Research indicates that pet ownership has positive health effects on individuals. If the family owns a pet, and in particular a dog, a healthier level of boding is observed among family members. Elderlies who suffer from different age related aliments also usually are victims of loneliness.

Research has proven that dogs can be excellent companions for such elderlies. Dog owners also tend to socialize more with other dog owners. In a nutshell, owning a dog helps you on many levels. However, choosing a dog can be a big problem, particularly if the dog is to be adopted into a family.

Choosing the Ideal Family Dog

When choosing the family dog, talk to a family that already owns a dog. If they are unable to provide any satisfactory answers, ask for a reference to their vet, and talk to their vet. The goal is to choose a breed that will fit into your family.

For instance, if you want a quiet and mellow pet, if you buy or adopt a Doberman, you will end up with a dog that is good for hunting. The best way to be sure a breed will fit into your family is to talk to the dog breeders.

People who breed dogs for commercial purpose know what exactly a dog requires in terms of care, food and other emotional needs. Discuss with your family members if the responsibility of the dog can be taken collectively. It’s vital that you’re honest with yourself and evaluate how much time, money, and efforts you want to spend on your new dog.

Moreover, affordability for maintenance and upkeep is another fundamental factor which simply cannot be ignored. After all, he or she is going to be a part of your family and deserves the same care and attention as the other members. 

For any family, the dog’s grooming requirements, trainability levels, health issues, age, and temperament towards other people are of importance. Additional factors like the owner’s own present physical condition and limitations, personal financial resources to take care of the dog need to be considered very carefully before making a selection.

Breeds Best Suited for a Family

The following 10 breeds have been the most recommended for families:


Tops the list as a most charming, adaptable, playful, and affectionate dog for families. They don’t need much exercise, they’re small and fit into limited spaces easily. Easy to train and maintain, the ever playful, clown-like pug is a delight always to have around. Perfectly safe for children because of their loving and even temperament. Not very capable watchdogs, however. The Pug sleeps 16-18 hours a day on average!

This dog was in those goofy and ridiculous Men in Black movies. It is unfortunate who pitiful those movies turned out to be but that is another topic.


Comes second in the list of family favorites. An energetic, trainable, and playful dog with acute guarding instincts. The Schnauzer fits in easily in small living spaces, is easy to train and are profound playmates with children in the family. But watch the children! Children can be rough and if that is the case, punish the child accordingly. A limited amount of exercise is all that is required to keep them fit and grooming them does not take too long either.


Although a trifle too energetic, the Boxer makes a grand family companion. Extremely fond of children, it’s also a sterling watchdog, ever alert and conscious of its responsibilities to guard both home and family. However, it needs space and plenty of exercise to burn off that extra energy. Laziness turns it destructive and ill-tempered.

Cocker Spaniel

With their long, drooping ears, sweet temperament, and mournful eyes, Cocker Spaniels make great family dogs. Their medium-size, affectionate, happy, and loyal nature makes them suitable for all age groups within the family.  They are energetic and need to be groomed regularly.


The pocket dog or the Chihuahua is one of the smallest dogs available and are known to be protective and loyal. They, however, need training before being exposed to children and also tend to bark quite a bit. They are active but get enough exercise by running around indoors.

Many people believe they are not that cute but that is their predilection.

Boston Terrier

Number five on the list is the Boston terrier, which is of a manageable size, is friendly, and needs minimal grooming and loves being in the company of its owners. They are usually bred to be companions and love curling up with their owners on sofas and beds. They are playful and happy-go-lucky, yet attentive to the needs of their owners.

Shih Tzu

These tend to be a bit noisy but are also playful, friendly, and alert dogs. Small in size, they are ideal for apartments. With a bit of regular exercise, they remain healthy and are generally long-lived. Their long-haired, luxurious coat, however, needs regular devoted grooming.


The Beagle has become a buzzword in households the world over today. Ideal for elderly people also. These cute, loyal, funny, and friendly dogs enjoy human company as also the company of other dogs. They love playing and make great family dogs. They may also be of an independent nature, which makes training them a challenge. Beagles also need a fair amount of exercise. Shedding, however, is a problem but grooming them is easy with some regular brushing.


With their fluffs and debonair looks, Poodles also are amazing family dogs, however need regular upkeep and grooming. They are initially wary of strangers but grow to like people who treat them with patience and kindness. The poodle pup may be a trifle snappy initially, but firm yet gentle training will turn it into a lovable and friendly dog.

Yorkshire Terrier

It’s their convenient size, friendly temperament and ease of maintenance that makes the Yorkshire Terrier a preferred breed for families, particularly those with children. The Yorkshire Terrier is also alert and watchful and with a snappy bark, will let you know if some stranger walks into the house. They are playful and love to curl up with their owners on couches and beds. Cuddly and soft like soft toys, they make ideal companions for elderly members of the family also.  

In sum, the family dog gets its name because it is a family member. After bringing it home, give it all the love and care it needs so that it doesn’t feel left out. Remember, when ignored, dogs do become temperamental, and it usually turns them cantankerous and destructive. So give it the human touch, and you’re bound to get all the love and loyalty you can ask for!