Many families can’t imagine home life without a wagging tail and happy slobber. It seems like any dog would be a great addition to your family, but the truth is that some breeds excel over others in a family setting. These breeds are better than most at bonding to a family, protecting their pack, and being around children:
Top 10 Dog Breeds to Join Your Family
Pros: Eternally happy and energetic, the Labrador Retriever is an exceptional family pet. This large breed is one of the most popular dogs for families due to their loveable and loyal nature. They are people pleasers and live for their family. They love the outdoors and have a non-aggressive, gentle nature.
Cons: The Lab can be difficult to train although your persistence will pay off. They are notorious for their chewing and are known for being doggy garbage disposals and being frequent fliers and vet clinics to remove foreign objects they’ve eaten.
Fun Fact: Labrador Retrievers are originally from Newfoundland.
Pros: Collies are friendly and eager to please. They tend to be great with children and other family pets. They have beautiful coats although they tend to be high maintenance for grooming because of it their thick, double coat. They are athletic, loyal, and devoted and make great agility dogs. They are intelligent and alert and will excel in watching out for their family.
Cons: Because of their history as a herding breed, they need to be trained against heel nipping. They will naturally herd your family, which isn’t a bad attribute as long as you are persistent with your training against the nipping habit.
Fun Fact: The best-known Collie may also be the best-known dog in pop culture history: the TV and movie star Lassie.
Pros: Poodles are fluffy, friendly, and highly intelligent creatures. They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds and are very well behaved because of it. They are great to train and have hypoallergenic coats making them a popular breed to use for hybrid breeding. They are patient with children and live to swim. They come in three different sizes so you can pick a dog most appropriate for your lifestyle.
Cons: Their beautiful coats can be extremely high-maintenance. Although they do not shed, the popular poodle cut requires frequent grooming visits.
Fun Fact: Their name comes from the German word “pfudel,” which means “puddle” or “splash” referring to their love for swimming.
7. English Bulldog
Pros: English Bulldogs are adorable bags of wrinkles and love. This medium sized dog was has a low energy level due to its short snout, short legs, and dense bodies. They are happiest spending time with their family. They are a happy-go-lucky breed and have a low-maintenance coat. They are extremely affectionate tend to be great with children and other household pets.
Cons: They can be quite stubborn and difficult to train and have a tendency to drool and snore due to their short snouts. They don’t have much tolerance for hot or cold temperatures and tend to overheat and need to be paid close attention to for signs of overheating.
Fun Fact: English Bulldogs were used as bull-baiters until 1835, when the practice was outlawed.
6. Golden Retriever
Pros: Golden Retriever’s are extremely athletic, loveable, and family-oriented dogs. They love their families and will go to great lengths to protect and please them. They are intelligent, fast learners, and love having a job to do. For the family that enjoys throwing a ball, this dog is the perfect choice.
Cons: Although they are fast learners, they can become distracted easily and can be stubborn if they are disinterested. They also have a relatively high-maintenance long, flowy coat and a tendency towards overexcitement that might lead to children being pushed over.
Fun Fact: Golden’s are commonly trained for guide dogs, therapy animals, and search and rescue dogs.
Pros: For families, Boxers are great companions. They have low-maintenance short fur, a gentle demeanor, and an expressive face. They are alert, loyal, and observant dogs making them great guard dogs. They are active and love spending time outdoors with their families.
Cons: They can be destructive when they are bored, but this is true for many breeds as well. They enjoy being indoor dogs when they aren’t exercising due to their low tolerance for extreme cold or extreme heat.
Fun Fact: Boxers got their name from the sport of boxing. When the breed stands on its hindquarters, it often bats at whoever is standing opposite, giving the appearance of a fighter in the ring.
4. Irish Setter
Pros: Irish Setters are enthusiastic about life and are happiest when spending time with their family. They are silly, driven, and fun-loving pups. They are adaptable, great with kids, and naturally curious. They have gorgeous coats and loves being the center of attention. They are trusting, kind, and love spending time outdoors. This breed is great for active families.
Cons: This sporting breed requires a ton of exercise as to not become destructive and frustrated. They are independent thinkers which can be frustrating when training. Their big personalities match their fiery red hair and can be a lot to deal with.
Fun Fact: Though many assume that English, Gordon and Irish Setters are different varieties of the same breed, they are all actually their own breeds.
Pros: Vizslas are affectionate, energetic, and gentle. They were chosen for this list over other breeds because of their loving nature. They are sturdy but lightly built and have feet and hygiene practices similar to a cat in that they have long toes and lick themselves clean. They are special in that they don’t smell like a dog and are considered the “odorless breed.”
Cons: They are extremely athletic and would prefer having high levels of exercise. Because of their high levels of energy, it is important to watch them around children under the age of 7 as they might hurt them by accident.
Fun Fact: Vizslas were a favorite of barons and war lords alike during the 18th and 19th centuries in Hungary.
2. German Shepherd
Pros: The German Shepherd was originally bred as a herder and was eventually most commonly used as police or military dogs. Because of this they are exceptional watchdogs and popular as a family pet. They are loyal and attached to their family and dedicated to protecting them. They are highly intelligent and will excel in a family environment that challenges them mentally and physically.
Cons: The German Shepherd is correlated with more health issues than the average breed. They are prone to hip dysplasia, pancreatic insufficiency, and malignant neoplasms, among others. They also require a lot of exercise and tend to be weary of other dogs and strangers which is a great protective trait for your family but may come across as aggressive or aloof to others.
Fun Fact: After World War I, the breed’s name was briefly changed in the U.S. and Britain to avoid an unpopular association with Germany.
1. Portuguese Water Dog
Pros: It will be hard to find a dog breed that loves water more than this breed. The only thing this pup will love more than playing in the water is their family. They are playful and attentive and are very obedient dogs. They are even tempered and get along well with children and other pets. They bond strongly to their family and are happy lounging in your lap.
Cons: They are prone to blindness so it’s important to find a reputable breeder or adoption center. Their coat is similar to a Poodle’s coat and requires similar grooming.
Fun Fact: The Spanish Armada used Portuguese Water Dogs to deliver messages between vessels.
For these top 10 dog breeds, they are happiest when they are a part of a family. They love companionship and excel in a family environment. They will be affectionate, protective, and feel safe when they have a pack to be a part of. More than any other breed, they need a pack to bond to and a family to please. When considering a breed to be a part of your family, do your research and make sure that you are finding the right dog to fit your lifestyle and that will get as much out of being a part of your family as you will.
Author Bio: Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. She is passionate about animal welfare, spends her free time throwing a Frisbee for her pup, and enjoys travelling with her fiancé . Follow her on Twitter!