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The 10 Best Dog Breeds For Families

Updated on December 13, 2015
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Anna studied psychology, law, English, and animal welfare in college. She is a mother of two and aspires to become a vet some day.

Mastiff Breeds

Don't be fooled by his massive size! Mastiff breeds have extraordinarily low levels of energy due to their size. The are worn out easily, enjoy having lazy days and long naps and are so affectionate, you couldn't ask for a more affectionate animal! They are loyal and wonderful dogs which originate from the working dog band of breeds, but, amazingly, only need about two 20 minute walks every day! Think about it, that's really next to nothing! This breed does require grooming about two or three times a week to prevent excess shedding, but other than this requirement they are a fairly low maintenance breed to keep and care for. As they are working dogs they do need mental stimulation so play-time and toys are not negotiable for this breed, most dogs love their toys, but Mastiffs will be extremely bored without them. They do not bark a lot, but will alert you if there is a stranger approaching your apartment.

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Great Dane

Another gentle giant who is a well known and a well loved working dog. Great Danes are truly great dogs - no pun intended, as, like the Mastiff breed, they hardly bark (only alerting you if a stranger approaches your apartment). They are an excellent and well behaved companion, who does not shed a lot and their short coats can be brushed through easily to remove dead hairs. This is minimal grooming and is really just to help the dog look his very best and to save your carpets from those few loose hairs. Great Danes are happy in many different living situations: houses, apartments and even outdoor kennels (providing they're weatherproof and have a nice soft bedding material inside). Great Danes do require a fair amount of exercise - 40 minutes daily as a minimum guideline, and if you have the time to reach this commitment you will not regret purchasing this gorgeous, incredible breed. They do, like any working dog, get bored easily, and will need plenty of toys, play and mental stimulation to keep them happy, healthy dogs.

Pug

Pug dogs have always been a fairly popular breed and due to their compact size they suit apartment life very well. They hardly bark at all, so you won't get evicted for your noisy dog. They are so laid back, relaxed and calm that getting on with other breeds of dog and even cats is no problem for them. Due to their friendly and loyal nature, pugs are loved by people of all ages and are a good addition to any family home as they have such a lovely temperament. Exercise is important to any dog, but for the pug 20 minutes a day is fine due to the fact they are such a small breed. Because of their flat noses, they can suffer from breathing problems and, especially in hot weather, should not exercise too hard. Grooming should include cleaning between their facial wrinkles as dirt over their faces can be extremely uncomfortable and unhygienic for little pugs.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a Toy Breed which is very quiet and will only bark at strangers. They are wonderful perky little dogs who adore humans and love human companionship. They are lovely little lap dogs and will happily sleep on their human master for hours. They are very gentle, do not nip or bite and have a very friendly nature toward other animals, children and adults. As Bichon Frise dogs have curly coats, they do require grooming daily to stop the coat from matting, and due to the coats being white, they will also need regular bathing, especially in wet, muddy weather. Like all dogs, the Bichon Frise will appreciate lots of indoor games and play-time with toys and their owner also. You should also make time for daily walks which can be anywhere between 30 minutes and 45 minutes, sometimes less. These dogs will be happy to accompany you anywhere that will let you take them along, and they are so well behaved that you really can rely on them as wonderful little companions.

Poodles

Poodles are known to be easy to train and very intelligent. They range in size from toy to large and come in a variety of colours. Miniature and standard poodles generally need around and hour of outdoor walking, whereas the toy poodle only needs short outdoor walks. All three varieties do require indoor play and some toys. Although a lot of grooming is required to maintain the coat, poodles hardly shed at all. Depending on what kind of cut their coat will be, the maintenance of grooming and cutting varies from extremely high to medium. Poodles love the water and if you have an apartment by the beach and you would like a dog who can accompany you or your children in the water, Poodles may be a good choice!

Schipperke

This small dog is an extremely active breed which is also incredibly intelligent, easy to train and stunning in appearance. They make wonderful apartment companions, as long as they have plenty of toys to play with and long walks every day to stop them from becoming bored and/or depressed. This wonderful breed would be higher on the list, but they can be noisy at times, especially when a stranger is around or they are suspicious of people outside. They need to be groomed twice a week as their coats are fairly long, although they do not shed very much at all. They do need very high amounts of mental stimulation, and so play indoors is vital. This means that this dog is perfect for those who have children and active lifestyles.

A Short Video On Shipperke Dogs

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French Bulldogs

The French Bulldog. Another small breed, the French Bulldog can be head-strong and stubborn at times, but grooming requirements truly are minimal and they require very little exercise, making them a popular choice for those who have very busy lives but still want a dog very much. Due to their flat faces, like the pug, exercise should be kept to a minimum in hot or warm weather, but lots of toys should be provided, and interactive play should be made little and often between the owner and the French Bulldog.

Chihuahua

This breed is a very popular and fashionable toy breed as they are tiny, stunning and full of personality. The main issue with Chihuahuas is the fact that they bark quite a lot and this is obviously not a sought after trait in dogs that people want to bring in to apartments. Their grooming requirements are minimal, as they only need brushing once a week, even with the long haired varieties. Chihuahuas Do not shed very much at all, and do not need much exercise at all since they are such a small breed. A few short walks as a toilet break and lots of indoor cuddles and play-time will keep this affectionate little dog content and happy inside your apartment.

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Greyhound

Although they are known to be incredible running dogs who are widely used in sports, you may be surprised to hear that in the home they are a complete couch potato! They are submissive, quiet, gentle and sweet dogs who, although they are fairly large, require very little maintenance. Next to no grooming is required and walks every other day are absolutely fine. However, greyhounds do need to be kept on a leash - even a very long one, as they will chase anything that moves very fast: cats, rabbits or even deer and once they have gone you won't get them back easily, if at all.

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This breed is an utterly amazing family dog. Gentle, patient, quiet, calm and affectionate beyond belief, this gorgeous breed is increasing in popularity as they are not at all aggressive towards humans, although they do not get on well with other dogs as they will never back down to a challenge. They are perfect for single person or family households and are playful, sweet, loyal, friendly and generally soppy pooches who adore people, but will bark if a stranger enters or draws near to the house. Sadly this breed has a bad reputation as it is confused with bull dogs and other breeds more prone towards aggression.

The Secret To A Well Behaved Dog Is Good Training

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Don't Forget Your Local Dog Rescue Centre

Rescue centres re-home thousands of abandoned, unwanted and abused dogs every year and many of these dogs are puppies, pure breeds and beautifully behaved animals due to the fact they are only able to be re-homed if they prove they are not vicious towards animals or people and do not display anti social or potentially problematic behaviours.

Because many of these animals are born in the rescue centres they are raised by dog lovers (who naturally have lots of training and hands-on experience with dogs of all sizes). This means that you are most likely going to end up with a 100% healthy, happy, well-behaved and house trained dog... AND you will pay less than if you were to go to a breeder.

I have personally owned 4 rescue dogs and 3 of these dogs were better than any of the breeder-bought dogs that my friends and family have owned. The one exception is Nelly, a small Border Collie pure bred girl who was a "special needs" dog. She's lovely, and a real sweetheart now we've had her a little while and she has got to know us... It just took her a while to come out of her shell due to a past of cruelty and neglect. However, I want to make a note here that I knew exactly what I was signing up for with Nelly and the rescue centre were extremely open, honest and supportive. I cannot recommend re-homing a dog enough - there is nothing more heart-breaking than getting a new puppy for your family and then having to part with him or her for health reasons (which has happened to me on two separate occasions). Both puppies had to be put to sleep due to debilitating illnesses... And they were from different breeders!

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