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Poodle Miniature

The Mini Poodle is a noble-looking dog with a slender muzzle and long neck. The coat is profuse and curly and is often styled. They can be seen in many colours, including blue, grey, silver, brown, apricot and cream. See the breed standard for full details. The adult Miniature Poodle is 28-38cm in height and weighs 12-14kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
Yes, I require a hypoallergenic breed
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
Yes
Yes
Poodle Miniature

Origin

The Miniature Poodle dog breed was developed from the Standard Poodle by people who wanted a smaller version of the larger poodle, which was easier to care for and more economical to feed. This size of poodle was known to exist at least 500 years ago. They became well known in circuses due to the fact that they are easy to train and eager to please.

Personality

Lively, sociable and affectionate, Miniature Poodles make wonderful companion dogs. They enjoy a busy life and love to be included in all family pursuits. Miniature Poodles adapt to life in more confined quarters as long as they get adequate exercise. They can be good watch dogs, announcing visitors but never being aggressive.

Health

Like many small breeds, the miniature Poodle can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas). They are also prone to a hip condition and an inherited eye disorder that should be tested for.

Exercise

This is a fairly active breed that likes to get out on walks and particularly enjoys games. It is a good idea to enrol in some sort of activity so that the mind is stimulated along with the body. Miniature Poodles can do well in obedience, agility and most dog sports.

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

Miniature Poodles do not shed and are often (though not always) tolerated by allergic people. Their coats do take a great deal of care, though, generally requiring professional grooming, as well as regular combing and brushing at home. The poodle should be taken to a groomer about every six weeks to be clipped, or you can learn how to do it yourself.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Miniature Poodles may be small, but they certainly have big personalities! Eager to please and sociable, they love a busy and active life. Learn more here.

Pomeranian

The dainty little Pomeranian dog sparkles with character and friendliness. They look like miniature foxes, with an outercoat that has long, erect hairs and a thick undercoat, giving them the appearance of a ball of fluff. Pomeranians come in many attractive colours – see the breed standard for details. Adult dogs measure between 18-30cm depending on build and type. The ideal weight for adult males is 1.8-2kg and for females 2-2.5kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
I'd like a little toy dog to carry around
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
Very vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
Yes
Yes
Pomeranian

Origin

Pomeranian dogs (or 'Poms') are almost certainly descended from the sledge-pulling dogs of the Arctic and are probably related to the Keeshond, Norwegian Elkhound and the Samoyed. The first reliable records of the breed came from Pomerania, a region bordering the Baltic, and date from the 1800s, although these dogs were much larger (around 13kg). Litters of around 10 puppies were being born and soon the smallest of these were preferred. By the mid 1800s, the breed had spread to other European countries and in 1888 Queen Victoria fell in love with the breed, which encouraged the Pomeranian dog breed's popularity. British breeders then bred them for a smaller size with more and more coat.

Personality

They are lively and energetic little dogs who are very loyal to their families. Pomeranians love to be carried about and handled but do not overdo this, as they need to stand on their own four feet! They make excellent watch dogs, as they are very vocal. Despite their gentle and affectionate natures, care must be taken, especially with younger children, as they are quite fragile and leg fractures are not unheard of in the breed.

Health

Like many small breeds, the Pomeranian can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas). Other common problems in Poms are eye conditions, a disorder causing hairloss and a windpipe problem that causes coughing.

Exercise

Pomeranians are very undemanding in their exercise requirements and are quite happy with short walks or a run in the garden with their owners. They are able, however, to walk quite a distance before becoming tired.

