Almost 75 million dogs have been adopted into homes that already owned at least one dog. Multi-dog homes are often good for families with kids. There are other dogs to play with so a dog is not expecting constant attention from your children, or you, all the time, and there is always another dog to play with when the family is away from home.

If you’re considering adopting your very first dog or you want to replace a cherished pet that is no longer with you, it can sometimes be difficult finding the right dog for your family. All dogs are not created equal and each breed has specific traits that may or may not fit into your family situation.

Deciding which dog will make the best pet for your children depends on several things. One being whether someone in the family will have the time to give the dog plenty of exercise. You also need to consider whether a small, quiet dog or a larger, active dog fits the lifestyle of you and your children. Do you have a large home or a home with a yard? Will there be someone at home most of the time?

Answering these questions can help you decide on which breed of dog is best suited to your family’s lifestyle.

Where to find your pet is also an important consideration. Some people prefer to buy a dog from a breeder if they are searching for a purebred. But if you just want the best companion dog you can find for your family, an animal shelter or pet adoption center is probably your best choice. Pet adoption agencies and animal shelters help find homes for loving animals that have, for any number of reasons, ended up neglected, unloved, or unwanted.

The dog of your dreams may right now be living an unhappy, solitary life in the confines of an animal shelter cage. These dogs are so happy to be rescued and given a second chance at life, that they will heap loads of love on your children. Ask the staff at an animal shelter or pet adoption center to help you determine which breed of dog is right for your family.

The following breeds of dogs will provide excellent companionship, loyalty and love:

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed of all. Labrador Retrievers are friendly, lovable, smart and great with kids. They are the most popular family dog according to breeder surveys.

Golden Retrievers make great family dogs. These large dogs are extremely kind and gentle by nature and they love to play with people of any age. They can also entertain themselves with their toys so they’re not always bothering a member of the household. Just make sure you have enough space in your home as Golden Retrievers can grow to be as large as 90 pounds.

Yorkshire Terriers, also called “Yorkies” for short, are the smallest terriers of all. These tiny dogs are energetic and very protective of their owners, both adults and children. As a result, they don’t always get along well with strangers and they’re not afraid to let a visitor know. Expect a lot of “yapping” if you adopt one of these dogs.

German Shepherds are one of the most intelligent and loyal dog breeds in the world. Because of their high intelligence and great strength they make a great family pet as long as you have room for a large, lovable dog.

The Beagle has been a popular breed for over a century. These cute, lovable dogs were originally raised as hunting dogs and are known for being kind and gentle. They make great family pets.

Dachshunds are also called “wiener dogs’ and have always been a favorite with adults and children because of their cute, sausage-shaped bodies. With long bodies and short legs they look like they couldn’t move very fast but they love to run and play with their owners and each other. They can be very protective and may nip at strangers and other dogs.

Boxers play well with children, are extremely loyal and are low maintenance. They aren’t the most intelligent dogs, but they make up for it by being energetic, headstrong, and fun-loving. They require strong obedience training while they’re young or they may turn out to be unmanageable when they grow into adults.

Poodles come in both standard and miniature sizes. They are popular dogs and are beautiful, loyal and extremely intelligent.

Miniature Schnauzers are smart, obedient and enjoy non-aggressive play with children and adults. They make great pets if you’re looking for a small, lovable dog.

The best dog breed for families with kids is ultimately a personal decision that you as a parent must make. If possible, help save the life of a dog confined to a shelter or pet adoption facility. You’ll never regret the love and devotion a rescued animal will give you and your children.

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