The 5 Best Dogs for Kids and Families

While Lassie and Lady and the Tramp are fun to watch, they’re probably not the best way to choose the family dog. Let petMD help you discover the best dogs for kids.

You can choose good family dogs based on three major factors:

Temperament – This is the dog’s personality. You should be looking for an agreeable temperament. For instance, a calmer dog has the ability to form strong bonds and be a great companion for your kids.
Size – Size should be looked at in relation to both temperament and energy level. Some larger dogs tend to be docile, while some smaller dogs can be excitable.
Energy level – This is a matter of preference for your family. Be realistic about the lifestyle you can provide to a dog that needs more exercise than average. If you can’t meet a dog’s needs, his excess energy can lead to behavior problems down the road.

Always meet the dog and ask the breeder or shelter worker a few questions before making such an important decision.

Here are five sample questions to ask, according to Holly Putnam, DVM, board member for the Association of Shelter Veterinarians:

Is the dog safe for all members of the family? Some dogs are perfectly happy to socialize with everyone in the family, while some prefer only adults or one gender.
What type of energy level is the dog? You may want a dog that will accompany you and the family on long walks, or one that can be carried in your arms the majority of the time.
What ongoing care will the dog require? Is it a longhaired dog who will need regular grooming, or a senior who may need more frequent veterinary visits?
What age of dog are you looking for? Would you prefer a puppy who may require lots of training but will likely socialize well with the entire family, or would you prefer an adult dog who is potty trained, but may be more shy when friends come visit?
Will this dog get along with other pets? If you have other pets at home, you will want to choose a dog that likes other animals, and be sure that your animals like the new dog.

Labrador Retriever Characteristics

If you are thinking of bringing a Labrador into your life you need to know what you are getting into.

This honest review and assessment of Labrador Retriever characteristics and temperament, will help you decide whether or not one of these magnificent dogs is the right companion for you at this point in your life.

We’ll be looking at the Labrador’s aptitudes and abilities, his personality traits and his renowned temperament.

We’ll also be finding out what makes this breed so popular in so many parts of the world and at where our Labs originally came from.

We’ll be digging down to find out what exactly are the attributes that make a Labrador a Labrador.

Join us as we look at how the Labrador breed has become divided and how the two different types of Labrador Retriever may differ from one another.

Find out about the kinds of problems that can arise if people are unprepared for some aspects of a Labrador’s personality. And at the kinds of roles that the Labrador is most suited to.

You can, of course, use the green menu to skip to the parts that interest you the most!

The Labrador’s Original Purpose
Before we look at the physical characteristics of the Labrador Retriever and at his personality traits and abilities, it is helpful to briefly note where all these characteristics come from.

[wp_ad_camp_5]The Labrador falls into the category of ‘gundog breeds’ of dog.

The history of his development as the world’s favourite gundog is a fascinating story.

The origins of the Labrador have had a profound influence on his appearance, personality and behaviour.

The original fisherman’s friend

The Labrador was originally bred as a fisherman’s companion, working alongside the men and women who inhabited the inhospitable island of Newfoundland, long before modern conveniences, and technology was available.

This was a job requiring a waterproof coat thick enough to withstand very low temperatures, and an ability to swim in strong currents and for long periods of time.

Imported to England, the Lab’s role changed to that of shooting companion, where his skill at finding game, his ability to carry objects in his mouth without harming them, and his intelligence and biddable temperament would make him the world’s finest retriever.

A talented dog

From those early beginnings, Labrador Retrievers divergence into many different roles – from therapy dog, to military dog, to companion – and his competence at everything he is asked to do, has defined him.

He is clearly a dog of many talents.

Let’s take a look now, at the kind of dog we can expect to meet when we bring a Labrador into our homes.

Physical characteristics of the Labrador Retriever
The Labrador retriever is a sturdily built medium to large dog. He may weigh anything from 50 to 80lbs once adult, depending on his breeding.

[wp_ad_camp_2]He has a well-proportioned body with a healthy balance between length of leg and length of spine. A shape that is often described as ‘short coupled’.

How to Take Care of Tiny Dogs

Tiny dogs, such as Pomeranians, need special care due to their small size.

Small breed dogs are ideal for owners in a variety of living situations. For example, tiny dogs do better in small apartments than larger breeds. Tiny dogs do have special needs that must be addressed to keep your little canine companion happy and healthy.

Crate your tiny dog when you can’t watch her closely. Very little dogs can squeeze into small spaces and may injure themselves trying to escape. Crating is also useful during parties and family gatherings to keep small dogs out from underfoot.

Place a heating pad in the crate to keep your dog warm. Tiny dogs get chilled very easily, and a heating pad helps preserve body heat. Cover the pad with a soft fabric cover to keep your dog comfortable.

Provide your dog with plenty of small dog toys. Even tiny dogs like to play, and giving her a basket of her own toys will keep her from chewing on cords and other hazardous items. Replace toys when they become frayed or torn.

Feed your dog three meals of high-quality dog food per day. Tiny dogs are prone to health problems including hypoglycemia, and frequent feedings regulate blood sugar. Look for a meat- or fish-based food with no fillers such as ash or corn.

Handle your dog throughout the day. Little dogs are notorious nippers and may bite if not handled enough. Pet the dog gently, run your hands over her ears and touch each of her feet to acclimate her to being handled.

Groom the dog at least once a week. Many people assume that small, inside dogs don’t need to be groomed, which is untrue. Brush your dog from nose to tail with a soft brush, and check for mats in long-haired breeds. Clip her nails with a small pair of pet nail clippers, clipping off small bits at a time to prevent cutting the quick.

Brush your dog’s teeth several times a week. Tiny dogs often suffer from tooth decay and gum disease, and frequent brushing will keep the teeth and gums healthy.

Fit your dog with clothes during cold weather. Dog clothes, such as jackets and sweaters, help regulate body temperature and keep your dog from getting too cold. Choose tight-fitting clothes made from soft material to keep your dog warm and dry.

Paws Paradise Pet Grooming is the premier dog grooming service in the local area, catering to dogs of all breeds and sizes.

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