Nutrition

Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

During adolescence extra grooming is required to assist the coat change of the Pomeranian, but once this has happened, grooming can be reduced to a couple of times a week. Check regularly for matting in the undercoat. Do not use too fine a comb, as this will damage the undercoat and spoil the fullness. The coat should be well combed with a coarse comb and then lightly brushed. Occasional trimming is required around the feet.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Pomeranians simply sparkle with character! Fluffy and full of life, these energetic dogs are extremely loyal to their owners. To read more, visit Purina today.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog

A slightly rectangular, medium-size, shaggy-coated dog, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog is cobby, strong and muscular. The fairly long, thick coat is harsh in texture and there is a soft undercoat. The hair falls over the eyes and comes in all coat colours. Adult dogs stand at 45-50cm and females at 42-47cm, and they weigh approximately 18-20kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to keep super fit together with vigorous walks
For one to two hours a day
A medium size dog works for me
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
Yes
Polish Lowland Sheepdog

Origin

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog, or Polski Owczarek Nizinny (PON) as he is known in his native country, probably descends from a dog originally from Tibet/Mongolia. Moving with nomadic groups and working as a flock dog, he developed into the dog we know today in northern Europe. The breed is said to have influenced the Bearded Collie, with whom he shares many characteristics, with a Polish trader giving three dogs to Scottish shepherds in 1514.

Personality

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is lively, quick to learn and enjoys training. He's a natural herding dog and watchdog. He is good-tempered and makes an alert companion in the home. Affectionate to his loved ones, he enjoys being at his owner's side, but he can be aloof initially with those he doesn't know.

Health

The Polish Lowland Sheepdog is generally a healthy breed, but as with many breeds can suffer from hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

Bred to work in harsh conditions, this active dog needs around two hours exercise a day and a chance to use his brain – and won't be put off by any inclement weather! Naturally, the long coat should be checked for debris and dried thoroughly after a walk.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

This dog has a high-maintenance coat that requires daily attention. The Polish Lowland Sheepdog's hair is not only long but also thick, and regular brushing is needed to ensure the harsh top coat and thick, soft undercoat do not mat.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Polish Lowland Sheepdogs are loyal companions who love to be by their owners sides. To read more about this good-tempered dog breed, visit Purina today.

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs are distinctive the world over with their long, shaggy coats covering thickset bodies. Their eyes appear to be totally covered but their vision is never impaired. In colour, OES can be any shade of grey, grizzle, or blue with or without white markings. Adult males stand at 61cm and above and weigh from 36kg; adult females are 56cm and above and from 30kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For one to two hours a day
I'd love a large dog
Dog drool? I can tolerate some.
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
No
Old English Sheepdog

Origin

The Old English Sheepdog breed emerged in England in the mid-1700s and is probably linked to ancient herders, including the Bergamasco, the Bearded Collie, the Briard and the Armant. The nickname 'Bobtail' is significant in its history. In England in the 18th century, tax exemption was granted to drover dogs, which helped drive the herds to market. To mark these dogs, their tails were docked. Old English Sheepdogs were excellent at this job because of their eagerness and weather-resistant coats. The coats were sheared annually along with the sheep and the farmers' wives spun the dog shearings as well as the sheep's wool into warm clothing.

Personality

Old English Sheepdogs are cheerful extroverts and are popular family companions. They usually have lovely natures but can be excitable when playing, and so care must be taken when young children are involved. They will join in every possible activity with enthusiasm. They are fearless and make excellent watch dogs, especially with their resonant bark. Early training is imperative to control the breed's boisterous behaviour.

Health

As with many breeds, the Old English Sheepdog Labrador can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

Old English Sheepdogs need owners who are dedicated to giving them a lot of exercise, although care must be taken when they are puppies to ensure no bone problems develop through over-exercise.

Nutrition

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Old English Sheepdog breed is prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming

When Old English Sheepdog puppies shed their adolescent coats, it is imperative that you spend the necessary time to ensure the old coat does not become matted with the new one. If left for any length of time, the coat can become so matted that the only solution is to clip. Owning one is extremely hard work and time-consuming: they constantly shed their coats, their pads must be checked after every outing to ensure nothing is stuck to the hairs and due to all that hair, they can also be prone to dirty back-ends which may need routine cleaning.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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These shaggy-coated dogs are popular family pets, thanks to their fearless yet cheerful and enthusiastic nature. Discover more about the breed here.

