A Breed of Your Own – How to Choose the Perfect Puppy for Your Family

    Welcoming a puppy or dog into your home is a life-changing and exciting decision for the entire family. Here are our top tips on how to help you decide if a dog is right for your family, and if so, which dog breed is best.

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    They can bring endless benefits to every family member, from teaching children about responsibility, to boosting emotional wellbeing.

    Puppies do of course require time, patience and dedication, and there’s a lot to think about and prepare for to make sure your new four-legged friend is happy, healthy and the perfect addition to your family.

    How to Choose the Perfect Puppy for Your Family

    It hard to know where to begin, so we spoke to the experts at the The Kennel Club who have shared some top tips on how to help you decide if a dog is right for your family, and if so, how to find the ‘pawfect’ match.

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    First steps

    There are some important questions to ask to check you’re all ready for a new furry family member and the responsibilities that comes with it:

    • Do we have the time give a new puppy or dog all the care and attention it needs, throughout its life? If you already have a busy family schedule with school runs and extracurricular activities to squeeze in this can be a challenge!
    • Will I be able to spend time training them? Older children often enjoy helping with this.
    • How will my family be changing during the lifetime of my dog, could a new baby be on the way? Is the eldest off to University? This may affect who is available to take care of your dog.
    • Will I be able to find and pay for a suitable dog sitter for when we go on family day trips or longer holidays?
    • Can I afford to care for them, insure them and pay for their veterinary care? Remember, this is a long-term financial commitment, so think about your families’ potential future outgoings too.
    • Will we be able to give them the amount of exercise they need, every day, all year round?

    If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you are ready to start looking for the right dog for your family!

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    Meeting your match

    Not only is every breed different, with their own needs in terms of exercise, training and grooming, but all dogs require a lifetime of love, care and attention, so it’s important to get everything right from the beginning. Kids should be involved in all of this groundwork too; if they aren’t interested enough to help you research, maybe they aren’t quite ready for a pet.

    If you want to find out which breed might suit your family and lifestyle best, Discover Dogs, which takes place in October in London, is a great opportunity to meet hundreds of different breeds and ask experts and breeders any questions you have to help you on your way to finding your perfect pup.

    There are of course several breeds known for being well-suited to families with children – breeds that are patient enough to handle a child’s energy and curiosity, strong enough to handle the way they play, but still gentle with affectionate personalities.

    Some of the best dog breeds for families with children include Labradors, who have a loyal nature; Golden Retrievers, who are intelligent and friendly; and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, often referred to as the ‘nanny’ dog because they feel most at home with a family.

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    Meet and greet

    Discover Dogs, London’s biggest dog event, gives families the opportunity to meet, greet and cuddle all types of dogs, of all shape and sizes, and to find out which breed might be best suited to their lifestyle. Organised by The Kennel Club and sponsored by Royal Canin,

    Discover Dogs features hundreds of different breed stands so visitors can learn more about their favourite four-legged friends from dedicated experts, find out more about how to buy a dog responsibly, and how to look after their new canine companion. It’s a weekend full of exploration and fun, with doggy demonstrations, ‘Kids Corner’ and The Young Kennel Club zone providing lots to do and see for kids too!

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    Discover Dogs

    Discover Dogs 2022 takes place at the Excel London from 15 – 16 October, tickets cost £18 or £15 for concessions and under 8s go free. More information and tickets are available at discoverdogs.org.uk.

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