How to Choose the Best Dog Breed for Your Family
Those who have dogs understand that they are not just companions or friends that are coming into your home, they are crucial parts of the family. Especially for those with young children in their household, the interactions and experiences of raising a child with a dog creates a lifelong bond. However, before going out and getting just any dog that your family is attracted to, it is necessary to conduct thorough research on the different breeds, and the behavioral or characteristics each is known for. With each breed being unique from the other, there are certain questions to ask yourself in order to determine which will fit best with you and your family:
What is our current living/housing situation?
When asking this question, consider the living situation in terms of the size of your home, and the practicality of different sized dogs. For example, although Labrador retrievers may be the quintessential American family dog, these breeds also tend to run on the larger side of canines, and require more room for them to exercise and stay healthy. If you currently live in a condominium or apartment, it is often recommended to look into smaller breeds, so as to ensure sufficient space for the new member of the family.
What’s best for the kids?
Granted you have small children in the home, or are planning to have children at some point in the near future, the breed of dog you choose should heavily revolve around this factor. Some breeds are more responsive and obedient to commands and thus tend to be better with children, while others are more rebellious and forgo obedience if not trained correctly. Again using the example of the labrador breed, these dogs are known for their obedience and responsiveness to their owners, and therefore are more stable dogs to have around.
Do they have a long lifespan?
The average length of a dog’s life often varies significantly when it comes to the different breeds. Studies and observations have shown that smaller breeds of dogs generally have a longer lifetime than that of their larger counterparts. When choosing a dog for the family, especially with young children present, considering the longevity is critical, so as to avoid any unfortunate and harsh goodbyes too early in the child’s development.
What type of temperament fits best with our family?
Similar to the question about the breed that would fit best with the kids, the inherent characteristics that are present and unique in each breed is another important consideration. The question of temperament revolves around factors such as how lively and energetic the dog may be, the amount of time available to allocate to its attention needs, and the ability for the dog to interact with others in case of a busy household. Doing your homework on temperament is vital in order to avoid overwhelming and stressful situations for you, your family, and loved-ones that are around.
Overall, it is clear that when choosing a dog breed for your family, understanding the differences in each and the characteristics that they hold is necessary. Doing some simple research online prior to making your decision will help in finding a dog that suits your family’s lifestyle, and mitigate much of the confusion and unknown that comes with getting a dog. Keeping these things into consideration will ensure that the dog and breed you choose is the perfect fit for the new family it will become a part of.