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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there,

Im asking this on behalf of a friend, so please share your opinion!

What is the "ideal" breed for a family, but would also be good off leash as they live on a rural property with lots of acreage.

The first dog that came to mind was a Golden Retriever or a Lab, but I'm certainly not an expert!

Their looking to get this dog as a puppy, so they know some nipping and puppy behavior is to be expected. But we know (as I've learned recently lol) that some breeds are known to be "nippier", like BC's, so maybe that breed wouldn't be best for them.

Anyways let me know so I can pass along this info :)

ETA:
Hey guys,

Thanks for the opinions so far!

I spoke to my friend about the responses so far and they are looking for something that has a medium energy level, medium-large sized dog, something that doesnt shed too too much, and a dog that has a really good temperament. Oh and the off leash thing is important too because of their property.
 

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I don't think there is a universal good family dog...it depends on the family. Collies come to mind, but it really depends on what their expectations are, lower energy, high energy, what they plan to do with the dog, do they mind things like grooming, shedding, barking....labs and goldens have reps as family dogs, but the suburban families in my area are frequently overwhelmed by their energy levels and exercise needs.
 

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My ideal dog is one who soothes the baby when she cries, is an excellent watchdog and companion, is easy to train, shows great affection/enthusiasm for small attention.....Oh, were talking about a dog...not a spouse....sorry.
 

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I saw on Dogs 101 (tv show) that golden retrievers make great family dogs because of their disposition, always trying to please the owner, etc.
And from personal experiences, I remember as a kid, a lot of my friends' families had goldens and they were fun dogs.
 

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I saw on Dogs 101 (tv show) that golden retrievers make great family dogs because of their disposition, always trying to please the owner, etc.
And from personal experiences, I remember as a kid, a lot of my friends' families had goldens and they were fun dogs.

I agree with Sheltiemom. The perfect family dog is what fits your requirements (grooming, energy level, size, etc). Labs and goldens are good with kids and families. They do have a high energy level. Since they are so popular there are a lot of terribly bred dogs from both breeds around. You have to be very careful to find a good breeder and a good dog.

That being said, and I am admittedly biased, I think that collies, especially the smooth coats are great family dogs if you're looking for a larger dog.

I've heard a lot of good things about Brittanies in the medium size category. But I can't speak from experience.
 

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I think that completely depends on the family. They need to look at what characteristics would work for their family and research breeds from there. We happen to be a family that loves the herding dogs. We have an aussie, a border collie mix, we love the "quirks" that come with the herding dogs. We have had a lab, a sheltie mix, a rottie mix and english pointers. They all were perfect family dogs. Perfect for our family.

They can check out breeders, shelters, library, internet. Meeting many different types of dogs may help them find the perfect dog for their family.

Heather
 

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I've heard a lot of good things about Brittanies in the medium size category. But I can't speak from experience.
I almost mentioned Brittanies...my previous dog was a Brittany and was great with the kids...high energy though, would've been a great dog for someone who actually hunted. In his prime, my ex jogged with him and we hiked off leash with him. We had a hard time with his energy level, but I didn't know then what I know now about training, so...I would recommend them, but only to active families.
 

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I've had a Bull Mastiff that was gentle as lamb,that would tolerate abuse from children.If she got tired of them she just walked off. I've heard that Golden Retrivers were good with children,as well as Rottweilers,Bull Mastiffs,Boxers and German Shepards. I don't think you can pick out just one breed apart.It really depends on what breed they perfer.I agree with what PitBully said.
 

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We had goldens growing up and they were wonderful family dogs. But they are big, need adequate exercise, and they have long hair, so that must be taken into consideration.
I noticed no one had put down any small breeds. Are smaller dogs not considered to be ideal family dogs?
 

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Are smaller dogs not considered to be ideal family dogs?
They can make excellent family dogs. It's just that one has to teach children how to play "nicely" with the smaller breeds.

So many small breeds are bred from puppy peddlers or some other non-reputable source, that some will snap at children when grabbed the wrong way. Socialization could help with that to a degree, but then again, most people think it's adorable when small breeds flash their teeth and bite.

For example, Chihuahuas. They have to be some of the most over bred, high demanded, puppy peddler's dream breed. Don't get me wrong, I met some nice ones, and well, some not so nice ones.

PB
 

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I think the standard poodle fits the bill. No real high energy, super smart, great size, don't shed, live to please their owner and love kids!! They do require regular grooming, but they are worth every minute of it!!!
 

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There is no one "ideal" family dog, as all families are different, and all children have varying levels of gentleness around animals. A family should research each breed of interest to make sure that the breed is right for them.
 
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