A dog is a big commitment, and once you know you’re ready, you need to pick a breed with the right temperament for a family with young kids. Here are some of their recommendations from dog breeders.
Their friendly and playful personality make them one of the most popular dog breeds. However, they need a yard and daily exercise. They’re also very sociable, so they’ll be unhappy—and can become aggressive—if they’re locked up alone in a cage for most of their lives.
Retrievers are very energetic and very big, so invest in obedience training. This can help prevent bad habits like jumping on people, and curb the instinct to chase cars and chew anything they find (they were bred to be hunter dogs!)
If you have a small house with a smaller yard, pick a small dog that has minimal exercise needs. Pugs are playful and entertaining, but are quite happy just running in the living room. They are also very patient and sturdy, so they can take some of the rough housing with kids. Best of all, they don’t bark very often. They won’t make a good guard dog, but at least your neighbors won’t complain!
Beagles are very intelligent, friendly and cheerful dogs. Since they were initially bred as pack-hunting hounds, they are happiest with big families where they will get lots of attention.
Beagles are naturally stubborn, so start training early and be consistent! However experts don’t recommend beagles as a first dog. They need an experienced dog owner who knows how to draw the line between being affectionate and firm. But a disciplined beagle is a joy to be with. They will snuggle up to you, run around with the older kids, and tolerate a toddler’s antics. You just have to teach your child not to pull his delicate ears, and get used to his love for licking everyone’s hands and faces!
The English Bulldog will be content to sit in the living room. It will probably lie at your feet, waiting to be petted—it is very affectionate, but won’t jump up on your lap. That’s why in many countries, the English Bull Dog is a favorite for families with young children and the elderly. They are companion dogs.
English Bulldogs are not just patient with kids, but are extremely protective of them. This breed is very good at sensing how you feel. ‘They’re like the guidance counselors of the dog world. They know when you’re sad, happy, angry, and they’ll hover around and try to make you feel better.’
While their short fur makes them easy to groom, they do tend to drool, and have a hard time cooling off in hot weather. For their comfort, give them frequent baths.