Choosing a dog breed is no easy task, especially when you have a family. While there are certain types that are notoriously "kid-friendly" (think Golden Retrievers and Labradors), every kid is different. Energetic tots might need a furry friend who'll always be up for a rowdy game of fetch. Kids who'd rather read a good book than run around might be better off with a canine companion who'll be content to cuddle for hours. So when you're in the market for a new pup, what's the best dog breed for your kid's Myers-Briggs personality type?
If you're not familiar with the Myers-Briggs personality test, here's a little background: Developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was designed to "make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people's lives," as the The Myers & Briggs Foundation explained on its website. Jung, the groundbreaking Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytic psychology, theorized that "seemingly random" variations in human behavior are in fact "quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment."
A person's type is determined by a series of questions, the answers to which result in the assignment of four letters that represent your personality: "E" or "I" (extrovert or introvert); "S" or "N" (sensing or intuitive); "T" or "F" (thinking or feeling); and "J" or "P" (judging or perceiving). Of course, depending your kid's age, they might not be able to complete a questionnaire, but you can take one for them (after all, you know your child pretty well!) and there are plenty of free tests available online (like this one at Truity). Or if you're really into the idea and don't mind spending the money, you can take your child to a certified evaluator. (There's even a specialized test for kids available, the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children.)
Whichever way you choose to find out your kid's Myers-Briggs type, once you have those four all-important letters, you can start thinking about finding a pooch with a complementary personality.
1ISTJ: Border Collie
If you're the lucky parent of an ISTJ kid, they probably do all their chores and get their homework done on time — this type is organized, logical and responsible. All of these traits are shared by the Border Collie, a "remarkably bright workaholic," according to the American Kennel Club. This dog can be a bit of a handful for owners without a lot of time or energy, the AKC warned (but your ISTJ will be able to keep up).
2ISFJ: German Shepherd
Helpful, warm, and dependable, ISFJ kids will find a match in the "intelligent and capable" German Shepherd. This dog's "devotion and courage are unmatched," according to Dog Time, which is why German Shepherds often works with police and the military.
Beagles are "smart, independent and easily bored," according to the Westminster Kennel Club, which makes them a stimulating match for creative and sensitive INFJ types (who are also prone to boredom.)
4INTJ: Siberian Husky
Self-sufficient and determined, INTJ kids will relate to Siberian Huskies, known for their intelligence, independence and athleticism, according to Dog Time. One note: These dogs are great escape artists, so consider investing in a fence.
5ISTP: Black Russian Terrier
Also called "virtuosos," ISTP kids need a smart dog who loves to learn new things. The Black Russian Terrier, known for its "courage, confidence, and intelligence," according to the AKC, will be up for any new challenge.
6ISFP: Australian Shepherd
Kind, friendly, and loyal, an ISFP kid is sure to connect with the sweet-natured Australian Shepherd. Described by the Westminster Kennel Club as "beloved family companions," this breed is particularly eager to please and obedient.
7INFP: Shiba Inu
INFP kids are curious, quick, and idealistic; Shiba Inus, similarly, are super alert dogs with a spirited personality that can move "like a ninja warrior," according to Dog Time. These two will get up to all kinds of hijinks together.
Also known as "logicians," INTP types are ingenious, innovative and adaptable — just like poodles, according to the AKC.
"Poodles are eager, athletic, and wickedly smart 'real dogs' of remarkable versatility," the AKC website explained, and they can also be trained with great success.
9ESTP: Rhodesian Ridgeback
ESTP kids are easygoing but adventurous and spontaneous, much like the Rhodesian Ridgeback. As the Westminster Kennel Club explained, Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a "quiet, gentle temperament, rarely barking," but can be "instantly alert if a stranger should appear or when in pursuit of legitimate prey." Plus, their "affectionate disposition" makes them great with even small children.
For sociable, fun-loving ESFP kids who can never have too many playdates, a Corgi could be the ultimate pal, Dog Time explained:
"They are known for being happy, loving, and intelligent," with a "remarkable affinity for children."
11ENFP: Labrador Retriever
Energetic, enthusiastic, and playful, ENFP kids need a big, happy dog who'll go along with whatever, just like — you guessed it! — a Labrador Retriever.
"Friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited companions," Labs are rated as America's favorite dog breed by the AKC.
12ENTP: French Bulldog
Also known as "debaters," ENTPs are great at coming up with new ideas — so they'll likely appreciate what Dog Time referred to as the French Bulldog's "freethinking approach" to life. An added bonus about Frenchies? They generally get along very well with kids (and everybody else).
Just like your systematic, sensible ESTJ kid, the Briard is a smart, loyal herding dog who's vigilant about protecting his family. Sometimes called “a heart wrapped in fur," according to the AKC. Awwww!
14ESFJ: Bichon Frise
Sociable and people-oriented, the average ESFJ kid will benefit from a dog who's equally friendly like the Bichon Frise. As stated on the Westminster Kennel Club website:
"With his outgoing personality and social attitude, the Bichon has historically been known as a fine companion dog."
Get a Collie for your ENFJ child and there's no telling how many kids they'll rescue from the bottoms of wells. While ENFJs are known for being highly attuned to the emotions and needs of others, Dog Time called the Collie "a sensitive and intelligent dog, known for her undying loyalty and amazing ability to foresee her owner’s needs."
16ENTJ: Tibetan Mastiff
ENTJs are also called "commanders," known for their ability to lead and powerful presentation. Imposing and intimidating (but gentle and sweet), Tibetan Mastiffs have a "temperament of fearlessness, tempered with patience and loyalty," according to the Westminster Kennel Club.
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