Traits to Look for in a Family Dog

Traits to Look for in a Family Dog

Life As A Pet Parent

If you are about to get a family dog and are unsure which breed would best suit not only your lifestyle but where you live too, this guide might help you make up your mind. With this said it’s not just genetics and how puppies are socialised and subsequently trained that determines their personalities, because every dog is different with some being more outward going than others from the day they are born.

With this said, there are certain traits to look out for in puppies and older dogs all of which will help you decide which of them would fit in well with your family.

Breeds that are Eager to Please

Many dogs are never happier than when they are doing something that pleases their owners which means they are great fun to have around. It also usually means they are that much easier to train because a headstrong character or one that’s very excitable tends to be a lot harder. The reason for this is that it’s sometimes impossible to get their attention, especially for first-time owners who are still learning the ropes. With this said, the breeds below are known for their kind natures and the fact they love to please which makes them a highly trainable and a pleasure to have around.

  • Bichon Frise
  • Bulldog
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Collie
  • Flat Coated Retriever
  • Irish Setter

Calmer Large Breeds Make Great Family Pets

When it comes to the larger breeds, it's hardly surprising that Golden Retrievers and Labradors are high on the list of great family dogs and have been for decades. However, other great breeds include the lesser known Briard because these lovely large dogs are renowned for having very kind natures and for being great when they are around children. However, if you have toddlers in the home, larger dogs can accidentally knock them over which is something you need to bear in mind. Other large breeds that boast kind natures that are worth considering include:

  • Standard Poodle
  • Newfoundland
  • Saint Bernard

Smaller Breeds that Make Great Family Pets

When it comes to smaller breeds, there are plenty to choose from which make wonderful family pets. Sharing a home with a smaller dog means there's less chance of a toddler getting knocked over by accident which can happen with larger breeds, albeit by accident. The Sheltie is a lovely looking little dog and they are known to get on well with children. Another option is the energetic Beagle, a breed that loves family life! Other small breeds that make wonderful family pets include:

  • The Dachshund
  • Jack Russell
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Miniature Bull Terrier

Playful Characters

There are lots of playful characters in the canine world that make superb family pets and this includes the fun loving Portuguese Water Dog and the kind but energetic Brittany, both of which are a super choice for families that love to be outside playing games or trekking through the countryside. Sharing a home with a playful dog means spending as much time with them as you can because if left to their own devices they may find ways to amuse themselves which could result in the developing some unwanted behavioural problems which includes being destructive around the home and barking at every sound they hear when you are not around. Other playful breeds include:

  • West Highland Terrier
  • Papillon
  • Bearded Collie
  • Standard Schnauzer

Breeds that Love a Cuddle

You may prefer to share your home with a breed of dog that's a little quieter and one that enjoys lots of cuddles. Breeds that like nothing more than snuggling up to their owners include the delightful Boston Terrier or the larger than life Newfoundland, a large and gentle giant. All dogs love being given lots of attention whether it’s being taken out for long walks, being groomed or playing interactive games, but there are certain breeds which love being petted more than they would enjoy going out for a walk on a rainy day and which make ideal family pets for people who lead more sedentary lives. Other breeds that enjoy a good cuddle include:

  • Pug
  • Boxer
  • Greyhound
  • Bichon Frise
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Xoloitzcuintli


Of course, every dog is unique but genetics and early socialisation play a key role in setting up a dog so they are more confident, finding it easier to cope with all sorts of situations they may find themselves in. The other thing to bear in mind is that children need to be taught and shown how to behave when they are around a family dog as well as other dogs too. If you get a puppy, you need to make sure they don’t get scared when children get a little too excited when you first bring them home because puppies are very sensitive little characters and need gentle handling at all times. It’s important to think carefully about what you expect from your dog before deciding which breed would best suit your lifestyle like this you can make an informed decision and then sit back and enjoy the company of your new canine friend.

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