As dog owners, we all think that our dogs are the best dogs in the world. We know their personalities, we see their love for us, and we appreciate the roles they play in our everyday lives. Those of us who own big dogs know that they can make excellent family pets, but they get a bad rap from a lot of people. Last year the American Pet Products Association found that 37% of American households own a big dog. On behalf of the 37% and those of us who adore the big family dogs in our lives, here are six breeds that make excellent family pets…
Golden retrievers are traditional family pets, especially after the success of Marley and Me. They’re friendly, loyal, gentle, patient and extremely loving, along with being great with children and strangers. Goldens love companionship and thrive in big families. They’re also a dream to train and love praise.
Although Rottweilers don’t have the best reputations, they can actually make great family pets. They’re very protective of their families and homes, so they can serve as excellent security alarms, and contrary to popular belief, they have no predisposition to aggression. They’re laid back, intelligent dogs that are eager to please and can provide an excellent training project for the whole family. Learn how to feed your Rottweiler right, make sure it’s socialized at an early age and give it plenty of companionship and ongoing obedience training, and you’ll get a wonderful family pet in return.
Intelligent, fearless and gentle, collies are a popular breed of dog not least because of the popularity of Lassie. Collies need a lot of stimulation and attention because of their sharp minds, but they’re friendly and rarely show signs of aggression. They hardly ever misbehave and are easy to train because of their eagerness to learn.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are particularly popular as family pets in Germany. They’re steady-tempered, easy-going dogs that love exercise, demanding at least an hour’s walk each day, and have excellent work ethics. Peaceful with other pets and responsive to gentle, sensitive training, Bernese mountain dogs are incredibly affectionate with their families and extremely calm around children and strangers.
Although Irish Wolfhounds are huge, they also have big, kind hearts. They’re a particularly good breed around children because of their easygoing, playful temperaments – they’re among the most friendly and good-natured of dogs. Irish wolfhounds have a tendency to form close bonds with their family, which can lead to some destructive behaviour when they’re home alone, but they’ll make up for it with the love they show.
Standard poodles make excellent family pets because of how intelligent and trainable they are. They learn quickly and enjoy the challenge of picking up new tricks for their owners. Generally poodles are peaceful with other dogs and cats and sociable with strangers, although some can have more nervous temperaments. With family members they’re playful and lively – they enjoy attention and being around their people. They’re also great for children with allergies, as they don’t shed as much as other breeds.