When people think of a dog, they often think “Man’s Best Friend.” And, while that may be true, we want our dogs to be “Woman’s Best Friend” and “Kids Best Friend” too. Having a dog for a pet can be a wonderful blessing for a family. It can also be a disaster if you don’t put any thought into picking the right furry friend.

There are thousands of dog breeds out there and more being created each day. These dogs each have there own special qualities, both good and bad, and it is important to match these attributes to your families needs.

Retrievers

Some of the most popular breeds we see among families today are the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. These dogs are great for kids because they do just what they are named to do: retrieve. Your child can throw a ball and your dog will bring it right back to them, over and over again. The AKC even labels them as “friendly, reliable, and trustworthy.” We just have to remember that these working class dogs need daily exercise to keep them at their happiest.

Rottweiler

Another great family breed is the Rottweiler. Some are taken aback by this because they view the Rott as a mean or scary dog. Though they do have a protective side when it comes to strangers, the AKC also notes that they “behave in a clownish manner toward family and friends.”

Pomeranian

If you are looking for a smaller dog, you might want to consider the Pomeranian. These dogs are people-pleasers and love to get affection. The AKC believes that “because of their outgoing temperaments, they can be very good family dogs with the right training.” Yes, you will have to put some time into training them, but in the end it should be worth it to have a wonderful addition to the family.

Dachshund

Another smaller breed is the Dachshund, which is more commonly known as a “weiner dog” for their long bodies. The Dachshund can make a great family pet and the AKC even describes them as “lovable, playful companions, and an ideal pet for many homes.” They do not require as much exercise as the retrievers do and do not have a shy bone in them.

It is also important not to forget about our mixed-breed friends. There are so many dogs in shelters, ready to be adopted, that will make great family pets. Even if their breeds are mixed or unknown, you can spend time with these dogs at the shelters to get a good feel for their temperament and how they will fit in with your family.