26 answers

Best Dog for Family of 5 - Aurora,IL

What is the best kind of dog (from a shelter/rescue) to get for a family of 5. Kids age 4, 7, 11. I would also like one who doesn't shed like crazy. What is the best dog with kids.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Best bet is not breed specific but finding a rescued dog with the personality that fits the family. We love boxers, but they have a swagger that can be overwheling and scary to smaller kids. Yet some are incredibly calm. I would avoid double coated breeds. Smooth single coats still shed but not to bad.(boxers, danes, pits,dobies, many hunting breeds) Singled coated long coated breeds require vigilant brushing and grooming.

I gravitate to rowdy obnoxious chewers,jumpers and hyper dogs but not everyone can handle them.

1 mom found this helpful

About a month ago I asked my cousin, who is a dog afficianado and VERY knowledgable about them, for advice in getting a family dog. She directed me to this website, where I learned a TON about choosing the right breed. Hope it can be of use to you too. http://animal.discovery.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds/que...

I have friends with three boys (now 6, 10, and 15) and a very small house and she is allergic who have a Labradoodle. They LOVE this dog. It is non-allergenic, doesn't shed, and is friendly, cuddly, and romps and runs with the boys. They bought one from a breeder, but I've noticed at the dog park how popular these dogs are that I wonder if they are also becoming more common at shelters.

More Answers

There is no "best dog" for kids. Ask yourself these questions:
-Are you willing to walk a dog every day (if not, please don't get a dog. A backyard is not enough.)
-What kind of energy does your family have? (do you play outside every day, are you very active?)
-How much time do you have to invest in training. (If you won't train your dog, don't get one.)
-How much are you at home and away?
- Why do you want a dog? Playmate? Quiet companion? Running partner?
(High energy dogs - labs, herding dogs, terriers- will get destructive if they are bored and home alone all the time. They will also get destructive without a lot of exercise. Daily walks and running around outside. Dogs like labs are essentially puppies for years. If they don't get training, they have no idea their size and strength.)

You should choose a dog that fits your family, not a certain breed. Go to the shelter (kudos for rescuing!) and meet these dogs. Keep in mind, they are in cages, they will all seem to have too much energy. Look at the ones that seem the friendliest and even tempered. Are their tails right in the middle, do they have wiggly butts, do they keep their feet on the ground and not jump, are the gentle with your children? Those are the things to look for. Things you do NOT want...a dog whose tail is between their legs and they take coaxing to come to you (too afraid, may be prone to nipping,) a dog who has stiff body language and a high tail (dominant) knocks over your children, barks like crazy and won't stop, seems overwhelmed, is protective of food, etc. You should be FAR more concerned with how the animal fits into your family over shedding.

7 moms found this helpful

DON'T focus on breed. at all. i am so glad you're going to a rescue. talk to the people there. go alone or with hubby the first time, pick out a few that you like. talk to the people there about the qualities you want. low shed, energy level, size, age, etc. pick out a "short list" then take the kids and spend a few minutes with each dog on your list and decide from there. (and don't listen to people who tell you labs are calm. DON'T focus on breed!)

6 moms found this helpful

go to animal planet dot com and do the dog breed selector program. It will give you a starting place at least.

But I have to really agree with Bug. Her advice mirrors my sister who is a dog groomer, and a good friend of mine who is a vet tech. The BEST way to find a dog at a shelter is to go meet the ones who fit some basic criteria (size, temperment, etc).

Another idea is to go talk to some groomers and vet techs. They can give you some information about breeds you might be interested in.

Training is a HUGE key with EVERY dog breed. ANY dog can bite and be a mean viscious dog if not properly trained and socialized. Just like ANY dog can be a great family dog with proper training and socialization.

Realize some dogs have longer "puppy" phases (labs for one), some can be kinda stupid (beagles), some have more stubborn personalities, some are working breeds and NEED lots of exercise (dalmations NEED to be RUN not walked RUN 3 miles a day), some are super super intelligent and NEED interaction (labs, shepards) and REALLY good training, some have a LOT of bulk to them, Some require a LOT of grooming, etc and so on. Knowing which breeds have tendencies toward what is a good step. Which is where the dog breed selector on animal planet comes in. It asks 10 questions about your family and lifestyle and amount of effort you want to put into a dog.

Also I'd suggest taping (I think I just dated myself with that statement LOL) the show dogs 101 on Animal Planet. Each show goes through about 4 breeds (maybe 5) and you get a really great introduction to breeds.

Be aware though that LOTS (in fact I'd say a good majority of dogs in shelters) are mixed breeds and may or may not have the best of both breeds in them.

I hope this helps some and good luck with your decision :)

ETA: there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Why? because people aren't allergic to the HAIR/FUR, they are allergic to the dander which is the skin and skin oils. Some people react to some and not others.

6 moms found this helpful

if you are going to a shelter, i would focus on the individual dog and its personality, as well as the reason the original owner gave it up. do not even pay attention to what breed you want, instead decide what breeds you dont want(too high energy, too big/small, aggressive breeds, too much hair). any dog that isnt a "no" should be looked at to see if she is gentle and not timid. good .luck

4 moms found this helpful

Black lab...please adopt!

2 moms found this helpful

labs or lab mix they are usually laid back.. Go get your dog from a shelter as he/ she will be tested fixed and they can tell you temperament. I love my lab/ basset mix he's short blond and stubby.. no shedding.. jumps sometimes but he's a lovebug who loves my kids 15,13,10,8 and my kitties.

1 mom found this helpful

You might check out PAWS in Chicago to rescue a dog. They will ask you to first take a survey before showing you any dogs. They will only show you dogs that fit your criteria (engery level, no shedding, etc.). They are great! My brother just adopted a great dog from PAWS a few weeks ago.

As for me, we have a sweet greyhound that we've rescued from REGAP of Illinois. It's the perfect breed for our family. Retired greyhounds are couch potatoes and are great with kids. They do not shed much at all, if any. If interested in greyhounds, I recommend REGAP.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm a fan of petfinder.com. They are all rescues, some from shelters, pounds and some from rescue organizations. The beauty of that website is that, they're all rescues, you can search without getting emotionally involved yet and best yet, you can read about their individual personalities. We're big dog lovers here. My advice would be to take a breed you like, do the search and read about them. They all have their own personalities but at our house, we like the mixed breeds. They are healthier and less neurotic :). Good luck and thanks for rescuing!!

1 mom found this helpful

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.