So you want a dog! And, of course, you do because these cuddly, drooling balls of fluff are probably the closest things we have to heaven here on earth. But choosing exactly which dog breed is best for you means considering a lot of factors: Do you spend most of your free time re-watching “The Office” episodes on the couch or are you up early on a Saturday hiking through the mountains? Do you live in a closet-like studio apartment or a 43-acre farm with rolling hills? And it doesn’t stop there. You’re not only looking for a furry friend that’s ideal for your living situation, work schedule, and home — you also want a companion that will match your energy level and personality.
It’s honestly just a lot to take in. But don’t worry, we came up with the perfect cheat sheet to finding the pupper of your dreams: the Myers-Briggs personality test. This famous personality type indicator, created in 1943 by mother-daughter team Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Meyers, seeks to break down personality types into 16 separate buckets to better understand the human psyche.
It analyzes the four basic traits of analytical psychology and measures where you land on the spectrum: for whether you focus more on your inner world or the outer world, there’s Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I); for how you process information and interpret data, there’s Sensing (S) or Intuition (N); for how you make decisions, there’s Thinking (T) or Feeling (F); and for how much structure you require in your life, there’s Judging (J) or Perceiving (P). With those eight letters combinations, there are a total of 16 personality types a person can be. These include:
You may already know what your MBTI type is, but if you don’t, there’s a free version of the MBTI personality test here. Make sure you come back and find the dog breed that fits your personality type to a T. Happy adopting!
As a logistician, you are dedicated to anything you put your mind to; that’s why your dogged work ethic, quiet integrity, and fierce independence make you a perfect match for the German Shepherd. You may both sometimes struggle to express your emotions outwardly or in a way others may understand. This dog complements your no-nonsense attitude and can never be accused of being lazy (one of the worst traits of all, according to an ISTJ). The German Shepherd’s intelligence, alertness, and loyalty will make it an invaluable furry friend for the logistician looking for a little comfort and stability.
The INTP type values logic, intelligence, and creativity above all. As an INTP, you live in your own head and it always has about 50 half-formed thoughts and tangents shooting around at once. You need a dog that will understand that when your head is constantly in the clouds, social interactions can be difficult. Logicians would get along well with poodles who may also be shy, but make up for it with keen intelligence. Somewhere along the way, poodles acquired a bit of a bad rap as prissy purse dogs, but these canine companions are actually incredibly empathetic. Poodles are aware and sensitive to their master’s mood changes. And, as they were originally bred as hunters, they make excellent watchdogs, alerting you to any sudden changes. And when you’re prone to daydreaming, that can be a very useful trait!
You’re weirdly social for an introvert and especially analytical for someone who’s also sensitive. You’re practical, loyal, and compassionate and when you do a job, you do it well. Some people may call you a perfectionist, you say you’re just meticulous and want to get things right. Altruism, and the general desire to do good, is at the very core of your character, and that’s why a Newfoundland is the perfect dog breed for you, a defender. These giant sweetie pies (males can reach 150 lbs or 70 kg) are exceptionally loyal and just want to love you. In fact, they’re known as the “Mother Teresa of Dogs” due to their protective, care-giving nature. You mean as much to them as they do to you — and sometimes the defender needs someone to defend them too.
You don’t just dream about helping others, you actually do it. You take active steps to help advocate for the causes you believe in. Helping people is what you do — and although you may not be the loudest person in the room, you ensure your voice is always heard. You’re strong-willed, maybe even stubborn, but that’s because you fight for what you believe in, and what you believe in is effecting change.
There’s really no dog that wouldn’t bask in the sweet embrace of the genuinely good INFJ, but if we have to choose, we’ll give it to the beagle. This absolute dreamboat of a dog is gentle, but excitable, and its zen, even-keeled nature will mesh well with the INFJ’s.
Have you ever been supremely frustrated that almost no one around you is on your level? Who could blame you? The INTJ personality is the rare combination of decisive and imaginative. You’re always thinking up new ideas and you actually have the ambition and drive to realize them. The INTJ needs a dog that can keep up with their unceasing analysis of literally everything. That’s why we recommend the border collie, one of the smartest dog breeds, who understands the true talent of balancing curiosity with focus. Originally intended to herd sheep, border collies are smart and easily trainable. They’re able to learn a ton of voice commands, making them smarter than a lot of your friends. They also happen to be goal-oriented – just like their human personality match.
Have you ever taken something apart and put it back together again just to see how it works? You may be a virtuoso, or someone who loves using their mind as well as their body to solve problems. You live life skipping from one project to the next and need a dog that can keep up with you. That’s why someone so cheerful, observant, logical, and focused might consider the black Russian terrier. These big guys are energetic and are always looking for something to do. The ISTP will empathize with and welcome this dog’s constant need for mental stimulation. Both virtuoso and dog are self-assured, confident, and strong and would absolutely love each other’s company.
