Getting a dog is a big decision that comes with a long list of responsibilities. Do you have enough space Will you have enough time to accompany her? Can you afford possible vet bills? Add children to the mix and this decision will be even more difficult.

To make it a little easier, we’ve put together an expert-approved guide to getting a dog and a roundup of the best dog breeds for families.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Family Dog

“There is a lot to think about and to prepare for your new four-legged friend to be a happy, healthy and well-suited addition to the family,” says Bill Lambert, Head of Health and Social Affairs at the Kennel Club.

The following list, compiled by RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr. Samantha Gaines, put together, is a good start:

  • Can you give a dog everything it needs to be happy, healthy, and long-term? Make sure you fully research the responsibilities of owning a dog before bringing one home, including the amount and needs of food, daily exercise, and the need for regular health care and costs.
  • Think about the practical aspects. Do you have a safe garden? Space in your home for a safe haven and your dog’s bed? Time to exercise, play, exercise and relax with your dog? Dogs are also very social animals and need people around them. If you need to leave your dog alone on a regular basis, then you need to think about getting someone to look after them or train them for you. Talk to a veterinarian, local dog training club, or behaviorist to learn how best to prepare for your new pet.
  • Is the whole family on board? IIt is important that everyone in the household knows what grooming a dog is all about and that they want to participate in daily grooming. It is important to remember that daily grooming of a dog likely depends on the adults.
  • What dog size and personality would be right for you and your family? If you’re really active, a large or medium dog who really enjoys exercising might be a good fit. Or if you have young children who are hoping for a small dog to play in the garden, a small dog may be more suitable. Keep in mind that all dogs are individuals with their own personality, so the breed is not a guarantee of a dog’s behavior or temperament.
  • Training your dog is extremely important. It enables them to manage your lifestyle and keep it under control when you are on the go. Everyone in the family should know how to train the dog in a way that won’t frighten or harm them and what rules there are around the house to ensure consistency. For example, if your new dog is not allowed on the sofa, make sure everyone understands.

Finally, it is also important to think about your future plans. Do you dream of moving or growing your family in the future? Think carefully about how your dog would fit this vision.

Getting a puppy rehoming against a dog

There is no easy answer when it comes to choosing between a puppy and a rescue dog, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

The benefits of having a puppy are that you are responsible (and aware of) of their early training, socialization, and development. While with a rescue dog, the background is sometimes unclear. That being said, bringing a rescue dog to your home is an extremely rewarding experience – what could be better than giving a dog a second chance?

If you host a dog from organizations like Dog’s Trust, your pooch will already be neutered, microchipped, and vaccinated. This means that not only will they cost less than buying a puppy from a breeder, but they will also have peace of mind about their health.

If you are planning on welcoming the puppy paw pitter-patter, the RSPCA recommends that you use the puppy contract to find a happy and healthy dog. Reports of unscrupulous breeders are unfortunately on the rise, so it is really worth doing your research. If you are concerned about a breeder, report it to the RSPCA.

Best family dog ​​breeds

Temperament can vary greatly from dog to dog, but according to The Kennel Club, these breeds are best for families with children.

“They tend to be patient enough to handle a child’s energy and curiosity, strong enough to handle the way they play, and yet be gentle with loving personalities,” says Bill Lambert.

Keep scrolling to see how he takes on each breed …

Labrador Retriever

Labrador

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“Laboratories have been the most popular dog breed for decades for a reason! Their loving and loyal nature makes them particularly suitable for families with children.”

Bichon Frize

Bichon Frize

(Image credit: Getty)

“The breed’s happy, friendly and playful temperament combined with a lack of dandruff can make them an ideal family dog.”

Staffordshire bull terrier

Staffordshire bull terrier

(Image credit: Getty)

“This good-natured breed, often referred to as the ‘nanny’ dog, is most comfortable with a family and is known for being very intelligent and affectionate, especially with children.”

poodle

poodle

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“These cheerful and very smart dogs come in three different sizes: standard, miniature and toy. Their minimally shedding coats make them suitable for all types of families and households.”

boxer

boxer

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“Boxers are popular as family companions because of their intelligence and character. They are a friendly and patient breed, but also very active, which some parents may know can be a mixed blessing for children!”