Nina’s Top Picks For A Family Pet
It’s a well known and widely accepted sentiment that dogs are “man’s best friend.” Domestic dogs are some of the most popular pets for families, especially families with children.
They can provide years of companionship, protection, and fun, mainly if they are well trained.
When approaching the idea of adopting a new pet into your home and family, it is not only important to make an educated choice on breed, size, and disposition but it is also crucial to your happiness and the happiness of your new companion to make sure that they are lovingly trained to obey their authorities and respect their position in their new ‘pack’.
There are many options available for properly training your pet, everything from puppy classes to books and free online tools.
The benefits that come from a well-trained pet are almost too many to count. Not only is your peace of mine preserved knowing that your dog knows such things like what he can and cannot chew, biting is forbidden, aggressiveness is frowned upon, the house is not their bathroom, and so on, but they are made happier and more secure knowing their boundaries and where they rank.
Below are ten breeds that are known to be good with kids.
Although the boxer can seem imposing upon first look with their blocky heads and large, muscular build, they are, in fact, a wonderful breed to have around children.
As far as looks go, they are referred to by some as the George Clooney of the dog world, and their playful dispositions and seemingly limitless energy have earned them the title of the Peter Pan of dog breeds by many.
Boxers are not considered to be fully grown and matured until they have reached the age of three, and because of that their puppyhood stage is amongst the longest in the dog world.
Generally speaking, Boxers are not only very friendly but also highly intelligent. They are also alert and fearless, which combined with their extreme loyalty to their family members means that they serve very well in the role of a guardian as well as a companion.
Along with all of this great quality however, the Boxer breed also tend to be headstrong. This is best met with firm and consistent training, and yet if the methods he is met with are too harsh, his stubborn disposition is likely only to be enhanced.
Boxers require much exercise and are happiest when provided with plentiful outlets for their energy. They are best kept as indoor dogs and don’t do well with being outdoors for extended lengths of time.
This is because their noses are not efficient at cooling hot air during the summer and their short coats are not sufficient for retaining warmth during the cold seasons.
Downsides to Boxers include lots of drool, snoring and a tendency to suffer from seasonal allergies.
Boxers range from about 21-25 inches in height and are typically around 60-70 lbs. It’s important to buy Boxers from responsible breeders to ensure the highest chances of good overall health.
Boxers prices can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand depending on where they are purchased from.
Mastiffs are the largest breed of dog available. These gentle giants can range anywhere from 120 lbs to over 225 lbs. Their height at the shoulder is usually between 26 to 36 inches.
Mastiffs made a wonderful indoor dog but given their size; they are best kept in a large house with plenty of space.
Mastiffs are extremely gentle and loving and require much attention if they are to be properly trained and socialized. They can be prone to more behavioral problems if they are routinely neglected.
Mastiffs are wonderful with children as they are extremely patient and will put up with much tugging of ears and tails. They are very affectionate and are happy to return plenty of licks to the face.
If dog slobber bothers you, then you might want to look at different breeds as, with a Mastiff, you will need to be prepared to clean slobber off of everything after they indulge themselves in a good headshake.
They also snore extremely loudly, posing a problem for light sleepers. Though Mastiffs make great companions, they are not good guard dogs. Their loud barks at the sight of an intruder will surely scare off anyone unwanted, making Mastiffs wonderful watch dogs, but their threat to intruders goes no further than their bark.
If you are looking to adopt a full-grown Mastiff and you have small children in your home, it is good to take into consideration whether or not they have been raised with children, as they can easily knock babies over with their massive tails if they are inexperienced around kids. Even with that consideration, it might be best to wait until all children are steady walkers before taking in a full-sized Mastiff.
A Mastiff from a trustworthy breeder will require an investment of $1500 and up.
The Vizsla is not a very well known breed of dog. Often referred to as the ‘Velcro Vizsla’ these dogs are extremely affectionate and tend to be particularly loyal and attached to their owners.
Vizslas are not highly recommended for families with very young children, but for those with older, active kids, this breed will likely adapt and fit in very well.
They require a lot of exercise and activity, making them great companions for energetic children and they have a very lively disposition while still retaining a very gentle manner.
The Vizsla is a very smart breed, making training and learning of new tricks easy and quick. They work great as indoor dogs, either full time or part time, as they give off very little doggy odor.
However, to avoid boredom and the resulting destructive behavior, this breed is best adopted by a family who will be able to provide him with consistent daily companionship.
They are prone to cause trouble if neglected for very long. For best results with your Vizsla, ensure that he gets at minimum an hour of activity and exercise every day. This activity can range anywhere from walks and jogs, to fetch and other puppy sports.
