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Why Labradors Are the Best Family Dog

Why Labradors Are the Best Family Dog

If you're a dog lover, then your family most likely doesn't feel complete without a canine companion and the pitter-patter of four little paws running about your house. A dog brings something very special into the family dynamic, and if you have children, your pup and your kids can quickly become the best of pals. 

If you have visions of your dog-to-be and your children frolicking together in the backyard and being an inseparable bunch, then you are no doubt paying close attention to which dog breeds are supposed to be a good match for families. While some breeds, like Labradors, are known to be a better fit than others for homes with kids, every pup is different and unique. Therefore, before you purchase or adopt a dog, make sure you get to meet your potential new pooch before making your final decision. 

three black labradors in a field

The Labrador: Family Dog and Ultimate Companion

Labradors are one of the most lovable and playful dog breeds on the planet, and they are known for being exceptionally great with children. Of course, Labs are also extremely energetic and bouncy bundles of fur, which might explain why they make such a perfect match for young kids. These loving dogs are also very faithful and relaxed, but won’t hesitate to stand alert when needed, making them excellent guard dogs. 

While you never want to make assumptions about any dog, you can be pretty confident that adding a Lab to your family is a great choice. Here are 8 reasons why a Labrador is the best family dog:

  • A Labrador is full of energy and vigor, making him the ultimate doggy playmate.
  • A Labrador is very loving and friendly.
  • A Labrador, while active, is also very relaxed, making him very tolerant of young children. 
  • A Labrador is family-oriented and loves being a part of his human pack.
  • A Labrador is loyal to his family, and although not aggressive, will stay on alert like a faithful and devoted guard.
  • A Labrador is very patient and even-tempered. 
  • A Labrador has a high threshold for activity, and can keep up with the most active of children.
  • A Labrador is eager to please and very trainable.

yellow lab puppies playing in a field

Getting To Know the Labrador

When it comes to positive qualities, there’s a long list for the Labrador: family dog, faithful friend, constant companion, devoted guard, and many more. However, no matter how wonderful a pup’s personality is, that isn’t the only thing that you should consider when selecting a dog for your family. You also need to take into account the basic facts about the breed, such as size, grooming requirements, trainability, and health concerns. 

For example, a Lab might be a great companion for your kids, but what if you live in a tiny apartment with no backyard? In this situation, getting your Labrador the exercise he desperately needs might become a bit of a problem. On the other hand, you could find a dog that is the perfect size, but requires extensive grooming that you aren’t prepared to handle. In other words, personality and temperament are not the only considerations when it comes to finding the best dog for your family. 

Knowing the basics about any dog breed is important before you decide to bring a pup into your home. The more you know in the beginning, the less likely you are to be hit with any major surprises down the road. 

Here are some good-to-know facts about the intelligent and exuberant Labrador:

SIZE

The average height of a Lab is between 21.5 and 24.5 inches, and the average weight is roughly 55 to 80 pounds. The males, as is common with most dog breeds, are usually slightly larger than the females.

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

A Labrador lives an average of 10 to 12 years, so keep this in mind when deciding whether to adopt a younger or older dog, especially if your children are still very young. 

 

GROOMING NEEDS

A Labrador doesn’t require extensive grooming, but he does have a thick, double-coat that sheds. This pup just needs an occasional bath, regular nail trims and dental care, and a good once-over with a brush every week to help get rid of loose hair. 

 

HEALTH ISSUES

Overall, Labs are a pretty sturdy breed, and if you get your pup from a reputable breeder, then he’s likely to be screened for a number of different issues like hip dysplasia, heart conditions, eye problems, and muscle weakness. Like other large breeds, Labs are subject to a condition known as bloat, so knowing the facts about these potential issues is always a plus. 

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

A Labrador needs to exercise a lot and he needs to do it every day. If your Lab doesn’t get enough opportunities to engage in appropriate levels of exercise, the result is likely to be a dog that ends up getting into mischief and is rather unruly and hard to handle.  Therefore, one of your main responsibilities is to see that your dog gets adequate exercise, whether it’s snapping on a leash and taking him along on your morning jog, tossing a frisbee at the park or any number of creative activities that you can come up with. Labs also really enjoy swimming and participating in a variety of events like agility training and tracking. 

When you aren’t able to play with your pup, or for times when you’re not at home, provide your Labrador with items that can help keep him stimulated and focused, like the Rolly Cannoli and other interactive toys or treat puzzles. 

