It’s important to pick the right breed of dog for your family. The age of your children, the size of your house and the amount of time you can dedicate to a dog are all crucial factors to consider when making any final decisions. Here we take a look at the top 10 family-friendly dog breeds, assessing them individually on size, temperament and how demanding each is.
1. Cocker Spaniel: A cocker spaniel is one of the most popular dog breeds with families – and for good reason.
They are friendly dogs who are eager to please their owners and are happiest when they are surrounded by people. Spaniels make great pets and are relatively low-maintenance, provided they have regular human company. They are ideal for families who are likely to have somebody at home throughout the day.
2. English Springer Spaniel: Springers make great family pets, providing they are given the necessary attention to prevent them from becoming mischievous.
They are lively and extrovert in nature but are friendly, quick to learn and eager to please. These dogs will continue to develop until they are two years old and will become more placid once they reach maturity. Be prepared to give Springers the attention they need.
3. Bichon Frise: These small, fluffy white dogs are a firm favourite with families due to their lively and affectionate nature.
Bichon Frises socialise well with other dog breeds and are at their happiest when they’re at play, whether it be indoors or outside. They can be left alone from time to time but are happiest when surrounded by people.
4. Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Made famous by Queen Elizabeth II, Pembroke Welsh Corgis have become one of the most popular dog breeds with families.
These little dogs are intelligent and active, originally being used for livestock droving. They interact well with children so long as they are treated respectfully and benefit from being owned by an active family.
5. Border Terrier: Perhaps most recognisable as little ‘Baxter’ in comedy movie Anchorman, the border terrier makes a great fun-loving pet.
Adaptable and good with people, border terriers are easy-going companions and are notoriously good with children. They are suitably at home either in town or country and live in harmony with other dogs, too.
Medium to larger breeds
6. Boxer: The boxer makes great pet for families who own a busy household and pursue an active lifestyle.
Boxers are very lively, but at the same time, very loyal. It may not be a great idea to leave them alone in a household for long periods of time as they can be destructive. But so long as they have company, a boxer makes a great pet.
7. Poodle: Poodles strike up great relationships with all members of the family, and are particularly fond of children.
Poodles are highly responsive to vocal intonation and are therefore easier to train than many other dog breeds. These are lively and affectionate dogs that love nothing more than to be involved in family matters and a busy lifestyle.
8. Labrador: These are widely regarded as one of the best family pets due to their affectionate and well-behaved nature.
Labradors are adaptable and are therefore at ease in almost any environment. They bond brilliantly with children and are patient as well as forgiving. Labradors are one of the few family pets that won’t become mischievous when left alone.
9. Golden Retriever: These gentle dogs make intelligent and trustworthy family pets and are perfect for any family, however large or small.
10. Irish Setter: These red-coated dogs are one of the most attractive breeds and have a great personality to match.
Setters are enthusiastic yet affectionate and are also good with children. Their friendly nature makes them an ideal family companion and, providing they are kept entertained, they’ll refrain from destroying property when left alone!