The best family dogs tend to have similar characteristics. It is true that one of the great variables in choosing a family dog is, in effect, the type of family you have. That said, let’s best family dogs uk take a look at what traits, generally, we would consider desirable.
Families are typically busy, noisy places so we need to ensure that our dog is socially adaptable. Keep in mind that your pet will encounters people and other dogs that it may not be familiar. So, although a shy dog may accept the immediate family there may be difficulty when it comes to accepting playmates or friends of the family and their pets. The best family dogs usually are used to being handled daily and comfortable with their surroundings. When selecting a puppy look for one that exudes calmness and seems relaxed. One test to determine this is to cradle a puppy upside down just as you would with an infant. Some struggle is normal in this situation but the puppy should calm itself after a short time.
Look for a dog that will tolerate noise and won’t startle. This is particularly desirable if you have children of any age really. If your dog reacts to most child related noises or crashes it will become very unsettled and edgy. You can easily test for this in a puppy by dropping some kitchen utensils, or a set o f keys nearby. What you are looking for is a dog that doesn’t notice the event or if so, will recover to investigate what happened. Anything more that this reaction probably isn’t going to be a good candidate for you.
Best family dogs should be sensitive to touch, tolerant to distractions and slightly submissive. A great way to test for this is to hold the dog’s paw, grasp the area between the toes and apply pressure. What kind of response do you get? Does it overreact, become very verbal or even begin to bite? Some of this may be acceptable if the dog quickly recovers, relaxes and may even begin to lick. This is the preferable reaction.
Lastly, best family dogs are not very territorials. Those that are can be a problem for you. We want a dog that understands it’s position in the “family pack”. That it well being, food, care and even entertainment is derived from this territory owned by the pack. An alpha orientation is not consistent with the kine of dog you want.
Let’s take a look at some of the breeds that are generally considered great family dogs:
Newfoundland: This is a large, sweet dog. They are known for their patience and the need for weekly bushings. Provide them with daily walks and lots of room for them to spread out.
Papillon: Small, wonderful companions that are perfect for urban families. They are very smart, like to enjoy themselves and always looking to please their masters. They are somewhat delicate so be careful with them around small or less disciplined children.
Golden Retriever: These dogs are a medium to large size dog. Great family dogs, patient, calm, easy to train and so on. Loved by all. By the way, not necessarily a great protector though.
Pug: “a face only a mother could love?” Maybe that’s what makes them adorable. They are calm and have a wonderful temperament. They are well built and can hold up to the demands of small children.
Labrador Retriever: These are hard working and enthusiastic companions. They tend to be needy but that’s what children are for. They simply can’t love you too much. Likes the outdoors.
Dachshund: Yup! The “hot dog” dog. They love their masters and love for their masters to love them. Shedding is not an issue with them. They have very short hair therefore are low maintenance.
Basset Hound: Not a bundle of energy, this breed would much rather spends its days on the front porch. It doesn’t need much exercise so watch it’s diet to control weight.