When choosing the best big dog as a family pet, do not overlook the large dog breeds. Some big dogs are very gentle, patient, clean, and make faithful companions for all family members. The important message is to research breeds thoroughly to ensure that the match between the dog and your family is a successful one.
This is possibly the most popular breed chosen to be a family pet. Gentle and affectionate, the Golden Retriever is a good playmate for children. It is also easy going and generally adjusts well to other animals. The Golden is intelligent and eager to please. With training, he is well-behaved and does well either inside or outside. This dog has a medium-length coat that sheds. However, thorough brushing and proper grooming will minimize the shedding and keep the beautiful coat in top condition.
The Labrador Retriever is also a highly favored breed for a family pet. This dog has a stable and calm temperament and is almost never aggressive. The Lab is good with children, socializes well, and tolerates other animals. However, this breed is a working dog, loves exercise, and should not be confined for long periods of time. The Labrador Retriever has a short coat but with a thick undercoat. Regular brushing helps reduce the mild shedding of this breed’s undercoat.
If you are looking for a big dog for your family pet, this is just about the largest you will find! The Great Dane loves children and is a gentle playmate despite his large size. They are also very loyal guardians and protective of their property. This dog has very little body fat and does not tolerate extreme heat or cold. Therefore, the Great Dane must be an inside dog. The short, fine coat is easily maintained with light brushing to remove loose hair.
Most everyone remembers Lassie as the perfect family pet. Collies are naturally obedient and make very good companions for children. However, do not expect this breed to be a fierce guardian. The Collie is too friendly, even to strangers. That long beautiful coat will shed and regular brushing is a must to keep the Collie free of matted hair.
Bred for speed, the beautiful Greyhound is poetry in motion. Built long, lean, and muscular with a competitive spirit; this dog is surprisingly tranquil in the house and is known as a “couch potato.” Despite the body size, Greyhounds are as easily adaptable to an apartment as to a large house. Plenty of outdoor exercises and a controlled diet are required to keep the Greyhound fit and to prevent obesity. Although this breed is almost always friendly with people, he can become very excited at the sight of a cat, squirrel, or another small dog that may provide a good chase. Therefore, the Greyhound should always be exercised in a fenced area or on a leash with a specially designed collar to fit the thick neck without slipping off over the sleek head. Ears should be kept clean and the toenails should be trimmed regularly. Shedding of the short coat is minimal. Greyhounds have very little body fat and are susceptible to the elements and should be kept inside the house.
The stout and courageous Boxer was originally bred to hunt fierce game such as bear and wild boar. It also has a history of military and police service. Although playful and full of energy, the Boxer is gentle and very good with children. Lots of outdoor exercises is required to prevent the breed’s tendency to become obese. The Boxer’s short coat sheds, but regular brushing will keep loose hair to a minimum. This is another breed that is too sensitive to temperature to be kept outside and must be an inside pet.
Poodles have always been a favorite companion breed. Unlike the more nervous and excitable miniature, the Standard Poodle is brave, self-confident, and better suited for children. The Standard Poodle is very affectionate, loyal, and quick to learn both desired and undesired behaviors. Originating in Germany, the Standard Poodle was bred to retrieve waterfowl. The classic poodle haircut now seen in the show ring was designed to allow the dog to swim freely while protecting vital organs and joints from the cold water. People suffering from allergies particularly like this breed because it does not shed or have dander. Regular grooming includes weekly bathing and brushing. Professional clipping, ear cleaning, and nail trimming are recommended every three to six weeks. Because of this rather high maintenance, the Standard Poodle is strictly an inside dog.
The English Setter, bred for hunting birds, is often more personable than other sporting breeds. This dog is quiet, naturally well-mannered, and loyal to family members. It is also easy going with other animals and makes a very good house dog. Regular physical exercise is important to keep the dog happy. Excessive confinement for prolonged periods causes this naturally active dog to become ill-tempered and aggressive. The luxurious coat must be brushed daily for proper maintenance.
BLACK TAN COONHOUND
With the floppy ears and droopy jowls, the Black Tan Coonhound closely resembles a bloodhound. The Coonhound is a courageous hunter once used to hunt large dangerous game such as puma. This dog rarely barks unless the hunted game has been cornered. He is gentle, good-natured, and patient with children. However, the Black Tan Coonhound is extremely active and is best exercised freely outdoors for several hours a day. This makes this breed an excellent choice for a family farm dog. Weekly grooming will keep the short coat healthy and clean.
Choosing a Rottweiler as a family pet is not for the timid dog owner. Bred to both drive and protect livestock, this breed is extremely self-confident and strong-willed. Rottweilers have amazing stamina and muscle and were also used to pull heavy carts. This breed is also highly intelligent and is not vicious by nature. Early obedience training, proper socializing, and kind handling ensure the Rottweiler to becomes a loyal and gentle family pet.
Those breeds already discussed are more familiar and are commonly found throughout the nation. There are also several breeds which are not so commonly known but are excellent candidates for family pets. Those breeds include:
• Swiss Mountain Dog
• Bernese Mountain Dog
• Dogo Argentino
• Polish Lowland Sheepdog
• Catalonian Sheepdog
Most large dog breeds are either working or sporting dogs. In either case, large dogs need physical exercise as well as mental stimulation. If you are considering adding a large dog breed to your family, research the background of breeds that interest you. Knowing what the breed’s purpose is will help you decide if that activity fits the lifestyle you can offer your new pet.