When choosing a family dog, it’s smart to do some research and find out the best breeds. Every family should decide for themselves which are important characteristics of a good, family dog. A dog that shows love towards the family, eager and ready to play at a moment’s notice, might not be a good watchdog. He might welcome in a burglar and bound around them willing to play happily. A watchdog isn’t usually that patient with children.

Some breeds need more space to play and exercise than others. One breed of dog can be left alone for hours without human contact and another breed will tear up your favorite shoes if left alone for more than an hour. Decide which characteristics are important in a family dog, and what breed fits best with your living situation.

Retriever

Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers are great with children. They are loyal, fun-loving and gentle. They love kids and are one of the best dogs for a family with children. Retrievers are eager to please and very intelligent. They are easily trained but are not the best guard dog. However, they can make good watchdogs since they will announce the approach of strangers if trained properly. If left alone, Retrievers tend to get into mischief.

Boxer

These dogs are playful, curious and intelligent. They are truly protective of their owners and are patient with children. It’s a Boxer’s nature to protect, so they make great guard dogs. They are extremely energetic, so they need lots of space to run outside. They need lots of human contact too. They can be extremely stubborn and sneaky at times, which is something to consider when making a choice on the breed. Overall, Boxers are a loyal, protective family dog.

American Bulldog

This breed is extremely friendly. They are brave, determined and not hostile towards people. The Bulldog loves children and is extremely protective. They aren’t normally too friendly towards strangers, but they aren’t aggressive towards them either. They are well-known for their heroic acts towards their owners. Great additions to a family, they can be aggressive towards other dogs, but with socialization that needn’t be a concern.

Mastiff

The Mastiff is another breed that is devoted to their owner. They love children and are extremely protective. They aren’t aggressive unless their owners or children are threatened. That very fact makes them perfect guard dogs. The American and English Mastiff are extremely similar, and both are great family dogs. They can grow quite large which should be a consideration for those living in apartments.

Collie

This breed is extremely intelligent and easy to train. They are loyal and sensitive to family members. They are gentle with children and quite protective. The Collie is considered a great pet for a family. The breed needs plenty of exercise and time spent outdoors. They are not aggressive, so they wouldn’t make a good guard dog. They were bred to be herding dogs. Often, they will try to herd children. It’s best to discourage that behavior.

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This article was written by the team at Spot On Pet Enclosures, an Australian based dog enclosure store.

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