You cannot be contained! This personality type is an artist (sometimes in the traditional sense, sometimes not) who defies traditions for breakfast. You may be an adventurer if you’ve ever gone to sleep feeling like one person and woken up feeling like another. Adventurers aren’t afraid to change their mind or the world. They live in the moment and allow spontaneity to govern their lives — making them flighty and unpredictable to some. Adventurers need a dog who may be as hard to pin down as they are, and that’s why they’d get along perfectly with Chow Chows. These fluffy wonders are stubborn and have a mind of their own (sound familiar?), but once you earn their love, it’s impossible to lose. Like their future owners, Chow Chows can appear aloof, but all they need is a good reason to get to know you.
If you’re an INFP, you’re constantly searching for the silver lining in any cloud. You believe in the inherent good of things and are always looking for a solution to make things better. You’re guided by your own set of moral principles over anyone else’s. Underneath the reserved shell you present to the world, there’s a vibrant, loud personality you only allow those closest to you to see. You prefer to dedicate your time to smaller groups of people and you need a dog who reflects that. That’s why the pit bull, also known as the people pleaser, is perfect for you. This athletic dog is both playful and friendly and independent and protective. It lives just as balanced a life as you do!
Love to push boundaries and live life in the moment? If so, you might just be the ESTP personality type. These detail-oriented go-getters don’t necessarily thrive in traditional structures, but that’s why they’re too busy building their own. Entrepreneurs need a dog that will explore the entire world with them all day and then snuggle up next to them for a movie at night. For entrepreneur types, rules were made to be broken and that’s why this type needs a dog as stubborn and mischievous as they are. The Rhodesian ridgeback is all that and more. Loyal to their owners, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are known for chasing lions, making them the perfect companion for anyone constantly chasing down their pipe dreams.
Has anyone ever described you as the class clown? Do you draw energy from making others happy? If you answered yes to those and would consider yourself an entertainer or someone who’s friendly, outgoing, social, happy, and carefree. And although sometimes it’s difficult for people who absolutely love the spotlight to share it, even entertainers can make an exception when it comes to dogs. That’s why the Boston terrier, who also thrives while being center stage, is the ideal dog for the ESFP. These affectionate, stubborn little buggers have enough personality to entertain their owners — and sometimes it feels good for the people (who are always switched on) to be entertained too.
Campaigners thrive during social interactions; it makes them feel energized and excited. Charming, energetic, and incredibly compassionate, campaigners use conversations as a way to explore the questions they have about life and love. They’re innovative types who get bored easily when dealing with the monotony of day-to-day existence. They need dogs that share their love of socializing and their love of breaking free to explore every avenue life has to offer. The free spirits they’re looking for can be found in the Siberian Husky, who is both eager to please as well as dignified and intelligent. Finding this rare mix of traits is why campaigners and huskies are two peas in a pod.
The ultimate devil’s advocate, the ENTP thrives on conversation and debate to keep themselves mentally stimulated. For debaters, argument is a game and they love nothing more than verbal spar — even if they’re arguing for a point they don’t believe in. Debaters question the status quo and constantly look to evolve their way of thinking. They need a dog that’s as clever and curious as they are. That’s why the Shetland Sheepdog is the perfect companion; their keen intelligence makes them a match and their herding ability sounds an awful lot like an ENTP’s ability to get everyone to agree with their point. On second thought, this may be a dangerous pair…
The ESTJs of the world are known for their “take charge” personality. There aren’t too many shades of gray in the world when you’re an executive; you have a clear understanding of right and wrong. People often come to you for your advice and admire you for your honesty and integrity. People who fall into the executive personality type need a dog just as smart, earnest, and dignified as they are. That’s why the rottweiler would be a perfect complement to the logical, stoic, keen, and perceptive ESTJ. Rottweilers are not only devoted to their owners, but they’re good with a job. Meaning this dog requires as much focus as the executive.
Were you popular in high school? Were you quarterback of the team or head cheerleader of the squad? You may be an ESFJ. You love people, you love making them happy. Getting into deep debates about abstract constructs doesn’t really interest you. You’re into more concrete things, like your job, your clothes, or your friends. You don’t like conflict and prefer outings that are planned in advance vs. spontaneous. That’s why the perfect dog for this personality type mirrors their people-friendly ways. Corgis have a cheerful outlook on life and are often personable, even a bit mischievous — just like their human counterparts. And for consul types who keep up an active social media feed, you can’t get more Instagram-friendly than a corgi right now.
ENFJs, or the protagonists, are natural born leaders, making them both reliable and team players. Their natural confidence shines through and often encourages others to let theirs shine as well. People are drawn to these honest personalities because they radiate authenticity and aren’t afraid to speak up for the truth. Protagonists need loyal dogs who can match their moods and provide consistent, reliable companionship. That’s why the French mastiff is perfect. Their even-keeled personalities are tempered with bursts of courage. They’re loyal, devoted, and beacons that others can gravitate toward.
Charismatic and confident, people with ENTJ personality are efficient, rational self-thinkers. Their sharp wit and keen understanding of people can make them appear cold, but no one can accuse them of not being efficient. They rarely lose focus and can take on long-term projects with ease. They can be relentless in negotiations, sometimes losing sight of others’ feelings. Commanders are looking for a pet friend that can command the same level of authority, but can also soften their edges. The basenji, a natural-born leader with a self-directed nature, is affectionate and will likely melt the commander’s heart. These smart, curious, and energetic dogs are the perfect complement to their equally intelligent owners.