Dogs are a superb addition to any home. They are loving and faithful companions that very quickly become part of your family.
However, when you are choosing a dog, you need to think really carefully and do your research and select a breed that will suit your family’s circumstances. Some kinds are better than others for families with younger children, so make sure that your dog is one of the more child-friendly ones if you have kids in your home or visiting regularly. Remember, even the most well-behaved and loving dog should never be left alone with children, and it is crucial that you teach your kids how to pet and handle a pooch properly and to back off if they are not in the mood for attention. Here, we look at a few family-friendly dogs that you might like to consider. If possible, try to check out the rescue centres and dog homes first rather than buy one – there are plenty of friendly and loving pups out there waiting for a home.
Your Family’s Suitability
While most families would love a dog, not every family is suitable for one. If you all work long hours and are out of the house all day, consider whether it is fair to have a dog that is shut in and alone all day. Remember, dogs are for life – unfortunately, many dogs end up at rescue centres because their well-meaning owners underestimated how much care and attention they need. It is so much more than food, water and somewhere to sleep and it can get expensive. There are lots of other bits and bobs that you will have to invest in to be a responsible dog owner: harnesses, seat belts for the car, dog crates, dog cameras, treats, pet insurance and regular vet check-ups. All dogs, whether dependent or independent, need love, affection and a long walk every day.
The beautiful Bichon Frise is a very family-friendly breed. Their adorable little fluffy faces are particularly joyful for children – they look like gorgeous teddy bears! As they are classed as a toy dog, they are small but robust and sturdy on their feet. They are generally very loving and affectionate and are real lap dogs who just want to play and be fussed!
The Labrador Retriever has always been a firm family favourite and for a good reason. They are easy-going, intelligent and patient, making them excellent around children – but are by no means boring. They have a real cheeky personality and a great sense of fun and adventure – just think of Marley from the great dog film, Marley and Me
The classic ‘Lassie’ dog – the rough collie is very intelligent and easily trained, making them a superb companion for kids. Just like in the movie, they rarely misbehave and will end up best friends with even the smallest of children. They’re also a great dog for someone with little or no experience of dog ownership.