Norwegian Elkhound

A medium to large spitz dog (with a thick coat, prick ears and tail curled over the back), the Norwegian Elkhound dog is a powerful hound with a squarish shape and compact body. Adult male dogs stand at 52cm and weigh around 23kg and females are 49cm tall and weigh 20kg. The thick, profuse coat comes in shades of grey with the hair of the topcoat tipped black.

I've looked after dogs before, so I have some experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
A medium size dog works for me
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
Very vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
No
No
Norwegian Elkhound

Origin

An ancient breed, with archaeologists unearthing the skeletons of a similar dog dating back to 4,000-5,000BC, the Norwegian Elkhound dog breed is a spitz breed used for hunting elk. He would track down the elk and bark and keep it in one place until the hunter came to shoot it. He was first exhibited at a dog show in Norway in 1877 and is still used for hunting in Scandinavia.

Personality

A friendly, confident dog, the Norwegian Elkhound is energetic and hardy. A natural watchdog, he is vocal and will need early training to bark on command. A good family dog, he is independent but does enjoy the company of his loved ones. The houseproud should note that the coat does shed profusely.

Health

As with many breeds, the Norwegian Elkhound can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

About an hour's daily exercise is needed as a minimum, though the Norwegian Elkhound dog is capable of more - this is a dog bred to track elk for miles in harsh conditions, after all! Do ensure he is kept cool in warm weather.

Nutrition

Your dog's diet needs to have the right balance of all the main nutrient groups including a constant supply of fresh water. It's important to conduct regular body condition scores to ensure you keep your dog in ideal shape and remember to feed him at least twice daily and in accordance with the feeding guidelines of his particular food.

Grooming

The weather-resistant coat of Norwegian Elkhounds comprises a thick, woolly undercoat and a profuse topcoat, which is longer on the back of the legs, and on the neck and tail. A brush through two or three times a week is advised, with daily grooming when the coat sheds.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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A Spitz-type bred for hunting, the Norwegian Elkhound is energetic, hardy and independent. Read about caring for this dog breed and more with Purina.

Newfoundland

The Newfoundland dog is best described as being a gentle giant. They are large and heavy in both bone and coat. As puppies they look like a cuddly teddy bear but this stage does not last long as they grow very quickly. They can be black, brown or white and black (Landseer) in colour. The average adult male is 71cm in height and 64-69kg in weight; adult females are 66cm and 50-54.5kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I prefer quiet dogs that only bark from time to time
Yes - Physically protective
Yes
Yes
Newfoundland

Origin

It's almost certain that the Newfoundland dog breed (or 'Newfie') did not originally inhabit Newfoundland. However, the island was inhabited by native people and their wolf-type dogs during the 15th century. These dogs were used for hunting, fetching and carrying. When European settlers started to occupy the island, only the most useful and obedient dogs were kept. The surviving dogs bred with others that were introduced to the island by traders and the resulting offspring were left to fend for themselves. Over the years, a dog resembling the Newfoundland dog of today started to emerge. By the early 18th century word of these extraordinary dogs that could haul heavy loads and help fishermen had reached Europe, and breeding began in earnest.

Personality

Newfoundland dogs are docile, gentle and make great family pets, getting on well with both people and other animals. They have a natural life-saving instinct, which can be a nuisance when they continually try to drag you out of the water! They are outgoing dogs, full of energy and said to be one of the friendliest breeds.

Health

As with many dogs, the Newfoundland breed can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). They are also prone to a particular bladder condition and heart disease.

Exercise

Newfoundland puppies should have all their exercise monitored while growing to ensure that no damage occurs to the bones and joints. They love water, swimming being one of their favourite forms of exercise. A fit, healthy adult needs at least an hour's daily exercise and will happily take more.

Nutrition

Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Newfoundland dog is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.

Grooming

The double coat is dense, oily and water-resistant and the needs a fair amount of grooming attention. Newfoundland dogs should be brushed daily, with particular attention being paid to the feathering on the legs, which can become entangled.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Large and docile, Newfoundland dogs are good family pets thanks to their friendliness and natural life-saving instinct. Read more about them here.

