No family would be complete without a faithful, loving dog and if you are thinking of adding a four legged member to the family, there is much to consider. Bringing a dog into a family environment can be risky, as not all dogs are comfortable around young children, and the breed you select should be one with a reputation as child friendly. Here is a list of known breeds that are generally considered to make great family pets.

  1. The Labrador – The golden retriever, as it is also known, is one the best family breeds, as this dog bonds quickly with all family members, and loves little kids. If you decide on a puppy, the dog will grow with the family, and although Labradors are affectionate animals, they can be very protective if someone tries to harm one of the family.
  1. Beagle – This is an adorable breed, with sad looking eyes and a pleasant disposition, a beagle will bond perfectly with children. They can be a little high maintenance with regular brushing and bathing, and do require a lot of exercise, as they are very energetic. For the best care and attention, it is always best to take out some pet insurance, as this covers vaccinations, sickness, and injury, and some policies will even cover vet bills for maintenance and micro-chipping costs.

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  1. Bull Terrier – A stout British breed, the bull terrier can endure a lot of rough play and still remain calm. They have boundless energy and will soon wear your kids out, and they do require a lot of exercise, so make sure there are a few parks nearby. This breed has the ideal disposition for a large family and they are low maintenance and very loving.
  1. Collie–The long coat makes for high maintenance, but that doesn’t seem to deter many families from including a collie in their midst. They are intelligent and can actually help to herd the young kids at bedtime. Their pleasant nature makes the collie a perfect family dog, and they can be trained to do many things, and if you have large expanses of woodland or meadows nearby, the dog will love the exercise.
  1. Irish Setter – This lovable breed requires plenty of room and with a loving disposition, it makes for an ideal family pet. The one drawback with this breed is that old age is a rarity, and if you have very young children when the dog arrives, it might not be around when they reach adolescence. The Irish setter absolutely loves the wide open outdoors and is not really suitable for an urban environment, unless you have access to large parks.

A family dog will provide you with hours of amusement, and the loyal companion will always be there to protect its family, and with the right environment, a dog can be the perfect companion for the whole family. The choice of breed is obviously relevant, but bear in mind that individual animals have their own personalities, so choosing the right dog can be a matter of pot luck.