If your family is looking to adopt a new dog, it can be tough deciding which breed to choose. Based on your family’s lifestyle, you might prefer a smaller dog or one that will get along with any current pets living in your home. Here are our top five family-friendly breeds which may help with your decision.
The Golden Retriever: The Golden Retriever is currently the number one choice for the position of family pet. A confident, smart and loyal dog, the Retriever is neither shy nor aggressive, and has a lot of patience, making them the perfect companion for your children. While the Retriever does need a lot of exercise, which might put you off adopting the breed, its love of playtime will make this an achievable commitment.
The Labrador: From the same family as the Golden Retriever, the Labrador is also a popular breed. The Labrador’s temperament is kind, pleasant, outgoing and trustworthy. Their mouths are incredibly soft (a Labrador can carry an egg safely in its mouth) and so they are extremely safe around children. While Labradors can be boisterous, they are also very smart, and so can be trained by a committed owner.
The Beagle: Friendly, gentle and happy-go-lucky, some say that the Beagle never meets a person it doesn’t like. With a compact size and short coat that requires minimal brushing, Beagles get along well with children and naturally enjoy the company of other dogs and people. Because they are hounds, Beagles are known to howl and bark frequently and may follow their noses into trouble if they’re not provided with some daily exercise.
The Collie: Known for being loving and nurturing with its people and excellent with children, Collies are loyal, affectionate “caregivers” that are devoted to their families. With a large body, a long face and a coat that can be either rough (long) or smooth (short), Collies require weekly brushing and daily walks but are generally calm in the home.
The Bulldog: Used for bull baiting in England throughout the 19th century, the Bulldog has now become one of the most beloved and popular family dogs in the U.S. With a heavy build, distinct under bite and lots of wrinkles, the Bulldog is known for forming strong bonds with children and has a gentle, protective nature. The perfect couch companion, Bulldogs love to eat and sleep and will often need prodding to exercise. If you’re juggling a baby and a job, you may not want to get a dog that requires substantial exercise every day and may get frustrated when it’s not active. Bringing home a relaxed, couch potato-type dog may be a better fit.
The Poodle: Often recognized by its curly coat and its success in the show ring, Poodles were originally bred as water retrieval dogs and make wonderful companions. Highly intelligent and active, Poodles love to impress their people and excel in obedience training. With three different size varieties (standard, miniature and toy) Poodles can live comfortably in a variety of home environments and get along well with both children and other dogs.
Many animal shelters or rescue groups perform a behavioural analysis on their dogs before putting them up for adoption, which can help new parents or potential pet owners learn as much as they can about a dog before taking one home. Adopting an older dog may also be beneficial, as they tend to be a little calmer and a little less mouthy than a puppy.
Whereas puppies like to put everything in their mouths, an older dog may be less inclined to explore things, like baby’s fingers or hands, by nibbling on them. No matter what type of dog you choose to welcome into your family, make sure that you’re prepared to put in the time and effort that’s required to create a long-lasting relationship between your children and their family pet.
We hope you have loads of fun going through the process of making the best choice for your family! Dogs are a man’s best friend after all.