Are you between dogs right now? If so, then maybe it's time to think about what breed would be best for your family, because the best dog for you depends on your family.
A Dog for New Couples
When you've just moved in with each other, you're in love and want to do everything together. If you love hiking and biking and communing with nature, think about a golden retriever for your first dog together. Goldens love being with you and if you go hiking, they're all over it. They need a lot of exercise and are relatively easy to train. Goldens are known for their friendliness and devotion.
A Dog for Three
Introducing a dog into your family at the same time that you're having a baby may be too much. You may want to wait until the baby is a year old before picking out a puppy. Or you might consider getting an older dog. They are generally calmer and not high maintenance. They bond well with babies. As to what kind of dog, take a look at poodles. Intelligent, easily trained, they love to play, but they're also very calm. If you want a companion for a baby, poodles are close to perfect – and they don't shed.
A Dog for a Growing Family
Two kids in soccer practice, a third taking ballet and clarinet lessons, and all three want a dog. But what kind? Not one that requires constant exercise, one that loves to go for walks with the kids, but also to cuddle up with them on the couch. Labrador retrievers are wonderful family dogs. Smart, loving, and loyal, they are ideal dogs for hiking, chasing a ball, or cuddling in front of the TV. Be careful though, labs will eat themselves into obesity if allowed. They need to be on a diet. Look for Labrador puppies for sale so you can have a dog that will grow up with your family and be used to young kids immediately.
A Dog for Empty Nesters
After you send your youngest off to college, the house seems empty. Time for a puppy. You don't hike as much as you used to, but you're active. Queen Elizabeth II found the best breed, the Pembroke Welsh corgi. Enthusiastic, happy, bright, and loyal, these stubby legged characters are upbeat all the time. They'll keep you young and they are marvelous traveling companions, too.
Dogs are truly our best friends. Children learn life's lessons from them, especially on how to love. Giving a dog a home enriches your life and his.
Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2