Choosing a Great Family Dog

Choosing a Great Family Dog

Sooner or later most children ask their parents for a dog. If you have decided the time is right for your family to get a dog, do you know what to look for? Choosing the right dog is important because your new pet needs to fit into your family’s lifestyle, be gentle with children, be hypoallergenic when necessary, and it’s energy level should be compatible with yours. Look at the following breeds to find one or more that may be the perfect addition to your family.

Labrador Retriever

Labs are loved for their friendly disposition, intelligence, and their ability to get along well with other pets. Labs may be black, yellow, or chocolate in color. Occasionally there are some color variations, but they are rare. One reason Lab pups are so popular is their desire to please, and it makes them easy to train. This is a large dog when fully grown (70 to 80 pounds); the Lab is not a dog for apartment dwellers. It needs daily exercise and play time. If you have a fenced yard, a Lab might be the perfect dog for your family.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Playful and friendly, this spaniel only weighs between 13 and 18 pounds and stands 12 to 13 inches tall. It’s a great dog for an apartment as long as it gets daily walks and playtime. The Cavalier has a wonderful disposition and gets along well with children and other pets. Depending on the owner’s lifestyle and preference, the Cavalier is equally content chasing a ball in the yard or being an unabashed couch potato. Their silky coat is easy to brush and maintain. You can expect your Cavalier to follow you around the house, even into the bathroom. This breed is the ultimate companion dog.

Bichon Frise

Perhaps the friendliest of all friendly dogs is the Bichon Frise. The Bichon is very playful and considers every person their friend. They have a beautiful low-shedding coat that qualifies them as both hypoallergenic and an adorable fluff ball. The Bichon loves company, making them a wonderful companion dog for retirees who are home all day. Their small size is perfect for apartment-dwelling families. Exercise is important for the Bichon. Daily walks, playtime, and regular coat brushing will keep your new pet healthy and happy.

Boston Terrier

Boston terriers are sweet and friendly dogs, They get along great with other pets, including cats, and they are the perfect indoor dog. Both heat and cold are uncomfortable for the stylish Boston terrier, and their short little face causes them to get overheated easily. When taking your Boston for a walk, be sure to put the leash on before you open the door. They are known for their quick escapes. Full of love and energy, this little dog will keep your family laughing and loving for a long time. This handsome terrier ranges from small (under 15 pounds), to medium (15 to 20 pounds), and large (20 to 25 pounds). A daily walk will keep your Boston healthy.

Dog Information Your Child Needs to Know

There should be an instruction manual that comes with every new dog. Children get excited when they get a new pet, and they need to know how to act with a puppy. Children should understand the following rules.

  • Puppies aren’t stuffed animals and shouldn’t be held by the legs or around the neck.
  • Sit on the floor and let the puppy get on your lap, but don’t pick it up.
  • Puppies don’t like being hugged.
  • Don’t pull on the puppy’s tail, ears, or fur, and never sit or climb on your pup no matter how large it is. Young children need to be supervised when playing with their pup.
  • Teach your child the proper way to interact with their new dog. They should keep their hands off the pup’s face, especially the eyes.
  • The pup’s playtime can be fun for both child and dog. Tossing a ball for the dog to chase is great exercise. Be sure the ball is large enough that the dog can’t get it stuck in its mouth. Playing tag with a pup is also fun.
  • Dogs have feelings. Teach your child not to yell at their pup or verbally scold it. If the dog does something wrong, show it to them and correct them in a firm voice. 

Having a puppy can be a wonderful experience for both dog and child. Your child develops empathy, recognizes the animal’s needs, and learns to be a caretaker. Be sure to check out your local shelter before buying a puppy. You may find the perfect pet for your family.

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