VET’S VIEW: Which breed of dog is right for you and your family?

DOGS are a great part of growing up, with many of us remembering our first dogs and all the fun and companionship shared together.

And with dogs and children proving such a fantastic match, it’s hard to select one particular breed that’s best for youngsters. In fact, there’s no right or wrong answer, as breed of dog alone never determines how your kids and dog will get along. All dogs, regardless of breed, are individuals.

Specific breed is important, but only one ingredient helping to shape a dog’s temperament and behaviour – so, never expect to choose a breed and assume it will automatically slot into your family unit.

Some breeds are more popular, with size, strength, temperament and tolerance appealing to young families, such as Labradors, golden retrievers, cavalier King Charles spaniels and greyhounds. But where you buy or adopt your dog from also counts greatly. Remember, all breeds have their own breed rescue societies, too. Only choose a reputable rescue or responsible breeder, as pups sold by a breeder without seeing mum interacting with them are usually born miles away on cruel puppy farms supplying pet shops, free newspaper adverts or websites.

Before deciding which dog, hold family discussions about its needs, then research – a lot.

Ask experts, attend fun dog shows, and don’t miss the excellent Discover Dogs next month at London’s Earls Court.

Some breeds require more grooming, increased exercise, mental stimulation, even desiring instinctive jobs to do, such as herding.

Also, consider whether your kids are allergic to dogs in which case hypoallergenic breeds, like Schnauzers or Portuguese water dogs, are ideal.