The decision to add a new dog to the family should never be taken lightly. Animals require time, money, care, and love over the entire course of their lives, and pet ownership can be a bit of a roller coaster ride. One minute you are convinced that your puppy is the most well-mannered individual ever to grace a home, and the next you find yourself cleaning up a mess that surely had to originate from an animal ten times its size.
One way to reduce the inevitable frustrations associated with dog ownership is to pick a breed that fits with your lifestyle. This is especially important if you have children since you will be asking your dog to play several roles within the family – a patient playmate, protector, jogging buddy- the possibilities are endless.
Let’s take a look at the potential pros and cons of the ten top family-friendly dog breeds.
Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, Irish Setters, and Collies
Pros: All of these breeds have a gentle nature and a willingness to withstand the occasional tug on a tail or ear.
Cons: These are all big dogs that require a lot of exercise to ward off weight gain and boredom. Goldens, Irish Setters, and Collies require regular grooming to maintain their coats. Labs have shorter coats, but they still shed a lot.
Pros: Boxers are true family dogs, capable of bonding with multiple people and thriving when given a lot of attention. They also have very short coats that are easy to maintain.
Cons: Boxers are medium to large in size and do require a significant amount of exercise.
Poodles and Schnauzers
Pros: Both of these breeds come in three sizes (toy, miniature, and standard for poodles and miniature, standard, and giant for schnauzers) so finding one to fit your home and lifestyle should be easy. They also shed very little.
Cons: Very small dogs (i.e. toy poodles) may not be suitable for young children, and both of these breeds do require regular grooming.
Pros: Beagles are small but tough and love to play. They do shed but because of their size, they do not produce the amount of hair that larger breeds can.
Cons: Many beagles are loud and may not be the best choice if you have neighbors that might complain about the noise.
Pros: Newfies are extremely gentle, and because of their immense size they can handle a bit more rough and tumble play than some other breeds.
Cons: Newfoundlands are huge, weighing between 100 and 150 pounds, and they shed copious amounts of fur.
Pros: Mutts come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments, so you should be able to find one that fits your lifestyle.
Cons: Potential owners must get to know an individual dog in order to understand its needs and tendencies.
If you are new to dog ownership, always make sure to do some research so that you find the best breed or mix of breeds for your family.