The Best Dog Breed for Families and Children
The best way to be sure a breed will match your family is to talk to the breeders and find out what that breed requires, what it’s like, then decide if you’re willing to meet that dog’s needs on a daily basis. It’s really important that you’re honest with yourself and evaluate how much time you want to spend on your new dog. There are a lot of dogs that don’t require a lot of exercise, but there are a whole host of others that do.
Q: Where’s the best place to buy my new puppy? A pet store? Online? At a dog show?
A: Go to a reputable breeder. You can find them through the AKC or a parent club, like Golden Retriever Club of America. Or you can find breeder ads online. The key is to do your research and interview the person you’re considering getting your puppy from to determine if they are reputable. Here are some key questions to help you do that:
- Are they aware of any health problems in the breed, and do they do health testing on their litters for those problems?
- Do they socialize their puppies?
- Do they guarantee for the life of the dog that if there’s a problem they’ll take the dog back?
- Will they work with you to help you raise your puppy, or do they just want to take your money and run?
The answers to those questions can help you determine if this person is a responsible breeder or just someone selling puppies.
The socialization is especially important. A puppy that’s not socialized correctly during the first eight weeks of life won’t be as outgoing and friendly as a puppy that is.
You want your puppy exposed to all kinds of situations so he’ll be comfortable with those things later in life. If a breeder knows a puppy is going to a home with children, they’ll be sure that puppy is exposed to children almost from the start. Then by the time you get the puppy, it’s comfortable being handled by children.