Home > Choosing Safe Pets > Safe Dog Breeds for Large Families

Safe Dog Breeds for Large Families

By: Sandy Bolan - Updated: 28 Aug 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Children Temperament Activity Level Dog

Are you finally caving in to the never-ending pleas from your children that go something like this: "Can we get a dog? Please? Please? Can we get one?"

Deciding to bring a dog into the family is just the start of a very long, and sometimes confusing decision-making process. This is also a decision that cannot be made on the spur-of-the-moment while looking into the pet shop's window.

Temperament

The first thing to consider is temperament. Not all dogs are child-friendly, but some breeds with excellent child-friendly temperaments include: Golden and Labrador Retrievers, the Welsh Corgi, West Highland Terrier, Irish Setter, Schnauzer, Poodle, Airedale, Boxer, Collie, Boston Terrier, Newfoundland, Pug and Whippet.

Size

The next thing to consider is size. This includes the children, as well as the size of the dog when it is full-grown. That cute and small Labrador Retriever puppy will eventually grow into a rambuncous 80 lb. adult dog. Will your toddler be able to handle being unintentionally knocked over by the wagging tail?

No matter the size of dog, it is important children are taught, right from the beginning, how to play with dogs. Children are often unaware of their own strength and can play rougher than they realise. Therefore, roughhousing that will over-excite an already excitable puppy must be discouraged. It is important to never leave a dog and child alone together and unsupervised. While dog attacks and bites are rare within the family home, any situation that may lead to these situations must be avoided.

Activity Level

Another issue to consider is activity level. Are you an active family with a lot of time to spend playing and exercising your dog? If this is the case, then Labrador Retrievers and Beagles are good choices. However, if your family is more low-key and not particularly active, then a Bassett Hound may be a more suitable breed.

Purebred or Mutt

Another question you need to ask yourself, and your family is: Should you get a puppy or an older dog? There is no denying the cuteness of puppies, however, they are an enormous amount of work. Puppies come to you completely blank - they need to be potty-trained, learn how to play appropriately with people - children in particular, and they need to be taught the basic obedience commands (sit, stay, come, down, heel). All of which take time and patience.

If tackling the trials of puppyhood is too much for your family, consider an older dog - six months and up. Older dogs will often already be socialised and know what is acceptable doggie behaviour and what is not. Best of all, they are almost always completely potty-trained.

The next question is breeding - purebred or mutt. When it comes to purebred temperaments, you generally know what you are getting. Although it is important to note that just as each and every person differs, so do dogs. So while a certain breed may be perfect for your family, it is possible you will end up with the a dog who's temperament or activity level does not completely mesh with your family's.

Mutts, on the other hand, are a complete guessing game. Knowing the breeds of mom and dad is helpful, but in all likelihood, they too came from mixed breeding. There is nothing wrong with mixed breeds, you just have to be extra diligent in teaching the children, and the dog, how to properly play together.

Breeds to Avoid

If you have younger children, under the age of five, stay away from the herding (for example Border Collies) and more protective breeds (Great Pyrenees).

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Steven
    Re: Introducing a Kitten to Other Cats
    My six month old female cat can’t get on with 12 week old kitten, she pins it down and grabs it and kicks with her back…
    28 October 2018
  • Beth
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    I split from my husband and in Feb this year I needed support with my dog (4 1/2 years) we got her at 8 weeks old, I was working long days to…
    25 October 2018
  • Gypsy
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    I've been told today a new law has come into play about dogs from today 24/10/2018, that all dogs must be put on a lead in communal areas, the…
    24 October 2018
  • Lizzy the Wild Lizar
    Re: How to Train Your Pet Lizard
    im wondering how to tame a wild lizard i found outside but took in because it is severely hurt. i really want it to trust me.
    22 October 2018
  • Maggie
    Re: Introducing a Kitten to Other Cats
    We found and male kitten and brought him home Guess he was around 2 months He has been here 3 months My husband found and…
    18 October 2018
  • Disney
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Hi need some advice my daughter was a stable hand at a dog brerders. One of their pups was returned as new owner couldnt handle him. He bit the…
    11 October 2018
  • Nia
    Re: Keeping Mammals in an Aviary
    I have a fancy mouse, 2 button quails and 2 budgies. The questions and the budgies have been together for a while now but we want…
    5 October 2018
  • Liz
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Where do I stand I got gaving dog 6 months ago from a lady as her foster daughter did not want him so gave him to me the foster daughter is now…
    24 September 2018
  • Plugg
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Is there a legal limit on how long a dog can be left alone?
    24 September 2018
  • Kas
    Re: Introducing a Kitten to Other Cats
    We lost one of our cats to cancer 2 months ago and the other day we found a kitten abandoned and on her own in a rubbish…
    19 September 2018