Which dog breeds make the best family pets?
Bringing a dog into the family home is wonderful for all involved. Suddenly you’ve got a furry friend to create excitement in the house. What’s more, family dogs enable children to grow and develop social skills. We’ve selected a few classic family breeds below.
Family dog #1: Pug
A favorite amongst the aristocracy of years gone by, pugs are companionable souls that like nothing more than getting cozy. Exercise isn’t on their list of priorities, so if you’re someone who likes to take the family for a hike or two, think again. But if you’re after a couch potato to keep the family company, look no further.
A few things to bear in mind before you take the plunge, however:
- Pugs are prone to separation anxiety, so bring them along on family vacations.
- They shed a serious amount of fur. You’ll be using the hoover a lot.
- They’re notoriously prone to runny eyes, and their coats need regular cleaning too.
Oh, and if you value your alone time, dream on. Pugs will follow you to and fro. Then again, so will young children too.
Family dog #2: Golden retriever
Making a slight 180, let’s turn our attention to the golden retriever. If pugs are idle souls, goldens are fun-loving runners who like nothing more than playing fetch. They deserve to be walked a lot, but they’re also content chilling at home. They’re perfect for the family who likes to go on a hike or two, but a family that is equally content enjoying downtime. Another difference between a pug and a golden? Goldens tend to like playing in water, whereas pugs hate getting wet. If you own a golden, consider letting them play with the hose, or give them regular opportunities to head to the beach.
- Go for a golden retriever that easily makes eye contact.
- Shop from reputable breeders who will give you information on the parents.
Family dog #3: Labrador
Labs are gorgeous dogs but a slightly riskier investment than a retriever, if only because they need more exercise, and have higher energy levels all round. Fail to give a lab enough of a runaround and you’ll likely come home to find a cushion or two in a state of disrepair. On the flipside, if you’re in roomy surroundings and have a thirst for adventure, labradors are wonderful family companions and extremely smart as well.
- Be mindful of exercise-induced collapse. This is a problem amongst young adult labradors who work themselves to the point of exhaustion.
- When looking for a labrador as a puppy, opt for one with clear eyes, as the breed is known to inherit eye problems later in life.
Family dog #4: Cocker spaniel
A good middle ground between a labrador/golden and a pug? The cocker spaniel. This family favorite enjoys to run and play but doesn’t mind downtime either. Best of all, the spaniel is great with kids. He might eat you out of house and home, but you can use food to get the best out of him too. And because cocker spaniels are so intelligent, they’re not hard to train (especially with a few nibbles at the ready).
- If you’re adverse to noise, cockers might not be the best bet, as they can be on the noisy side.
- Make sure to clean their ears, though don’t rely on cotton buds. A proper ear cleaner and a hair trim will do the trick.