What's the best dog for my kids?
When considering getting a new pup, here are aspects to consider that could narrow down your list of breeds that would fit in well with your family, household and lifestyle.
Care Requirements: We put this first on the list for good reason. Your dog needs the basic building blocks of love, food, attention, and routine at-home and veterinary care to thrive. Each breed (and each dog) will also have specific care requirements such as grooming, known health risks for their breed, training needs and more.
Plus, before you purchase or adopt, decide who will feed, walk and train it, and how well your chosen breed tends to mix with kids - are they loyal, patient, highly trainable? Narrowing down the answers to these questions before visiting shops or shelters can help you understand whether your family is prepared for the responsibilities of dog ownership, and which breeds may be a natural fit.
Size: Choose a pup that’s a great fit for your house and yard as well as your family. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes - just like people! You can find everything from small or toy breeds such as the Boston Terrier to giant breeds, including the Newfoundland.
While it’s true that some smaller breeds are more fragile or prefer shorter walks, some medium-to-large breeds will jump at the chance to go for long walks or spend a spring afternoon at the park.
Energy Level: Just like size, energy levels vary with the dog. Some require a high level of physical activity and lots of physical and mental stimulation to keep those minds and bodies healthy (and out of trouble!). Others will relish the opportunity to snooze at your feet but may not be a suitable hiking buddy. Decide whether you are looking for a running partner or a more soft and snuggly friend.
Personality and Temperament: If you have a young family, your new pup will likely be around different types and ages of people, and thrust into all sorts of situations. Therefore, it’s imperative to find a match for your family’s personality and temperament.
Dogs can be mischievous and playful, bring boundless energy to the house, or be an easygoing and laid back companion. What type of temperament will complement your family’s?
Best Family Dog for Kids
The Irish Setter’s playful and energetic personality is paired with a distinctive red coat. These dogs love being around their humans and will be a great match for athletic kids as they’ll require lots of exercise.
Originally bred as a bird dog, the breed still has a strong hunting instinct so will require a large fenced yard or acreage to run, an active family and at least an hour of daily exercise.
Though they’ll need regular grooming and brushing to maintain their longer coat, you’ll find the Irish Setter is trainable. Known for their intelligence, they bring a puppy like enthusiasm to a home and excel at rally, tracking, obedience and agility competition.
A contrast to the Irish Setter and other energetic breeds, the Bulldog is more suitable for indoor play. These docile, patient dogs are good for families with other animals and are adaptable pups - great for busy owners with either a small apartment or large home.
Unique aspects of Bulldog breeds have an influence on their physical health; distinguished by facial wrinkles and folds that will need to be cleaned regularly to prevent dirt from building up.
They also have teeth that will need extra cleaning, care and attention due to their compressed jaw. However, their short coat means they won’t need a lot of care in that area.
Known as “Nature’s Babysitter”, these gentle giants will mature to a hefty 100 to 150 pounds. Don’t let their size put you off as their sweet temperament, observation skills and patience make them great friends for young kids.
If you’ve got an abundance of physical space a large furry friend would be comfortable in, this friendly pooch could make a great nanny on four paws.
Purebred dogs may be popular breeds, but mixed breeds offer the best traits of two or more lovely breeds in one pup. Though their lineage may be mysterious, a mutt will bring individual personality and preferences to your home you’re sure to fall in love with.
Plus, adopt one and you’ll have the great feeling of bringing home a new best friend for your brood - in addition to saving a dog’s life.
This friendly, happy-go-lucky breed brings a gentle nature to your outdoor adventures. Plus, it’s low-maintenance coat and even temperament make it a winner for families with children. They are also great with large groups of people, and have a reputation for being curious and sweet.
If trained and socialized appropriately, they make excellent family dogs. Keep in mind that the Beagle was bred to be a hunting dog, so will require lots of time outside. Additionally, because they love to follow scents they can be prone to running away, so a fenced-in backyard may be an important safeguard.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Wondering which dog breed might be best for your family?
Our South Charlotte vets have experience in treating a number of dog breeds. Contact our veterinary hospital today for advice.
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