 

TRAINING

A Labrador is very intelligent and eager to please his family, but he’s also very energetic, so early training is key to help him focus. It’s also important to provide ample opportunities for socialization by exposing your Lab to a variety of positive people, places, and events so he can become the well-behaved and well-mannered pooch he’s meant to be. You can start with the basics by enrolling him in a puppy obedience class, which is also a great way for him to socialize, and then you can progress to teaching him some fun tricks that are sure to make your kids smile.

a black lab and a yellow lab playing in a yard

Labradors and Kids

Although Labs are known for being great dogs for homes with children, it is still important that both your new pup and your kids understand how to treat each other. Make sure that your children know how to properly interact with a dog and that they are aware of any special rules regarding your new furry family member. Likewise, as soon as you bring your new Lab home, it’s imperative that you begin training him right away and set clear expectations about what behavior is acceptable and what is off-limits. 

When you’re ready to add a Labrador to the family, petfinder.com is a great place to start your search. You can also check out National Labrador Rescue Groups if you decide that you want to rescue an animal in need. Don’t miss out on more awesome tips and helpful information that can turn you into the super pet parent that you want to be! Check out the rest of our blogs, and learn all about how you can do the very best for your pets!
  • Fernando Becattini
Why Doberman Pinschers Are the Best Family Dog

Why Doberman Pinschers Are the Best Family Dog

A dog has long been considered the ultimate companion, having the ability to become a true member of a human family. If you already are blessed with a dog, then you most likely already know this to be true. On the other hand, if you are reading this because you are considering adding a dog to your family, then you no doubt hope to find a pup that fits this description. A dog can be a loyal friend, a guardian, a playmate, and yes, in many ways, a big furry kid. 

Of course, a dog is also a unique animal, with a distinct personality and temperament that are all his own. Sure, there are characteristics associated with the various dog breeds, but ultimately, each dog is different. Still, before you get a new pooch, whether you plan to purchase or adopt a dog, knowing the traits that are the most common in a given breed is a good first step. When it comes to getting a Doberman Pinscher, there are a few key factors to consider about this alert and regal canine.

Doberman Pinscher standing in a field

The Doberman Pinscher: Family Dog Material?

The critical point to remember if you have kids is that it is extremely important to train your Doberman from the beginning, provide proper socialization, and make sure he is introduced to the family unit right away. A Doberman is one of 14 breeds that is often found on the insurance blacklist because of the strong drive to protect his property, family, and himself, even if it means he must attack. 

If you have babies or young kids, it is strongly advised to seek out a Doberman puppy that can be raised alongside the children so he associates them with his own pack. When you do this, the Doberman can become a wonderful family pet. Here are 5 reasons why a Doberman Pinscher can make the best family dog, 

  • A Doberman Pinscher is extremely loyal to his family.
  • A Doberman Pinscher is very sweet and affectionate with the family children, provided he has been raised with them. He views the kids as the puppies in the pack.
  • A Doberman Pinscher is a fantastic guard dog that will be the ultimate protector for your kids.
  • A Doberman Pinscher pup has a lot of energy, so he can be a great playmate for young children when both are introduced to each other at a young age.

Doberman Pinscher playing in a field

Getting To Know the Doberman Pinscher

Again, it bears repeating that despite the common traits associated with a breed, each pup is different, and a Doberman is certainly no exception to this rule. Each individual Doberman Pinscher has a very distinct personality that must be learned and understood when you decide to add him to your family. 

However, while personalities can vary, there are certain elements that tend to be pretty consistent throughout a breed, and those are the basic stats like size, lifespan, and exercise needs, to name a few.

Knowing these breed basics about the pooch you plan to bring home is important so you are less likely to get hit with any surprises down the road. Things like ending up with a dog that grew much bigger than you expected or a pup that ends up needing an insane amount of grooming can be aspects of dog ownership that you didn’t necessarily want.

Here are some good-to-know facts about the intelligent and ever-vigilant Doberman Pinscher: 

SIZE

No matter how you slice it, a Doberman Pinscher is a large breed, so if you’re looking for a puppy that is going to stay small, you need to look elsewhere. This noble pup stands anywhere from 24 to 28 inches tall and can weigh roughly 60 to 100 pounds. As is common with most breeds, the males usually fall within the higher end of both height and weight. In addition to his large size, a Doberman also possesses a very sleek, muscular physique, so it’s no wonder that he can be quite the imposing figure and make strangers think twice.