Not only is training very important for this breed, to avoid destructive behavior, socializing is a must. The Vizsla can easily become timid and shy if they are not properly socialized.
When shopping for a Vizsla be prepared to spend anywhere from around $500 to upwards of $1500 for a healthy dog from a reputable source.
The Labrador Retriever is widely considered to be the best breed for children and families.
The lab Retriever has a reputation for working well with all ages and being amongst the most friendly and gentle of all of the dog breeds.
They have a warm disposition and are highly intelligent, making them great companions for lively, fun-loving children.
The Lab Retriever loves to play and will prove to be a reliable, patient and protective pet to their family. Many owners like to compare their Labs to angels as they are deeply devoted, people-oriented and love to be of service to their people.
The Lab Retriever is athletic and muscular, built for high activity levels. They have plenty of energy, but despite having been originally bred for hard work, most labs these days live pampered lives.
Labs are still used as therapy dogs as their sweet nature makes them perfect for visiting and cheering the sick and elderly. The handicapped also find that their intelligent nature makes them excellent assistance dogs.
One of the Lab’s favorite pastimes is eating. For this reason, it is important that owners be sure to limit their treat intake, carefully measure their meals and ensure that they get plenty of exercises.
Since they also love people food they have a bad tendency also to counter surf, dumpster dive as well as consume small items like chewed up kids toys.
A Labrador Retriever of good blood line from a reputable source can cost somewhere around $1000. As with any other breed, it is important to select a dog from a good bloodline and from a breeder who has done their job well.
Dalmatians have been a favorite pick for families every since the movie 101 Dalmatians was released.
The high demand that ensued after the movie’s premiere led to many unsuitable breeders, carelessly and quickly turning out as many pups as they could in the hopes of making quick money.
This has given the Dalmatian a rather rough reputation. There are multiple reasons why it is highly important to be sure that you purchase a Dalmatian from the good source that has made sure to breed their dogs carefully.
Dalmatians that are not properly bred very often tend to be unmanageably hyperactive. Although a well bred Dalmatian is going to be naturally highly active, it can be maintained with a proper level of activity.
Dalmatians are very loyal to their family. It is highly important for a prospective Dalmatian owner to be sure to invest in training and socialization for their new pup. Without these things, a Dalmatian can become aggressive.
Dalmatians are a beautiful breed, and there is not much that is cuter than a Dalmatian pup. Although this breed is great with older, active kids, it is not recommended to have them, especially as pups, around small children.
Again, proper training is crucial to ensure that they are the best companion that they can be.
Dalmatians are best kept indoors as they have a short coat and it is very important to include them in family activities so that they do not become bored and destructive as a result of being neglected.
Be aware, however, that they require frequent washing and grooming as they shed heavily year around. Male Dalmatians are usually up to about 60 lbs and 23 inches with females weighing and measuring slightly smaller.
Expect that a well-bred Dalmatian pup will require an investment of somewhere around $1000-1200.
Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux is known by several different names including French Mastiff and Bordeaux Bulldog.
They are of the mastiff breed and are short and stocky with a broad head and a short and stubby muzzle. Bordeaux’s have a very gentle disposition towards children and their families, making them great to have around kids.
As with so many other breeds, the Bordeaux will need plenty of exercises, but when it comes to being kept indoors, they are inactive and great for house life as long as their activity needs are met.
This means they will even do well for apartment life as long as there is a park nearby where they can stretch their legs and work off some energy when needed.
Despite being gentle and patient with their loved ones, the Bordeaux can be a formidable watch dog. They can be confrontational and fearless towards those they don’t know and make for wonderfully loyal guard dogs.
It is best to start socialization early with your new pup and be sure they get plenty of it so that they don’t develop aggressiveness with other animals. It is also very important to give proper training and establish from the start that the Bordeaux’s owner is top dog to ensure good behavior and attitude towards humans.
Bordeaux’s coats do not shed excessively and require low maintenance, but they do drool and snore.
A Dogue de Bordeaux from a good breeder can cost upwards of $1000.
Another bred that is highly popular in the US amongst families is the Golden Retriever.
The Golden Retriever is smaller than the Lab Retriever, generally measuring somewhere between 21-24 inches tall at the shoulder. Males weigh around 55 to 75 lbs, and the females tend to top out around 60 lbs.
These dogs are not only nonaggressive, but they are also extremely patient, which makes them great pets to have around kids. Golden Retrievers are beautiful dogs that are very playful, confident and loyal.
Their kindness and gentleness with children and their high intelligence levels make them wonderful family pets with hardworking attitudes.
Golden Retrievers are well suited to life with active children as they need plenty of exercises to keep them healthy and happy. They also excel when given daily jobs to do, such as being put in charge of retrieving the morning newspaper or staying involved in doggy sports, even making rounds every morning to wake up his family members.
