The Top 5 Dog Breeds Your Family Will Love

If your kids want to adopt a furry friend, here are the top picks.

Jul 2, 2020

Have your kids been jumping up and down and asking with great enthusiasm, “Can we get a puppy?” With summer here and the children at home, this is the ideal time to add a furry, four-legged member to the family. A dog will bring a smile to your children’s faces and happiness to your home.

Here are some considerations for getting a dog as a family pet. To narrow your search, PetFinder has a few tips. Ask your family if they are looking for a pet to cuddle or a hiking companion. If you have young children, you may want to avoid a smaller, more fragile breed and instead opt for a medium-sized dog. The best family dogs are friendly, affectionate, gentle, and loyal.

Also consider your living space. Larger breeds will need a yard while smaller dogs can happily snuggle in an apartment. Determine who will help out with feeding, grooming, and walking the dog. Larger dogs will need at least two half-hour walks a day. Just remember not to leave small children alone with a dog.

When you have everyone on board to help, the fun part is choosing your breed. Your dog will be with you for many years to come and will soon be an active part of the family. Breeder Judy Heim of Turlock, California, told the American Kennel Club, “We want a dog that is going into a home as a family dog. Hence the importance of temperament. Canines are social animals and will always live in a pack. If they are not living with a pack of dogs, their humans become their pack.”

The American Kennel Club (AMK) just released its list of the most popular dog breeds and they are all great choices for families. The top five dogs from the AMK list all make great family pets:

1. Labrador Retriever

The intelligent and friendly Labrador Retriever was in America’s top three picks last year and has been first on the list for the 29th year in a row! It is also a choice breed for guide dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs. With its sweet, easy-going, and laid-back temperament, this breed is an ideal addition to the family and will get along with both small and older kids. They are so emotionally intelligent, they can feel the needs and emotions of your children.

Labs also love other dogs and small animals and will get along with other family pets. According to The Happy Puppy, the Labrador Retriever will need lots of exercise and must keep to a strict diet. They can become so attached to the family, they are sad when left alone.

(Rohappy / Shutterstock.com)

2. German Shepherd

Also voted into the top three breeds last year, the German Shepherd is known for its intelligence and athleticism. The breed is used by police and rescue teams and is very protective, especially towards children. They are big, active, and weigh a lot, so they need ample space to run around. They are easy to train, and once trained, are very obedient. The Happy Puppy warns that German Shepherds can become suspicious of strangers, so be careful when new friends come over.

(Katarzyna Mazurowska / Shutterstock.com)

3. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever also made it into the top three last year. This friendly, affectionate, and intelligent dog makes a great family pet. Although there are three types of Goldens (American, Canadian, and English), they all make great pets for families and do well in every type of family. They love to please and their enthusiastic personality imbues joy in everyone around them. Goldens need lots of exercise, playtime, and mental stimulation. As they shed a lot, they will need almost daily brushing.

(ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com)

4. French Bulldog

The French bulldog, or “Frenchie,” was cross-bred with terriers and other small dogs like pugs to be a miniature “lap” version of the English bulldog. It is adorable with its pointy ears and large, saucer eyes set in a seemingly oversized large head. Frenchies are known to be mischievous and sneaky, yet loyal and fun. They are popular dogs for those living in an apartment in the city.

(Unchalee Khun / Shutterstock.com)

5. English Bulldog

The stocky English bulldog is too big to be a lap dog, but loves to lie in adoration at its owner’s feet. The wrinkly-faced English bulldog gets along well with children, especially young kids and babies. Very affectionate and protective, they will watch over children and play with them. Similar to the Labrador, bulldogs can sense when people are feeling sad and will console them with cuddles and licks. English bulldogs are much calmer than their French cousin, but also tend to be a bit lazy.

(WilleeCole Photography / Shutterstock.com)

NICOLE NATHAN BEM, CONTRIBUTOR
Nicole is an editor, blogger and author who has recently left her urban life in order to be more connected with nature. In her spare time, she’s outdoors hiking in the forest, mountain biking or tending to her new permaculture garden.