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

A Doberman lives for about 10 to 12 years, on average, so this is worth considering when you choose to adopt a younger or older dog.  However, even more important is the recommendation that families with young children really need to get a Doberman as a puppy. This combination inevitably means you will face a very hard discussion with your kids when they get older.

 

GROOMING NEEDS

A Doberman is an extremely easy breed to care for when it comes to grooming, so if you are looking for a low-maintenance dog in the grooming department, then this could be the pup for you. To simply keep his ears clean, you can gently wipe down the insides with a soft cloth to help protect against things like mites and infections, and regularly trim his nails and brush his teeth. 

You only need to give a Doberman an occasional bath, and his short coat means extensive brushing is not necessary. However, a Dobermanan does tend to shed a lot, so a quick, daily go-over with a brush or grooming mitt can make a huge difference in keeping your house free from dog hair.

 

HEALTH ISSUES

Overall, this breed is pretty healthy, but it is still prone to several conditions, all of which your pup should be screened for if you get him from a reputable breeder. Some of these conditions include enlarged heart, hip dysplasia, bloat, hypothyroidism, and Willebrand’s Disease. You can read the Official Breed Club Health Statement for more information. 

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

A Doberman needs a lot of exercise, both for his body and for his mind. This active pup would love to join you on long hikes, jogs, and engage in a number of different training classes like agility and tracking. A Doberman also enjoys swimming, even though he isn’t considered a natural swimmer.

While snapping on a leash and taking your Doberman for a walk is a great start, you can bet that some additional unique activities should also be included in your pal’s exercise routine. Providing your pup with fun toys that help keep him engaged and can pique his mental curiosity, like the Rolly Cannoli, is also a big plus. The idea is to keep your Doberman properly stimulated and give him ample opportunities to expend some energy so he can maintain overall healthy well-being.

TRAINING

A Doberman is extremely eager to please and highly-intelligent, making training a breeze. However, this pup can also be strong-willed, which is why early socialization and training are so important. You definitely want to establish who is boss from the get-go with this dog. Since training comes so naturally to this breed, you can start with the basics and then go ahead and try out some fun tricks too.

Doberman Pinscher up close

Doberman Pinschers and Kids

Basically no matter why you decide to get a Doberman Pinscher: family dog, service animal, guard dog, or faithful friend, it is up to you to make sure your pup is properly socialized and trained to be around others. If your intention is to add a Doberman into a household with kids, then extra precautions are a good idea. Teach your kids how to properly handle animals, how to behave around dogs, and other essentials like not to go by a dog when he is eating. Likewise, teach your dog about how to behave around kids, both of these steps are important to ensuring a safe and happy relationship between your children and pup.

When you’re ready to add a Doberman to the family, petfinder.com is a good starting point. You can also check out National Doberman Pinscher Rescue Groups if you decide to go the rescue route. For more helpful tips and resources about pets and how you can do what is best for your furry family members, make sure to check out the rest of our blogs. We aim to give you the information you need to be awesome pet parents!
  • Fernando Becattini
Why Boxers Are the Best Family Dog

Why Boxers Are the Best Family Dog

If you already have a dog, then you know there's nothing quite like it in the world. A dog brings so much joy and love into your life that sometimes it's hard to imagine not having a canine companion. If you're considering adding a dog to your family, then there are several different traits that you probably have in mind for your new puppy. For example, you most likely want a dog that is loving and affectionate, a great playmate for your children, and patient.

When it comes to the search for the perfect dog, there are almost endless options at your disposal. A Boxer has long been considered a great pick for families with children. This lively pup is full of energy and absolutely loves to play, making him an excellent playmate that can keep up with even the most active kids. However, it's also important to remember that a Boxer is also big, so keep this in mind if you plan to have your pup play with very small children. Of course, with proper training, your canine pal will know how to behave appropriately around kids and therefore, can be an excellent companion for years to come.

boxer standing in field

The Boxer: Family Dog and Friend

Here are 6 reasons why a Boxer makes a wonderful choice if you’re looking for the best family dog:

  • A Boxer is extremely energetic and can keep up with playful children.
  • A Boxer is a durable breed, so he can withstand pretty much anything your kids can dish out.
  • A Boxer is very patient and tolerates children very well.
  • A Boxer is very affectionate and loving.
  • A Boxer is protective of his family and will look out for your kids.
  • A Boxer loves to play and will happily run around with your children all day long if given the chance. 

