“Family dog” can mean several different things. It could be a Doberman Pincher, Shih Tzu, Miniature Schnauzer or any other breed of dog specifically bred for family usage. A family dog can refer to a dog designed to be used as a companion for its owner and family. The family dog can be used as a watchdog, companion or a part of the family unit. The term family dog can also refer to a dog specifically bred for professional dog shows, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC), British Kennel Club (KBC) or the United States Dog Association (USDAA). These clubs are designed to promote and recognize the dogs that qualify for the sport of dog showing.
Dogs that have been bred for show can have very defined temperament traits. In general, family dog breeds that compete regularly in AKC sanctioned dog shows tend to be alert, gentle, obedient and highly trainable with a low barking level. They should have a short, agile coat that is easy to groom. The long coat needs to be periodically brushed. Pups that are show quality require a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night and a minimum of ten hours on a feed schedule.
When it comes to choosing a family dog, you will find there are some considerations that must be addressed before your new addition arrives at home. First and foremost, consider your lifestyle. For people who have a relatively sedentary lifestyle, an active toy dog or a mastiff may not be the best choice. An active toy breed needs to be taken for walks. This is part of the personality test that is administered when the dog is evaluated for the AKC. If you find yourself taking your puppies for daily walks, you can consider selecting a breed that has a high energy level, such as the Beagle dogs, rather than a more passive breed like English cocker spaniels.
For active kids, you may want a mastiff or other strong working breed of dog if you have young children. Toy breeds are best suited for kids who are older and who are physically active. For example, the energetic Toy Cheerleader is better suited to older kids who aren’t interested in being engaged with other dogs while playing.
Many of the breeds we mentioned have coats that require regular grooming. Many have hair that is glossy and requires that you brush regularly to keep it free of tangles. However, many of the breeds who require regular grooming also have beautiful hair that can be styled in any way you desire. Some breeds have coats that only require occasional brushing because their coats are hypoallergenic. These dogs are good candidates for those families who do not need to worry about dander.
Keep in mind that your goal is to find a breed that will most likely live for many years. Breeds with high shedding require regular grooming and may also be sensitive to environmental stresses like loud noises. For families who live in a noisy environment, you may want to consider one of the breeds that has a very high shedding rate. The Border Collie is one of these breeds that sheds a lot less than other breeds. This makes them great choices for people who live in busy neighborhoods where there is a lot of activity going on.