Maremma Sheepdog

This is a large, sturdy, muscular dog with a coarse white outercoat and dense protective undercoat. The head is wide between the ears and narrows to the muzzle. The ears are small and high set. Adult males stand at 65-73cm and weigh 35-45kg, and adult females are 60-68cm in height and 30-40kg in weight.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm an experienced trainer and comfortable with any breed
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
Maremma Sheepdog

Origin

Ancient Italian writers have mentioned the Maremma Sheepdog breed, and a 13th century picture in the church of Santa Maria in Florence depicts a Maremma. The original stock came from migrating Eastern shepherd dogs which developed into the individual breeds particular to a region – for example, the French Pyrenean Sheepdog and the Hungarian Kuvasz. In Italy, the shorter coated Maremmano and the longer backed Abruzzese merged into one breed in the 1860s, due to seasonal movement of flocks. Today's Maremma Sheepdog is still the most popular and common sheepdog in Italy. It is said that the courageous Maremma Sheepdog can ward off wolves, bears and human predators.

Personality

The Maremma Sheepdog is happiest when at work, tending its flocks. They will be loyal to their master and devoted to their flock but intolerant of intruders. For this reason, the breed is also a good guard dog and has been used as such on many a successful occasion. Early socialisation is essential particularly around children and other pets, as this is a big, strong dog.

Health

The Maremma Sheepdog is generally a healthy breed, but as with many breeds, can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

This breed of dog needs a huge amount of exercise – two-plus hours daily is right for a fit adult, although some of this can be done as he patrols his domain. The breed is used for herding and has the stamina to continue working all day. It is hard to keep this breed stimulated in the role of a non-working pet as he is never off-duty

Nutrition

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. The Maremma Sheepdog is also prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.

Grooming

This heavy, dense coat takes a lot of upkeep and the dog needs a thorough brushing and combing several times a week or the coat will become matted and the dog will develop eczema and hot spots. The pads should be examined and trimmed between them, if necessary.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Large and courageous, the Maremma Sheepdog is happiest being put to work and tending flocks. Read about the care and history of this Sheepdog breed here.

Maltese

An aristocratic-looking toy dog, with dark eyes and a pure white coat that is long and silky, the Maltese dog is a most striking dog. An adult Maltese is 25cm and under in height and weighs approximately 1.8-2.7kg.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
I'd like a little toy dog to carry around
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
Yes, I require a hypoallergenic breed
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
Yes
Yes
Maltese

Origin

One of the oldest established breeds, Charles Darwin traced the Maltese dog breed back to 6000 BC. A member of the Bichon family of dogs from the Mediterranean area, it's known that Publius, the Roman Governor of Malta in the 1st century AD had a Maltese-type dog called Issa. The breed has been favoured by royalty and the aristocracy throughout its history and is pictured in art with Queen Elizabeth I and other royals. Mary Queen of Scots is said to have had a Maltese dog hiding under her skirts when she was beheaded.

Personality

Small, sweet-tempered and glamorous, this toy dog isn't just a pretty face – he can be feisty at times! Alert to his surroundings, he can be vocal and should be trained from young not to bark at the slightest provocation.

Health

Like many small breeds, the Maltese dog can suffer from kneecaps that may temporarily slip out of place (luxating patellas). Hereditary eye disorders can also occur and so eye testing is recommended.

Exercise

Half an hour's daily exercise will keep the Maltese dog content, though he is capable of more if you can offer it. He can be surprisingly game when out and about, and his past history as a one-time vermin catcher can come to the fore!

Nutrition

Toy dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

Daily grooming is needed to keep the long, silky coat tangle-free. If neglected, mats will form, which will become painful for the dog. Getting a Maltese puppy to view grooming as a rewarding experience is therefore very important.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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An old breed, Maltese dogs have long, white, smooth coats and a fiery attitude for their very small size! Learn more about the breed and its care guide here.

Lhaso Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a long-coated, sturdy little dog. They are slightly longer than they are tall. They come in a variety of colours: golden, sandy, honey, dark grizzle, slate, smoke, parti-colour, black, white or brown. Adult males measure 25cm and adult females slightly less. They weigh 6-7kg when fully grown.