boxer dog up close

Getting To Know the Boxer

Undoubtedly a Boxer's loving and playful personality makes him a great match for families with children, but there are some important things to keep in mind when it comes to this sprightly breed. Most importantly, a Boxer is big and very rambunctious. This can be a frightening combination for very small children. Therefore, if you plan to bring a Boxer into a home with a baby or very young kids, you will definitely want to keep this critical point in mind. Of course, you should always supervise children around any dog, but large dogs especially need to be watched closely when interacting with very small kids. This is just one example of why it's always important to know the basics of any dog breed before you make your final decision to add him to your family. 

Knowing the basics helps ensure that you don’t have too many surprises as your puppy grows into adulthood. Here are some good-to-know facts about the rowdy but sweet Boxer: 

 

SIZE

A Boxer, as already mentioned, is a large pooch. The females are usually about 21.5 to 23.5 inches tall and males can be as tall as 25 inches. A male Boxer weighs between 65 and 80 pounds, while females usually weigh between 50 and 65 pounds. 

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

When you are trying to decide if you should purchase or adopt a younger or older dog, knowing the average lifespan of your potential pup is a key factor.  This is especially true if you have children that you want to grow up with your puppy. A Boxer has a life expectancy of about 10 to 12 years, and since he is so large, getting a puppy when your kids are already 4 or 5 years old could be a great compromise. 

 

GROOMING NEEDS

A Boxer requires very little grooming and has a beautiful shiny coat that can be kept looking its best with a quick brush or once-over with a hound glove (used to increase the luster of the coat) a couple of times a week. His nails should be trimmed about once a month depending on how much he wears them down on his own playing outside. It's also very important with this breed to keep up with regular dental care, and daily teeth brushing is highly recommended to avoid tartar buildup.

HEALTH ISSUES

As with any dog, if you get your puppy from a reputable breeder, then he should be screened for a number of different health issues that are specific to his breed. A Boxer is prone to several conditions including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, heart conditions, and thyroid issues. This breed is also very susceptible to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, so he should always live indoors with his family. You can find more information by checking out the Official Breed Club Health Statement.

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

A Boxer is highly active and requires a lot of daily exercise. He also loves to run wild and chase just about anything, so it's important to remember to keep him on a leash unless you are in a fenced-in yard. Although a Boxer loves to play and enjoys a number of different activities,  swimming is not one of them. This large pup tends to have difficulty staying afloat which can make him a little afraid of the water. Unless you plan to invest a lot of time and effort into training your Boxer to swim, stick to land activities and provide your pup with ample objects to keep him busy and engaged, like the Rolly Cannoli, during the times that you can’t be his playmate.

 

TRAINING

Boxers are extremely intelligent and often make excellent service or therapy dogs, as well as top performers in different dog sports. A Boxer excels in things like agility training and tracking exercises and can gain many benefits from participating in these types of classes. A puppy is especially jumpy and rowdy, and therefore, needs to be reigned in early on with proper training and positive socialization.  Although very smart, a Boxer also tends to have a mind of his own and can get bored with doing the same thing over and over again. Therefore, for the best results keep training sessions short and sweet.

boxer dog playful

Boxers and Kids

Basically, a Boxer is an excellent choice for a family with children. He is an incredible playmate and is extremely devoted to his family. Still, as is true with any breed, it is important to properly prepare your children and your home for any new pup that you plan to add to the mix. Talk with your kids about how to interact appropriately with a dog, how to handle an animal, and other basic rules that you want them to follow, such as not going by a dog when he is eating. It's also important to prep your dog for being around children, so make sure you start a training program immediately, give your Boxer ample opportunities for early socialization experiences, and introduce him to your children in a positive way. 

Once you’re ready to find the perfect dog for your family, then it’s time to begin your search! You can adopt a dog or seek out a reputable breeder if you opt to buy your pet. A great place to start is petfinder.com, or if you decide to rescue your new furry family member, check out some of the different boxer rescue groups so you can see multiple pups in need of a good home.

