You are ready to take the plunge and surprise the family with a new addition to the family.
While puppies make for an excellent Christmas morning surprise (and certainly a cuddly one), you want to make sure you give your family a safe, great start for the holidays. Not all breeds are suitable for families. And when you have younger children, you will want one that can grow up with your children, have a safe temperament, and eventually turn into a member of the family.
So, while you shop around for your next family puppy, consider these breeds first. Remember that, if you are purchasing from a breeder, you should request paperwork proving the breed’s authenticity. Also, if adopting, inquire about any breeding paperwork or proof of origination to ensure you are not accidentally picking up a breeding mix that could cause problems later.
Factors Philadelphia Parents Need to Know before Picking Any Dog
It doesn’t matter what breed you end up with, you must know the three major factors that determine if that breed is right for your family:
- Temperament: Temperament is a dog’s overall personality. You will want one that is agreeable, calm, and able to be a companion rather than a guard dog.
- Size: For families, you will want a good-sized dog that can withstand play. You may also want to consider the energy level of the animal. Larger breeds tend to be less energized all day long while smaller dogs often have high energy that needs constant attention.
- Lifestyle: Consider your family’s lifestyle. You will want to be realistic about the type of dog you bring into your home. If your family’s schedule keeps you out of the house 90 percent of the day, a breed that is constantly requiring exercise and attention is not right for your home. You need to consider how your schedule fits into your dog’s overall care needs.
What Are the Best Breeds of Puppies for Families?
These are the top breeds for families, and some of the breeds might surprise you. The good news is, when you get a dog as a puppy, you have the rare opportunity to cultivate their temperament, attitude, and how they perceive others.
Remember that breeds alone do not determine how well a dog fits into your lifestyle. You must also consider the breeder, the conditions of breeding, how many litters the parents have produced, and any mixing.
5 Family-Friendly Breeds to Consider for Your Christmas Surprise
These breeds are listed in order of the best and most agreeable.
1. Golden Retriever
The Golden is a highly confident, smart dog that is loyal and loving. They are great around small children because they are not aggressive, but they are also not timid animals. They have patience, which helps when you have children who do not understand caring for dogs.
They are energetic and need exercising, but all it takes is a game of fetch outside to wear them out. With proper care, your golden can be a great member of the family.
Goldens are highly affectionate and obedient. They do require grooming at least twice a week, and they can adapt to outdoor living. However, they are very social, and a golden performs better when they remain in their family’s close reach.
2. Labrador Retriever
Labs are popular breeds because they are loving, smart, protective, and reliable.
They are extremely intelligent, which means you will have an easier time with training.
However, they are highly energetic. The first two years of life you need to exercise your lab quite frequently to expel that energy. Labradors come in golden, yellow, chocolate, and other varieties. They are very strong animals that get along well with other breeds, too. Also, they have shorter coats that require less care than a golden.
If you want an intelligent, smart, and gentle breed that doesn’t shed much, then a poodle might be the answer. They come in a variety of sizes and breeds, so be cautious when picking one out. Standard poodles are obedient, playful, and great with the family.
However, Miniatures are shy, smart, and often only bond with one family member, which means others could feel less of a connection.
Poodles do not shed like other breeds, which means less clean up. However, their fur is notorious for matting. Therefore, you will spend extra on frequent grooming.
4. Irish Setter
These dogs are friendly, playful, energetic, and love to be around their family. They are on their best behavior when someone is home, and they require a lot of exercise – which is ideal if you have a family full of smaller children.
They are smart, which makes training easier, too.
This breed is one of the most intelligent in the world, and they are extremely protective of children in the family. In fact, they are considered “nature’s babysitter” because they love children, are extremely gentle and kind, and enjoy being around the entire family.
They do have some drawbacks, including lots of drool and shedding. They are great swimmers – in fact, this breed has been known to save family members in the water. They are task-oriented dogs that train well, too. One reason this breed is not at the top of the list is because of their size. A full-size Newfoundland is quite the beast, averaging 120 to 150 pounds. That structure, however, is one reason they are used as water rescue dogs; they have the strength to draw even a full-grown man from a turbulent ocean.
When Injuries Happen from Dogs – You Have Rights
If your child or you were injured in a vicious dog attack by someone’s pet, you may be entitled to compensation. The physical and emotional trauma of a dog attack can stay with someone for years, and attorney Jeffrey H. Penneys, Esq., understands the costs associated with these situations and can help you and your loved ones recover financially.
Schedule a free consultation now by calling his office at 800-465-8795, cell at 215-771-0430, or fill out his online contact form with your questions.