The 10 Best Family Dog Breeds

PetMD compiled a list of the ten most family friendly dog breeds. Cesar’s Way takes a look at that list and offers our comments. Of course, the best way to have a family friendly dog is to ensure that the dog considers every human member of the family as its pack leader.

Bulldog

The great advantage of bulldogs? They’re sturdy, so they can take anything that rambunctious kids throw at them, while they’re not very energetic. End result? A dog that will put up with a lot. They’re also not picky about where they live, so both small apartments and large houses are fine.

Beagle

If you don’t mind a bit of high maintenance when it comes to brushing and bathing, Charlie Brown’s best friend is an ideal dog for families with children. Energetic and friendly, beagles are also sturdy and mostly child-proof, and your kids will wear out before they do. They also make good nannies that can help you herd the young ones at bed time, and have endearingly humorous habits, like howling, which can be very amusing in small doses.

Bull Terrier

Spuds McKenzie, Buster Brown’s Pal, and the preferred canine baby sitter of yesteryear, bull terriers are intelligent, energetic and friendly dogs that can take a lot of roughhousing while remaining calm. Particularly suited to large families, they don’t complain too much when manhandled by children, and can actually help teach kids how to properly relate to dogs. Plus they’re just very cute and adorable. While they are energetic and require lots of play time, they will also help wear your kids out — the more the merrier — and will return the favor by being very protective of them.

Collie

One word: Lassie. In fact, Lassie was one of the two dogs, (the other was Rin Tin Tin) who inspired a very young Cesar Millan to become a Pack Leader in the first place. While its long coat is high maintenance, its tendency to herd your children may be useful, at least in their early years. Beyond that, collies love nothing more than to make their humans happy, and it’s really not a stretch to imagine that you could train yours to alert you to a fire in the barn, or to remind you that you’ve left your cell phone on the dining room table before rushing off to work with a well-timed bark and whine. Sadly, though, no one has yet been able to train this breed to cook.

Newfoundland

Because of their natural love of children, the Newfoundland has been dubbed “Nature’s Nannies.” Large and sweet, it’s hard not to fall in love with them, and they will return the favor. While they can drool and shed a lot, and suit a family with large open spaces, they will also tend to wind up wherever the family is. Basically, they are gigantic, loveable furballs who desire nothing more than to keep watch on their pack members.

Vizsla

Originally a middle-European hunting dog, and little known outside of its native Hungary, the Vizsla is gentle, loyal, quiet and affectionate. It does require a lot of exercise — not a problem if you have energetic children. Still, it prefers to spend a lot of time indoors with its family, and is very eager to learn and show off. If you want to teach your children by teaching them to train dogs, then this breed is a good choice.

Irish Setter

A better choice for families with yards because of their energy, Irish Setters are wonderful with children, because they are playful and energetic. One word of warning, though — their life spans are among the shorter ones for larger breeds, so you should only choose an Irish Setter if you want to teach those inevitable life lessons while your children are in middle school. Twelve years is considered old age for the breed, and few make it to fifteen.

Poodle

Please note, only the standard poodle is a good family dog. Miniature poodles tend to be very high strung and not suitable for families with children. Standard poodles are smart and gentle, and are good for children with allergies, as they do not shed as much as other breeds. Otherwise, they are good-natured, and make excellent playmates for children.

Labrador Retriever

One of the most popular breeds all around, we have documented Labradors elsewhere as the best dog to have if you’re looking for a date, the only breed accepted for training as arson dogs, and one of the more popular breeds for service dogs. For a family, there’s hardly a better choice. Labradors love to please their humans, being playful, protective, loving, and reliable. There’s nothing that a Lab loves more than to show off by learning a new trick, even if they manage to learn that new trick before you’ve taught it to them. They are canine Einsteins.

Golden Retriever

Goldens are almost everything a Labrador is, except with a much shorter life span then the Irish Setter — twelve years at the most, but ten more likely. Their main asset is extreme patience, useful around children, as well as their high energy. Frequently used as service dogs, they were originally bred as gun dogs and are avid swimmers.