At Neater Pets, we want to make sure you have the information you need to be a super pet parent. Check out the rest of our blogs for helpful tips, awesome products, and other handy resources. When you take the time to learn, you’re setting yourself up to be the best that you can be for your special furry friends.
  • Fernando Becattini
Why Chinese Shar-Peis Are the Best Family Dog

Why Chinese Shar-Peis Are the Best Family Dog

When you add a dog to your family, something amazing happens, it’s like your heart expands and your life is instantly richer. There is no questioning the undeniable feeling of warmth you get when you get a new pup, but if you have children, there are some extra-special factors to consider. The most obvious question being, is this new dog a good fit for a family with kids?

There are a number of great dogs out there, and many of them are fantastic choices for families with children. However, there are also some breeds that are better suited to non-kid households or homes with older kids. A Chinese Shar-Pei tends to fall within the latter category, being a very loyal and protective dog that can be a great addition to a family with older children. Although this breed doesn’t appear on the insurance blacklist, you still need to carefully weigh the dog’s individual personality, and you might want to seek out a young puppy that you can train from the beginning. 

Chinese Shar-Pei puppies running

The Chinese Shar-Pei: Family Dog and Protector  

Here are four reasons why a Chinese Shar-Pei can make the best family dog if trained and socialized rigorously and early:

  • A Chinese Shar-Pei has a calm demeanor, which is always a bonus when it comes to kids.
  • A Chinese Shar-Pei, if properly trained, is a well-mannered pooch.
  • A Chinese Shar-Pei is protective of his family.
  • A Chinese Shar-Pei, as long as socialized early on, loves to be a devoted companion to his family and is extremely loyal.

Chinese Shar-Pei laying down

Getting To Know the Chinese Shar-Pei

The most important thing to remember when it comes to choosing the perfect pup for your family is that each dog is different, even within the same breed. Therefore, if you have children, it’s critical to meet the actual pup that you will bring into your home. In addition to your new pal’s personality, it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the basics of the breed. For example, if you want a pooch that is easy to groom, you probably wouldn’t want to get a Shih Tzu or a Cocker Spaniel, no matter how cute they are. 

Knowing the basics of any dog breed that you plan to add to your family is an important first step in finding the right pup for you. Here are some good-to-know facts about the protective and intelligent Chinese Shar-Pei: 

 

SIZE

A Chinese Shar-Pei is a medium to large breed that is between 18 and 20 inches tall and roughly 45 to 60 pounds. 

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

If you are trying to decide between whether you should purchase or adopt a younger or older dog, your future pup’s lifespan plays a big role in your decision. This is especially true when it comes to finding a dog to grow up with your kids. In the case of a Chinese Shar-Pei, which has a lifespan of about 8 to 12 years, households with older kids are usually a better match, so finding a puppy could be the perfect situation.

 

GROOMING NEEDS

The wrinkly-faced, short-haired Chinese Shar-Pei only needs a little bit of regular grooming that includes an occasional bath (about once a month), and regular weekly nail trims and ear cleanings. It’s best to get this pooch accustomed to a grooming routine at an early age, especially when it comes to his nails and ears. You can use an ear-cleaning solution to help loosen up debris and gently wipe the dirt away with a soft cloth; your vet can recommend some good products that you can try.  

 

HEALTH ISSUES

This breed comes with several health concerns that you need to be aware of including a host of eye conditions like eyelid entropion, glaucoma, and retinal dysplasia. If you get your pup from a reputable breeder, make sure that your dog has been properly screened for a variety of conditions including hip dysplasia, elbow problems, patella issues, thyroid problems, and several potential eye issues. You can learn more about this breed’s specific health problems by visiting The Chinese Shar-Pei Club of America.

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

If you’re looking for a breed with flexible exercise requirements, then the Chinese Shar-Pei can be a good option. Each dog has his own unique needs and can be perfectly content with a variety of activities that exercise both his body and his mind. This pup can do well in an apartment with access to interactive toys like the Rolly Cannoli and daily walks, but he can also do well with intensive agility training and other rigorous forms of exercise. Ultimately, it’s up to your dog’s individual personality to determine if you’ll need to get some special equipment to meet his activity needs or if a simple leash will do. 

 

TRAINING

This pup is very smart, but he can also be too smart and stubborn, always wanting to do things his own way. Therefore, early training and proper socialization are imperative to raising a well-mannered and well-behaved Chinese Shar-Pei. Keep your sessions positive and consider enrolling your dog into puppy classes to get the ball rolling from the very beginning. If you run into any issues with training, talk to your vet and seek out the advice of an expert. You do not want to get lax with training when it comes to a Chinese Shar-Pei, as this dominant breed will likely decide that he is the boss. 

