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Good Family Dogs

Choose a Dog to Match Your Lifestyle

If your home has children older than seven, then the dog of your choice is whatever dog suits your lifestyle. The children are not so much of an issue since they're not very little ones. Older children understand how to behave with a dog; they also can be alone with the dog with no worries. They can even take on some of the chores necessary to the dog's upkeep. So, the only question is what dog suits your lifestyle. There are plenty to choose from.

Outdoors Enthusiasts
If you're a family who enjoys camping, hiking, boating and other outdoor activities, then you want a dog who can keep up with you. Obviously, the retrievers are right up your street. They're medium to high energy and take their cue from the family. Also, the gentle giants might catch your fancy, but remember they do take up a lot of space and eat lot of food. A standard size poodle can even fit it, but even with a puppy cut, there's a lot of grooming.

If you live a sedentary life, then the calmer dogs, such as collies, even though they require a lot of brushing, are for you. The very small dogs can also live a quiet life as long as they get their daily exercise. Also, these small dogs like to play indoors. In particular, poodles, Bichon Frise, spaniels, pugs and some terriers do very well as indoor dogs. Of course, they still need a walk and playtime.

A medium to high energy dog is the byword for the athletic family. If you're runners or joggers, you might consider the terriers. They're are always up for a good run or some mild roughhousing. Don't let their short legs fool you; they can move, and they never tire. Everyone knows that whippets will leap to catch a Frisbee for hours. Retrievers, the all-around family dogs, are good running dogs too. The Schnauzers are up for a good run also. A greyhound can fly like the wind and maybe even outpace you.

If you choose to adopt a dog from a shelter or pet rescue, ask the shelter employee or volunteer or the foster parent what the dog's energy level is. Also, it helps if you can figure out what his breed mix is. These are clues to his suitability to your family.

Once you've chosen the dog for you, integrate him slowly into the family. After he's bonded with you and you with him, he can participate in all your family activities whatever they may be.