Math Uncovers World’s Best Dogs

A data journalist uses math to find out which dog breeds are best.

By Cari Jorgensen | Posted: November 18, 2014, 12:30 p.m. PST

When people choose their dog, I imagine they have an idea of what they want. Maybe they live in an apartment and want a small dog. Perhaps they’ve always wanted a black dog. They might even have their heart set on a Dalmatian like the one they had growing up. Whatever criteria goes into choosing a dog, I doubt math was one of them.

Dog Chart 

However, David McCandless, an information designer and data journalist based out of London, decided to use math to determine which dog breed is best, according to Fast Company Design. The variables (or dog breed characteristics) that went into the formula to name the world’s best dog breed included intelligence, longevity, ailments, costs, grooming and appetite.

Using the data, McCandless plotted each breed on the chart. The X axis reveals each breed’s data score and the Y axis takes into account their popularity. Each breed falls somewhere within four categories: Inexplicably Overrated, Rightly Ignored, Hot Dog and Overlooked Treasures. The direction the dog images face on the chart shows their intelligence level and each is color-coded by type of breed (herding, hound, etc).

According to McCandless’s chart, Bulldogs are the most overrated and Border Collies are the best breed to own. I bet Bulldog pet parents disagree immensely with this.


It’s an interesting chart, but I doubt many people would use it when choosing a dog, since of course all dog breeds are great in their own way.

The fact that there’s a cat image in the "Hot Dog” section throws the whole thing into question.

What do you think of the "best dog breed” chart? Let us know in the comments below.

The chart is found in the David McCandless book, "Knowledge is Beautiful.”

More Dog Charts


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