Mutts

Bonus choice: go to your local shelter, and consider rescuing a mixed breed dog. In fact, consider a mixed breed in any case. Look for a dog that matches the energy level of your family, keeping one thing in mind — mid size and larger dogs are great for families, while small breeds are not. If you have children, avoid Chihuahuas or Yorkies or anything you could pick up with one hand; look at terriers, retrievers, or other bigger dogs. In general, if you’re not afraid of injuring it by stepping on it, then it’s probably durable enough for children. Once again, though here’s the most important thing to remember: Whatever dog you bring in to the family, all of the people need to be the pack leaders, whether adults or children. Follow this rule from day one, and no matter what dog you adopt, you’ll have an enjoyable experience.

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21 Facts About Dogs That Will Blow Your Mind

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Everyone knows that Irish Wolfhounds are the biggest dogs in the land and that a dog’s brain is specialized for scent, but here are a few quirky and mind-blowing facts that you probably don’t know related to our beloved pups.

Fact #21: Dogs are capable of understanding up to 250 words and gestures, can count up to five and can perform simple mathematical calculations. The average dog is as intelligent as a two-year-old child.(Source.)

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Fact #20: Some stray Russian dogs have figured out how to use the subway system in order to travel to more populated areas in search of food. (Source.)

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Fact #19: Dogs don’t enjoy being hugged as much as humans and other primates. Canines interpret putting a limb over another animal as a sign of dominance. (Source.)

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Fact #18: Two stray dogs in Afghanistan saved 50 American soliders. A Facebook group raised $21,000 to bring the dogs back to the US and reunite them with the soldiers.(Source.)

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Fact #17: The Beatles song “A day in the Life” has an extra high-pitched whistle, audible only to dogs. It was recorded by Paul McCartney for the enjoyment of his Shetland sheepdog.(Source.)

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Fact #16: This pup, Nesbit, earned over one million Delta airline miles in his life and had his own frequent flier card. (Source.)

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Fact #15: One of Michael Vick’s former fighting dogs, Leo, went on to be a therapy dog who comforted dying children.(Source.)

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Fact #14: Service dogs are trained to know when they are on duty. When their harness is on, they know it’s business time. When you take it off, the pups immediately become playful and energetic.(Source.)

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Fact #13: Tiger Woods stuttered as a child and used to talk to his dog until he fell asleep in an effort to get rid of it. (Source.)

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Fact #12: Seeing eye dogs pee and poo on command so that their owners can clean up after them. Male dogs are also trained to do their business without lifting their leg.(Source.)

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Fact #11:In ancient China, an emperor’s last line of defense was a small Pekingese dog literally hidden up his sleeve.(Source.)

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Fact #10: When Lord Byron was informed that his dog was not allowed to come with him to Cambridge Trinity College, he retaliated by bringing a bear instead.(Source.)

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Fact #9: In 1860′s San Francisco, two stray dogs who were best friends became local celebrities. Their exploits were celebrated in local papers and they were granted immunity from the city’s dog catchers. (Source.)

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Fact #8: There is a dog-shaped building in New Zealand.(Source.)

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Fact #7: This dog, Naki’o, lost all of his legs to frostbite in Colorado, but now has four prosthetic legs and can run around like normal.(Source.)

Naki'o, a dog with four prosthetic devices, poses for a photo in Colorado Springs

Fact #6: The wetness of a dog’s nose is essential for determining what direction a smell is coming from.(Source.)

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Fact #5: Hyenas aren’t actually dogs. They are more closely related to cats.(Source.)

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Fact #4: Spiked dog collars were invented in ancient Greece and were originally designed to protect dogs throats from wolf attacks.(Source.)

Fact #3: Baks the blind boxer has a seeing eye goose named Buttons. Buttons the four-year-old goose leads her pup around everywhere either by hanging onto him with her neck, or by honking to tell him which way to go.(Source.)

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Fact #2: ‘Frito Feet’ is the name of the phenomenon in which the bacteria on a dog’s paws cause them to smell like corn chips. Because a pup’s feet are in constant contact with the ground, they pick up tons of microorganisms in their paws. When dogs cool off by sweating through the pads of their feet, the combo of moisture and bacteria releaces a nutty, popcorn-like aroma. Basically it’s dog B.O. (Source.

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Fact #1: Dogs drink water by using forming the back of their tongue into a mini cup.(Source.

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