If you have decided that a dog would be a wonderful addition to your family, you should carefully consider what type of dog would be a good fit for your family’s lifestyle. Things to think about: How often is your family home? How much activity and space to run will the dog need? Will the dog have the right temperament for your child? Adding a family member who will be around for 15+ years will have a huge impact on your daily life, so it’s worth taking the time to do some initial research. We made the mistake of adopting a dog on the recommendation of a relative and sadly it was the absolutely wrong choice for us as a family. Eventually we found him a new home, much better suited to his personality and needs. And the next time we made the move to add our family, we reviewed our options carefully.
While each dog is unique and has its own individual personality, researching breed types is a good way to determine how that type of dog interacts with children in general. The American Kennel Club website is a great place to start with information on over 150 different breeds. There are also many websites dedicated to specific breeds that will give you more detailed information. Here’s a starting point on some dog breeds that are good choices for families with children.
golden retriever: These playful dogs require a lot of attention as they have extremely high energy. They are excellent choices for families with children because of their loyalty, vigilance, patience, and an energy level that could match your child’s exuberant spirit. This breed does get quite large, so if you are looking for a small dog, you may want to consider another breed.
Beagle: While this small breed of dog was originally sought after for its incredible hunting abilities, they are known to make excellent dogs around children. This type of dog loves to play, has tons of energy, and craves the company and attention of the humans he loves. This is another type of dog that needs a lot of attention from the family, so if you are constantly on the go, this type of puppy is probably not the best fit.
Australian pastor: As its name suggests, this dog was originally bred to herd small animals on working farms and ranches. Their loyalty and intelligence are limitless with the right training and they need a job to keep them busy. This is a wonderful breed if you have a farm or space for them to run. They are great with children, but may also try to herd them.
collies: the Collie is another herding dog that gets along very well with families and especially children. He is characterized by being extremely loyal and affectionate, which makes him a perfect companion for a child. Although they will need brushing once a week to care for their coat, they are considered to be a very clean and odorless breed.
Labrador Retrievers: As one of the oldest recognized breeds, these dogs have an extremely distinctive temperament. As excellent companion dogs, they are extremely intelligent, gentle, good-natured, and very dependable and affectionate. They love spending time with their families and enjoy playing games like fetch. But be warned, Labs can take anywhere from 18 months to three years to mature and they are very active in those puppy years, so be prepared to show them lots of attention. The end result of having a loyal and intelligent companion is worth the wait.