The Best Dog Breeds for Families

Thinking of adding a new best friend to your family. As always we say “Adopt Don’t Shop” but how do you find a dog that will best fit your lifestyle and family.  Here’s a list of some dog breeds that may be the perfect choice.

Beagle

These high-energy dogs make a wonderful addition to any family, but keep in mind they do require a lot of playtime and attention. Beagles are loving and curious and love to be in the company of their family. Typically weighing under 20 pounds and standing at around 13 inches, they’ve been referred to being big for their inches. They’re a great dog for families with kids who would enjoy having a playful and friendly companion.

Boxer

Boxers are another energetic breed that loves playing with his family members. Lovable and social, the Boxer takes his job as guardian and watchdog very seriously and is very protective of his family. Puppies can be quite wild an ornery, but are also quick learners and are eager to please. A larger breed, males can stand as much as 25 inches tall.

Golden Retriever

One of the classic breeds that come to mind when people think of family dogs, the Gold Retriever is loyal, lovable, and patient. A good breed for families with kids, Golden Retrievers are not aggressive and enjoy spending time with everyone in the home. Golden Retrievers usually weigh between 50-70 pounds. This breed does require a lot of playtime and exercise, especially during puppyhood. With its longer coat, this breed does require more grooming and regular brushings. The Golden Retriever will love playing fetch for hours and will reward you by being extremely obedient and loving. This breed is a solid choice for any family.

Poodle

Poodles may not be a breed that comes to mind when you think of a family dog, but they are actually an excellent choice. Poodles are extremely intelligent and surprisingly gentle. Playful and adventurous, they are very loyal and patient with their family members but tend to be shy and standoffish with strangers. Easy to train, even if a little stubborn at times, they’re great for families with kids. But don’t forget that their coats do need to be regularly groomed. Poodles come in a variety of sizes, ranging from the Toy Poodle, which stands about 10 inches tall, to the Standard Poodle, which is around 20-24 inches tall.

Boston Terriers

Playful and energetic, Bostons are a wonderful choice for a family dog. Fiercely protective of his loved ones, the Boston Terrier will diligently guard and watch over his family. Boston Terrier’s adore playing with his family and will keep the kids busy with playtime. Full of antics and goofiness, the Boston Terrier will keep you forever entertained and will capture your heart. Boston Terriers are quick learners and tend to be fairly easy to housetrain. Compact but full of personality, Boston Terriers typically weigh in around 15 pounds.

Basset Hound

This stubby-legged hound is friendly and easygoing, making it a great choice for families. Known for their good sense of smell and sturdy body, Bassets typically weigh around 40-60 lbs. but are only about 14 inches tall at the withers. Some of the most distinctive features of this breed are their long, floppy ears, short stature, short little bowed legs, and of course their droopy, sad face. While they can sometimes be a challenge to train, as they tend to be a stubborn breed, they are smart and loyal and will make an excellent addition to the family.

Collie

Gentle and eager to please are just a couple ways to describe this breed. Collies typically mind their manners and are easier to train than some other breeds, this breed is perfect for not only families, but owners who may not have much experience with dogs. They are gentle and patient, which make them the perfect fit for families with children. Since they are a rather intelligent breed, they do need constant work with obedience training to stay engaged. But do keep in mind that their long fur does require regular grooming. Collies usually weigh between 45-65 pounds and come in a variety of colors.

Labrador Retriever

Another classic family dog and one of the most beloved breeds, the Labrador Retriever makes a wonderful addition to the household. Playful, loving, and protective, this dog will want to be by your family’s side for all time. Coming in chocolate, black, or yellow, their coat takes less work to maintain than the Golden Retriever variety, a periodic weekly brushing is all you need! Weighing in around 50-70 lbs, they are a good choice if you’d like a bit larger dog. Don’t be afraid to take this canine places – they especially love to go swimming! They need plenty of exercise, so don’t choose this breed if you don’t have time to devote to playtime.

 

Protect Your Pets During Independence Day Celebrations

While the Fourth of July brings fond traditions like picnics, barbecues, concerts, and fireworks, it isn’t such a fun holiday for the four-legged members of the family.

Photo from Friends of the GCARC via Facebook

Many animals are extremely frightened by the noise from firecrackers and can even be stressed by the sight of fireworks. This leads to a 30-60% increase in lost pets every year between July 4 and July 6. July 5th is typically the busiest day of the year in humane societies and shelters across the country as people try to find their lost and scared pets. But don’t forget that fireworks and firecrackers don’t just happen on July 4th. They are already happening as people build up to the big celebration.

So what can you do to make things less stressful for your pets?

  • Make a safe space for them in your home where they can retreat and hide but where they can’t easily escape. Even the most mild-mannered dog might panic and claw their way out of a crate or run through a glass window or a fence in their panicked state and can run away and be lost or hit by cars.
  • Playing calming music in the area can help block out some of the noise from outside and keeping curtains closed helps block out the flashes of light from fireworks.
  • If your dog or cat is pacing, cowering, hiding, or displaying nervous behavior, try to distract them with a favorite bone or toy but don’t distress them further.
  • Consider skipping leaving home to go to the big celebration and stay home with your pets to protect and comfort them during this traumatic time.
  • Above all else, make sure that if something does happen you have the best shot of getting your pet returned to you by following these suggestions:
    • Make sure your pets are wearing their collars and that they are secure and have up-to-date ID tags on them with your name and contact info readable.
    • Add a GPS tracker to your pet’s collar to make it easier to track and reunite with your pet if they should escape.
    • For extra security, get your pet microchipped. Pets are little magicians and can get out of their collars on the best of days much less when they are panicked or stressed by the sights and sounds of fireworks. Getting your pet microchipped gives an added layer of protection that if they escape and make it to a shelter, they can be scanned and reunited with you. Make sure your contact information for the microchip registration is up to date.

There’s a reason that July is considered “Pet Loss Prevention Month” and by using a few common sense tips you can keep your pets happier and safer during this and other holidays.