Many of us will have fond memories of the family dog while we were growing up and are keen for our own kids to have the same experience of a four-legged friend while they're young.

However, while dogs and children can make great companions, if you do have a boisterous brood at home, it pays to think carefully about the best sort of pooch to introduce into the family.

While the way a pup responds to and bonds with your kids will ultimately come down to individual personality, there are certain breeds that are believed to be better suited to families with little ones.

With their friendly, affectionate nature and gentle temperament Labradors often make great pets for families, while spaniels, German shepherds and Border collies also tend to be relaxed and gentle around kids.

Or, if you're thinking about taking on a smaller pooch, consider a breed such as pugs, miniature poodles or Border terriers.

The important thing to remember is that whatever breed you choose it's important that your children and dog learn to get on together and form a happy, harmonious relationship.

It's essential that, while your dog will no doubt have great fun playing with your youngsters, they have a place to retreat to sleep and eat their dry dog food, where they will not be bothered by any kids.

If you're concerned about choosing a pooch with the right temperament for a family home Kim O'Meara from recommends considering rehoming a mutt from the local animal shelter.

"One of the very best ways to increase your chances of getting a dog that will be good with children is to adopt a dog," she says.

"The reason we say this is because adoption shelters are experienced, they will have assessed the dogs in their care to match their needs to the best possible home.

"This is based on everything from the hours they can spend alone, the best age group of children they'd be happiest living with, whether they need further training/behaviour lessons and more."

Written by: Hannah