Are your kids begging for a family dog? Or maybe it's you looking to welcome your next "Buddy" or "Rover" into the fold! Either way, there is always that hesitation of wondering whether or not it's a good idea to add the responsibility of a pet to your family list of to-dos.
Will you have enough time to meet their needs between sports practices, games and family weekend adventures? Finding the right pet to match your family's lifestyle is key to both your pet's and your own happiness. As an active family, you're likely to want an active dog--one that can keep up with you and your kids on daily walks, adventures and outings.
While breed isn't everything (some of the best dogs are mixed-breeds and mutts!), doing some research on common demeanor, activity level and upkeep will help point you in the right direction as far as finding your family's perfect pet match.
If you're unsure if a breed is right for you, contact a local specialist dog trainer. Search for your local animal shelter or humane society to learn more about adopting a shelter dog in your area.
Otherwise known as the "Lassie Dog," the Collie is a loyal, active and highly intelligent breed that loves kids. They have strong protective instincts, which make them great watch dogs prepared to alert you if anything is out of the norm. They are minimal barkers and are not known to have issues with biting or fighting when it comes to getting along with others. Classified as a herding dog, this working-class breed will have no trouble keeping up with the daily runs and walks of an active lifestyle.
Your classic water dog, the Labrador Retriever is a bright and energetic breed--perfect for any active family. Their short coat offers low maintenance as it can be easily washed, rinsed or dried after time at the pool, lake or beach. Known for getting along well with other dogs, cats and kids, it's no wonder they're such a fan favorite. The more exercise, the better for the Labrador Retriever--you may even find that you have to work to keep up with their activity level, but their loyalty will make it worth it!
Very similar to the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever is easily trainable, loyal and full of energy. If you don't mind a bit more up-keep with grooming with their longer coat, you've likely found the perfect breed for your active family. Highly affectionate and great with kids and other pets, the Golden Retriever will just as readily cuddle up with your family for a movie night at the end of the day as they will jump into action when they hear you prepare their leash for another adventure.
Playful, sensitive and highly social, the Beagle is a great dog breed for young, active families. While the Beagle does take a bit more practice and diligence to train or teach new tricks, they're highly adaptable to new environments, making them great companions for family outings and activities. They tend to do well with other dogs and meeting new people, but are best kept on a leash due to their wanderlust personality. You'll definitely want a secure fence to keep your Beagle safe at home!
Known for their silky, deep red coat, the Irish Setter is a social dog breed that tends to get along well with other dogs, cats and kids. Their beautiful coat will require a bit more grooming maintenance, but they're lower maintenance when it comes to concerns about barking or biting. With proper exercise and socialization, they're known for being generally quiet and easily acquainted with new people and pets -- perfect for having around at home when the little ones are napping and keeping up with you while on a run!
Reliably affectionate and protective, the Vizsla bonds deeply with their family, and are sensitive to your needs and are good with young children. They are known for being decent protectors of the home and will likely alert you if things aren't as they should be. They're intelligent too, so they are easy to train and are sensitive to reprimand. Along with their family-centered qualities, the Vizsla is a dog breed that requires a lot of exercise to be optimally happy, making it a popular choice for active families.
High-energy, easily trainable and great with children, the Australian Shepherd breed lands itself among the top breeds for young, active families. Known for being sociable with other kids, dogs, strangers and pets, the Australian Shepherd also tends to be very protective of their space and people. Their instincts are to protect, and they can be nervous if not properly socialized early on to accept meeting new people and animals. As a herding breed they love a job and will happily play fetch for hours--fulfilling their need for regular, daily exercise!
READ THIS NEXT: 10 Best Dog Breeds for Outdoor Enthusiasts