Choosing a dog that fits your lifestyle, family and home can be a big decision. We have put together a list of the 10 best dogs from growing families. From pocket sized puppies that don’t take up a lot of space, to long legged friends that can accompany you on family weekend walks, there’s a new best friends waiting for everyone.
What to consider?
Before we introduce our top 10 breeds, there are 3 key things you should consider when selecting your new pet.
Size – Dogs can range from the size of a loaf of bread, to a 5 foot frown adult. This also affects the size of all the extra bits that dog bring with them such as beds, crates, leads, harnesses and toy boxes. Its important to consider the space you have to comfortably welcome a new member of the family.
Energy Levels – Some of us like a lazy Sunday morning in bed, while others are up at the crack of dawn getting fresh air to start the day. Dogs are no different. While many breeds adapt to your routine, there is still an excitability and natural energy level expect with certain breeds.
Care – Long hair can get itself in knots, while short haired dogs can have sneaky double coats that shed a lot of hair if not brushed daily. Understanding the amount of time needed to properly care for your dogs coat is key as dogs can quickly start to look shabby and feel poorly if not properly groomed.
Affectionately called sausage dogs for their long slinky frame, these tiny pups can often be found strutting their stuff down city streets.
Size – Small. Their little legs and bodies make the perfect lap dog. A good choice for those living in smaller homes as they can happily curl up anywhere.
Energy Levels – Low to Medium. Happy lounging around the house most of the time, Dachshunds do need taken on walks. Lucky for you, their short legs mean a little walk goes a long way.
Care – Low. Easy to groom Dachshunds don’t need hair cuts and shed very little hair compared to other dogs, meaning your sofa and jeans should remain dog hair free all year.
Conclusion – a cute companion, Dachshunds are a good pet for those with minimal space. They can be weary of strangers, but are loyal to the ones they love, so ensuring you introduce them to new family members carefully will help build a bond that will last a lifetime.
Known for their curly tails and iconic smiles, pugs are bring barrels of fun in a compact parcel.
Size – Small. Although chunky, Pugs are classed as small dogs, only reaching about 40cm from foot to shoulder.
Energy Levels – Flexible. Unlike many other breeds, Pugs were not bread as working dogs, but purely for companionship. This means they’re happy when you’re happy. If you want to nap they will happily curl up beside you. If you want to play on the beach, they’ll be the first one splashing in the waves.
Care – Medium. Although they don’t need their hair cut, they’re short coat does need frequent brushing to reduce excess shedding. Their unique facial features can also cause injury with their protruding eyes at risk of injury and flat noses causing potential breathing problems.
Conclusion – a now popular family pet, pugs can suit many lifestyles. Easy going, they can come along on day trips and chill in the office as need be, just make sure their best features are protected with proper insurance should the worst happen.
Known for their immense intelligence, retrievers can very quickly learn how to fit in well with your family’s flow.
Size – Large. Labradors bring lots of love, but also need lots of space, reaching 60cm from foot to shoulder.
Energy Levels – High. Labradors have big energy levels, needing frequent physical and mental exercising. Largely used for working dogs, they have high intelligence levels. When this is not tested and they are known to amuse themselves through destructive behaviour.
Care – Low. Although their short coat doesn’t need cut, they do shed their coats frequently. Weekly brushing helps to keep this under control and looking good.
Conclusion – Known for their wonderful, friendly and calm temperament Labradors are everybody’s best friend. They will make a wonderful family dog, however, be ready to run as they do need regular exercise to burn off some energy.
French Bull Dog:
A fashionable choice, French Bull Dogs are known for their big personalities and bigger ears.
Size – Small to Medium. Little in height but strong in stature French Bull Dogs are known for their muscular frames. Reaching about 30cm in height from floor to shoulder they would be comfortable in most homes.
Energy Levels – Medium. French Bull Dogs are known for their bursts of energy. This makes them perfect for a daily game of fetch in the garden, but not for 8-hour weekend hikes.
Care – Low. Their short coats do not need cut and are not known to shed greatly. A weekly brush will help keep your dog happy and healthy.
Conclusion –French bull dogs are good companions for families that like to spend the weekend playing in the garden. Maybe not the best choice if you’re a light sleeper as their sniffing and snoring is noted as a key characteristic of this iconic breed.
Part of the hound family, beagles walk into every room nose first looking for someone to talk to and something to eat.
Size – Small to Medium. Reaching 40cm from the foot to shoulder they wouldn’t overwhelm most homes with their stature.
Energy Level – Medium. Beagles adapt well to their owner’s life, happy napping or bounding up hills. Like most breeds however, they do need a run around the garden or around the park once a day to burn off energy.
Care – Medium. Beagles have a double coat, resulting in double the hair. Weekly brushing should be the minimum to keep them happy and healthy. Keep a lint roller handy as their shedding can lead to hairy jeans from ankle to knee.
