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Top 10 Family Dogs

Jul 08, 2009

If you and your family are thinking of getting a dog, you may want to consider one of the breeds on our top 10 list of best family dogs. These dogs have been proven to be great with kids – meaning they have lots of energy, are very patient and are not aggressive or vicious. Check it out! Golden Retrievers These bouncing golden balls of fur and energy are the second most popular dog breed in the United States. These dogs are excellent for children and are samart and beautiful. Golden retrievers aren’t guard dogs – they’re pretty much patient and friendly with everyone. They are a medium sized breed, and need play and exercise. Luckily they love chasing balls and fetching, so exercise can be pretty easy. They require lots of attention and need to be with their owners to be happy. Not a dog for people who are away from home most of the time. Labrador Retrievers The Labrador is another great family breed and the most popular breed of dog in the United States. They come in 3 colors: yellow, black and chocolate. Labs are great family dogs; they are sweet, playful and smart. Labs do require daily exercise and love long walks, swimming and retrieving toys. As long as they are exercised and played with consistently, they are also more than happy to sleep at your feet and be calm. Irish Setters This breed is playful and energetic, with a beautiful red coat. They love human companionship and play very well with children. However, they need lots of exercise and play, and are not well suited to apartment life or inactive families. They may not do as well with very small children, but better with older children who do not knock over easy and can throw a tennis ball or two! They are not aggressive but will bark to alert of strangers and "invaders." They are smart and trainable and, because they were originally bred to be hunting dogs, they have a habit of following their noses and need a good, solid fenced yard to keep them from wandering off. If you have a backyard, lots of energy and love to give, then maybe the Irish Setter is the dog for you! Newfoundlands Newfies look like giant drooling Labradors! Weighing anywhere from 100-150 lbs these are sweet, gentle giants with hearts as big as their bodies! They are very protective of children and have the nickname "Nature's Babysitter." The Newfoundland is a water dog, with webbed feet like a Labrador, thick water-resistant coat and swimming endurance. In fact, the Newfie is legendary for their live-saving water rescues! The Newfie prefers to stay a house dog and be with its people; it is not an outside yard dog. They are very loyal and have been known to grieve when separated from its family. If you are in the market for a big lovable bear with a slobbery smile, then the Newfoundland is the dog for you! Poodles Despite the image you may have in your mind when you think of a poodle, these dogs are very smart and come in 4 sizes: Standard (over 15 inches at shoulder), Miniature (under 15 inches and over 10 inches), Toy (under 10 inches from shoulder) and Teacup (tiny!). Poodles' fur do not shed, making them the perfect dog for people with allergies. Poodles are great with children. Anmd here’s a cool fact: because of the Poodle's intelligence and allergy-friendly coat, it has been cross-bred with other dogs like Labradors to create great family breeds such as the Labradoodle. Bernese Mountain Dogs These big, sturdy dogs weigh 80-110 lbs and are black with rust colored markings and a white blaze running from the forehead and spreading to the chest. Because of their very thick fur, they’re not suited for hot weather climates. (Who wants to wear a fur coat in the blazing heat?) This very intelligent breed loves children, and is great with them because they are happy and gentle dogs. They stay in their "puppy" phase for a few years and are easily trained, self confident and loyal to their people. They are also pretty friendly with strangers, and good with other dogs/pets. This breed does not need a large house, because they are not very active indoors. However, they will need a large fenced yard to romp and play in, and do not do well for apartments. Bichon Frises Once a pampered royal lap dog, this breed later often worked as a circus dog doing tricks. They’re small and sturdy with poofy fur that’s actually great for people with allergies. They’re smart and playful and make great companions. They’re also very good with children over four years old, since younger kids can mistake this small and fluffy dog for a stuffed toy. Collies A classic favorite for anyone who's ever seen Lassie save Timmy from, well, himself. The Collie is a member of the herding group of dogs, and is a very active breed. Its herding instinct will sometimes lead it to try and "herd" children, but collies are otherwise very sweet and protective of their family. This breed comes in three distinct varieties; the Collie (with either smooth or rough coats), the Border Collie and the Bearded Collie. The smooth coated or rough coated Collie, or Lassie dog, is the best of the three for families with children, a yard to romp in, lots of love, and play. Bull Terriers The Bull Terrier is actually a very friendly dog that loves human company. They are very good with children, but their occasionally stubborn nature might not be a good match for a first time owner. They are very energetic, and may not be a fit for every house with children (like those with very small children) as they may have a tendency to knock them over with playful exuberance. They're a pretty safe bet with older children. Standard Schnauzers RThese dogs are smart and sociable, easy to train and socialize and have an instinct to watch over children and protect them. They are an active breed that need family attention or they may find ways to have fun that you won't like. They require lots of vigorous exercise. If a bearded smile and lots of play and protection is what you're looking for, then look no further than the Standard Schnauzer!

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