Choosing a family dog
When choosing a breed, you need to find the right fit for your family.
- What size dog do you prefer? Small vs. medium vs. large breed?
- Possible costs? Some breeds may cost more or need more maintenance. Long haired breeds will need grooming often or senior dogs need joint supplements and more visits to the vet.
- The age of the dog? A puppy can learn to socialise well with the entire family but needs lots of training. An adult dog should already be house trained but might be shy with friends visiting.
- Family activity levels? Do you want a dog to run or hike with or one that just walks with the family? Some dogs get highly strung or agitated if not exercised regularly.
- Your family’s needs? Some dogs only prefer adults or one gender. There may be other animals, like cats, that need be socialised with the dog.
- The size of your home property? Some breeds need more space to run around and explore. Others may be fine with a smaller space and a daily walk.
- Your family’s schedule? Is someone at home during the day? If not, the dog could become lonely and destructive.
- Do your homework. If it is a mixed breed or rescue dog, try to find out its history. If it is a purebred, research the breed characteristics. Either way, try to find out about your dog and take some time to let your family interact with it, before you take it home.
- Through sickness and health. A dog is a long term commitment and responsibility, not to be discarded when ill, not puppy cute anymore or if you immigrate.
Top family dog breeds
- Golden retrievers
- Labrador retrievers
- Irish setter