Family dogs are a category that is apart from most other dogs. Even though dogs can be trained to do almost anything, being part of a family is not for every breed. We know this because some breeds have to be continually trained not to do some things. Breeds such as Rottweilers tend to get fussy and emotionally charged, sometimes chewing the sofa or even growling at their owner when even the slightest bit annoyed. They have to keep being trained, at some level. It’s at a simmering level but it’s still there. However, other dogs like labs, just need to be trained in the first year or so, and then, they become part of the family once and for all. A few other breeds are also good at becoming family dogs. Here are some things that every family should want, from their dog.
Patience really matters
Picture the scene. It’s early morning, you’re running late, you need to get the kids to school and you need to get to work. The last thing you want is a barking dog that is frustrated because he might not get to go for a walk this morning. You need to have a dog that isn’t just patient in the moment, but patient in general. They should sense your own frustration, and know that something, some reason or other, has broken your own normal routine. In essence, they should be able to understand when they need to work with you and not be selfish.
This is a virtue that only some very special breeds have. Why? Well, in all honesty, it’s because they have been bred to be! Border collies are very patient, as they have been bred to heed the commands of their farmer-owners. Labradors are notoriously patient because they too have been bred to be working dogs, namely in fishing and gun dogs. Foxhounds are also very patient as they have a similar temperament as the previous two. As you can probably see, the dogs that are most patient are dogs bred for working.
As a family, you are very active so why shouldn’t your dog be? When you want to go to the park, for a walk or to a hotel during a staycation, your dog should want to come along too. You won’t get this from some family dogs like British bulldogs. They tend to be aloof most of the time and even great family dogs like corgis, they only walk when they are good and ready. So you need a dog that is active when you are but not too active so you can get some rest. The best choice we think is, a Labrador. They just have the perfect balance of needing walks, running around and swimming, but not overdoing it. Take a look at these lucky labs and see what you think about their temperament. If you can get them while they are young, they are very easily trained. They can be trained to walk off the leash which is great for an active member of the family that likes to go on runs.
Kindness in bundles
One of the traits that a family dog must have is kindness. You are going to have a lot of people over, whether it be friends or family members and you need your dog to show kindness to all your guests. Kindness is not something that comes natural to every dog and that is why the choice of breed is every more important to get right. Kindness in dogs comes in many forms.
- A dog shows kindness if they allow others to stroke them without growling or forcing eye contact. The latter is a warning and sometimes can be an early starting sign of aggression.
- He will be willing to allow others to kind of mess with him. In other words, pull at his cheeks, slightly pull or hold onto his tail, hold or tug on his ears, etc. This sounds awfully mean, but young children do these things sometimes and you need your dog to kind of shrug and put up with it.
- A dog is kind when they allow other dogs to sniff them and perhaps, roll around in the grass with them. Making friends is very important for dogs and they have to be approachable if they are to have any park buddies.
Loyalty above all else
We don’t want to get biblical, but dogs are meant to serve in a way. Dogs are bred to work or provide us with something else, such as joy. Dogs need to be loyal to their owners and this is done in many ways too.
- A dog shows loyalty when they obey without too much fuss. Yes, they don’t always want to go for a walk or they don’t always want to leave the park when you are ready to. But, they need to know that you are a team and you are their leader, so obedience is paramount.
- Loyalty is often shown when the dog won’t budge in a fight or flight instance. This is crucial for a family dog because you want a dog that will warn you of anyone trying to break-in, but also stand its ground and protect the family.
- A dog is loyal when it can help you in your time of need. Whether this is to run and call for help if you have fallen down in the countryside during a walk, or when you have had a heart attack and you need your dog to signal help from the neighbors.
- And of course, a dog is loyal if they see you more than just the hand that feeds them, but as their leader. A dog wants a leader and they want to be part of the pack, and it’s your family they aspire to be part of.