No, this will be my first dog and I am ready to learn!
I'd feel more comfortable keeping training to the basics
I'm looking for a dog to take on gentle walks
For half an hour a day
A smaller dog would suit me best
Dog drool? As little as possible, please!
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
Yes, I require a hypoallergenic breed
I love dogs that are chatty and vocal
Yes - Barks and alerts
Yes
Yes
Lhaso Apso

Origin

The Lhasa Apso dog breed was bred in Tibet, by the holy men and the nobles, for at least two thousand years. They were used as watchdogs in the temples and monasteries. The people of Tibet greatly respected these little dogs, as they believed they were the reincarnations of the holy lamas. They were never sold or bought but given as gifts, and it was considered a great honour to receive one.

Personality

The Lhasa Apso dog is loyal and trustful. They get along well with children and other dogs. As a breed they can be independent and are wary of strangers, but with patience and consistency they can become relatively obedient. They are quite sensitive and so do not respond well to raised voices.

Health

As with many breeds, there are hereditary eye disorders that may occur and so eye testing is recommended. They are also prone to certain skin conditions.

Exercise

The adult Lhasa Apso dog needs a minimum of half an hour's daily exercise. They have plenty of energy, but are as happy to stay at home and play as they are to walk for miles and miles. They are perfectly content with several short walks every day.

Nutrition

Small dogs have a fast metabolism, meaning they burn energy at a high rate, although their small stomachs mean that they must eat little and often. Small-breed foods are specifically designed with appropriate levels of key nutrients and smaller kibble sizes to suit smaller mouths. This also encourages chewing and improves digestion.

Grooming

The grooming requirements are considerable for the small Lhasa Apso. The topcoat is long, heavy and slightly rough to the touch. The undercoat is a little shorter and softer, and must be combed to prevent any mats and tangles forming. If the coat becomes too much, they can be kept short; a professional groomer, or the breeder, will advise on how this is carried out.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Originating in Tibet, Lhaso Apso dogs have a fascinating history. Trusting and loyal, they're now good pets for families with children. Read more about them here.

Leonberger

The Leonberger is a large, strong and muscular dog. They have an unusual feature, webbed feet, which makes them good swimmers. They can be lion gold, red, reddish-brown, sandy (fawn or cream) and all combinations in between, with a black mask. Adult males measure 72-80cm and weigh 34-50kg. Adult females measure 65-75cm and weigh 30-50kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
-
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
-
I prefer quiet dogs that only bark from time to time
Yes - Physically protective
No
No
Leonberger

Origin

The Leonberger dog breed was created in the 1840s to resemble the lion of the Leonberg town crest. It is a cross between a Newfoundland and St Bernard, and a backcross to a Pyrenean Mountain Dog. They became very popular and many distinguished people owned them. However, during World War I they almost died out, as people could not afford to feed them. The handful of dogs that were left were bred from carefully until World War II when they were nearly all lost again. Today the Leonberger dog is still relatively rare but it is gaining in number and popularity.

Personality

Leonbergers should be easy-going, placid, loyal and even-tempered. They get on well with other pets and children and are playful. They learn quickly and, because of their large size, training is especially important and should be started as early as possible.

Health

As with many breeds, Leonberger dogs can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise

As a puppy, this dog should not be over exercised or allowed up and down stairs. When the bones are properly developed then the exercise can be gradually increased. The adult Leonberger dog should have long walks and loves to run around and play. They also have a great love of water and like nothing better than a good swim. A couple of hours' daily exercise is advised for a fit adult.

Nutrition

Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. Leonbergers are also prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.

Grooming

The Leonberger has a double coat, which consists of a fairly long, close top coat and a thick undercoat. There is a 'mane' of longer/thicker hair around the neck and chest, and feathering on the legs. The coat needs to be brushed two or three times a week to remove any dead and loose hair and keep it in good order.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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With its lion-like appearance, the Leonberger is gaining popularity as an easy-going, loyal pet. Visit Purina to learn more about this beautiful large-breed dog.

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