When it comes to expanding your family for a new, furry member, you need to choose your pet wisely. You may have fallen in love with a certain breed or type of dog, but you should consider if this type of dog suits you and your family?s lifestyle.
Here are a few things you need to consider before choosing your new best friend for life:
- When it comes to dog temperament it?s what defines their personality. There are breeds that are easily excitable and overly protective and then there are those who?re calmer and mild-mannered. For your family, especially if you have kids, you need a calmer dog as they can bond with all family members and turn into great companions for your kids.
- Does your family need a high or low energy dog? Be realistic and analyze your family?s habits. If you believe you?re an active family, you should take a dog who can take the extra exercise. If you?re not, then don?t choose a dog breed that needs more exercise than you can afford. Fail to take things seriously and you may end up with a dog with behavioral problems.
- Choose a dog that?s safe for all family members, including other animals. Some dogs get along well with people of all ages, while others aren’t so comfortable around small children. If you own other animals, make sure your dog will get along with all of them.
- Can you handle a high-maintenance dog? Of course Samoyeds look like smiling angels, but do you know how much brushing they require? Does your family have the time and energy for the regular grooming sessions? If the answer is no, then choose a breed that doesn’t require the extra care.
- Do you want a puppy or an adult dog? Puppies are adorable but they need to be trained and house-broken, while adult dogs are probably potty-trained but may be a bit shy towards new people.
The Top 5 Family Dogs
One of my favorite breeds, the golden retriever is a kind, loyal, smart and confident dog. It?s not too shy nor aggressive, but super patient and the perfect match for a family with kids.
It is a large breed that needs daily exercise, but one that loves playing so much that you can replace their walk or jog with a long session of fetch. The retriever is such a fun-loving pet that your kids will fall head-over-heels in love with him. This breed is long-haired, which means regular brushing is required to keep that amazing golden coat shiny. They love being outdoors but only when their humans are out with them, generally they prefer being inside with the family.
One of the few red-coat dogs, the Irish Setter is an energetic and playful dog. It?s sociable and loves being surrounded with people. It?s a great dog for kids and large families. This pooch loves being around people so much that they hate it when left alone for long periods of time and can even develop separation anxieties. They?re high energy dogs so they will get along excellently with energetic children. Irish setters are easy to train and friendly with newcomers.
Being the smartest dogs, border collies are great family dogs. They are mild mannered and friendly, but they can try and herd your kids. Originally bred as herding dogs, the border collie may be inclined to try this behavior with the smallest family members. This may look funny, but it should be strongly discouraged. It?s a long-haired dog, which means it needs regular grooming. The collie is a gentle soul but can prove to be stubborn at times, so make sure to pay attention to obedience training.
The beagle is a small sized dog with a calm temperament, meaning they?re great for families with kids. Especially if your kids love spending time outdoors, as there?s nothing the beagle loves more than exploring the world. Beagles are intelligent, friendly and happy and they’re a breed that tends to get along nicely with other pets. They don?t need to be brushed regularly but may shed quite a bit.
If you?re a family that loves a calmer, passive dog, the bulldog is your perfect match. A patient and sturdy built dog, the bulldog will tolerate your kids who?re learning how to pet him. The bulldog is a medium sized breed, so it can be kept in a smaller apartment as well as in a larger house. They are friendly with strangers, so if you?re a family that has many people over, it?s the perfect pet for you. Their coat needs minimal care, except for the folds around their face and tail, which need cleaning to prevent infections.
Bonus dog breed: Mutts!
All of the above mentioned dogs are great with kids and families, but let?s not forget to mention the mixed breeds. Mutts can provide the best qualities of two extraordinary breeds in one dog. If you?re planning on adopting a dog take your whole family to the meet-and-greet. Look at how the dog reacts to all of your family members as some may greet you with a wagging tail while others approach with caution. Choose the one that will win your entire family over and you?ve found yourself a friend for life.