So your family is ready for a dog! That’s great news. Finding the right pet is a major step for a family and you want to find the best fit for you and your kids. What breed of dog has the sort of personality that will work best with your family?
Pay no attention to the bulldog’s fierce appearance. Bulldogs are sweethearts and terrific with kids. They’re also sturdy and they can put up with a whole lot. They don’t need a whole lot of space either, so you can keep a bulldog in an apartment.
The beagle is another child-proof dog. Beagle are great at keeping an eye on the kids and have lots of energy and are very friendly.
8. Bull terrier
Like Spuds McKenzie! A bull terrier is a very intelligent and energetic dog that can play for hours and stay calm. They fit in great with a large family and can take rough play with the kids without getting overly excited.
Collies are beautiful dogs that will tend to herd your children – after all, collies are herding dogs! Collies do have high-maintenance coats and they do need room to run, but this breed is worth the extra work.
Newfoundlands are great big dogs with great big hearts and they are also terrific with children. They do drool and shed, and since they’re so big they need lots of room to roam, so keep that in mind if your house doesn’t come with a big yard.
This is a breed many folks haven’t heard of, but a Vizsla is definitely worth getting to know. This middle-European hunting dog from Hungary is a gentle dog that needs lots of exercise and room to run (see #6!) If your family spends lots of time outside and you’re eager to teach your children how to train a dog, a Vizsla is the dog for you.
4. Irish Setter
Again, an Irish Setter needs lots of room to run outside and has a lot of energy, which is great for a family with kids (and a yard).
If you’re looking for a good family dog, stick with the large standard poodles and avoid the more aggressive miniature or teacup varieties, which tend to be more high strung. A big standard poodle is a good companion for children and can work with kids with allergies, since a standard poodle doesn’t shed much. They are good-natured playmates.
2. Labrador Retriever
Labs are a fantastic choice for families. Labrador Retrievers are loving, playful, loving and reliable pets, plus they’re very smart and love to show off their new tricks. You and your kids will find a lot of joy from a Lab.
And finally? Drum roll please…..The very best choice of dog for a family?
Go to your local animal shelter, Humane Society, or county pound and get a rescue dog. You can find a dog of any size, personality, or energy level at a shelter. As a bonus, shelters usually provide certificates to have your new pet spayed or neutered, and shelters usually have either already provided the necessary shots for your new friend or will give you a certificate for shots from a local veterinary office. Stick with the larger dogs to fit in with a family with small children, as larger dogs in general tend to be more laid back and calm than the smaller breeds.
The main thing to remember is, dogs are pack animals, and need to learn to fit in with your family “pack.” Keep in mind that you and your children now form your dog’s pack and use this rule from day one, and no matter what dog you bring home, you will find years of love, loyalty and fun with your new dog.