If you have finally given in to your children’s constant demands for a dog, your thoughts will be turning to the best breed, and one that is ideal for a growing family. There are indeed many breeds to choose from, and with that in mind, here are the most popular dog breeds for a family pet.
- The Bassett Hound – A great family favourite, the Bassett Hound is a hunting dog, yet rather laid back when compared to some of the other hunting breeds. A medium sized dog, a Bassett Hound is very loyal and has a great temperament, making them perfect for a family with young children. It’s important that you have pet insurance, as dogs often require medical treatment, and if your dog has emergency cover, you won’t have to dip into your savings if he has an accident.
- The Labrador – A choice of short or long hair, the Labrador probably ranks as the most popular family breed; playful and very energetic, the Labrador will be a very loyal companion and will likely spend most of his time with the kids. An intelligent breed, the Labrador needs regular exercise and will fetch sticks and balls all day long.
- The Beagle – A medium sized dog, the Beagle has a great temperament for a family pet, and is a pack dog who will quickly bond with the family. They can be a little stubborn, especially if they are not given enough exercise, and he will play all day long if you let him.
- Golden Retriever – Voted the number one family dog more often than any other breed, the Golden Retriever is also a hunting dog that was bred for fetching game after it has been shot, and he will think nothing of diving into a lake to bring back a stick. You will need high energy levels to keep up with a Goldie, and they are great with children of all ages and generally are very good with other dogs.
- The Boston Terrier – Originally bred as a fighting dog, the stocky little Boston Terrier has a pleasant disposition and is very intelligent and loves attention. He will protect the children and is always ready for a run in the park.
- The Bulldog – Attractive in an odd sort of way, the Bulldog prefers a more laid-back lifestyle and is happier sleeping in front of the fire than romping in the garden. Fiercely loyal and good with children, the Bulldog is a family favourite that loves affection, yet this breed doesn’t adapt too well to hot climates.
While every breed has certain characteristics, each individual animal has their own personality, much like people, and it is important to start training as early as possible. It might be an idea to enrol the puppy in training classes, where you and your dog can learn more about each other.
The first thing to do when the puppy arrives is show him his area, where his bedding would be kept, along with his food and water bowl, and make sure you establish some ground rules.