The first thing to consider when talking about a family dog is to define what one is. Family refers to a unit where a social group provides for its members. Dog refers to…dog.
When choosing a family dog, it’s extremely important to choose a dog that is naturally aligned to working well within a social unit comprising of both puppy and people can make things a lot easier in the long run.
Check out our list of Best Family Dogs below!
Best Family Dogs
10. Border Terrier
Sturdy and active, Border Terriers will keep families busy with long walks and training activities. Fiercely intelligent, they are often used as hearing or guide dogs and are always open to new tricks. Border Terriers are obedient and affectionate around family and friends but make great guard dogs if they feel that their home is under threat. A fabulous ‘bouncer’ in every sense of the word!
Watch out for: Boy, can these guys dig. Make sure you have a fully secured garden before bringing a Border Terrier home.
Bring one of the dogs listed above into your home and you can be sure to have a dog that balances playfulness, companionship, reliability and love. That’s what every family is looking for, isn’t it?
These are delicate dogs so fare well around calmer children. They aim to please and are very sweet and loving. The best news? They don’t shed so will fit in to families that have allergy sufferers.
Watch out for: This dog requires a lot of grooming, but will teach the children how to be gentle around animals.
Want a furry babysitter? The Newfoundland is a great ‘Nana’, as J.M Barrie showed in his story ‘Peter Pan’. Calm and patient, they like nothing more than cuddling up. This the dog version of a giant teddy bear due to their sweet nature and dependability.
Watch out for: Needs regular activity, preferably of the swimming variety! Newfoundlands, being big dogs, age quickly and are prone to bone disorders.
They are quick sprinters but Greyhounds, particularly ‘retired’ ones, are very docile dogs that don’t require much exercise, making them a good choice for a family with small children to look after. They are very good around children, although they prefer gentle play to rough and tumble.
Watch out for: A high prey instinct means that a family home without other pets is preferable, although surprisingly, they get along well with cats.
Boxers are the archetypal playful dog. They love to romp around and enjoy exercise. Reliable and needing minimal grooming, they fit in well into family ‘packs’ that have a strong leader who can control their rambunctiousness! They will give many hours of fun as a puppy before growing in to a dignified statesman of a companion and guard dog in later years.
Watch out for: Slobbering, snoring and a shorter life span than other breeds.
5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Pampering, running, tummy tickles: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel loves them all. Easily trainable with an even temperament, they are a great choice for first time owners who can take them for a daily walk and spend the rest of the time showering them with love. They can suffer from separation anxiety, so a family home with someone in the house a lot of the time is perfect for this breed.
Watch out for: Timid and easily frightened, CKC Spaniels need to be socialised from an early age otherwise they can end up afraid of EVERYTHING.
4. English Bulldog
The ‘no worries’ dog. A Bulldog is calm, relaxed and social, making them ideal playmates for kids. They are quiet dogs that rarely bark and have a calming influence on those around them, loving to cuddle up and be petted as it lazes on the sofa.
Watch out for: Bulldogs like routine and don’t respond well to change. They also need a little more patience when training than other breeds.
Exuberant and full of energy, a Beagle is a perfect dog for an active family. Happy to spend hours running around, these dogs are great at keeping children occupied. Fantastic guard dogs, their sense of smell is renowned and they can sniff out anything that isn’t as it should be.
Watch out for: The strong hunting instinct gets the better of Beagles around other animals and so be careful when walking off lead because of their tendency to run after anything that moves!
Pugs are silly dogs and giant show offs who will bring howls of laughter to your home. Puppyish and curious even in old age, they LOVE children and enjoy constant games and play. They are good with other animals and are utterly devoted to their family.
Watch out for: Snub nosed breeds are often not allowed to travel by air and the shedding is CONSTANT.
1. Labrador Retriever
You knew that one was coming, didn’t you? These lovable big dogs are gentle, even tempered and are good with both children and animals. Their sometimes mischievous nature means that they need a firm hand in training, but their high levels of intelligence make this a simpler task than with many other breeds.
Watch out for: Eating too much! Labradors have a propensity for overeating, so watch those snacks.
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