A well exercised and worn out Golden retriever is a contented, happy and well-behaved dog. Because Golden Retrievers are naturally so sociable, they do not work well as guard dogs. Their social natural also means that they need to be included in their family’s activities. Golden Retrievers do not cope well with long-term neglect.
Several other considerations to take into account when looking at a Golden Retriever as a house pet is that they shed excessively, with higher rates in the spring and fall. Daily brushing can help slightly with maintenance by riding some of the loose hair, but for the most part, Golden Retriever owners will need to be okay with dog hair on everything in their home.
A well-bred Golden Retriever can cost around or upwards of $1000.
The Collie breed is comprised of two varieties: the Smooth Collie and the Rough Collie. Thanks to Lassie, the most commonly known of these two types is the rough collie with its harshly textured, long but well-fitted coat.
The Smooth Collie is a little bit less known and has a short coat that is dense and flat. The two varieties are interbred within the US, but in England, they were established as separate breeds and are not allowed to be interbred since 1994.
Collies are gentle, predictable, rarely aggressive and easily trained. They are people lovers, and along with being clean dogs, they are considered to be amongst the easiest of the breeds to housebreak.
They are good protectors and greatly love to please their owners. Unlike some breeds, Collies are not one person dogs but rather loved to be loved by their entire pack. They require interaction and love to be involved in family activities.
They do best if they are allowed to be indoors at least part of the time, and they do not cope well with being chained or tied up. If neglected outside for long periods of time, a Collie will quickly become unhappy and bored resulting in a loud and annoying pet.
Collies have been the subject of many stories over the years of child guardians, and even Collies who are not raised and trained to be around children are usually found to be docile, kind and attentive to most well-behaved children. They love to romp and play and are willing to put up with much rough handling from children.
A well-bred Collie can cost somewhere in the range of $500-$1000.
The Newfoundland is a gentle Canadian giant, with a heroic reputation. An average Newfoundland weighs around 100 lbs making it crucial that training is established at the earliest age possible since they grow quickly.
Although easy going, they do require daily exercise to keep in good shape.
Given the sheer size of the breed and their long heavy coat of hair that attracts high amounts of dirt, mud, and burrs, the Newfoundland is not an ideal indoor pet, especially for neat freaks. However, they make a wonderfully lovable companion to children.
They have, through their attentiveness and gentleness to kids, earned themselves the title of ‘nature’s babysitter’ by many. Like the Lab Retriever with whom they share a birthplace, Newfoundlands are also highly intelligent, friendly and versatile with a good work ethic.
Drawbacks include the need for regular grooming to maintain their heavy coat and excessive amounts of drool.
Also, if you live in a warmer environment, the Newfoundland will need to be kept close to the air conditioning in the warmest days to keep them from overheating. For owners not willing to put up with the drool and hair inside, this can prove to be problematic, and a different breed is probably best.
However, the Newfoundland is very easy to train, and they will prove to be very protective of their family, especially the children that they fall in love with.
To ensure that you are getting a Newfoundland with a reliable temperament and few genetic health issues, be sure to buy from a reliable breeder.
Beagles can make wonderful, energetic companions for children and great family pets. When considering a beagle, one of the first things to consider is what age to adopt them.
Beagle puppies are cute little bundles of energy and great fun for playing with, but they require not only a lot of effort to train, but until they are entirely housetrained, they will outdoor trips frequently to avoid indoor messes.
Also, while outdoors, they need to be kept on a leash or in a fenced-in area or they will let their noses lead them on a wild goose chase from which they may never return.
For these reasons, it might be best to wait until the youngest member of your family is past the toddler and preschool stage so that you can more easily manage this new child like a pup that you are adopting into your new family.
And if you want to bypass the training needs of a pup, consider a Beagle that is at least one year or older.
Another good reason to wait until children are a little older before adopting a beagle is that beagles, like other dogs, view their families as a pack and will attempt to dominate anyone their size or smaller.
Adults will easily achieve alpha status, but if the child cannot do the same, then a beagle can develop some aggressiveness while attempting to outrank them.
Beagles also shed a lot, making indoor life somewhat tricky. Neat freaks and people with allergies are probably not well suited to a Beagle for a pet.
For those willing to take on the work, frequent bathing and brushing can help to minimize the mess. Beagles were originally bred as hunting dogs and have a sturdy build. Beagles have happy dispositions and get along well with other pets, especially those who can cope with a bit of a chase now and then.
A well-bred beagle can cost between $600 to $1200.
Regardless of the breed of dog you choose to be your family pet, it will need the training to fit in properly.