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
  • SaferPets
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Cami - Your Question:I am rent a room and I am livibg with my landlady she got a dog.but for 3 months she is not coming home just sometimes to…
    13 November 2017
  • Cami
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    I am rent a room and i am livibg with my landlady she got a dog ..but for 3 months she is not coming home just sometimes to take some clothes…
    11 November 2017
  • saxonheidi
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Harleydog.. contact the police and don't take no for an answer...The other person did not have control of their dog and that is against the…
    5 November 2017
  • Harleydog
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Morning my dog was attacked yesterday by a off leash dog, mine was on lead. Resulting in my dog needing stitches , were do I stand with the new…
    1 November 2017
  • Junet55
    Re: Introducing a Puppy to Other Dogs
    Hi I'm getting a new puppy, can she go into my boyfriend's house (he has an unvaccinated dog) if I don't allow physical…
    29 September 2017
  • Gill.
    Re: Safe Dog Breeds for Elderly People
    @Karen - dog rescue centres do re-home dogs with the elderly and a dog that needed minimum exercise would be required, or…
    26 September 2017
  • Karen
    Re: Safe Dog Breeds for Elderly People
    My mother in law is 86 and has just had to have her alsatian put to sleep after being her companion for 15 years she is…
    25 September 2017
  • Vetnurse90
    Re: Pet Injuries That Can be Treated at Home
    @Dionne - You can clean the wound with a non-stinging antiseptic diluted in warm water. Only if you notice changes…
    15 September 2017
  • Dionne
    Re: Pet Injuries That Can be Treated at Home
    Hi, my collie was on her walk and ran over some barbwire witch seems to have cut her around her nipple it was only…
    12 September 2017
  • MinesaPug
    Re: Treating Poisoning
    @Kbentley - I hope so. It would depend on how many one ate. At least they are in good hands and the vets are the right people to deal with this…
    8 September 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SaferPets website. Please read our Disclaimer.