If you're looking for a canine buddy, then you can use a dog breed selector online to find a match. Should you follow these selectors blindly? No, of course not. They are mere guidelines, pointing you in the right direction. Let's take a look at how these tests work.
Most of these tests will take the following things into consideration; where you live, how active or lazy you are, how much free time you have, whether you would mind daily grooming or wiping doggy drool from the ceiling, whether you have children or pets. After filling out all the questions, you'll receive a list of several dog breeds that fit your criteria.
This list is great to get you started, but you should know that very little breed selectors contain all available dog breeds. Some tests have more or different breeds than others. It is always a good idea to fill out more than one test and compare results.
Once you have the results, it is time to do your own research. Get a comprehensive book on dog breeds or look online. Learn to read between the lines when going over the breed information. When they write "a good guard dog", prepare yourself for extra training to stop your dog from barking every time he sees a leaf fall from a tree. "loves to be around people" usually translates to separation anxiety.
Have you narrowed your list down to two or three breeds? Great! Now it is time meets face to face with them. Visit dog shows and contact breeders. A good breed knows knows and loves his breed inside out out. They have plenty of hands on experience and can tell you the good, the bad and the ugly about a breed.