Image of family via Shutterstock
Adding a dog to your family can bring unity to a bustling, busy household, but you'll want to make sure to pick the right breed. An adaptable, laid back pup that's willing to learn from (and cuddle with!) each family member can ensure your dog gets the proper care he needs while giving kids a wonderful chance to learn some responsibility.
"Dogs require care 24/7, so there are many opportunities for families to get involved in their dog's life, from family walks to learning how to teach different behaviors at a training class," said American Kennel Club spokesperson Lisa Peterson. "They benefit from consistent and patient involvement from all family members."
Here are Peterson's breed picks for busy families:
French Bulldog via Shutterstock
Originally developed to be a companion dog, French Bulldogs continue to be used as lap warmers and family-friendly pets all across America. Prized for their affectionate natures and even dispositions, they're active and alert without being too energetic, Peterson says. A small breed with a compact head and short muzzle, French Bulldogs are prone to breathing problems because of their noses and tend to snort and sneeze frequently.
Known for their even tempers, playful personalities and outgoing dispositions, Pugs love being around people, according to Peterson. They're easily adaptable, and can comfortably live in the country or the city. A loving and friendly breed, Pugs make excellent companions and are always looking for a family member to please.
3. Basset Hound
A sweet-natured, gentle breed, the Basset Hound was introduced in the 16th century for the purpose of hunting small game including badgers and rabbits. Because of their non-confrontational nature, Basset Hounds continue to be a favorite among dog fanciers, hunters and families. Their short coats require minimal grooming and their exercise requirements are generally low, making it easy to take them on short walks throughout the day.
Golden Retriever via Shutterstock
5. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
A medium-sized breed with a long body and distinctively short legs, Cardigan Welsh Corgis love to be with their people and are loyal, affectionate and even-tempered, Peterson shares. Recognized by their long, bushy tail and darker coloring than their Pembroke relatives, Cardigan Welsh Corgis can adapt to country or city life but do require regular exercise to prevent obesity.
6. Boston Terrier
One of the first breeds established in the United States, Boston Terriers are lively, intelligent breeds with excellent dispositions. Adaptable and easy to keep, Boston Terriers require only a moderate amount of exercise and a minimum amount of grooming, Peterson says. They're easy to train, affectionate with their owners and friendly towards people.
Clumber Spaniel via Shutterstock
7. Clumber Spaniel
One of the original nine breeds registered by the AKC, the Clumber Spaniel fits in well with families and other animals. A playful, affectionate breed, the Clumber Spaniel enjoys daily walks but doesn't require an excessive amount of exercise. Recognized by their white coat with lemon or orange-colored markings, Clumbers shed year-round and have a tendency to slobber and drool more than other breeds, according to the AKC.
Despite their reputations as racing dogs, Greyhounds are often quiet and relaxed at home, Peterson explains. Loving companions that enjoy the company of their families as well as other dogs, Greyhounds are gentle with children and affectionate, but may be a bit shy towards visitors. A couch potato by nature, Greyhounds require only moderate exercise and their short, smooth coats are easy to care for.
9. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Bred as an all-purpose farm dog, responsible for herding sheep, hunting and patrolling the borders of small farms, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are self-confident, alert and happy dogs. While they tend to be less scrappy than other terriers, they're true terriers and are more active than many other breeds, Peterson shares, enjoying plenty of exercise every day. Wheatens respond well to children and can adapt to living in the city, country or suburban areas provided they get enough time to play and run.
Toy Fox Terrier via Shutterstock
Outgoing and friendly yet fiercely loyal to its family, the Toy Fox Terrier is capable of a variety of activities from hunting to just relaxing at home. Courageous and intelligent, the small size of the Toy Fox Terrier makes it well suited for apartment living and its short coat requires little more than a quick weekly brushing to prevent shedding. While children enjoy the breed's energy and willingness to play, Toy Fox Terriers aren't recommended for small children, according to the AKC.
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