Choosing a family dog is easy. Choosing the best family dog is a little more complicated. To help you make the right choice, you must know that a dog is more than a wagging tail, four legs and that it barks.
A lot of people are choosing a family dog as companion or as replacement for the children they never had. They treat their dog like a friend or a baby, in fact, they start humanizing it. But, let’s be honest, a dog is not a human. It is very important that you realize that a dog is an animal, a species descending from wolves, which are pack animals.
These packs are always ruled by an alpha dog, the pack leader. Even bitches can fulfill this role. The other wolves are the followers. Wolves tend to roam their territory for most of the day and night, in search for prey, hunting it down, killing it and eating it. The remaining time they will mate, play and rest. This is the way Mother Nature intended them to be, giving them exercise and physical stimulation. By exercise and physical stimulation, they work off their energy, so they can live in balance and operate as a pack.
The best family dog cannot be brought down to a specific kind of breed. Even mixed breeds can live up to this purpose and enrich your life. The trick is choosing a family dog with an energy level suitable for you and your family. First you have to figure out how energetic you and your family are. Second it is important to know how much time you can or want to spend with your dog as explained on this Best pets for family post.
For example: if you are an elderly but sportive couple, whose kids have left the house and you are both retired but still in good health, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to get a dog with a medium energy level. But, take the elderly couple next door, who would rather like to be comfy and cozy instead of making long walks in the park or woods, they would probably be better off with a less energetic dog. The same goes for younger families with two working parents and a bunch of kids. You may be an energetic family, but do you really have the time to give your dog the exercise it needs? If not, you might better choose a less energetic family dog.