What should I consider when looking for the best dog for kids?
Care Requirements: Love, attention, food, and routine veterinary care are the building blocks of a great life for any dog, but what specific care requirements does your prospective pup have? Grooming and any known health risks for the breed are factors to consider.
Plus, you want to know who will feed, walk and train it, and how well breeds tend to mix with kids - are they patient, loyal and highly trainable? Answering these questions before visiting shelters or shops can provide valuable insight into whether your family is prepared for the responsibilities of owning a dog, and which breeds might be a natural fit.
Size: You’ll want a pooch that’s a great fit for the size of your house and yard, and your family. Dogs’ sizes are as varied as their human counterparts - you can find everything from toy and miniature breeds all the way up to giant breeds.
While some smaller breeds may be more fragile or prefer shorter walks, some medium-to-large sized breeds will love the chance to go for long walks or spend hours playing in the backyard.
Energy Level: Dogs’ energy levels are as varied as that of us humans. Some are very physically active and need lots of mental and physical stimulation to keep their minds and bodies occupied (and out of trouble!). Others are content to nap at your feet on a lazy Sunday. Decide whether you are seeking a hiking pal or a more soft and snuggly pup.
Personality and Temperament: When choosing a pooch who’s going to be thrust into all sorts of situations and spending lots of time with every member of the family, it’s critical to find a match for your brood’s personality and temperament. Dogs can be easy going and laid back, playful and mischievous, full of the boundless energy of a new puppy, or anywhere in between. What type of temperament will complement your family’s?
Best Family Dogs for Kids
These gentle giants tip the scales at 100 to 150 pounds, but don’t let their size intimidate you; this breed is known as “Nature’s Babysitter” thanks to their watchfulness, patience and sweet temperament. If you have the space for a large furry friend, this friendly canine may be the best nanny you could hope for on four paws.
Known for being playful and energetic, the Irish Setter’s red coat distinguishes the breed. These dogs are trainable, love being around their humans and are a great match for energetic kids as they need lots of exercise. They will require regular grooming and brushing to keep their longer coat looking clean and shiny.
This happy-go-lucky, friendly breed is always up for an outdoor adventure. Its coat is low-maintenance and its gentle nature and even temperament make it a popular choice for families with children.
In contrast to the Irish Setter and other energetic breeds, the Bulldog may be docile and patient with affection to spare, but is more suitable to indoor play. They get along well with other animals and will be a good fit for a busy family with either a small apartment or large abode.
Their physicality presents some unique characteristics and challenges; due to their compressed jaw, teeth cleaning will need extra care and attention, as will the folds and facial wrinkles that distinguish them - they’ll need to be cleaned regularly to keep dirt from building up. The tradeoff is that their short coat will not require a lot of care.
Purebred dogs are great, but mixed breeds offer the best traits of two or more fantastic breeds in one pooch. Though their lineage may be a bit of a mystery, get to know a mutt and their individual personality and preferences - you could fall in love! Plus, if you adopt one, you get the great feeling of getting a new best friend, as well as saving a dog’s life.
Wondering which dog breed may be best for your family? Our Greensboro vets have experience with a number of dog breeds. Contact us today.
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