, and so forth.

So, when it comes to Man’s Best Friend, what’s the right dog for you?

If you are a D personality

Direct, decisive, and dominant, the D personality is self-confident and a natural leader. They are independent and forceful, and feel very comfortable when alone.

A person with a D personality would be able to handle a strong-willed dog. A D likes a challenge, and has a firm hand with pets that is a perfect fit for more dominant breeds. A D would fit well with a smart, responsive dog that was willing to be led. Since a D isn’t afraid to set and enforce limits, and dogs that could easily take control of a S-style individual’s household would be more easily kept in check by a D.

A D will expect their dog to be well-behaved, but would be bored with a dog that was too laid-back. Mellow breeds of dog like the Golden Retriever might not be enough of a challenge for a D-style owner. The unfortunate truth is that sometimes, D-style owners grow bored with low-energy, highly-obedient dogs. Similarly, a laid-back or shy dog doesn’t mesh well with the forceful natural training style preferred by D-personality owners. A dog that requires a gentle hand wouldn’t be the best fit for a D

Breeds that are a good match for an owner with personality style D:

German Shepherd




If you are an I personality

Extroverted, social, and fun-loving, the I personality likes to be the center of attention. An I is a great communicator, and loves to be around other people. I personalities are also not routine-based. They love change, and hate repetition.

A person with an “I” personality is best matched with a pet that doesn’t require a firm hand, consistent training routines, structure, or intense discipline. An I would be drawn to breed of dog that was goofy and good-natured, agreeable and easily trained.

An I personality likes to entertain and be entertained, so a social dog is also a must. The dog that an I ends up with shouldn’t be aggressive or overly-needy. It should, though, like a high level of activity and be fairly energetic, to ensure a good lifestyle fit for the energetic I personality.

Breeds that are a good match for an owner with personality style I:

English or French Bulldog

Bichon Frise


Saint Bernard

If you are an S personality

Loyal, patient, and family-oriented, the S personality is a steady and reliable friend.

A person with an “S” personality has a great deal of patience, and likes to create a consistent routine. They are typically excellent pet owners, and tend to treat their animals like members of the family. An S values a loyal and friendly family pet. Since people with a S personality tend to be relaxed and calm, a dog with an extremely high level of energy (an Australian Sheepdog, for example), would be a difficult fit for an S

An S doesn’t like to be aggressive or assertive, and should shy away from the strong-willed breeds. An S runs the risk of having the house hijacked by a dominant dog, and should look for a breed that is a laid-back and agreeable as they are themselves.

Breeds that are a good match for an owner with personality style S:

Golden Retriever

Labrador Retriever


If you are a C personality

Organized, detail-oriented, and prone to perfectionism, the C personality likes to follow the rules. A C is methodical, and doesn’t like to be surprised or criticized. This means that any dog that fits well with a C personality will have to be obedient, and not prone to causing too much chaos in the C’s orderly life. A high-strung dog or one that was overly-needy would be difficult for a C to adjust to. A person with a C personality doesn’t crave activity or socialization, and would be best matched with a dog that was also low-energy and content with life close to home.

A C matches well with a smart, obedient, and self-sufficient dog. A C won’t mind performing grooming on a dog, but won’t like cleaning up daily messes. Similarly, A C will be more than happy to show a dog the rules and put effort into training. A C isn’t put off by a dog that is difficult to train. The C just wants to make sure that their dog is smart enough to be able to eventually learn the rules and follow them without question.

Breeds that are a good fit for an owner with personality style C:



Boston Terrier

Cocker Spaniel




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