Having a dog can be a wonderful experience, and having a pure bred dog can especially be really enriching for a family. The advantage, of course, is that pure bred dogs more often show the behaviors endemic to their breed, whereas dogs of mixed lineage are behavioral wildcards in many respects. There is a reason why dog breeding is such a finely controlled art.
That being said, there are a number of wonderful lists of dog breeds that would be great for your family. Hopefully the ones on this list are breeds you might not have thought of, but would be fantastic to have in your family.
1. Irish Setter – The Irish Setter is bred primarily to be an energetic hunting dog, which doesn’t actually seem like it would lend itself well to a family. However, if you have young children, this dog is excellent. Irish Setters, because they have so much energy, love to play, and will wear the children out as the children wear them out.
2.Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – This dog is almost perfect for families just because it is very much what it needs to be in any given situation. While inside, it’s energetic, playful, amiable, fun, and eager to please, perfect for an indoors dog. Outside, it’s curious and exploratory, always looking around and having little adventures, which is what you want in an outdoors dog.
3. Harrier – The Harrier is a hunting dog primarily, and will always be at its heart, but that also lends it a lot of family friendly traits. Most notably, the Harrier is extremely patient, willing to tolerate quite a bit without reaction, remaining positive and calm.
4. Briard – Unlike many of the above suggestions, the Briard is a herding dog, not a hunting dog. In many ways, this is great for small children as its instinct will be to corral them and keep them in an enclosed location. Like most herding dogs, the Briard’s movements are lithe and agile, and they are capable of quick, sharp turns, which can be great for playing with children. They are also remarkably loyal and devoted to their owners.
5. Sussex Spaniel – This breed may look somber, but they are actually quite a contented bunch. This is one of the better breeds for those who live in cities and need a calmer dog. Sussex Spaniels tend to be powerful, deliberate, and above all calm. Their movements are rolling and they are the kind of dog that older kids would appreciate and adults would absolutely love. Not quite lap dogs, this breed does prefer peace and quiet to the excitement of a day out and about.
6. Havanese – These are dogs for families who want to lavish attention on their pet. Havenese both love it and thrive when they are being paid attention to, and they will jump, run, and clown around in order to get somebody to notice them. They are a fun breed for that very reason, and their playfulness can easily be contagious. They can be a bit loud at times, but for the most part if you plan to spend a lot of time with your dog, this is one that will appreciate it.
7. Bernese Mountain Dog – The Bernese Mountain Dog is the kind of dog that can grow with your children. Energetic and fun while they are young and through their adolescence, they eventually mellow out quite a bit and become calm, easygoing, and very sensitive. They are gentle with children, tend to get along with other pets, and are a little standoffish with strangers. Moreover, they are extremely loyal and devoted. You will find very few dogs this dedicated to their owners.
There is a lot of debate, even today, on the benefits of a pure bred versus a mixed breed dog, but one thing you can say for the former is that you have a much better idea of what sorts of traits you can expect. When you’re thinking about getting a dog for your family, consider that knowing what to expect will help you plan for what you need in a companion. It’s important to choose a dog that will fit in with your family, so that you can be sure that everyone, including your new pet, will be happy for years to come.