There’s something about a person who owns a dog that sets them apart from other pet owners. That nod you get from them in the park, the easy way they chat to you when you are out walking your dog, the sincere understanding they give you when you are experiencing the loss of your beloved best friend.
No other pet owner has this unique relationship with other owners. So if you have made the major decision to buy or adopt a family dog, which breed should you choose? With such a variety to suit practically every lifestyle and level of exercise, the choices are endless. Take a look at a few I have listed to help you decide.
Small Family Dogs
Chihuahuas, although associated with socialites such as Paris Hilton, make extremely good companion small dogs and are very loyal, lively and proud.
They can be quite strong-willed without proper training as some people tend to treat them differently to larger breeds but it is important to train them properly. Not that good with children, they are however great with older people.
If you are interested in getting a chihuahua check out the-british-chihuahua-club.org.uk or Battersea Dogs Home for advice about buying puppies, adopting, and taking care of them. They also have a list of reputable breeders. For everything you need to know about chihuahuas have a look ukchihuahuas.co.uk. A fun site with helpful tips and a great community atmosphere.
For a true loyal perfect family dog in the medium-sized family dogs category you cannot go wrong with a golden retriever or a labrador. Bred originally as hunting dogs, this breed requires regular exercise and do not like to be left alone for long periods.
A very safe option for the family and they soon become a family member in their own right. For breeders selling puppies look at champdogs.co.uk. All the dogs on this site are kennel club registered breeders and descriptions often include hip scores and dog and bitch pedigrees. If you are looking for a family dog do not rule out Rottweilers.
Despite the negative associations their name suggests, these family dogs were not bred for aggression but to herd cattle and livestock. They only became aggressive due to bad handling and abusive owners. There is no reason why you should not consider one as they make very loyal loving pets. I should know I own one! Search for rottweilers on k9puppy.co.uk.
Love exercising and the outdoors? Get a Siberian Husky. This is an extremely energetic breed which require plenty of space and loads of exercise.
The puppies will, in particular, need a firm hand and exercising regularly to make sure they do not become dominant in later years. These larger dogs become completely devoted animals with correct training, if not trained however, they can be quite stubborn and aggressive but make good guard dogs.
The best site for siberian huskies I’ve found is siberianhuskyclub.com/breeders. Loads of tips for first time owners and for more experienced owner a forum for working/showing huskies.
The thing to remember when choosing which breed of dog is to match your lifestyle to the dog. Are you at home much? Be aware that most rescue shelters and the RSPCA will not rehome if you are absent from the house for more than 4 hours a day. Can you exercise them regularly?
A one year old labrador is going to require at least an hour and a half walking a day compared to a 10 year old rotty. It may make sense therefore for you to consider adopting an older dog to suit you if you cannot commit to the time they need. And lastly, small dogs live for 15 plus whilst larger dogs may live up to 10 years plus so taking on a family dog is always going to be a major commitment.