A dog can be the ideal pet for families, particularly if you’re looking for an affectionate, playful and loving companion. From tots to teens, dogs can be great with kids and other animals.
However, some breeds are better suited to family life than others.
If you’re thinking of welcoming a dog into your home, it’s important to understand their needs. By choosing the right breed, you can increase the chances of having a harmonious home life and ensure both the dog and your family are happy.
To help you decide which breed is right for your home, take a look at these dogs that are pawfect for families…
Bulldogs tend to like a slow-paced life, so they can be a great option if you’ve got younger children who maybe aren’t able to be so hands-on. While some breeds are more high energy and will chase kids, bulldogs will be happy to play and snooze on the couch.
They’re also patient and friendly dogs and can be protective of children, which are all traits you want in a family dog. Known for their loyalty and affectionate nature, these stocky little pups can be stubborn at times but they’re dependable and calm dogs who thrive in a family environment.
If you live in a smaller home, a pug could be a great addition to your family. Although they’re fairly small in size, they have big characters and love to play. If you’re looking for a dog who will enjoy high-octane games and then cuddle in for a nap, a pug is the breed for you.
As pugs are highly intelligent, they can learn a good number of commands, such as sit, stay and fetch. However, their intelligence means they’ll get into trouble if they aren’t trained early on.
Similarly, they tend to be watchdogs by nature, so they’ll often bark or yap when people approach the home unless you teach them not to.
3. Basset Hound
Characterized by their long, floppy ears and adorable eyes, basset hounds make excellent family pets. Although they’re traditionally a hunting breed, they’re fairly lazy too. They love to be with people, so you’ll find them following you around for much of the time, but they won’t be too energetic.
Also, basset hounds are fiercely loyal, so they make a great addition to a family home. Despite their intelligence, basset hounds can be fairly stubborn so training can take a little longer than with other breeds.
If you have the extra time to devote to training your new pup, a basset hound is a great option for families with children.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you’re assuming that all spaniels are high-energy, gun dogs, think again. Although the Cavalier King Charles is a gun dog, it’s the laziest of all the spaniels out there. If you want a dog who loves cuddles and wants to sit on your lap from dusk ‘til dawn, this is the one for you.
Of course, life with a Cavalier King Charles is never boring. Puppies, in particular, will be keen to play and they love to chase a ball or their favorite toy. Friendly and easy-going, you’ll find a Cavalier King Charles will flourish in a family home, as long as you’re on hand to give them a fuss on regular occasions.
This little breed loves life’s luxuries, so being stretched out on your lap will be your dog’s favorite spot.
5. Labrador Retriever
Known as affectionate, easy-going and energetic, Labradors make perfect family pets. If you love being outdoors, a chocolate lab will enjoy long walks and games.
In fact, they’ll want to accompany you on any activity. Although Labradors do have a lot of energy, they’re also companionable and love a cuddle from their owners.
Fiercely intelligent, they’ll have no trouble picking up on commands and you can train a lab to sit, stay, fetch and even ‘high five’. When it comes to kids, their affectionate and playful nature makes them an ideal furry friend for youngsters.
However, Labradors are very food driven. While this means treats work well for training, you’ll need to ensure your cupboards and bins are secure, or you’ll find your pup foraging for a snack. While labs can be goofy and fun, they’re also relaxed and friendly, which makes them an ideal dog for families.
6. Irish Setters
With rich red coats and an athletic physique, Irish Setters are stunning looking dogs. They weigh around 60-70 pounds, so they’re most suited to life in a bigger home and access to a garden is a must.
Irish Setters tend to be extremely active dogs, so they’re best for families who live a fast-paced lifestyle.
Their mischievous and friendly nature means they’ll add fun and spontaneity to family life, while their loyalty and affection makes them a fantastic choice as a family pet.
Providing you’ve got the space and energy; an Irish Setter could be the perfect addition to your home.
Despite their size, your Newfoundland will be under the impression they’re the perfect lapdog. Affectionate and loyal, they love cuddles and fuss. While many people are discouraged from getting a Newfoundland because of their size, they make excellent family pets, if you’ve got the space for them.
Loyal, sweet and intelligent, a Newfoundland will be a constant companion for your family. While Newfoundlands need a daily walk, they don’t require too much exercise. In fact, if they’re left to their own devices, Newfies can be lazy and prone to weight gain.
While their build may make them seem intimidating, Newfies are softies at heart, as well as being docile and gentle.
As poodles come in three different sizes, they’re the perfect addition to any family home. A toy poodle is the smallest variation of the breed, while a miniature poodle is slightly larger. Standard poodles can be around 45-60cm tall, while toy poodles are generally around 24 to 28cm.
Poodles are highly intelligent, which makes them easy to train. With the ability to learn a variety of commands, your poodle will need a good amount of mental stimulation, as well as physical exercise.
As poodles typically bond with all members for the family, they’re ideal for larger households, particularly if you have more than one child.
A particular advantage of choosing a poodle as your family met is their curly, hypoallergenic coat. Unlikely to cause allergies, poodles are a top choice for many households, as are poodle crosses, like the Cavapoo, Cockapoo, and Maltipoo.
9. Bichon Frise
Reaching around 30 cm tall when they’re fully grown, a Bichon Frise can be a great choice for families who are short on space. Their playful face reflects their entertaining characters and you’ll find a Bichon Frise soon becomes a cherished member of the family.
Although the breed is known to be inquisitive and fun, they can also be gentle and sensitive. This means they work well in families with children. However, a Bichon Frise can require regular grooming, so be prepared to brush them regularly or book them in for regular sessions at a dog parlor. If left unattended, their coats can become matted, so opting for a close trim will help to keep your dog matt-free.
You will need to take the time to train your Bichon Frise intensively too. Puppies can be a little harder to housebreak than other breeds but, once you’ve got there, they’ll be a wonderful addition to family life.
10. Golden Retrievers
Fun, playful and affectionate; there’s a reason that Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular pets in the U.S. With an adorable face and fantastic temperament, Goldies are generally great around kids and thrive in a family setting.
However, they can be high energy too, so be prepared to give them a lot of exercise. A Golden Retriever will always be happy to head out on a walk and they’re fond of swimming too, so watch out for ponds and puddles!
While Goldies are playful and engaging, they’re also intelligent and obedient. Generally, they’re relatively easy to train and their manners mean they’re great around kids and easy-going in company.
Combining exuberance and affection, a Golden Retriever can make a great pet for any family.
Choosing your new family pet:
If you’ve decided to get a dog, you’ll be eager to welcome your new pup as soon as possible. However, getting the right dog for your family requires time and patience.
As well as researching breeds to find the right fit, you’ll want to learn everything you can about training a puppy and caring for a dog.
This is a great time for younger children to learn more about interacting with dogs, which can be a major advantage when you first bring your new dog home.
With the right amount of preparation, you can be sure that your new dog will match your lifestyle and can begin to look forward to your new furry friend becoming part of your family.