Chinese Shar-Pei puppies playing

Chinese Shar-Peis and Kids

There are many roles that can be played by a Chinese Shar-Pei: family dog, guard, hunter, or companion. If you’re looking for a family dog, ultimately, it’s worth keeping in mind that you should never assume anything about a pup’s behavior. Even if a particular breed is known to be fabulous with kids (or the opposite), each dog has his own distinct personality and habits that will affect how he acts around children. Therefore, learn all that you can about your future canine companion and always take the time to meet him in person before making your final decision. 

You should also plan on starting a thorough and comprehensive training program with your new pup immediately, and with a Chinese Shar-Pei, numerous opportunities for positive socialization are extremely important. It’s also critical that you prepare the members of your household for your new pet by discussing how to properly interact with a dog. Set clear rules and expectations for both your children and your new pup, and avoid leaving young children and pets alone together. 

Now that you know more about the devoted Chinese Shar-Pei, you can decide if this pup is the right fit for you and your family. If you decide to move forward and purchase or adopt a dog, you can start your search at petfinder.com or the North American Shar-Pei Rescue

When you’re looking for helpful tips about how to care for your pets, or you just want to learn more about your faithful friend, check out the rest of our blogs. At Neater Pets, we pride ourselves on getting you the information that you need to make informed choices that allow you to do what is best for your beloved furry pals.
  • Fernando Becattini
Why Basset Hounds Are the Best Family Dog

Why Basset Hounds Are the Best Family Dog

A dog becomes an extremely special part of a family, especially when it grows up with your children. Finding a faithful and loving pup that will not only tolerate your kids but also love them and watch out for them, is an amazing thing. A dog has an impeccable ability to endear itself to humans, and when we find the perfect pooch, we are smitten from day one. 

Of course, just like humans, a dog comes with his own unique personality, temperament, and habits, and it’s up to you to do your due diligence and decide if your future furry housemate is a good match for a home with kids. Certain breeds make excellent companions but tend to be better suited to a one-owner situation, while other breeds are used to being part of a pack and thrive on living with a family.  A Basset Hound is one of the latter, used to hunting in packs, this floppy-eared dog enjoys being around others, and does well with both children and other pets. 

three basset hound dogs

The Basset Hound: Family Dog and Friend

Here are 8 reasons why a Basset Hound is an excellent choice for a home with kids and can be the best family dog:

  • A Basset Hound is very loving.
  • A Basset Hound is a sturdy dog with lots of stamina, which means he can keep up with energetic and active children.
  • A Basset Hound is friendly and outgoing.
  • A Basset Hound loves to be around people, including children.
  • A Basset Hound has an easygoing nature.
  • A Basset Hound is very playful.
  • A Basset Hound is patient and very tolerant of noise and lots of activity.
  • A Basset Hound is loyal and protective of his family and will look out for your children.

basset hound on a leash

Getting To Know the Basset Hound

There is no question that a basset possesses some of the most sought-after traits you would want in a dog that spends a lot of time with kids. However, when you’re researching potential pups to add to the family, it isn’t all about personality (although it plays a very big part). You also need to consider factors like size, required care, and your budget when you determine if a pup is a good fit for your family. For example, if you live in a small apartment, you definitely don’t want to adopt a sweet puppy that seems to be perfect with your kids, only to realize that he will be about 200 pounds when fully-grown. 

Knowing the basics about the breed you plan to bring home is a must so you can ensure your relationship with your pup can grow and last over time. Here are some good-to-know facts about the playful and gentle Basset Hound: 

 

SIZE

A Basset Hound hugs the border between a medium and large breed, so if you’re sold on this low-key pooch but would prefer the smaller end of the scale, consider choosing a female. The females of a breed tend to be smaller than the males, although that doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up with a smaller pup. Bassets stand roughly 14 inches high and some can reach up to 15 inches, and bassets weigh between 40 and 65 pounds.

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

A Basset Hound’s average life expectancy is 12 to 13 years. Whether you get your dog from a breeder, or you decide to adopt or rescue your new pal, knowing a pup’s lifespan can help you decide whether you want to purchase or adopt a younger or older dog.  This is especially important if you have young children and want a dog that can grow up with your kids.