Conclusion – Beagles are bundles of fun but they can be boisterous. Make sure to keep snacks out of reach as they are known to nibble of anything left within their reach.
Despite their history as racing dogs, many greyhounds prefer snuggling up in front of the fire over running laps around the track.
Size – Large. Known for their long legs, Greyhounds can reach nearly 80cm from floor to shoulder. Although they are happy to curl up next to you on the sofa, dogs this size come with big beds and crates so remember to check if you have the space for what your dog needs.
Energy Levels – Low. Greyhounds are known for their calm and kind demeanour. Most of the time they can be found napping in front of the tv.
Care – Low. Greyhounds need very little grooming, with their short coats not needing cut and needing very infrequent brushing.
Conclusion – despite appearances, these gentle dogs don’t need taken on extra long walks for their extra long legs. If you have the space for them to potter around, they will add a happy and calming presence to any home.
Affectionately known as the Velcro Vizsla, these dogs become very attached to those they love.
This lesser-known dog breed makes a striking, friendly, and easy to train family pet, if you are prepared to help them burn some energy.
Size – Large. Vizslas reach over 60cm from foot to shoulder. Big dogs need big beds, so make sure you have a space to fit their needs.
Energy Levels – High. Traditional hunting and sporting dogs these pets have high energy levels, needing frequent exercising. They will happily accompany you up hills, through valleys making the perfect adventure companion.
Care – Low. Their short hair doesn’t need cut and only requires weekly brushing to keep it beautiful and glossy.
Conclusion – Make sure you’re ready to run as Vizslas need lots of exercise to get out their energy before becoming the perfect foot warmer when watching the tv.
This hybrid breed brings the best of both worlds, giving a medium size, medium energy dog that will suit many lifestyles.
Size – Medium. Cockapoos reach around 40cm from floor to shoulder. Their fluffy hair can add a few inches around the waist, but they are quite petite pooches.
Energy Levels – Medium. Perfect for the 9 to 5 worker, Cockapoos don’t need endless attention and exercise, but are happy with a 20 minute walk round the park or quick game of fetch in the garden to get the heart racing.
Care – Medium. One of the main benefits of this unique breeds are their low shedding, low odour coats. However, their curly locks do mean they need occasional trips to the groomer for a quick trim and brush.
Conclusion – Cockapoos are the perfect bundle of cute and cuddly that’s ready to go on adventures when you are.
Mixed breeds dog can be the perfect solution to your unique lifestyle. Combining both physical and mental attributes, mutts each have their own distinctive personality.
Size – Sometimes mixed breed dogs are easy to identity, while others can be a complete mystery. Talk to their current carer and do some research to better predict what they might grow to. Chances are if they only come up to your knee at 6 months, they wont grow up to become a Great Dane.
Energy Levels – If you do not know the specific breeds that make your dog, it can be challenging to predict their energy levels. However, there are some clues you can use to your advantage. Talk to their current carer, they can let you know more about the dog’s routine. If they are a puppy, you should not be taking them home with you until around three months old. By this point they have a bit more of a personality. Try compare them to other dogs they are around and judge as best you can if they’re always getting up to no good, or more often napping peacefully on the sofa. This can help give an indication of what to expect as they grow more.
Care – As mentioned with the other points, sometimes you don’t know what you’re getting with a mixed breed dog. It’s best to assume that you’ll need to give their hair a brush at the weekend to keep them happy and healthy. It is unlikely that you’ll get a surprise Afghan Hound when they grow up.
Conclusion – Mixed breed dogs can big or small in stature or personality. You never know exactly what you’re going to get, bit like life. Often rescued from difficult environments, you can change a dogs life by giving them a warm and loving home. Nothing is more rewarding.
Old English Sheepdog
Perhaps best know for their ability to sell paint, Old English Sheepdogs striking hair and bouncy personality make for an excellent new companion.
Size – Large. Reaching about 70cm from foot to shoulder, this large dogs stature is exaggerated by their fluffy mane.
Energy Levels – Medium to High. Old English Sheepdogs need frequent exercising either through lengthy walks or plenty of running around in the garden. Known to bounce with excitement, they have heaps on energy to use up on adventures.
Care – Medium to High. Maybe an obvious point when you look at the picture, but Old English Sheepdogs have a lot of hair that take a lot of brushing. If left ungroomed, it can become knotted, lead to dirt build up and have detrimental health effects. That said, if you’re not planning on entering Crufts any time soon, you can trim their long mane to a more manageable style.
Conclusion – Lots of hair and lots of fun. If you have a hairbrush good to go, these bouncy dogs bring barrels of love to your home.
There is lots to consider when selecting the perfect dog for your home.