Considering which breed of dog would be best for your family is not a decision to be taken lightly. Whether planning on getting a puppy or adopting, comprehensive research should be put into investigating breeds – especially considering the inclusion of your children. Like anything in life, there are some pooches that are perfect for families with children, and some that are not. If you are on the hunt for your perfect family pooch there are 10 of the best listed below.
Flatties, as they are known in the doggy world, are related to the Labrador, Golden, and Curly Coated retrievers. They are usually black or liver coloured and their tails are constantly wagging. If you dream of having a dog that retains their delightful puppy-like qualities as they grow, a flat-coat retriever would be a fantastic new member of the family. They are slow-maturing, which means they often reach full physical maturity whilst still being full of good humour and playful spirit.
Flat-coats love human companionship and will follow family members anywhere. They do not like to be left alone for extended periods of time and require a minimum of 2 hours exercise a day. They love to run and love to swim, which will help tire both children and pooch out!
Furthermore, they make excellent family guard dogs with their deep barks and fierce loyalty.
Famous for getting along exceptionally with children, the Newfoundland is gentle, kind and patient. The Newfoundland’s bear-like coat does shed a lot and they are champion droolers. However, this can be overlooked when you find out they are known as ‘natures babysitter’ due to their unrelenting protection and love of their families. These giants can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand 27 inches tall, but do not let their giant size put you off.
Newfoundlands may be a giant in the dog world, but underneath the bulk is a dog that is quite happy tucked up with the family – they are definitely not yard dogs. They need lots of exercise and love to swim (they have been known to save lives in emergency situations). However, it is important that puppies are not overworked as it can affect their soft bones and joints.
Despite being hunting dogs, Basset Hounds are one of the most kind-natured and easy-going dog breeds. They integrate fantastically with children and other animals (even cats) and whilst some are dignified, most are the family clown. Their tails are forever wagging and they love to socialise with anyone and everything.
Many Bassett Hounds are quite happy snoozing their way around their homes and gardens, but it is up to the family to get them out for exercise. Due to their short legs, it is not hard for Basset Hounds to pile on the pounds but moderate exercise will keep them lean.
Weimaraners are affectionately referred to as Weims, Silver Ghosts or Grey Ghosts. They are an attractive breed, with many captivated by their sleek mouse-grey coat and light eyes. Many Weims are named Shadow; they love to be within touching distance of their owners and will happily sit on your feet and follow you throughout the house.
Weims are not dogs for novice owners, but if you are experienced and want an athletic dog that is loving and devoted, this is the breed for you.
Whether your heart lies with the standard, miniature or toy Poodle, they are all smart and gentle dogs. Poodles have an unwavering friendly demeanour and good nature which makes them excellent family companions. Poodles shed very little and, for this reason, they are a definite option for families that have allergy sufferers.
Many see Poodles, clipped and preened, and assume they are canine divas. However, they were originally bred as a working dog and are more than capable of holding their own in a rough and tumble family environment.
Poodles have been noted as excellent companions for older children, particularly those who have no siblings. Quite often Poodles and older children will forge an unbreakable bond, with the family Poodle showing a preference towards the older child.
Often a dream dog of children brought up on Disney films around the world, Dalmatians make great family pets. They are extremely dependable dogs and are highs-spirited and playful. Sometimes Dalmatians get a bad press for having flawed temperaments, this is from poor breeding. When seeking a Dalmatian puppy, always visit a reputable breeder and ensure that you can at least see the mother.
Dalmatians are ideal for families who enjoy the outdoors as they love nothing more than running alongside on jogging, hiking or biking excursions. Furthermore, if you have other pets, Dalmatians will integrate with them seamlessly – they are particularly fond of horses.
Boston Terriers are small and sturdy dogs with large expressive eyes. They all have unique characteristics: some are high-spirited and clownish, some are calm and loyal, some are sweet and gentle. On the whole, however, all Boston Terriers are charming dogs and have a particular affinity for the elderly.
These robust companions will happily while away the hours with the family chasing balls and playing games. This is simply what the breed lives for. They hate being apart from their family and the way in which they cock their head and talk to their owners in snorts and snuffles has seen the popularity of the breed as a family dog grow in previous years.
Although growing only 1 foot in height, Boston Terriers do like to show that they have lungs. They particularly like to try and show dominance over much larger dogs, which can be humorous. However, they are never aggressive.
The Border Collie is one of the most popular dogs in the UK as they are kept as both family pets and working farm dogs. They are often used to herd livestock and they are lively and active dogs.
Border Collies are very affectionate dogs but they are not appropriate for families with very young children. Juggling the care of a Border Collie and infants would end up being detrimental to the exercise needs of your furry companion.
However, for families with children that are over the age of 6 or 7, the friendly and non-snappy nature of the Border Collie makes them an ideal family dog. Plus, as an added bonus, you can set pooch and the kids running free on a long walk and tire them both out at the same time.
Bred as hunting dogs, Beagles are a great addition to active families. They are a friendly and clever breed and, aside from a bit of teasing here and there, they get on well with other family pets.
They grow to around 15 inches tall, but their sturdy little frames need a substantial amount of exercise to stay in shape. Beagles love agility competitions as they are amazing at jumping, running and crawling. Therefore, if you have some time on your hands, training them for this would make their day. Plus, which family doesn’t want to gloat that their pup won a rosette at the village fete?
Beagles are never too tired to play and will be the apple of your children’s eyes.
The Lab is by far the most popular family dog breed and the worst they can do is lick you to death! The Labrador is not only a beautiful pooch with a friendly face, they are also protective, loyal, patient and loving. There is a reason why your children leap at the TV when the Andrex advert comes on.
Labs are fairly large dogs, with some males reaching a hefty 100 pounds. When you introduce a Labrador to your children, you must make sure they do not feed the new addition tit bits. Although Labs need regular exercise, they can be gluttons and will happily gorge themselves all day if given the chance. There is a big difference between chubby Labs and healthy Labs, and your dog should look athletic and muscular.
Labradors are even great for families with small children. Their mouths are incredibly soft (they can carry an egg safely in their mouth) and so they are extremely safe around children.