What is the best dog for families?
Many parents with young children or those planning on having children want their kids to grow up with a dog. Dogs can teach responsibility, caring for another life, and respecting animals. Is there a best dog breed for families? While there isn’t a perfect breed for families or one that is the best for children, some breeds have temperaments that can fit into a growing family. Every breed has pros and cons, and every puppy needs adequate socialization to do well around children. Furthermore, interactions between children and dogs should always be supervised. So which breeds have the most patience for young children and toddlers?
- Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are highly popular for a reason! Families with young children focus on black or yellow English Labrador Retrievers as they tend to be more laid back. For Golden Retrievers, look for puppies that are yellow/golden or English cream retrievers.
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are fantastic family dogs. They are very prone to heart conditions. It will be vital to research potential breeders to ensure they are testing their dogs for congenital heart defects. Cavachons (Cavalier/Bichon crosses) have a lower risk of heart defects.
- Are you looking for a high-energy bully breed addition? Boxers can be a great choice! They tend to be goofy clowns, always ready for a play session!
- Rounding out our list is another small breed, the Havanese! These pups can make great playmates!
Before purchasing any puppy from a breeder, regardless of breed, thoroughly research both the breed and potential breeder. A good breeder will decrease the risks of behavioral and health concerns in the future and ensure all their puppies remain in their homes and out of the shelter. Read more about questions to ask a breeder.
What should I look for when buying a dog?
When deciding to bring a puppy or dog into your home, it’s essential to make sure that you choose the right one! There are no wrong choices, but depending on your lifestyle and how much time you can devote to your new pet, it’s a good idea to research which breed you want. Here are the top 3 things for you to consider when you choose the right dog breed for you:
Where do you live?
Whether you live in an apartment or home, all dogs will require daily exercise and potty breaks. Scope out areas for daily walks and mental enrichment before bringing your dog home.
What is your energy level?
Puppies usually have lots of energy, but as they age, some breeds require more to tire them out than others. If you love to go on runs, high-energy Vizslas, Shepherds, and Labs might be a great fit for your family. On the other hand, these breeds tend to find other things to get into without sufficient exercise.
Do you have children, or are you planning on having children?
If you currently have children, consider their personalities in the decision-making process. Do they tend to get overwhelmed by larger dogs? Or are they rambunctious and enjoy roughhousing? Allergies? These should all be factored into your decision for a dog. After deciding your preferences, consider what that dog breed was initially used for. Dogs intended to work closely with their family, and handlers, such as Labs and Goldens, thrive when they are with their family. Other breeds, such as Chow Chows, were bred to be outside guard dogs and generally do not enjoy young children’s antics.
What dog breed is easiest to train?
Each dog breed has traits, but this does not guarantee any specific dog. There is no such thing as the easiest or the most challenging breed, meaning that each breed has pros and cons, but it’s a great idea to research the common traits within a breed and look at what type of companion you would like in your life.
Do dog breeds matter?
The American Kennel Club recognizes seven breed groups, and for the most part, they have similar characteristics within their groups. Genetics plays a huge role in your dog’s overall health and temperament. Knowing what the breed was initially used for, provides insight into common behavior traits and potential health issues in the future.
Dogs in the Sporting Group were bred to pay close attention to their owner, listen to commands, and are usually very excited to train. These include Labs and Goldens. These dogs also tend to be highly food motivated, making using food as a reward during training easy!
Dogs in the Herding Group were bred to do a job and enjoy challenging physical and mental enrichment. Shepherds and Border Collies belong to this group and are said to be some of the most intelligent breeds. However, their intelligence can quickly get them into trouble if they do not receive sufficient training, mental stimulation, and daily intensive exercise.
Working Group dog breeds tend to be more aloof and wary of strangers. They were bred to protect, so a certain level of reactivity towards strangers or other dogs is common. These include Mastiffs, Dobermans and Rottweilers. Early socialization is essential for these dog breeds.
Terrier Group breeds are known to be intelligent and love to solve puzzles and search for things since they were bred for hunting vermin. These breeds enjoy activities and training but are more likely to dig or burrow. These include Jack Russell Terriers and Bull Terriers.
Toy Group breeds were bred to be small and sometimes decorative. These small dogs are great for apartments or those looking for a small-sized close companion. These include Yorkies, Pomeranians, and Pugs.
Hound Group breeds were bred to track and hunt. Scent hounds follow scents and tend to be slower than sighthounds. Sighthounds are slimmer and faster to chase and catch prey. Do not be surprised if your hound leaves you in the dust!
Finally, the Non-Sporting Group breeds have less in common than the other groups. It will be essential to research the purpose of each breed in this group individually. These include Bulldogs, Dalmations, and Poodles.
Understanding what your dog was bred to do, helps you provide them with the best life possible!