So, I finally took the plunge. I paid the $12 and spent the 20-ish minutes it took to answer 144 questions about myself and my interactions with others and the world to determine my “number.” And now that I know my number, I am learning and understanding so much about who I am and what drives me to do the things that I do! All this self-discovery has gotten me thinking, how does my enneagram number correlate with how I interact with my dog? And what type of dog is best for my enneagram type? So I started doing some research.
Of course, I was pleasantly relieved when I discovered a lab is the recommendation for type 2, which is me! Labs and goldens are so similar in temperament, and we have a golden so of course I have the perfect dog for me. Not that I was really worried, since there are no rules when it comes to what breed is best for a person. So many variables go into the type of dog one chooses. A bullmastiff isn’t the best dog for you if you live in an apartment, and a jack russell may not be your best bet if you are away from home all day with no one to engage your dog or take him for a walk. That being said, certain dogs are better for certain personality types, and since enneagram typing is all the rage right now, let’s check out what breed of dog is a good fit for each enneagram number.
Type 1 folks are self-controlled, purposeful, and perfectionistic. So the collie, who is known to be gentle and predictable, and who is also effortlessly attractive, is a good match for a reformer. Collies are also easily trainable, devoted pups, which meshes nicely with a 1’s need for order and purpose.
Type 2’s are caring, people-pleasing, and generous. People-pleasers themselves, labrador retrievers and golden retrievers (who are also playful, patient, and obedient) are a good match for a 2. Type 2’s are said to be very empathetic with a need to feel loved and supported, and retrievers are the best four-legged nurses around.
Adaptive and driven, type 3’s will work well with an australian shepherd. Dogs of this breed are smart, charming, and happiest when they have a job to do. Since The Achiever also tends to be image-conscious and success-oriented, dogs who show well or enjoy sports (think agility, flyball, flying disc games, herding trials), will suit 3’s best.
The Enneagram Institute describes type 4’s as “expressive, dramatic, self-absorbed, and temperamental.” A shih tzu is cute and cuddly but also can take a hint when his owner needs some space. Shih tzu’s tend to have sassy personalities which the individualist will appreciate immensely.
Known as the “cerebral type,” 5’s will be happiest with an intelligent dog who is an independent thinker. A neapolitan mastiff will challenge the perceptive and innovative type 5 to think outside the box when it comes to training and learning to live together. An investigator will be able to provide a kind, firm, and consistent hand when working with this large breed of dog, who is also an excellent guard dog.
Reliable and responsible, a 6 will do well with the breed called the brittany. The brittany (once called a brittany spaniel) is a versatile, family dog who is also a good hunting dog, known for working closely with the hunter. The loyalist, committed and hard-working, will pair nicely with the brittany, who needs lots of exercise and mentally challenging activities.
The name alone should suggest the best dog for this type. 7s are spontaneous and versatile, just like jack russell terriers. Ever felt like you had a bit of distractibility in yourself? Squirrel! You might just be most compatible with a jack russell. 7s are playful, high-spirited, and practical, and so are jack russells. Like the energizer bunny, a jack russell will be a 7’s energetic, little dog counterpart all day long.
Type 8s are self-confident and decisive. And what better dog for a challenger than a doberman pinscher. Protective and strong, dobermans tend to be all bark and no bite (depending on their training). 8s also tend to be willful and confrontational, and their doggie doppelganger will have their back any day.
9s are receptive, reassuring, and agreeable, so a dog who is laid back is a peacemaker’s jam. Enter the pug. Easy-going with a desire to please their owners above all, pugs are companion dogs who are content being their owner’s “shadow” or just taking a nap in the shade.
Now have I piqued your interest in the enneagram? Go take a test and see what dog would suit you best. But remember, enneagram typing is not a black and white thing, it is merely a tool to get to know yourself better. So, have fun with it!