Many families across the country make the decision to get a dog for the family every year. Many of them do their homework and pick an appropriate breed for the family based on the breed temperament and the ages of the children in the family. Unfortunately, many other families make unfortunate choices and end up re-homing, giving away, or abandoning their pets. Before any discussion concerning getting a dog takes place, the parents in the house need to set down some ground rules and know acceptable breeds to consider.
1. Golden Retriever
A perennial favorite on the “most common breeds” list, this type of dog is excellent for families that enjoy lots of time being active and doing outdoor activities. The breed was originally developed to retrieve birds on hunting expeditions but soon proved its worth as a loyal family companion. One downside of the breed is its mountains of fur. While beautiful when maintained, the dog will require daily brushing and might shed a lot.
2. West Highland Terrier
The West Highland Terrier, or Westie, is a small white terrier that is playful and loveable. Like all terriers, and really all dogs, this breed requires some exercise to keep him happy. Westies are good watch dogs and loyal friends. These little guys are great for older children but have been known not to tolerate accidental mistreatment from younger children. For this reason, they are not generally recommended for houses with children under the age of ten. Like the golden retriever, the Westie needs some grooming to keep his coat mat and tangle free.
3. Cairn Terrier
A cousin of the West Highland Terrier, these are tough little dogs. This dog is very fond of people and will do well in any living environment as long as there are people around. Just like its cousin the West Highland Terrier, this breed needs exercise to stay happy. The Cairn Terrier is available in a variety of colors including cream, wheaten, red, sandy, grey, or brindled in a combination of these colors.
4. Irish Setter
The Irish Setter is another dog that was originally bred to hunt birds. Being a bird dog, they can be excitable. Their beautiful red coat makes them popular and loved by many families. The dog breed, on the whole, is always eager to please. The red coat that makes the dog so popular need to be brushed and trimmed or it will look less than its best.
Another terrier, Schnauzers are full of personality and are available in three sizes. The largest Schnauzer size might not be appropriate for a family with small children as the dog is quite large. The two smaller available sizes are better for families. The Schnauzer is a wonderful family pet that is both eager to please and loves to keep the family safe. Like all dogs, the Schnauzer does require daily exercise. In addition, Schnauzers need to be groomed or their coat will get matted. There is a breed standard cut that many people choose for their pets.
6. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Weighing in at around 25 pounds, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a popular family pet. These dogs are stocky with short tails and require daily exercise. Fortunately, they love romps with kids. These dogs are best for people with children over the age of five. Some of them have a tendency to be bossy or possessive as they were originally bred for herding animals. Apparently, the breed sometimes thinks that children need to be herded.
7. Labrador Retriever
Another popular choice, the Labrador Retriever is great for families that do a lot, particularly activities that involve water. These dogs frequently have endless energy that is great for keeping up with numerous kids. While originally developed to retrieve birds on hunting trips, the lab is a loyal and devoted family member. Their shorter hair frequently makes them a better choice for families with little time to do their own hair, let alone that of the dog. Labs are available in three standard colors.
Another water dog, the poodle is an intelligent and friendly dog that craves human companionship. These dogs are happiest when they are allowed to run and play. A plus on poodles is that they are very low shed. Unfortunately, they have to be clipped because their hair so infrequently falls out. These dogs come in a variety of sizes to suit any need.
9. Bichon Frise
Frequently resembling a cotton ball as a puppy, these happy-go-lucky dogs are faithful and obedient. They are a fantastic addition to any home. They love to participate in anything as well as investigate. These dogs are also known for being exceptionally bright and able to escape from a variety of situations. To keep their fur looking its best, the Bichon Frise needs to be groomed regularly.
Yet another terrier, the Airedale is a sturdy dog that understands the importance of his or her job of protecting the family. While a diligent defender, the Airedale is also a great family friend. These dogs are generally willing to play at any time.
11. Basset Hound
These low to the ground dogs may look sad all the time with their droopy eyes, but they’re really more than willing to join in any fun and games that may be around at the time. As a hound, they may be known to howl.
The beagle fits in really well with active families. The dog only requires a nice bed in which to sleep and plenty of play time to be happy. The breed can fit in with pretty much any family.
13. Shih Tzu
These little guys were originally bred as companion animals for royalty. Despite this, the dog is just fine with getting dirty while playing with the kids and yet will still hold still for a tea party in the afternoon. These dogs love people.
Despite their intimidating face, Boxers are usually sweet, friendly dogs. They get their name from their tendency to stand on their rear legs while play fighting and use their front paws for boxing. These dogs are natural guardians that are extremely loyal. It is important to note that Boxers generally prefer the company of people to other dogs. The breed will do well in a quiet home or with an active family.
The Collie originally became a family pet with the debut of “Lassie”. To this day, the dog is considered to be one of the best family pets available. The breed has a lot of fur that needs maintenance so it might not be the best dog for a family with no time to brush the dog. The dogs are generally intelligent and patient.
16. Boston Terrier
Yet another terrier, these small black and white dogs love to make their families laugh. These dogs prefer brief periods of activity and then love nothing more than to curl up on the sofa to help you read a book or watch TV. These dogs are obedient and loyal while being a good watch dog and loyal family pet. These dogs may be ideal for less active families.
These gentle giants may drool a bit too much for some people but they have made a fantastic living teddy bear for numerous families. Because of their size, families with very small children might want to wait for the kids to get a bit bigger. These dogs are excellent swimmers and have been known to jump in after family members in trouble. Families that live with water may be able to rest a little easier with one of these guys standing guard.
These fluffy fur balls look just like small foxes. They typically weigh in around five pounds and are an adorable breed. These dogs thrive on human companionship and require very little space. Pomeranians are ideal for families with older children.
Not at all standoffish, the pug is a loving, affectionate, even-tempered breed. Pugs love being part of the family and will gladly romp with children or curl up on your lap for a nap.
Whippets are quiet, small dogs that resemble a very small version of a greyhound. They tend to greet strangers with a kiss and love children. These dogs are very fast and love to chase things so they should be kept on a leash when out on a walk and the yard needs to be secure as well.