Many dogs make wonderful family pets, however with hundreds of breeds to choose from, finding and picking the perfect one to fit your family, lifestyle and household can often feel overwhelming.

Considerations need to be made with respect to temperament, exercise and grooming requirements, and of course size…

Matching a dog’s natural predisposition to your family’s lifestyle is the best way to ensure that you find the perfect match for all family members to bond with, so to support you in doing so, the team at Your PetPA have put together their Top Ten recommended dog breeds for families.

1. Golden Retriever


Golden Retrievers are friendly, loyal, smart and tolerant dogs and in turn a wonderful family pet. Their intelligence and eagerness to please the ones they love, make them easy to train and obedient. Most importantly, they’re great with kids of all ages.

Dog group Gundogs
Country of origin UK
Life Span 12 – 13 years
Coat type Long, silky coat
Weight range 25 – 34kg
Recommended exercise 40 – 60 minutes a day

Golden Retrievers do shed profusely, especially in the warmer months. Daily brushing is recommended to prevent shedding all over your clothes and house, however if that is not an issue and you’re looking for a smart, affectionate, and extra cute companion to join the family – Golden Retrievers are our No. 1 choice!

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are outgoing, sporty, fearless, and eager to please dogs making for a wonderful choice for a family pet. Known for their ever-wagging tails, the Cavalier King Charles are happiest with their people or outdoors. Although a sporty dog that loves to join in on hikes, they get just as much enjoyment cosying up to family members on the couch.

Dog group Companion dogs
Country of origin UK
Life Span Over 12 years
Coat type Long, silky coat
Weight range 5 – 8kgs
Recommended exercise 40 – 60 minutes a day

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel do shed profusely, especially in the warmer months. Regular combing and brushing are recommended to prevent major shedding and mats. Although not the best watch dog, some Cavaliers will inform you of every event in your neighbourhood and bark ferociously when strangers approach.

3. Beagle


Beagles are one of the most popular scent hounds seen in family households. This active, happy-go-lucky and amiable breed is a popular choice for families who have access to a secure yard and spend a lot of time outdoors. Beagles are a friendly, outgoing, and loving dogs and inquisitive, determined, and highly motivated by food.

Dog group Scent dogs
Country of origin UK
Life Span 11 – 13 years
Coat type Short dense, tri colour coat
Weight range 9 – 11kgs
Recommended exercise 60 minutes a day

The most important thing to know about the Beagle is that being a scent hound, his nose is the most important part of his anatomy. His head is always going to be down to the ground, searching for an interesting trail to follow. Beagles will wander off if they catch an enticing smell in the air making them slightly more difficult to train.

4. Samoyed


Originally used for herding and guarding reindeer and for sled-hauling, this strikingly attractive breed is now recognized for its loving traits and loyal companionship. Also well-known for its devotion, easy-going, friendly, and playful personality, it’s no surprise that the Samoyed is being seen more and more in family homes.

Dog group Spitz-type dogs
Country of origin Russia
Life Span Over 12 years
Coat type Thick and soft coat
Weight range 16 – 30kgs
Recommended exercise 30 – 45 minutes a day

The Samoyed’s white, thick, and fluffy coat is beautiful, but to keep it in good condition requires rigorous grooming to brush out loose hair. Due to the Samoyed falling into the working dog group, a home with a large, securely fenced is necessary so he has room to romp and play.

5. Labrador Retriever


Labrador Retrievers are the perfect mix between sporty and playful and affectionate and loyal. Similarly, to the Golden Retriever, Labradors are incredibly friendly, trustworthy, intelligent, and easy-going dogs making for a wonderful family pet. Due to their enthusiastic and energetic personality, obedience training and enrichment need to be implemented to prevent destructive behaviour.

Dog group Gundogs
Country of origin Canada
Life Span 10 – 12 years
Coat type Short, soft coat
Weight range 25 – 37kgs
Recommended exercise 30 – 45 minutes a day

Labradors tend to eat and eat (and then continue to look for more food!). This can lead to obesity if strict diets suitable for age and size aren’t adhered to. Labrador coats require next to no maintenance with only light brushing recommend helping remove any lose hair.

6. Labradoodle


Originally bred in 1989 to be hypoallergenic guide dogs, this Poodle and Labrador Retriever cross has become a very popular family dog breed due to his friendly, affectionate, and sociable nature.  Labradoodles are happiest surrounded by people and will shower their family with love and devotion.

