Adding a dog to your family can be a very rewarding and life changing experience. Not only can a dog be your best friend, but they can also be a running partner, pillow for watching a show, or even another pair of eyes to watch over everyone. However, before choosing the right dog, it is critical to first evaluate your needs along with the needs of each member in your family. For example, if you have a small child running around the house, then it’s a good idea to consider a dog’s temperament. If your family is active, then a dog with a little more energy might be the right choice. Regardless of your family's dynamic, taking the time to consider which breed is the best fit will help ensure that everyone will get along and love the new family dog.
The kind-hearted and intelligent American Coonhound was bred to hunt wild game in packs. Their natural, social mentality makes them well-suited to live with large families with children and other pets. Coonhounds are extremely devoted to the people they love and can be trusted to greet visitors with polite excitement. Some key things to consider however are there size and energy levels, which can be a little much for a new child.
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As the breed name suggests, the American Foxhound was developed to be an alert, agile fox hunter. This breed loves running and the outdoors, and is an ideal pet for families who have a lot of energy. As a pack animal these hounds are happiest in a group and will thrive in homes with active children and other dogs. American Foxhounds are welcoming to new people, and they can be counted on to make new friends wherever they go.
The easygoing Basset Hound was bred to be a slow-moving scent hound that hunters could follow easily on foot. Like all hunting breeds, they have a pack mentality, which makes them well-suited for homes with large families and other pets. Though Basset Hounds are known for being laid-back - and they do enjoy a good nap - they also love to play and make excellent companions for kids. They are friendly to visitors and can be trusted to be gentle around young children.
Beagles have enjoyed status as one of the most popular dog breeds in America since the late 1800’s, and it’s easy to see why. These friendly dogs love life and are happiest in a pack, which makes them ideal pets for families with other dogs. Beagles love to run and play, and can keep up with the most active of children. Though they can be trusted to sound an alarm when strangers approach, Beagles are kind and eager to meet new people.
Hunters revere German Shorthaired Pointers (GSP') for their versatility in the field, and families revere them for their sweet and loving nature. They are wonderful, patient playmates for children, and excellent hiking and jogging companions for adults. They are watchful over their territory and will bark when someone approaches the door, but GSPs are known for welcoming to new friends into your home.
Golden Retrievers have enjoyed the status of the world’s most popular family dog for many decades. They are affable and friendly, and are happiest when they are close to the people they love. They thoroughly enjoy playing with children and other dogs, and are typically kind and tolerant of family cats. Goldens dislike being alone for long periods of time, and prefer to be included in family outings.
The Goldendoodle breed was developed by dog fanciers who wanted to combine the kind nature of Golden Retrievers with the intelligence and curly coat of the Poodle to create the perfect family pet. These friendly and outgoing dogs love to make new friends, and are easy to train, as they live to please. They crave attention from the people they love and make energetic but gentle friends for children. Goldendoodles are too friendly to be a guard dog, and tend to greet new people with unbridled joy.
Australian breeders developed the Labradoodle to act as a service dog for people with allergies. Combining the gentle nature of the Labrador with the hypoallergenic coat of the Poodle resulted in an extremely popular family dog. Labradoodles live for play and enjoy the company of children. They are also wonderful jogging, hiking and biking companions. Friendly and full of excitement, Labradoodles are always thrilled to meet new friends of both two-legged and four-legged varieties.
Labs have been at the top of “most popular breed” lists for decades because of their sweet nature, trainability and intelligence. They are reliable, loyal family pets but their boundless energy and exuberance makes them best suited for active families. They love running, hiking, swimming and playing and are patient with children of all ages. Labs maintain a puppy-like zest for life well into adulthood and greet every visitor they meet as if they were old friends.
The Newfoundland was bred to act as a fisherman’s assistant and water dog. Today, they maintain a love of the water and enjoy spending time outdoors. Though they are large and playful, they are very gentle with children and have been praised as natural babysitters for their willingness to play for hours and their watchful eye. They can be wary of new people, but are not aggressive. Newfoundlands simply like to size up a visitor before welcoming them into the fold.
Families that enjoy the outdoors and maintain an active lifestyle will get along swimmingly with a Norwegian Elkhound. These lively dogs live to run and make hardy jogging and biking companions. They are very sensitive, tuning in to the emotional needs of family members, and love to play with children. Elkhounds make excellent watchdogs, as well, instinctively knowing the difference between unwelcome guests and friendly visitors.
This breed is known for its exceptional swimming abilities and was once used to herd fish into nets and carry messages between fishing boats. They still love the water today, and can spend hours splashing around in pools, creeks, lakes or oceans. Portuguese Water Dogs also love and crave attention from people, and will act as silly as possible to get that attention. Patient and gentle with kids, this breed is hypoallergenic, making them an excellent choice for children with allergies.
The giant Saint Bernard breed has saved countless lives in the Swiss Alps, and has brought joy to countless homes around the world as a family pet. As puppies, they tend to be clumsy, which can be quite amusing, but as they mature, Saint Bernards become less excitable. They love the company of children, and despite their size are quite gentle with little ones and thrive in large families with lots of people to love.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffons were bred to withstand long days in the hunting field in all types of terrain, weather conditions and temperatures. Today, they make even-tempered, highly adaptable family dogs. Affectionate and playful, they enjoy spending long days romping with kids and other dogs outdoors. They are reliable watchdogs, alerting at unfamiliar sounds or people approaching, but they are usually overcome with joy at the prospect of a belly rub when a new person approaches.
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