Buying a dog is more than picking out a cute puppy. Would be owners should research what type of dog they are buying to ensure that their dog is a good fit for their family or household. A great deal of whether a dog will work for a home is a down to its breed which affects three important characteristics in a dog – size, energy level, and temperament.
Here we look at the top 10 dogs that are widely thought to have the friendliest of temperaments making them a good fit in terms of personality foremost families.
However, the other two characteristics need to be thought about in depth too as well. The size of a dog is important as the size directly correlates to the amount of food and space a dog requires. If the dog is huge, they will need a fairly large living space so those living in tiny urban apartments and flats should maybe look at another breed. The cost as well of a big dog is much larger than a small one as they need so much more food, so think about whether your income matches that bigger need before taking the plunge.
Lastly, energy levels are key to look at. If you really cannot take a dog for a long walk every day, then a dog breed known for its high energy levels should not be bought. There are some breeds that are known to need only a short walk every other day that may suit those with busy lifestyles, or perhaps those who have less mobility but are looking to buy a dog for company.
In terms of temperament, the following dogs are amongst the friendliest you will ever have the luck to meet. Enjoy if you end up buying one of the cute puppy versions!
This universally adored dog is well-loved in homes around the globe for its patience and devotion to the families it lives with. They are cute as puppies and turn into a key family member at speed. Labradors tend to be very bright so pick up training easily so they can be taught some vital skills quickly. They are playful but reliable so perfect for families with children that are likely to pull a lab’s ears and tail about 20 times a day. They are big eaters however that are known never to be full so are prone to putting on weight which can cause havoc with their joints and mean they are likely to develop arthritis. This can be easily avoided however through regular walks which they love – especially if a walk includes water to swim in at any opportunity. Labs aren’t the biggest dogs out there but they will need a fair bit of room so a house with a garden is ideal for them. That being said, they are so placid that they will be happy wherever their adored owner is.
Take a look at our guide on the Best Dog Food for Labs.
Similar to a lab, but just a lot-lot hairier, retrievers make excellent family pets owing to their kind and friendly nature. They are hopelessly loyal dogs and devoted to their owners. So like labs, they are happiest wherever any member of their family is. This means that they won’t pester owners for playtime or walks – though, like all dogs and definitely all retrievers, they love to explore the great outdoors especially if it involves swimming and games of fetch. They do need regular exercise to help them keep their weight under control and also maintain their overall fitness, but they are otherwise a low maintenance dog if you don’t mind them malting everywhere. But with their big brown eyes, they will be a much-beloved member of any family.
Check out our guide on the Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers for more info.
Vizslas, both short-haired and long-haired, are not particularly well-known household pets. Originally bred for hunting and retrieving, they actually make for devoted dogs to their owners. They are full of energy and are often still mistaken for puppies well into their sixth or seventh year so households with no children or at least older kids may be better suited to this lovably boisterous breed. That’s not to say they are not trustworthy with babies or toddlers, just that they are exuberant in their love for every member of the family! They are actually very protective whilst sociable so are often seen trying to make friends with other dogs on their walks. Some can verge on the point of hyperactivity but they are the very definition of loveable rogues who will make a fantastic addition to any home.
German Shorthaired Pointer
Whilst, arguably, Pointers are perhaps not the best breed to purchase as a first-ever dog, they are extremely loving and affectionate pets when they enter a loving home. They need a fair bit of exercise owing to being a hunting dog. They are therefore intelligent and are devoted to their master. They can grow to become a large dog so when coupled with their activity level requirements, they are best suited to a home with space to explore and time to go walking every day – with a big portion of that being time spent off the lead investigating every sight and smell. Walks near water are always a huge hit owing to their webbed feet that have made them fantastic swimmers. They love to play games with their owners and love nothing more than a game of fetch or frisbee. They are so dedicated to their master that they can suffer a little from separation anxiety so this sensitive soul is probably better living in a home where there is someone around most of the day.
Head over to our review of the Best Frisbee for Dogs for more choices.
