The Three Word Game – Three Years Later

Many of you are familiar with the “three word game,” where we ask the owners of a Purebred of Interest breed to describe their breed using only three words.  In the early days of National Purebred Dog Day®, we asked the same question of everyone. Mind you, at that time, we had maybe 2,000 Facebook fans who owned fewer breeds (today we’re pushing 53,000).  We thought it’d be fun to revisit the list three years after it was compiled.  At the time, we included words that were submitted more than once, and words that appear in all capital letters were words that submitted in large numbers.  One more thing: Since 50,000 of you are new to NPDD since that informal survey was taken, we’d like your own responses added, especially if you don’t see your breed listed. Add your response here, not on Facebook.  Over time, comments left on Facebook get absorbed into the proverbial woodwork rarely to be seen again. Because we know that people come here to learn more about a breed, let’s make it easy for them to find your feedback. 

Affenpinscher: loyal, smart, loving/comical, assertive, manipulative


Alaskan Klee Kai: smart energetic companion

Alaskan Malamute: strong, smart, loving

American Eskimo Dog: Engaging, Endearing, Addicting/ Smart, agile, fast

American Pit Bull Terrier: GENTLE – CLOWN – LOVING – LOYAL – tenacious

American Foxhound: independent, comic, athletic

American Shepherd Dog: LOYAL

Australian Cattle Dog: STUBBORN – FUNNY – hard-headed – smart

Australian Kelpie: INTELLIGENT – loving – friendly

Australian Shepherd: energetic – PROTECTIVE – INTELLIGENT – FUNNY – sneaky

Australian Terrier: STUBBORN – SMART

Barbet: smart, devoted, versatile

Basenji: intelligent – inquisitive

Basset Hound: STUBBORN – CLOWN – happy – LOVE

Beagle: HAPPY – stubborn – loving – busy – glutton

Bearded Collie: ATHLETIC – smart

Beauceron: Intelligent – crafty

Belgian Laekenois: Intense, Intelligent, manipulative

Belgian Malinois: smart- LOYAL

Belgian Sheepdog: INTELLIGENT – LOYAL – PROTECTIVE – athletic

Belgian Tervuren: INTELLIGENT – ACTIVE – intense – loving

Berger Picard: INTELLIGENT – SENSITIVE – affectionate

Bichon Frise: happy

Black Mouth Cur: loyal sensitive, gritty

Black Russian Terrier-Big, black, hairy

Black and Tan Coonhound – Slobber, ears, couch-potato

Border Collie: SMART – active – happy – biddable

Border Terrier: scruffy, stubborn, greedy/active happy hunters/top little dog/

Borzoi: fast ELEGANT

Boston Terrier: FUN – loving

Bouvier des Flandres: PROTECTIVE – loving

Boxer: ENERGETIC – LOVING – clowns – LOYAL

Briard: DEVOTED – COMICAL – loving

Brittany: LOVING – smart – active

Bulldog: AFFECTIONATE – silly

Cairn Terrier: STUBBORN – HAPPY – INTELLIGENT – sweet – active


Cardigan Welsh Corgi: LOYAL – funny – SMART – LONG LOW

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: sweet – INTELLIGENT – devoted

Catahoula Leopard Dog: smart, loving, hard working/sweet, monster dufus

Chesapeake Bay Retriever: Willful, Opinionated, Relentless

Chihuahua: LOVING – LOYAL – clown – courageous – tiny

Chinese Crested Hairless: LOVING

Chinese Shar-Pei: Loyal Family Protector

Chinook: devoted – fun loving – adaptable

Cocker Spaniel – MERRY – loving – happy


Curly Coated Retriever: intelligent, creative, fuzzy

Czechoslovakian Vlcak: SMART – independent

Dachshund (Smooth, Longhaired and Wirehaired) : COMEDIC – STUBBORN – PERSISTENT – SMART – playful – courageous

Dalmatian: LOYAL – ATHLETIC – funny

Dandie Dinmont Terrier: sweethearts, clowns, Terrier

Danish – Swedish Farmdog: devoted, smart and quick


Dogue de Bordeaux: LOYAL – strong/stable

English Cocker Spaniel: MERRY – HUNGRY – LOVING – lively

English Shepherd: scarysmart, biddable, loving

English Setter: INTELLIGENT – SWEET – GENTLE – inquisitive

English Springer Spaniel: ENERGETIC – silly – loyal

English Toy Spaniel – clingy, funny, timid

Field Spaniel: IMPISH

Finnish Lapphund: smart – kind

French Brittany – lovable, passionate, Hunter

French Bulldog – impish, silly, adorable

German Shepherd Dog: INTELLIGENT – ENERGETIC – NOBLE – stubborn – LOVING – PROTECTIVE German Shorthaired Pointer: determined – INTELLIGENT – NEEDY – LOYAL – LOUD – fun

German Wirehaired Pointer: CLOWN – LOVER – COMICAL – SMART – ACTIVE – hard working

Giant Schnauzer: INTELLIGENT – LOYAL – PROTECTOR – loving

Glen of Imaal Terrier: loving, smart, athletic/dwarf earthdog/ Feisty, fun, companionable

