The Best Breed of Dog for Your Family
Looking for a four-legged friend to welcome into your family home? Choosing a dog breed with qualities that match your family's personality is important for both your family and your new pooch. Do your kids want a pet they can run around the yard with, or a companion to cuddle up on the sofa with?
Are family members committed to taking your pup out for plenty of exercise? How often can your family commit to walking the dog? Once a day? Twice a day? Long walks? Or short trips around the block?
How about playtime? Will your family play with your new pet indoors? Out in the yard? At an off-leash dog park?
How much space do you have? Are you in a tiny city apartment or living on a huge family farm with plenty of space for your dog to run free?
Whatever your family life looks like, our team at Dix Animal Hospital wants you to find the best family dog for you and your kids, so here are a few of our favorite family-friendly dog breeds.
1 - The MuttThe ideal canine companion for your kids may be patiently waiting for you at the local animal shelter. Mixed-breed Mutts can make loving and loyal family dogs! These dogs can be as good with children as purebred dogs, tend to be less susceptible to genetic diseases, and less expensive to care for. If you are considering a mutt for your family be sure to take your time to visit local animal shelters and be patient in your search for the right dog to fit in with your family life. Often shelter workers can provide you with a doggie report card that lays out all of the known personality quirks of the pooch you're interested in.
2 - Boston TerrierWeighing in at about 25 pounds or less, these people-loving bundles of fun come with their own easy-to-care-for "tuxedo" coats. Happy to play with the kids and go for short walks, this charming small dog breed adapts well to apartment living and makes a great companion for children of all ages.
3 - Cavalier King Charles SpanielAt about 10-18 lbs, the compact size of this lively but gentle breed makes it a great dog for smaller homes or apartments. Cavaliers tend to get along well with kids and other dogs. They can be both playful and cuddly making this sweet-natured pooch and a great pet for kids of many ages and energy levels.
4 - Labrador RetrieverStill one of the most popular family pets out there - with good reason. Gentle, loyal and fun, the Labrador Retriever can be a great dog for kids! Labs just adore spending time with people - all people - and will become your child's best friend in no time. That said, it's important to ensure that labs get plenty of exercise or they can begin to get into mischief. These dogs vary somewhat in stature but generally weigh between 55 - 80 lbs.
5 - BeagleThe Beagle is one of the best medium-sized dogs for family life. This mid-sized pooch typically weighs in at between 18-30 lbs and adores spending time with its people, playing games, and going for walks. Beagles are smart and loving dogs that can make terrific family pets provided that they get plenty of family interaction and exercise. Beagles are not appropriate for families who are out of the house a lot.
6 - PugYour family will love these adorable little characters! Pugs are pretty happy to just eat and sleep. If your kids are small, or lower energy and would appreciate a dog that will play with them indoors then curl up beside them to watch tv, a Pug may be just the right breed for your family. Weighing around 15 lbs, this is a breed that doesn't need much space, and only requires a couple of short walks each day to be content.
7 - Newfoundland
Sweet, loyal and patient are just some of the words that best describe this fluffy giant. This delightful breed has a real affinity for kids and is often referred to as a 'nanny dog' due to its gentle patience with children. Weighing in between 100 -150 lbs you will need space if you plan to get a Newfoundland for your family, and it's important to note that as with many giant breeds Newfs have a relatively short life expectancy of only 8 - 10 whereas many small to medium dogs can live 15 - 20 years or in some cases even longer.
8 - Golden Retriever
Affectionate, good with children and playful with other dogs, the faithful Golden Retriever can make an excellent dog for families with kids of any age. Covered in a dense, lustrous coat of gold this breed is as lovely to cuddle with as it is to play with. Goldens are typically eager-to-please family dogs, that are relatively easy to train. They have a joyous and playful approach to life and keep their youthful spirit well into adulthood. This breed generally weighs in at about 60 - 80 lbs and is a moderate shedder.
9 - The Standard Poodle
Active, proud, and very smart the standard poodle can make a great family pet. While known for their distinctive hairstyles, standard poodles shed little and, with some regular grooming, can look handsome whether they are clipped to breed standard or left natural. Poodles are typically easy to train, lively, and fun-loving family dogs with a silly sense of humor. These dogs weigh around 45 - 60 lbs and live 10 - 14 years on average.
10 - Bernese Mountain Dog
If your family is looking for a big dog, your kids will love this sweet-natured fluffy breed. Bernese Mountain Dogs typically weigh between 70-100lbs, and in spite of their size, have a reputation for being gentle with kids. One word of warning - these big beautiful dogs are major shedders.
Choosing The Right Dog For Your Family
Whether you are looking for a trusty family guard dog or a playmate for your kids, ultimately the best family dog breed for you will be based on countless factors that are unique to you and your family. Take your time, consider your restrictions as well as what you have to offer your new canine companion, and don't forget to contact your local shelters to find out if your ideal family dog is waiting for you just around the corner.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.