Choosing a dog is not a decision that should be taken lightly or made impulsively. The lifespan of the average dog is anywhere between eight and fifteen years, making the addition to your family one that you will have to live with for a while.
In order to make the best of the relationship, it is important to choose the that best fits your lifestyle. If you have children, it will be especially important to do your homework well before deciding the best breed for your family since your first priority should be to find a breed that has a reputation for being an excellent family dog.
Good Dog Breeds For Families
In general, most toy breeds are not good around children because, besides being fragile, they tend to be high-strung and easily overwhelmed.
Many of the terriers, as well as some of the hounds and working breeds, have high “prey-drives” and may be easily excited by a child’s squeals or sudden movements.
Some herding breeds are also questionable around children because of their tendencies to revert to their herding instincts and nip or chase small children.
Most sporting breeds have dispositions that make them good family dogs, but most are large in size and some are very energetic, which could be a bad combination around very small children.
While any breed of dog can be a good family companion if raised and socialized correctly, there are some breeds that excel (and even thrive) in households that include around children.
The Basset Hound is a laid back dog with an easy going nature that makes it an ideal companion for young children. The basset hound is also not so large that it can easily knock over a child yet is sturdy enough to stand up to rough play.
The Beagle’s happy nature and willingness to partake in any potential fun make it a great dog for children. Beagles are also a good size, not so large as to overpower a small child, but also sturdy enough for the most rambunctious of children.
Border terriers are one of the most playful and friendly of all the terriers, making them ideal playmates for even young children. With its curious nature and affinity for the outdoors, the Border Terrier is the perfect partner in crime for any child.
Boxers are active, fun loving dogs with gentle dispositions. They are also very patient and tolerant of even very young children. However, because they are a somewhat large breed and have a tendency to be a little rambunctious, they may not be the best match for very young children. Overall, however, the boxer is a loving and doting playmate.
Golden retrievers are well-known for their wonderful dispositions and willingness to please. While a large breed, the golden is very gentle and especially tolerant even of very young children. Because of its active nature, the golden is also always willing to join its young master on runs or for a game of fetch.
Jack Russell terriers and Parson Russell terriers are small, energetic dogs with great, fun-loving personalities that make them a good match for children. Very robust for their small size, the Russells can keep up with even the most energetic of children.
Labrador retrievers, much like their golden cousins, are great family dogs because of their great dispositions and their willingness to play. They can sometimes be overly exuberant, which is a concern given their large size, but that can be said of any breed of this size. Labs have ranked as the country’s most popular purebred dog for many years now and no doubt some of that popularity has to do with them being the quintessential family dog.
Regardless of what breed you decide to add to your family, you should do your homework first, possibly even visiting breeders or dog shows to meet live representative of the breeds. Most breeders are more than happy to talk to potential owners and advise you on all the quirks of the breed. Remember, this is a decision that will impact your family for years to come, so it’s important to take your time and do your research to assure that the new addition to your family will be the right fit for many years to come.