If you are looking for a family dog, the first question to ask is about your own behaviour. How would you describe your family? The typical nuclear family? Extended? Single-parent? Are you an active family who love camping and hiking? Or do you prefer spending Sunday afternoon playing games?
Whilst there are the go-to breeds for families, ultimately, the dog you bring into your home needs to suit your lifestyle and family dynamics.
If you spend your day on taxi duty, running the kids to school, then after-school activities and need to organise cakes for the bake sale you need a dog who will be happy running errands with you or is slightly lower on exercise requirements.
Equally, if you typically head to the lakes on a Friday evening to spend the weekend hiking you need a breed who won’t falter at that last peak!
We’ve put together our top 6 family-friendly mixed breeds with some pointers on which family suits them best too!
The less pricey Goldendoodle compared to the Labradoodle, is the result of crossing a Poodle with a Golden Retriever.
Coming in high on friendliness, trainability and sociability you couldn’t ask for a more family friendly pooch.
Compared with the Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle is often calmer and lower in energy which makes him an adaptable companion for family life.
They are eager-to-please and intelligent which means they are the perfect training partner for kids, even the young ones!
They do come in high on grooming requirements though, so if you haven’t got the time for daily brushing you’d be best maintaining a regular clipping schedule with your local groomer.
A brilliant addition to an active family, the Aussiedoodle is the designer cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle.
Super high in intelligence, they are incredibly trainable. With their herding roots, they are more suited to families with older kids as they may be tempted to herd little bodies!
Being super-smart, they are prone to boredom so they don’t tolerate being left alone for long periods of time, they are better suited to busy homes with plenty going on and someone with them for most of the day. With both parents being workers, they love nothing more than long hikes and adventures.
The Cavachon is a mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise.
For those families looking for a smaller pooch, you couldn’t get more loyalty and love in such a small package.
The Cavachon is a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise.
A total fluff-ball, they are sweet and friendly; a perfect companion for kids who understand his needs.
Ideal for smaller homes with limited yard space, they are happy with interesting walks around the block and adore playing games in the home.
Not surprisingly the most popular dog according to the American Kennel Club, the
Labrador Retriever is a firm favourite for families.
Eager-to-please and trainable, Labradors are great additions!
They adore hikes in the woods but equally love chilling on the sofa at the end of the day.
But remember, a Lab doesn’t come out of the womb well-rounded and stable, it takes a lot of training and correct socialisation.
Source a reputable breeder and start training young. Introduce him to what the world has to offer and get the kids involved.
Looking for a pooch with a bit more punch? The Boxador is a great family dog, but please don’t ever expect him to grow up!
The cheeky cross between the Boxer and the Labrador is super-friendly, relatively easy to train and playful.
Active and interested they don’t bode well being left alone. They love being busy and need a family who will keep up!
However, when all is said and done, they do have an off switch and can be the most loving lap-dogs.
They just didn’t receive the memo they’re a little too big for that.
Another smaller pooch but sure does pack a huge personality.
Super sociable, the Pug cross Beagle is becoming a firm favourite amongst families. With correct socialisation they tend to get along well with all people, kids and other pets.
An adaptable snuggler who adores attention.
Due to their love of people, they don’t tolerate being left alone. If you make this mistake, you will have one unhappy pooch and one destroyed home!
They can be stubborn to train, but with plenty of positive reinforcement and reward it’s not impossible.
The perfect addition for smaller homes, the intelligent and curious Puggle will certainly keep you on your toes!
Dogs are super-adaptable and, with correct training and socialisation most dog can thrive in a family environment.
The important thing is to figure out which breed of dog is best suited to your lifestyle.
We’ve selected our top 6 breeds, but there are many more family friendly pooches.
Do your research and be realistic on whether you’re a good match.
If you are a dog-lover then you probably love nature as well. If so, why not try some of our nature quizzes? We have more than 60 on topics as diverse as birds, amphibians and even the planets! Have a go and see how much you know about the natural world.
This blog was kindly written by guest author, Robert Woods.