6 qualities every family dog should have

Choosing a dog can be a difficult decision, particularly when you have children and a certain type of lifestyle to think about. What kind of qualities should every family dog have to make your life a little easier?

Child-friendly

If you have children, this one is quite obvious. You want to choose a breed that is good with children; a breed that is lovable to everyone, no matter how big or how small.

But remember, it’s not only the dogs that can go overboard – kids aren’t always as gentle as they should be with dogs. This means your dog should be tolerant and be able to cope with a few rough pats and ears pulls every so often.

You’ve also got to think about things like doing the school run – will you need to leave your dog at home? Will it be okay on its own for a bit? These are important factors to consider before making your decision, and could save your home from being torn up by an impatient pup.

Affectionate

No matter what their home situation or lifestyle, every person will want to choose a friendly dog to own, but when it comes to a family dog they need to be openly affectionate. Your dog will essentially be an added member of the family so you want it to get on with everyone and everything.

Those walks in the park can get a little embarrassing – even nerve-wracking – if your dog is violent towards another, or even when they are overly scared of other people and their pets. It shouldn’t be a matter of having to avoid inviting family and friends over or steering clear of other people in a public park.

Intelligent

All dogs should be trained early on, but it’s particularly important that they are when they’re around children. Whilst we know that dogs and children can have a fantastic relationship, there are some things to be weary of – things that can be prevented if the dogs have been trained properly.

A lot of the time, children act and communicate very differently to adults; particularly younger children with their crying and shrieking outbursts. This can confuse dogs and thus have an impact on the child’s safety. Even a child’s most innocent sign of affection – a kiss – could come across as threatening to an untrained and intolerant dog.

Loyal

Loyalty is an attribute of many breeds – a dog is one of the most loyal pets after all. People want their dog to be trustworthy and reliable, particularly when those people are in a family environment. Looking after children can be hard enough, let alone adding an uncooperative, mischievous dog to the mix.

Loyal dogs will save you a lot of time and effort, and may even help you along the way too! They will become a much-loved and irreplaceable member of your family in everyone’s eyes.

Energetic

Family life is non-stop, and you need a dog to go with that. We all know that living in a family home can mean a lot of things going on; all sorts of different people are in and out of that front door – family, old friends, new friends, children, adults…

The dog you choose has to keep up with all of that, and be prepared for it too. A lazy or nervous dog might react negatively to situations like those, but an energetic, friendly dog will take on the opportunity for a good back rub and maybe even an extra walk.

Easy to groom

With the business of family life, you may want to consider getting a dog that is easy-to-groom. If you rarely find time to sit down between looking after everyone and working, you might not want to pick a high-maintenance dog.

Some breeds require regular bathing, cleaning, clipping, trimming and other grooming just to stay happy and healthy; however some breeds can be a quick brush-and-go job. Of course, there is the option of going to a professional grooming service to keep your precious pup in check.