Choosing a Dog, Best Dog Breed for Children, Choosing a Dog for Family,
Choosing a Dog
In this section we povide advice on choosing a dog and a guide to which is the best breed or breeds to have around a family and young children.
When choosing a dog or puppy it is important that you research each dog breed for your specific circumstances – so we will start with providing a quick guide to dog behavior and the best dog breeds for different situations.
The Best Dog Breeds for Children
Cocker Spaniel: This is a great breed of dog for a family and children – but they do need lots of exercise
Beagle: This is not one of the best dog breeds in terms of dog obedience training but one of the best for a family of young children as they are happy and very sociable.
Whippet: We are probably slightly biased as we have owned two whippets – very good breed to be around children and a devoted pet who love to be part of the family
Pug: Very affectionate and friendly, we love this breed – but not good with heat, although their short coat is quite easy to maintain.
Top Tip: You should never leave a dog on his own around young children – a dog can never be fully trusted.
This is not a complete selection of the best dog breeds for children as we will cover this in more detail in another section.
Choosing a Dog
Think it Through
It is important that you discuss with the whole family before you purchase a dog.
You need to make sure that the dog is going to feel wanted and a valued addition to the family.
A really good book to help with this is “The new Encyclopedia of the Dog” as it evaluates all of the different things that you should think about when choosing a dog.
Below we have listed some points to consider when purchasing a dog.
- Don’t ever buy a dog on a whim or on impulse.
- A dog is a living and breathing animal that has feelings and emotions – you need to understand this as getting a dog is not the same a purchasing a car.
- Believe it or not but people do sometimes get a dog simply to add to their status and ‘cool’ factor.
- Are you prepared to own and keep a dog through all of the bad times, if things don’t always go to plan?
- Have you considered that your dog may have or develop behavior problems, house training issues or worst?
- Do your specific circumstances make owning a dog feasible i.e do you live in a tiny one bedroomed top floor flat and want to purchase a Mastiff?
Choosing a Dog
It’s a dog’s life & it can be a long one!
Dogs can live from anything up to 16 years of age and sometimes even longer.
Of course you can’t see into the future but it is sometimes possible to see with a certain amount of certainty how your life may change and develop – you know if you are going to move abroad next year!
It is important not to fall into the trap of getting a dog because your teenage son or daughter has said that they will feed him and walk him if you are not prepared to take on this responsibility if your teenage son/daughter decide that the local disco is more appealing.
Don’t purchase a dog if you think that the family’s life is going to change dramatically i.e. if your new job is going to leave your dog on his own in the House for long periods during the day.
Choosing a Dog
Who’s Going to Walk & Feed Fido?
Any dog owner will tell you how fantastic that feeling is when you walk in the House and you’re greeted with the innocent joy of an excited dog.
It’s also great and amusing to see your dog fast asleep and making funny noises as he dreams away.
These are the fun times and moments that you relish as a dog owner but it is also important to remember that you also have duty to your dog.
Your dog will need regular walks not just a quick jaunt around the back garden.
Recently we were told a story of a Springer Spaniel who was initially walked regularly but after a while when children arrived the dog’s walks were forgotten about.
The owners were not being intentionally cruel but would it have been kinder to re-home this dog who was getting fatter every-day?
It is important when choosing a dog that you choose a dog that fits your circumstances…
If you are not able to walk a dog as often as you like – maybe a breed like a Chihuahua would be more appropriate or if you love walking dogs maybe a Golden Retriever would be a good choice.
Think about your circumstances before you decide on a particular breed.
Make sure that your dog has his water bowl permanently full and that his food bowl is clean. Never allow anyone to feed your dog chocolate as one of its main components is theobromine which is very toxic to dogs.
If large amounts are eaten your dog could develop bleeding, extreme diarrhoea and even death.
You should also not give your dog grapes, onions or garlic as they are part of the deadly nightshade group and can also be toxic.
1. Choosing a Dog Breed, Dog Behavior patterns, Best Dog Breeds: Learn how to choose the right dog for you and the family. Learn about puppy farms and read our guide to the best dog breeds (chosen by our readers) and their specific characters and behavior traits.