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Top Dog Breeds for Families

By: PetPlace Staff

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Whether you feel it is time to add a dog to the family or you have finally caved in to your children's pestering, you have finally decided to get a dog. But, with so many breeds available, which one would be good for your family and what characteristics should you look for?

Children are often unaware of their own strength and can unintentionally play a little rough. It is the responsibilty of the parents to supervise any interaction between pets and children and to teach the children to play gently. There are, however, times when a clumbsy child may tumble near the family dog and latch on in an attempt to stop a fall. Or, the child may pet the dog a little too rough as she is learning how to be gentle. For these reasons, any family dog should be tolerant enough to allow some hard patting or tail and ear tugging. He might also have to be patient enough to sit through a "dress-up" session or tea party and even periodically allow his nails to be painted. Dogs living with children need to have enough energy to withstand hours of play and yet not be so rambunctious that injury could occur.

Many breeds work well with children, but always remember: There are good dogs and bad dogs in every breed. It's important to know that individual dogs within breeds can demonstrate their own, unique personality traits. No matter what breed you choose, you shouldn't leave dogs and young children together unsupervised – for the safety of both.

Below is a list of the top 20.

Golden retriever. The golden retreiver is an excellent choice for families that enjoy lots of outdoor activities. Though originally developed to help hunt birds, the golden rapidly proved himself as a loyal and devoted family member.

Pembroke Welsh corgi. At about 25 pounds, the Pembroke Welsh corgi is a popular pet. This stocky short tailed breed needs daily exercise and loves romping with the kids. They are best with older kids (over 6 or 7 years) as some dogs can be bossy and possessive.

West Highland white terrier. This small white terrier is playful and loveable but does require some exercise to keep him happy. The Westie is a good watch dog and faithful friend that needs some grooming to keep his coat mat and tangle free. The Westie can be an excellent dog for older children. They tend not to be tolerant of children's accidental mistreatments. They are often not recommended for households with children under the age of ten.

Irish setter. This beautiful red dog was originally developed to help with hunting but early on, the breed showed his natural aptitude as a companion. Loved by many and always eager to please, the Irish setter is a part of many families.

Schnauzer. The schnauzer is a wonderful family pet. Eager to please and to keep the family safe, this breed usually requires regular grooming and daily exercise. This breed thrives on human companionship and is available in three different sizes.

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