It’s difficult to characterize a dog by its breed. In fact, some people dispute the fact that doggie dispositions can be pinpointed by breed. And of course, there are always going to be members of a breed that buck the trend for one reason or another. But generally speaking, you know that if you want an aggressive attack dog, you’re likely to choose a canine bred for the purpose, such as a German shepherd or a pitbull, just for example. And if you want a family dog, there are certain breeds that tend to respond better to children. Stereotypes don’t come from nowhere! Here are a few great breeds to consider if you’re looking for the perfect family pet.
- Lab. No matter what kind of Labrador retriever you choose (white, yellow, black, chocolate, etc.), you’re bound to find a good fit for your kids. These dogs love to play, they love water, and their dispositions are generally easy-going, which makes them ideal for families with kids of all ages. They are also easy to train and they tend to be protective of their people (although not necessarily aggressive like some other breeds).
- Golden retriever. These dogs are like labs in nearly every respect. The only real differences are that they tend to be more patient (where as labs are always ready to play) and they have a long coat that will need plenty of grooming if you don’t want it to get tangled.
- Collie. If you were a fan of the ‘Lassie’ TV series, then you may already know why this breed is great for a family with kids. Border collies are alert, energetic, and playful, which makes them great companions for children. And they also have a natural instinct to herd, so it’s no stretch to train this faithful friend to keep small kids out of harm’s way. Collies are also extremely smart and trainable. And while you’ll definitely have to put some time and effort into maintaining their luxurious coats, you’ll get more from this breed than you’ll give in most cases.
- St. Bernard. You may picture this dog bearing a barrel of hooch to lost hikers in the Alps. But aside from this breed’s storied past as an animal meant to rescue others, many families now opt to rescue St. Bernards right back. You might be a bit skeptical about how these gentle giants (as tall as 2.5 feet and as heavy as about 180 pounds in some cases) will integrate with kids. But you’ll find them lovable, trainable, and durable. Big enough to pull a wagon with a small child inside, this dog will be the envy of the neighborhood, and your child’s best friend.
- Mutts. If you’re looking for a smaller dog that will be a good fit for a family with kids, you’ll want to skip the high-strung small breeds like cocker spaniels, yorkies, and min-pins that might not do well with tiny fingers pulling their ears and tails. By choosing a mixed breed instead you’ll avoid many of the eccentricities that tend to dominate in purebreds of a lesser stature. And whether you’re looking at your local shelter or hitting up pet stores like Ron’s Puppies, you’re sure to find the adorable mixes that will be a perfect fit for your family. You may have a difficult time choosing the right dog breed to interact with kids, but with so many options, the biggest problem will likely be narrowing it down.