 

GROOMING NEEDS

A Basset Hound has a short coat, but don’t be fooled into thinking that means you won’t have to brush him regularly. Despite his short coat, a basset sheds a lot, which means you need to brush him a few times a week to help get rid of dead and loose hair. This routine brushing keeps your pup (and your furniture) clean, in addition to an occasional bath to help his coat stay nice and shiny. 

You also need to make sure his nails are regularly trimmed, keep his eyes clean, and attend to regular dental care. A basset hound should have his teeth brushed twice a week with a special doggy toothpaste. Also, a basset’s ears are prone to mites and infections since they hang low and don’t allow air to circulate, so it’s imperative to regularly check and clean his ears. 

 

HEALTH ISSUES

As mentioned above, this pup’s droopy ears make him susceptible to ear infections and ear mites, so it’s important to stay on top of grooming when it comes to cleaning and checking his ears. You can also use an elevated bowl with raised sides to help keep your dog’s long ears from falling into his food and water. Reputable breeders will screen for a variety of other conditions in this breed, including hip dysplasia, glaucoma, luxating patella, and elbow dysplasia.  

 

EXERCISE NEEDS

A basset doesn’t require too much exercise, but he loves to play. Therefore, a daily walk and a few play sessions with the kids are often all this dog needs before he settles in for a long nap. It’s worth noting that this dog is not very good in the water, so swimming is probably not the best choice for playtime. 

Since this pooch loves to be a part of a pack, family walks are a great way to spend time together and bond. You can let older children hold the leash and use the walks as a way to assign some responsibility for your basset’s care to your kids. Even though this breed doesn’t need a lot of exercise, regular activity is still important to make sure your furry friend doesn’t end up overweight.

 

TRAINING

This pup can be pretty smart, but he can also be very stubborn, which can end up making training a little tough. However, it’s not impossible, and with early socialization and lots of yummy rewards, you can train your basset to be a well-behaved, well-rounded companion. Make sure to keep training sessions positive and consistent, and over time your pup will respond very well.

basset hound laying down

Basset Hounds and Kids

There are many ways you can characterize a basset hound: family dog, hunting companion, couch potato, and of course, loyal friend. Still, if you plan to add any pup into your family, proper preparation is always important. Make sure all children in the household know how to appropriately interact and touch a dog, as well as basic rules and expectations, such as don’t go by a dog when he is eating. It’s also important to set early expectations with your new pooch as well and make sure that training starts right away. If you check all of these boxes, your basset hound can become a wonderful and loving addition to your family. 

If you decide you’re ready to take the plunge and add a basset hound to your tribe, then your next step is to find the perfect pup. You can adopt a dog or find one through a reputable breeder. A great starting point is petfinder.com, and if you decide to rescue a basset, check out some of the different basset hound rescue groups that have many precious pups looking for a new home.

You can find more great tips and resources about pets by checking out the rest of our blogs. At Neater Pets, we make it our goal to give you helpful information in one place so you can give your pets the very best!
  • Fernando Becattini
Why Poodles Are the Best Family Dog

Why Poodles Are the Best Family Dog

A dog has an amazing ability to become a special part of our family. Somehow, this bundle of fur that may or may not drool all over your belongings, has the capacity to fill a huge part of your heart. Therefore, it’s no surprise that over 63 million people in the US have decided to bring a dog into their lives.

But, what makes a pup a good fit for a family? There are so many different kinds of dogs, ranging from tiny to large breeds and a whole host of varied personalities. You probably want your pooch to have qualities like friendliness, loyalty, and trust if you have a home with kids. Perhaps one of the most popular dog breeds, the poodle, could be the right choice for you.

brown poodle

Why a Poodle Is a Great Choice for Families

Although a toy poodle might be considered too tiny for homes with small children, whether you’re considering the toy, miniature, or standard poodle, all of them possess the highly-sought-after qualities that make up an excellent family dog:

  • A poodle is affectionate, especially a miniature poodle.
  • A poodle is very energetic and playful, making him a great choice for a pup that can keep up with active children. A standard poodle is an especially great option for homes with kids because he is extremely patient and his size makes it easy to tolerate a lot of rough-and-tumble play.
  • A poodle is very smart and easy to train, which means you can teach him a lot of fun tricks that your kids will simply love. 
  • A poodle is patient.
  • A poodle does not shed, so if you have kids with allergies, this may be a strong deciding factor for you.
  • A poodle is gentle. A poodle loves to play and has a lot of energy, but he also knows when to slow down and can switch easily from one mode to the other.
  • A poodle is very alert and will warn you quickly if something is amiss, making him a good guardian for your kids and family. 
  • A poodle is very loyal and bonds easily with his owners.

brown poodle puppy

Getting To Know the Poodle

In addition to knowing the overall temperament of your potential new furry family member, it’s also important to consider the basic stats of any dog you’re considering adding into the mix. In the case of the poodle, you also have the added element of which particular poodle you favor between the toy, miniature, and standard varieties.  