These little dogs are a bundle of personality. Boston Terriers are fun companions to have around the home and their distinctive bug-eyed look and pointy ears make them a huge hit with everyone they meet. They don’t require masses of walking and will be quite happy with a short walk around the block if that is all that is manageable for its owner that day. Their squashed face means that they can be prone to breathing problems but it does not seem to affect their energy levels around the home where they are social creatures wanting to be part of any family. Their squat and sturdy frame, coupled with their kind, friendly nature, means they are a dog that is suitable for time with a family with young children who will naturally want to play with him or her. They will love anyone who throws a ball or frisbee for them in a classic game of fetch.
Here’s a detailed look at the Best Dog Foods for Boston Terriers.
The breed, Bichon Frise, made a name for itself back in the medieval times when they were used alongside court jesters as they could stand on their hind legs for a long time while entertaining Royals and nobility. These days, you’ll find them in homes where a small dog is best. At their biggest, a Bichon Frise is never much bigger than a lap dog. While, like all dogs, they need regular walks and exercise, they do not need to be taken out daily – though they would love if they were. They are good dogs for families with children as they are naturally friendly dogs as well as having a coat that is great for those with allergies. They don’t malt which helps sensitive noses as well as with the overall housework! They are gentle souls with a fantastic, playful personality.
Before anyone buys a Newfoundland, they need to know one thing: they are huge. Other than an Irish Wolfhound there won’t be many bigger dogs out there so their size really is a consideration that every would-be owner should take into account. They are ideally suited to any size family of any age, as long as they come with big open spaces that they can walk over with their big swishy tail. They are great swimmers so will love being taken anywhere that is near water. They have a very friendly temperament and are often found leaning their enormous heads up against a beloved family member to be as close to them as possible. Despite their shaggy coats, they should not be left outside to live as they are much better indoors. The only drawback to Newfoundlands, if you can afford and provide for their size, is how much they shed. Regular brushing will help keep this under control.
There are several different types of a collie but in the main, the collie as an entire breed are good-natured dogs that are perfect for families with children or simply would be owners who want some devoted company. The most famous type of collie is the border collie which is the type of dog that Lassie was. A big coat is common across all types of the breed so regular grooming is needed with this doggy too. Owners find collies to be easy to train as they are intelligent and quick-witted which is why along with their herding mentality they are so often chosen as sheepdogs on farms.
Find out more about Dog Food for Border Collies here.
Beagles are one of the best-looking dogs out there and they are incredibly friendly too so they are good for families with children. However, as a very athletic hunting dog, they need a lot of exercises so they are perhaps best left to those that have a great deal of time and energy on their hands to take them out on long daily walks – if not more. In this way, they are the perfect dog for families that have slightly older children all of whom can play a role in walking the dog so that both your beagle and your kids get a lot of exercise. They’re smart dogs too with a calm temperament so they fit straight into any family in search of a pet. They, however, are another dog that naturally malts a lot, despite the close cut of their coat. Get around this by regular grooming both at home and carried out professionally.
You may also like our article on the Best Dog Food for Beagles.
Labradoodles have grown in popularity over the last few years for good reason. This mix of breeds between the Labrador and poodle have taken the best bit from both types of dog and made a family pet that easily fits into most homes. They are physically quite large and fairly active so a home with a great deal of space as well as owners with some time to help the labradoodle expend some of its energy is best – but they are such loving animals that even a home with a small garden should be enough. Having mixed a lab with a poodle, the fur has become hypoallergenic and this breed does not malt so it’s perfect for households with members who have many animal fur allergies. They are smart, sociable, calm and great with kids. This bundle of fluff would make a fantastic addition to any family.
All these dogs make fantastic household pets or companions. One final mention, however, should be made about mongrels or mutts who can so often be fantastic buys too as, like in the case of a labradoodle, they mix the best traits of breeds to result in a dog that not only is easy to train and exceptionally friendly but also has a better constitution as mongrels statistically outlive purebreds due to too much inbreeding within pedigrees.
With this in mind, if a family or household has the time or the inclination, rescue dogs from the pound or animal shelter are great places to look for a pet dog. They all need homes and rescue pups tend to be one of the most devoted dogs you will ever meet when shown the love and attention they have so far been without.
Either way, dogs always make for a fun-filled home.