Choosing a family dog is a tricky job, you need first to establish what kind of dog you want and whether you really do have the time, space, patience and ability to look after it.
Here are some of the breeds best associated with families and children.
Renowned for their patience and good nature this is a breed that is rarely aggressive or too excitable. Labradors tend to be easy-going and intelligent. They love long walks and love being active but are also relatively calm and accommodating. They also live for around 12 years so a good long time.
These are similar to the Lab in their disposition. Again, they are mild mannered, and gentle. They also enjoy being near people and are easily trained. They love going out and running and fetching so are ideal for pr-school age children as they will never tire of a child chasing with them and running about. They do need care as they have long hair though.
A docile, calm dog although often stubborn, they are gentle and good for children because of their kind nature and love any attention from children!
A very small breed of dog: excellent with children and good indoor dogs. They tend to be very loving. They don't shed hair and are easy to take care of, even for kids.
A small dog who will play with anything and put up with lots of kiddie affection and cuddles. They don't shed much hair and they are fairly easy-going.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
An excellent breed around kids. It is a well-mannered and usually gentle and patient. They are also quiet dogs and patient about being poked and prodded by toddlers. They don't bite and like to play around children.
You may not have your own pets, but at some point you and your children are likely to come into contact with other people's pets. Even if you don't own a dog or cat, here are a few ground rules to set out for your children to ensure they are safe and calm around other people's animals.
Having pets in the home is a great way for children to learn about responsibility as well as helping them to develop a nurturing, kind nature towards animals, and indeed, people! However, although it may seem nice to have a cat sniffing round your ankles or a dog wagging his tail at you, the reality of keeping a pet can be very different.
Not all animals are suitable for pets - unless you live in a rambling country house or a farm! To start with, go for something easy to look after (as it may be you doing the messy work rather than your children!) Choose something small, easy to keep, easy to exercise, cheap to maintain, and that fits your home and surroundings.
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