Even if a pup has the perfect personality for your family, the reality might be that he is too big for your living space, or you don’t have the time necessary for all of the grooming, or maybe you travel often and specifically need a pooch that handles separation well. 

These are all things that are just as necessary to factor into your decision about what kind of dog is right for your family. Here are a few more things that you should know about the affectionate and loyal poodle:

SIZE

A toy poodle is the smallest of the three, reaching a height of up to 10 inches and a weight between 5 and 10 pounds. You can see why this tiny pup might not be best suited for families with very young children. A miniature poodle is a little more sturdy than his toy counterpart, coming in between 10 and 15 inches in height and weighing between 15 and 20 pounds. Then comes the impressive stature of the standard poodle, with a height of over 15 inches and a weight between 40 and 60 pounds. 

 

LIFE EXPECTANCY

A poodle’s life expectancy is 10 to 18 years, with a standard poodle coming in closer to the end of this spectrum. If you are thinking about purchasing or adopting a younger or older dog, knowing the average lifespan is a good thing to keep in mind; especially when you compare your future pup’s age to the age of your children.   

 

GROOMING NEEDS

While it is a great thing that the poodle doesn’t shed often, on the flip side of the coin this means that his coat has a lot of hair that will need to be brushed daily, unless you plan to keep your pup’s coat clipped short. If you do want your dog to sport the classic poodle look, be prepared for frequent grooming, or at least include regular visits to a professional groomer in your budget. As with all pups, nail trims, keeping eyes and ears clean, and maintaining proper dental care are also essential parts of the grooming routine.

 

HEALTH ISSUES

Many poodles enjoy long, healthy lives, but they are prone to several health conditions like hip dysplasia and various eye disorders. The smaller poodles are more likely to deal with orthopedic problems, like luxating patella (when the knee-cap slides in and out of place) than the standard poodles, and standards are more at risk for things like bloat and other gastric issues. If this is the case with your pup, make sure to have an established relationship with a vet that you trust. She can offer helpful suggestions, like using a slow-feed bowl to help reduce bloat or any behavior modifications that might be necessary to keep your pup safe and healthy.

EXERCISE NEEDS

A poodle, no matter what size he is, needs a lot of exercise and ample opportunities for engaging activities. A poodle is pretty much up for any kind of fun, but he especially loves to swim and go on long walks and jogs with his family. This offers a great way for your children to bond with your dog. Let the whole family participate in a walk and let older children hold the leash. This is also a great way to start helping your kids take part in the care of your new family member.

TRAINING

A poodle is extremely easy to train and one of the most intelligent dog breeds, enjoying things like agility training and tracking activities. Since this pup is eager-to-please, he is the perfect pooch to teach some entertaining tricks to, which is always a hit with kids. It is important to keep training positive and, as with most dogs, proper socialization from early on is a must.

brown poodle puppy running

Poodles and Kids

Although poodles are a great match for families with kids, you always want to be prepared before bringing home a new dog. Let your children know the expectations when it comes to caring for your new pup, and make sure everyone is on board and knows how to properly interact with and touch an animal. Of course, it’s also important to do the same with your new pooch, so that everyone can treat each other with mutual respect. 

Let your kids share in the responsibility of caring for your new dog, whether it be brushing, feeding, or taking your pup for walks. Always supervise young children with any dog, and stay consistent with your rules and schedule to ensure things go as smoothly as possible.

There is no doubt that a poodle makes a great family dog, but it’s always good to weigh all of your options and know all that you can about the breed before making your final decision. If you think you might want to rescue a poodle or adopt, you can check out petfinder.com, which provides great resources about different rescue and adoption organizations across the USA. Plus, when you check out the rest of our blogs, you’ll find all kinds of helpful tips and resources for being a fabulous pet parent.
  • Fernando Becattini