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Dear Andrea,

Our children have been nagging us for some time to get a dog, and I’m thinking about finally giving into them. We want a breed that is child-friendly, doesn’t shed too much, is easy to train and doesn’t need too much exercise.

Any suggestions?

Hi Amy,

This is a great question and a very important one to consider when choosing a new dog to join the family. Here are some suggestions of dog breeds that may suit a young, busy family:

Poodles | poodle crosses ie. cavoodles, schnoodles, groodles etc: These have become very popular due to their low shedding coats and hypoallergenic hair. They are, therefore, very attractive as pets for people with allergies or families with young children. Although they don’t shed much hair, their coats may still require a bit of effort and dedication in keeping them clipped short and well-maintained. They are also intelligent, which makes them relatively easy to train. On the flip-side, ensure you have enough time to spend playing and interacting with them; otherwise, they may become bored.

Maltese | Shihtzu | LahsaApso |Bichon Frise: Size is another important consideration. Smaller dogs are generally easier to handle, plus their small size means they are lower cost in terms of food, bedding, parasite preventatives and medications. These small breed dogs are the perfect companion or lap dog, are relatively easy to train, enjoy playing games and don’t require extensive amounts of exercise. They don’t shed too much fur and are lower allergenic, but their coats may require some level of maintenance.

Whippet | Greyhound: These breeds have a gentle, loving nature and don’t require extensive exercise. They don’t shed as much hair as other breeds, and their coats require almost no maintenance. Ensure you have enough space for them to roam around if they require, but they will also be just as happy lazing on the couch with you.

Golden retrievers | Labradors: These larger breed dogs are known for their beautiful, loyal personality. They do require a moderate level of exercise and maintenance but are suitable for young families due to their gentle nature, good behaviour and ability to train them well.

These are just a few ideas, but there are many other breeds of dogs out there that may fit in with your family. You may also consider adopting a dog – many older or more mature dogs may already be well-trained, and may also be less energetic and more independent than a puppy or younger dog. The other benefit is their personality is already developed, so you may have a better idea of whether they might be a good fit. I’m sure the right dog is out there waiting for you!

Dr Andrea Khong
Maldon Vet Clinic 

Tarrangower Times 20 January 2023

This article appeared in the Tarrangower Times, 20 January 2023.


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