Golden Retriever: BEAUTIFUL – INTELLIGENT – LOVING – LOYAL – happy

Gordon Setter: LOVING – energetic – eager

Great Dane: PROTECTIVE – sweet – cuddly

Great Pyrenees: LOVER – lap dog

Greyhound: LAZY

Hamiltonstovare – lazy, comical, arrogant

Havanese: INTELLIGENT charming FUN

Ibizan Hound (Short and Wire-Haired): HILARIOUS – LOYAL – ELEGANT

Icelandic Sheepdog: FRIENDLY – smart – funny

Irish Red and White Setter: ATHLETIC – intelligent – friendly

Irish Setter: fun-loving, rollicking, happy

Irish Terrier: INTELLIGENT – FUNNY – energetic – mischievous

Irish Water Spaniel: curly, brown, rat-tail

Irish Wolfhound: GENTLE – loyal


Jack Russell Terrier: TENACIOUS – energetic – smart

Japanese Chin: happy twirling princess

Jindo: Intelligent, Devoted, Aloof

Kerry Blue Terrier: LOYAL – CLOWN – devoted

Keeshond: happy – curious – intelligent

Komondor: Corded Calm Protector

Kromfohrlander: Loyal, Friend, Intelligent

Labrador Retriever: LOVING – SMART/INTELLIGENT – goofy – gentle – SWEET

Large Munsterlander: beautiful, faithful, homeloving

Leonberger: Loving, Loyal, Laughtastic

Maltese: loving, intelligent

Maremma sheepdog: independent alert loyal

Mastiff: devoted – big

Mi-Ki: loyal, friendly, quiet

Mini American Shepherd: LOYAL – busy – smart

Miniature Pinscher: possessive

Miniature Schnauzer: active, intelligent, cuddly

Neapolitan Mastiff: Snoring Slobber Factory

Newfoundland: GENTLE – LOYAL – LOVING – big

Norrbottenspets: LOVING – smart – active

Norwegian Lundehund: clever, enthusiastic, polydactyl

Norwich Terrier: spunky, lovable, sweetheart/

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: PERSISTENT – INTELLIGENT – creative

Old English Sheepdog: ENERGETIC – CLOWN – LOYAL

Papillion: HAPPY – INTELLIGENT – EARS – lively

Parson Russell Terrier: INTELLIGENT – ENERGETIC – driven – happy

Pekingese: adorable, tiny, loyal

Pembroke Welsh Corgi: CHOW HOUND – CLOWN – INTELLIGENT – spirited

Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen: loving, funny, shaggy

Pharaoh Hound: Comical Geniuses Extraordinaire

Pointer (English): exuberant flashy smart

Polish Tatra Sheepdog: Rare, guardian, majestic

Poodle (toy/miniature/standard): INTELLIGENT- LOYAL – HYPOALLERGENIC -LOVING -funny -clever – possessive – SMART – playful


Portuguese Podengo Pequeno: smart, energetic, hunter

Wirehaired Portuguese Podengo Medio: Digger, Barker, Runner

Portuguese Water Dog: company, companionship, giving

Pug: LOVEABLE – COMICAL – cobby – playful

Puli: LOYAL – quirky – intelligent – comic – agile

Rat Terrier: CLOWN – LOVING – tenacious – biddable

Rhodesian Ridgeback: INTELLIGENT – INDEPENDENT – LOYAL – fun

Rottweiler: LOYAL – INTELLIGENT – NOBLE – CLOWN – PROTECTIVE – clown – LOVING – stubborn – trustworthy

Samoyed: playful – happy – INTELLIGENT

Scottish Terrier: STUBBORN – LOYAL – dignified – comical

Schapendoes: family, adaptable, caring

Schipperke: Indefatigable, investigative, protective

Shetland Sheepdog: INTELLIGENT – loyal – active – SENSITIVE – beautiful – barky

Shiba Inu: Intelligent – STUBBORN – loving – protective

Shilo Shepherd: Loyal, Lovable, and Silly

Siberian Husky: SMART – independent – loyal – protective

Silky Terrier: loyal, funny, watchdog/tenacious, fearless, stubborn/

Skye Terrier: Long , Low & Level

Smooth Fox Terrier: Feisty, Funny, Energetic

Spinone Italiano: HAPPY funny

St Bernard: LOVING

Staffordshire Bull Terrier: TENACIOUS – clownish – athletic – happy – bold

Standard Schnauzer – Intelligent, Protective, Playful/loveable canine goats

Sussex Spaniel: quirky, stubborn, impish/comical, devoted, sturdy/

Swedish Vallhund: INTELLIGENT loyal

Teckel: independent, creative, intense

Teddy Roosevelt Terrier: spunky, loud, courageous/

Thai Ridgeback Dog: Primitive, Independent, Protective

Tibetan Mastiff: stubborn, intelligent, protective/complex, powerful, loving

Tibetan Spaniel: MISCHIEVOUS – LOYAL – loving – INDEPENDENT

Tibetan Terrier: Intelligent, entertaining, stubborn

Toy Fox Terrier: playful – smart – protective

Vizsla: SMART – loyal – vivacious

Weimaraner: ELEGANT – SMART – LOYAL – ENERGETIC – willful

Welsh Springer Spaniel – determined – sweet – energetic

West Highland White Terrier: inquisitive, happy, energetic

Whippet: FAST – LAZY – PLAYFUL – sweet – elegant – CUDDLY

Wire Fox Terrier: PLAYFUL active

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon: hunter, pleaser, lover

Xoloitzcuintli: Hairless, devoted, intelligent

Yorkshire Terrier: GLAMOROUS – smart – spirited

“Young Sampson” by Kathleen Erin Lee/KleeArtStudio 

10 thoughts on “The Three Word Game – Three Years Later”

    • Love this, Barbara, and thanks for responding HERE

  1. All of the Airedale words are in caps and they got it right: COMIC – INTELLIGENT – LOYAL

    For my Sealyham I would say – silly, cuddly, springy. I can’t resist adding one more, playful

  2. Bulldog: Brave, brilliant, beloved

    French Bulldog: Adoring, blithe, cheery

    Pug: Ebullient, endearing, earnest

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