How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Deb Your Own Question
Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 10922
Experience:  I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Deb is online now

Hi, Im looking to purchase our 1st family dog

This answer was rated:

Hi, I'm looking to purchase our 1st family dog, I have 3 kids 7,6,3 the eldest who is developing a fear of dogs. She would love a dog but still a bit apprehensive am I going down the right route now and what should I be looking for an older dog or a young puppy. Thank you, Clare

What breed should I consider she has ruled out ***** ***** and bichon asking about golden retriever

Hello Clare, I'm Dr. Deb.

I recently came online and see that your question hasn't been answered. I'm so sorry that you've had to wait for a response, but if you still need assistance, I'd like to help if I can.

There are so many wonderful breeds of dogs who would make great pets for a child who's not quite sure about them so we may need to narrow the list a bit:

1. Are you looking for large, medium, or small (or it doesn't matter)?
2. High energy since he/she will be exercising with family members or more of a couch potato sort of dog?

3. Long or short hair?

4. Pure bred or rescue?

5. Any other criteria which might rule out certain breeds?


There may be a delay after I receive your answers since I have to type up a response to you and I may be offline at the time you respond. But I'll get back to you as soon as I can since I'm on the computer some part of every day.

Thanks for your patience. Deb


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, 1)between a small or medium we have plenty garden space well enclosed ample space in the back and good open space in front.

2).we will have time to walk and play with dog as im a sahm mom.

3)as near as possible to non shed

4)not rescue as with kids I be afraid of lack of knowledge of it's history


So in conclusion a good easy going dog/puppy that's not too yappy as I know my girl is put off by their teeth especially our neighbours bichon even though nothing ever happened

Thanks for the answers to my questions.

I do think a puppy would be best since who can resist them???
And I agree with you that a rescue brings a certain amount of uncertainly which you're trying to avoid.
Finding a reputable breeder by doing your homework fist will be critical (once you've decided on a breed) since as you probably know, temperament and personality (and aggression) can be inherited.

I'm not sure that my recommendations will meet all of your criteria since there aren't a lot of breeds who don't shed but the following are ones which I'd suggest:

1. Goldendoodle. Primarily because of the sweet temperaments of most Goldens combined with the intelligence and non-shed properties of the Poodle. Really the best of both breeds.

2. Standard Poodle although they may be on the larger side for you. This breed is highly under rated probably because most people have preconceived ideas about "poodles". But the larger versions are nothing like the small poodles and make great family dogs.

3. Pugs if you don't mind the smushy noses. Most are very easy going and very sweet but they aren't athletic.

4. Vizsla although not many folks have heard of them. Low maintenance in terms of coat but they do require exercise.

5. The standby quintenessial Labrador Retriever but I'd consider an English Lab, rather than an American one (they've gotten overbred and temperaments have suffered a bit). English labs tend to be calmer, intelligent, and love to play. I haven't met one yet that I didn't love.

6. Goldens are a great choice as well but, again, they've become so popular, that they've become overbred. Careful research of breeders will be important. However, they do shed and have longer fur than you may be looking for.

7. Boston Terriers are a very nice breed of dog for a family. Sweet, funny and very loyal although a tad on the stubborn side like most terriers.

8. Boxers are a great breed, too, but they do tend to have a high incidence of cancer so this may not be the best choice for a family.

9. Beagles are pretty sturdy dogs, don't shed much and intelligent. However, I don't know if you could live with their "howl"; they have quite a voice on them!

10. Not that either one of these breeds meets your criteria but if you were open to a large dog, it's hard to go wrong with a Newfoundland (although the drool isn't terribly attractive).
And, Bernese Mountain Dogs are great family pets but they do come with quite a bit of hair.

I could probably come up with others but this will give you a place to start. Also, if you come up with a breed not on the list, let me know and I'll give you an opinion about it. Deb

Dr. Deb and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
I just wanted to thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.

And, best of luck in your search for the "best" family dog for your family and especially for your oldest daughter. Kind regards, Deb

Please ignore the information request.