Owning a dog can be a truly wonderful thing - caring for something other than yourself that gives your pure unconditional love in return provides meaning for so many of us dog lover around the world.
Canines provide phenomenal friendship, companionship and the aforementioned unconditional love; which has been proven to reduce blood pressure and lower stress levels (see Harvard study here).
There have also been some incredible studies into how owning a dog also boosts social skills and confidence - this effect is hugely pronounced in children.
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All coming from a wolves as their common ancestors, humans have taken evolution into their own hands with dogs and created a neverending assortment of dog-breeds coming in all shapes and sizes, all with different traits and unique personalities.
Which dog breed is right for me and my family? Top Factors to Consider:
- Space - One of the key factors for choosing the right dog is space. If you live in a compact home then a smaller dog that requires less exercise would be the dog for you.
- Age & Energy - Do you have the required energy to take care of a crazy puppy that's discovering the world? Or is a more manageable wise relaxed older hound a better choice for you?
- Time - How much time do you have daily & weekly to give your dog? Do you have the time to train them? Give constant attention? Take on 2 walks per day? Or are you limited for time and have to consider a more tolerant dog that you can be more liberal with.
- Personality - dogs have been bred all over the world for different reasons - from hunting, to shows, to guard dogs. Thus, choosing a dog with the character and personality that suits your is extremely important.
For this reason, we've decided to put together a list of the most family-friendly dogs as recommended by a leading dog expert and veterinarian.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Known for their gentle temperament and sweet-nature a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes a dreamy addition to the family, particularly with young children. They love to play gently and also snuggle up for some family attention.
One of the most popular and versatile dogs - there's a reason why they are a family favorite all around the world. They are loving, gentle, caring, sociable, playful & a perfect patient all-rounder. Sharply intelligent, but equally comical they always bless the family with love, awe and a sense of excitement.
Poodles come in all shapes and sizes from toy, to miniature to standard. They are adaptable and can suit any family's needs. Known often as divas or being particularly fussy, they are actually a working dog with a reputation for getting involved in all family activities. This plus their low shedding coat makes them a popular breed always!
Beagles are full of life and their characters are simply hilarious. A solid breed that loves to play (a little on the rough side often) and has endless energy to keep you permanently having fun and playing with them! This means lots of exercise - physical & mental stimulation is key to keeping them happy. That said - it's an investment that will yield bountifully as they keep you smiling all day and night long.
A calm breed but full of character, they are ideal for many families as they don't require much exercise relative to other breeds. They are smart as a tack and can be stubborn, however, there's no doubt they make up for this and more with their affectionate loving nature
This affectionate breed is a great choice for families of all ages and the majority of activity levels. Not requiring much exercise, the easy-going Shih Tzu is a comfort-loving, trusting companion who loves being close to you at all times.
An amazingly good-natured sociable breed, the Boxer loves to be around people and really enjoys playing with children. Very energetic, exuberant and at times hilariously hyperactive when young, they do need lots of exercise and training. But don't let that put you off, they will return so much love!
Border terriers are comical in appearance and are a tough, adaptable little dog ideal for many families. Equally at home lazing in comfort inside or outdoors with the family on long walks or adventures, Borders are more laid back than most terrier breeds, making them a great addition to most families.
Certainly an active dog for families that enjoy the great outdoors and can provide plenty of physical exercise that they require. This energetic hunting breed makes a great addition to the family that can match their pfun loving playful nature. Fiercely loyal, sometimes to the point of being clingy, Viszlas are loving, tactile, sturdy yet sensitive.
Finally, let’s not forget about the mixed breeds and crossbreeds. However you want to label them, these dogs can make wonderful pets and so many of them are crying out for homes in shelters and re-homing charities.
They’re often less prone to the genetic health conditions of pedigree dogs, so are more robust and less high maintenance.