Which Dog is the Right Fit For Your Family?
Choosing to add a pet to your already bustling family is a big decision that's not to be taken lightly. While adding an animal to your crew can be a wonderful thing, you want to make sure you know what you're getting into before you take the plunge.
Some people say having a dog is like having a kid. The little one requires regular care and supervision. It can't feed itself, must be potty trained, and may or may not keep you up at night. Nonetheless, if you and your partner have had the discussion and your fond memories of growing up with a pooch have inspired you to offer your own kids the same opportunity, the next step is figuring out what kind of dog to get.
That's no easy task. The type of dog you take home should be based on prior experience, activity level of your family, whether or not you're a germaphobe (Irish Setters like to lick faces!), how you feel about shedding, and even how old your kids are when you welcome the dog into your circle.
While we love rescue dogs, which tend to be a mix of several breeds (not to mention a heck of a lot cheaper than visiting a dog farm), you're less likely to wind up with an all-star pup than if you seek out a trusted dog breeder. The fact of the matter is, many rescue pooches have some pit bull mix in them, and even if you train your pit bull to be docile and loving, you still run a risk. According to veterinarians Dr. Henri Bianucci and Dr. Perry Jameson, a pit is a powerful animal who could inflict serious injury on a child with little effort. While we suppose this is true of any dog, the pit bull's capacity to do harm is a consequence of its intense jaw strength and deadly bite. This breed is for extremely experienced dog owners only; there's a reason it's not a member of the great family dog group including the golden retriever and labrador.
To help you get started with your puppy research, we've rounded up eleven of the best dog breeds for families in the slideshow above.
By Stacey Gawronski