When you are looking for the perfect dog for your family, you shouldn’t pick the first cute one you see. Instead, it is important to do your research to find the perfect dog for your way of life. Some breeds are better with children than others, and some breeds can be too needy for busy families.
As you look for your dog, ask yourself questions about how much time you have for a family dog, and whether the commitment is right for your family.
What Breeds Are Kid-Friendly?
The best dogs for kids are the ones that can be trained. Some dogs are easier to train than others, like sporting dogs that were bred to work with their human counterparts. These are dogs like Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers.
Other working dogs, like German shepherds and Belgian Malinois protection dogs, the dogs that can be trained to herd large groups of cattle, are also good with children.
But, not everyone likes to have large dogs in their homes. These dogs are big, and many have added needs involving grooming and shedding. Just because a dog is good with children, the dog might not be right for your family.
It is tough to point out any breeds that are bad for children. There are just some dogs that are better with them than others. Many families choose large dogs because of their durability, but that doesn’t mean that a family cannot choose a small dog.
Does the Size of the Dog Matter?
When you are shopping for a dog for your family, you should consider the ages of your children and how they will treat the dog. Some families shy away from small dogs because they are easier to hurt large breeds. And when little dogs are injured, they often respond by biting. If you do have small children, then the smallest toy breeds might not be the best choice.
What About Energy Level?
It is important to remember that dogs are animals. They will do what is in their nature. So, if your family is active, then you will want an active dog like a hunting, herding, or sporting dog if you want a dog that prefers to sit around like a bulldog, basset hound, or Irish wolfhound. There really are dogs for everyone.
No matter what type of energy you want your dog to have, you must remember that all dogs need exercise. So, you will need to have space for your dog to run and play, or you need to be able to take your dog for a daily walk. Before you pick a dog, research what breeds have the energy that fits your family and lifestyle.
What About Noise?
Another consideration for your family is the amount of noise a dog breed makes. Some dogs bark constantly, while others seem to never stop making their voices heard. If you have a large home with space between your neighbors, your dog’s barking might not be an issue. But, if your family lives in the city with neighbors close by, incessant barking might not make you too many friends.
Some of the quieter breeds come in all sizes. From the Cavalier King Charles spaniel to the Basenji and the wheaten terrier to the dalmatian, these are several pleasantly quiet dogs. And, the more vocal dogs also come in several sizes, but most are small toy breeds, like the Maltese, chihuahua, and the Yorkshire terrier. Bigger dogs like Siberian huskies and German Shepherds are vocal, too.
What If You Have Allergies in Your Home?
Allergies are rather common, and unfortunately, no dogs are completely hypoallergenic. Some dogs do not shed as much as others, and some have less dander. Before you bring a dog into your home, your allergic family member should spend some time with the dog to see how they are affected by it.
People with dog allergies might be able to live comfortably with dogs like the Bichon Frise, Poodles, Maltese, or American hairless terrier. The allergic family member should sit and play with the dog, and let the dog lick their faces. You will certainly know after a close interaction.
Where Do You Buy a Puppy?
There are several places to buy a family-friendly dog. Some people are comfortable buying them from ethical pet stores, while other people prefer to buy them from local breeders with good reputations. You can find ethical breeders and pet stores online through the American Kennel Club.
Another good place to find lovely dogs is at your local Humane Society. You can interact with the dogs before you choose one. You can also rescue a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. A Humane Society dog or rescue dog might be a mixed breed, and many of those become wonderful family pets, too.