With over 200 breeds of dog available to adopt in the UK alone, this tricky choice can leave budding owners confused about which dog is right for them.
Often, smaller breeds are perfect for a home with younger children, with larger breeds ideal for an active family who want a dog that can keep up with them.
But which dogs are best in a family setting?
1. Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are the ideal family dog. Loyal, loving and with a glorious gold coat that requires regular attention, this gentle giant will fit right in and give your kids a pet to play with.
2. Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are very similar to their pals the Golden Retriever, but their coats require less care so may be perfect if you want a dog with a little less mess. They love exercise and always want to play, and you have 3 gorgeous colours to choose from: yellow, brown and black!
For a slightly calmer dog in your life, the Poodle might be the answer to your prayers. With a gorgeous coat and the opportunity for your kids to give them a restyle, this pooch is extremely gentle and loves attention.
Photo: Scott Merrylees
4. Irish Setter
This dog loves family more than anything else in the world, so much so that the Irish Setter is prone to getting a little lonely if left for too long. This pup is loving, gentle and always up for a cuddle, so will fit right in with a big family.
Photo: James Hardisty