Are you thinking about adding a furry friend to your family? In the United States, over 48 million households own dogs. Clearly, canines have something special to offer families, or there wouldn’t be so many happy owners! While every dog’s personality is unique, some factors are consistent across breed types. The key is to find one that suits your family’s needs.
Keep reading to discover seven of the best dogs for families — your future pet is waiting for you.
1. For the Apartment Dwelling Family: Bichon Frise
If your family lives in an apartment, you’ll want a small dog that accommodates the available space. The Bichon Frise breed would be the perfect option in this situation, as they weigh in at 12-18 pounds and are known for being relatively quiet. Playful and curious, this adorable fluffy dog will get along great with children and other canines.
This breed is relatively hypoallergenic but requires regular grooming. If you get one, plan to brush it throughout the week to prevent matting. With moderate exercise requirements, you should prepare for several play sessions and walks throughout the day.
2. For the Allergy Conscious Family: Poodle
Poodles are often known for their fluffy fur, which is considered hypoallergenic. Since they shed very little, the dander that causes an allergic reaction stays on the dog instead of dispersing through the air. If someone in your family is allergic to dogs, choosing a hypoallergenic breed and using an air purifier can drastically mitigate their symptoms.
Poodles come in three size varieties, which all have the same build and proportions. Standard is the largest size, while miniature is slightly smaller and toy is the smallest. It’s easy to train poodles as they were originally bred as hunting dogs.
3. For the Playful Family: Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are friendly and devoted family dogs who are eager to please. As puppies, they can be rambunctious and require adequate training and socialization to eliminate bad behavior. Golden retrievers are relatively easy to train and love meeting new people. As they learn the ropes, this breed will quickly transform into a well-adjusted and well-mannered adult. If this is your family’s first dog, it would be beneficial to sign up for obedience training classes with your new pup.
This breed is highly active, so it’ll make a great companion for long bike rides and hikes. They’ll happily go on hunting trips or participate in canine sports if you have an interest. Without enough exercise, a Golden can become bored and destructive.
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4. For the Active Family: Irish Setter
You’ll easily recognize an Irish Setter because of its beautiful long red coat of fur. Its long and tall build improves speed and stamina, making it a terrific hunting companion. This breed is known for being full of energy and has a puppy-like spirit well into adulthood. An active family will love the constant playfulness and companionship an Irish Setter provides. As a result of their energetic nature, this pet would work best in a home with older children.
If you utilize firmness and patience, this intelligent breed will master most lessons. However, you should prepare for an affectionate, mischievous and stubborn pup with a rollicking temperament.
5. For the Low-Energy Family: Bulldog
Both French and English Bulldogs make great pets for low-energy families. While the breeds share certain characteristics, it’s important to note that Frenchies are better around older children, while English Bulldogs will do well with kids of all ages.
Known for being gentle and patient, English Bulldogs will withstand a lot of rough play from young children. They love cuddling with their owners and are usually very in tune with human emotions. This breed also makes a good guard dog, as they are naturally protective and strong. They weigh in at about 40-50 pounds, making them relatively large despite their height. In comparison, Frenchies are usually 16-28 pounds.
6. For the Family Who Wants a Large Dog: Newfoundland
This breed is the largest on this list, weighing in at a whopping 100-150 pounds. Yet, this gentle giant is suitable for all home types — even apartments. They have a calm and affectionate demeanor, which allows them to be wonderful family dogs. The Newfoundland breed is sweet, patient and devoted, and longs to be close with its family at all times.
Originally bred as a working animal, this breed enjoys exploring and swimming outside and spending time with the family. Additionally, they’re easy to train and extremely friendly with other pets.
7. For the Versatile Family: Labrador Retrievers
Labrador retrievers, also known as Labs, are the classic family dog. They are friendly and outgoing and get along well with other animals. For many people, a Lab makes the perfect companion for family adventures. They’re an extremely playful and affectionate breed, with moderate energy and grooming requirements.
This enthusiastic canine loves to explore the outdoors but also enjoys cuddle time — making it a very versatile pet.
Choose a Mutt
Listed above are seven of the best dog breeds for families, but why choose one when you can have a mix? A dog that is an unintentional mix of species is known as a mutt. While some people prefer purebreds, choosing a mutt carries special benefits.
Mutts tend to be healthier and better natured than their purebred counterparts. Mixed breed dogs will carry various traits and characteristics from each bloodline, which gives them a unique personality. Keep this in mind when making your final decision — you may decide a mix-breed is the best option for your family!
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