There are many wonderful breeds that fit the description of nanny dog, however, even among those breeds each individual dog will have it’s own personality, and may or may not be appropriate for your family or individual needs.

For instance –

  • If seeking a companion nanny dog for a sedate older owner, you may want one with low energy that is happy to lay on the couch next to her person with head in lap.
  • If you’re looking for a playmate nanny dog for the kids, depending on the children’s ages, you could want a dog with more energy, and certainly a very tolerant and patient temperament.
  • If your nanny dog will become a service dog for someone with mobility issues, you’ll need a dog with stamina to spend many hours helping their person, obedient, attentive, and who moves cautiously and carefully.

On this site we offer resources to help you make decisions.

Recommended books about picking the right dog for your family or yourself.

  • Stanley Coren’s Why We Love The Dogs We Do uses a personality test to match you with the right dog. Note that nanny dogs appear in Coren’s Friendly and Steady groups.
  • Joel Silverman’s book What Color Is Your Dog focuses on attitudes ranging from “blue” fearful to “mellow yellow” and excitable “red” dogs. Nanny dogs are “mellow yellows” but if your existing dog is green or orange, you can use Joel’s training exercises to come closer to the ideal nanny dog “yellow” attitude.
  • Cesar Millan’s How To Raise The Perfect Dog goes above and beyond the other two books with chapters on how to evaluate a reputable breeder, early vet visits, training, and more. However the key point from Millan is to select your nanny dog breed based on its energy level. You’re looking for a medium to lower energy individual.

Check the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) score.

The ATTS is a test to evaluate a dog for Schutzhund work. You want to look for a dog in the nanny dog range of 70% – 85%. Higher scores indicate breeds that are too aggressive and bold to be nanny dogs.