Dog group Crossbreed
Country of origin Australia
Life Span 10 – 12 years
Coat type Curly, thick hypoallergenic coat
Weight range Miniature 7 – 11kgs
Medium 14 – 20kgs
Standard 23 – 29kgs
Recommended exercise 30 – 45 minutes a day

Due to their thick curly coat, brushing is required at least twice a week and regular grooming to prevent knots and mats. Labradoodles are hyperactive, energetic dogs and are best suited for family homes that have access to a backyard.

7. Border Terrier


Known for their energetic and cheerful terrier traits but with an overarching relaxed personality, the Border Terrier is a small breed perfect for the family home. Originally bred for hunting foxes and rats, the Border Terriers still excels in trials but is also considered a highly popular pet with a soft and cooperative temperament.

Dog group Terriers
Country of origin UK
Life Span 13 – 14 years
Coat type Dense and short wiry coat
Weight range 5 – 7kgs
Recommended exercise 30 – 45 minutes a day

Border Terriers still have a strong drive to hunt, chase and dig. They can adapt easily to apartment living if daily exercise is provided. As long as you can offer this breed the attention it needs, it makes for a loyal and loving companion that is also great with kids. The coat requires weekly brushing and periodic stripping to remove the dead hair. This can be done by hand or using a striping tool, but clippers should never be used.

8. Australian Shepherd


Intelligent, hardworking, and versatile, the Australian Shepherd (also knows as the “Aussie”) is an even-tempered, no-nonsense dog who thrives in a family home where his brains and energy are put to good use. Although large backyards would be suitable for this breed, the Aussie can adapt to apartment living if adequate stimulation and daily exercise is provided.

Dog group Working dogs
Country of origin USA
Life Span 10 years
Coat type Thick wavy, medium length coat
Weight range 18 – 29kgs
Recommended exercise 45 – 60 minutes a day

Without enough exercise and mental stimulation, Australian Shepherds can be very destructive and bark for long periods. To prevent matting, their coat requires regular maintenance including brushing and possibly trimming to keep it looking tidy.

9. Bulldog


Adorable, wrinkly and full of character, the Bulldog is a symbol of courage, determination, and tenacity. Once used for bull-baiting, this breed is actually mellow, well-natured and loving. Although at times stubborn and protective, they rarely develop aggression tendencies making them the ideal household family pet. Although a low maintenance dog, the Bulldog requires daily exercise to prevent weight gain.

Dog group Working dogs
Country of origin UK
Life Span 8 – 12 years
Coat type Short, smooth coat
Weight range 23 – 25kgs
Recommended exercise 20 – 30 minutes a day

Bulldogs are sensitive to cold weather and do wheeze, snort and snore making them prone to sleep apnoea. As Bulldogs get older, they can become lazy and less enthusiastic towards exercise. Regular physical activity is important to help keep them fit and at an ideal weight. Bulldogs can be prone to skin issues and therefore cleaning daily between the wrinkle folds is sometimes necessary to maintain skin hygiene.

10. Cockapoo


The Cockapoo is an intelligent, gregarious, and relaxed dog making it an easy city or suburbia companion. Crossed between the Toy or Miniature Poodle and most commonly the English Cocker Spaniel, the Cockapoo has all the wonderful traits of both intelligent, well-mannered breeds. Being particularly affectionate, the Cockapoo loves to be close to its hoomans and is gentle with kids. They are highly food motivated making them enthusiastic and easy to train.

Dog group Crossbreed
Country of origin USA
Life Span 14 – 15 years
Coat type Single, smooth, hypoallergenic long coat
Weight range Toy Up to 5kg
Miniature 6 – 9kgs
Standard Over 10kgs
Recommended exercise 30 – 45 minutes a day

This happy go lucky breed can suffer from separation anxiety so training as a puppy is important. They are a non-shedding breed that require regular brushing (to prevent mats and knots) plus occasional professional grooming.

Overall, there are hundreds of dog breeds that can make the perfect family companion and research should be conducted on all your favourite breeds before deciding which one is suitable. Some breeds are more prone to health concerns or genetic issues and having awareness before choosing is your responsibility as a dog owner. If you would like further support around selecting the right breed for your family, book an appointment to speak with a Your PetPA veterinarian or nurse via our website or App.

Don’t forget to check out Your PetPA online store for dog food, dental and grooming supplies, and more.